Preparation: a rope or string that you can tie around your wrists loosely, Lazarus Painting/picture (see link below for one, you can also google it and look in images)
Gather the children with you. Show them your bound wrists. Say, “Hmm, I seem to have a problem here….. ummm… My hands are somehow tied up here… do you think anyone can help me?” Let the kids help or plant an older child to help them get you free. You can also tie up someone else’s hands and find ways to work together with the children to unbind that person.
“Whew, that was not easy but thank you for helping me. You know we just heard that story about Lazarus and Jesus. Lazarus had died and when someone died in that time period they were wrapped up (show a picture of this if possible–here is a link to one: Lazarus painting). See how he is wrapped up in cloth and there are people around him? Well I noticed that Jesus did tell Lazarus to get up or rise, he told him to come out of the tomb, which was like a cave, and then Jesus told the people there to unbind him and let him go. Jesus was there to call Lazarus back from the dead, but Jesus also asked his friends and family to participate, to help in freeing Lazarus. So I was thinking… there are lots of things that can bind us up–maybe not exactly like a rope around our wrists, but things in life that may be hard, make us feel bad or make us think that we are not good enough or loved enough. What do you think, do you have things that ever make your heart or your mind feel like they are bound up? (take answers but help them along) Yes, things like missing someone we love, or having a big test, or something hard happening with our family or friends. It may even make our stomachs feel tight or our hearts sad. You know, Jesus says something else in this story. He says I am the resurrection and I am the life. That is Jesus’ promise, that we have life and love and healing in him no matter what is happening in our lives. So all those things that can bind us up–they can’t keep us bound. Jesus brings us new life over and over again. And Jesus sends other people into our lives to help us to be unbound–like our family and friends who love us, hug us when we are hurting and help us when things are hard. And sometimes Jesus asks us to be those people for others too. And this is a promise from God too, that no matter what is holding on to us, we are free to know God’s love and to love others.