There are many lessons to learn from the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. From faith to compassion to the power of God, many vital concepts are contained in this one story. Craft projects that help to expand upon these concepts can be very valuable.
Create Lazarus's tomb out of construction paper. Cut a 10-inch half circle out of brown or grey construction paper. This shape will represent Lazarus' tomb. The arched part of the half circle is the top of the tomb and the straight edge is the bottom. Cut away a small arched doorway in the centre of the bottom. Attach a smaller grey or brown construction paper circle over the doorway with a brass paper fastener. The circle should be just large enough to cover the arched doorway. These pieces represent Lazarus' tomb and the stone tomb door.
The story of Lazarus also offers examples of the compassion of Jesus when He wept with Mary over her brother's death. Creating encouragement cards that show love to others is a good way to drive home this point. Fold pieces of construction paper in half to form a card and provide stickers, markers and stamps that children can use to decorate the cards. Print out encouraging Bible verses such as Psalm 55:22 or Nahum 1:7 that children can paste into the cards or help the children come up with their own personalised words of encouragement that are geared toward the card's recipient. Another option is to have the children draw pictures depicting acts of kindness toward others.
Make simple puppets to help tell the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Cut a 2-inch circle out of pink craft foam for each puppet. Draw faces on the circles with a permanent marker. Depict hair or beards by gluing craft foam shapes in appropriate colours to this tiny face. Attach the face to a drinking straw with tape. Help children create a puppet for each person in the story and use these puppets to act out the story.
Make papier-mache puppets. Stick a 2-inch styrofoam ball on the end of a dowel rod that is 5 inches by 1/2 inch. Dip thin strips of newspaper in a flour and water paste and drape these strips over the styrofoam ball. Allow the papier-mache to dry and then complete the puppet by painting on a face and adding yarn hair. Cut out a round piece of cotton fabric that is 10 inches in diameter and cut a small hole in the centre of the fabric circle. Stick the dowel rod through this hole. Glue the fabric to the bottom of the puppet head using white craft glue. To use the puppet, just reach under the fabric and grab the dowel rod.
Make a clothespin Lazarus doll by gluing a 1-inch wooden bead to the top of a clothespin with a hot glue gun. Add a face to this ball with a marker; glue yarn for hair and a beard. Wrap the head in strips of white cotton cloth, leaving the face visible. Continue to wrap the fabric around the clothespin body and secure with white craft glue.
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