Apostle People – Yeshua is Risen

A Unique Celebration of Feast of Firstfruits for Children

(An alternative to non-Biblical Easter traditions)

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”

“Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples:

‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee…” Matthew 28:6-8.


When my children were young, I wanted to find a way to celebrate the Feast of Firstfruits, the Resurrection of Jesus (Yeshua) that did not include hidden eggs and chocolate rabbits.   I prayed for wisdom and a creative way to express what actually happened on that first day of the week when the women went to the tomb and found it empty.

Matthew 28 jumped out from the page in my Bible.  The disciples were hiding.  They were afraid.   An angel appeared to the women at the tomb and said, “Go tell the disciples, ‘He is risen.’   Thus, the concept of the “Apostle People” were born.

To Make the Apostle People

The Apostle People are paint-stir sticks with heads cut from poster board.  Each head is labeled with one of the names of the Apostles:  Thaddeus (An Overseas Traveler), Andrew (A Fisherman), John (Cared for Yeshua’s mother), Simon (Yeshua made him a man of peace), Peter (A Fisherman, the Rock), Bartholomew (Yeshua found him under a fig tree), Thomas (The Doubter), James (A Fisherman), Matthew (A Tax Collector), James (The Lesser, Short One), Philip (Fed the Apostles), Judas (Betrayer, Sold Yeshua for 30 pieces of silver).

There are two more people: Yeshua (Salvation) who wears a talit or prayer shawl  and  an Angel (Messenger) that wears white.

Using the Apostle People

During the week of Passover,  we would read of the events in Yeshua’s life from his arrival in Jerusalem until Passover. On Passover day, we would put Yeshua in a tomb made from a box.     We would wrap him in a white cloth and place a rock outside the tomb.

On the night before the Resurrection,  I would remove the rock and  Yeshua from the tomb and place the angel by it.  I would remove Yeshua’s linens and hide him somewhere in the house.  In the morning when my children woke up, they saw the angel and the empty tomb.  It was a perfect moment to say as the angel did, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

They would search the house for Yeshua and when they found him, there would be a special gift to encourage their spiritual growth.  Over the years we gave them Bible character dolls, the armor of God, books about Esther or Jonah, Bible dictionaries, necklaces, T-shirts, concordances, or devotionals.  Because Yeshua is the Word of God, the gifts always reflected the Word and growing in that Word.

They would also notice that the Apostle People were missing.  They were no longer in the place they were kept.  These men were hidden outside in the yard.  My children would get excited to go outside to ‘find the disciples’.  When each one was found, the child would exclaim, “He is Risen.” A few pieces of candy or a treat was placed with each apostle  to make the announcement a little ‘sweeter’. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)

©1991 Tent Stake Ministries (Chapter from the book Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive). 

3 Responses to “Apostle People – Yeshua is Risen”

  • linda baker says:

    what a wonderful idea my children are grown but will pass this on to our young mothers we pastor a small church in ovid colorado

  • yahuliani says:

    Linda … my children are grown, too. After 22 years (and some withered looking Apostles) this is the first year we won’t be doing this. I look FORWARD to the grandchildren.

  • Amy Dyson says:

    We made these this year. Lots of fun. We are going to do it again tomorrow!

Leave a Reply

*