Easter

What Easter traditions do you have?

As we approach Easter I thought I would post a couple of items that adults could use to teach about the great day of the resurrection. You may already have traditions but these could be used in addition to what is currently done. I will talk about four in particular that you can use.

Resurrection Eggs

Resurrection eggs teach the story of Christ’s resurrection with homemade eggs.  You can purchase a set for around $15 if you choose, but the homemade eggs will work fine. You will need a dozen colorful fill-yourself plastic Easter eggs that will eventually fit into an empty egg carton for safe keeping.

Number your eggs 1 through 12 with a Sharpie permanent marker. Place an item and the corresponding Scripture reference (written on a small piece of paper) into each egg.

Ideally, you would begin 12 days before Easter Sunday.  However, since it is only a few days to Easter, open multiple eggs per day.  Starting with egg #1, discuss the object in the egg.  Read the message and Scripture, then discuss it with your child.  If your child is old enough, have him or her find the Scripture in their Bible and read it.  Leave each egg open in the carton to recall its contents.  The next day quiz your child on the previous items before opening the next egg.  On the last day, egg #12 is empty, like Jesus’ tomb!

Egg #1 

Message:  Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and the people waved palm branches.

Scripture:  Matt. 21:1-11

Item:  A small plastic leaf, a piece of palm branch, or a blade of grass.  An alternate item is a clipart picture of a donkey.

 

Egg #7

 

Message:  Soldiers divided up Jesus’ clothes and cast lots for them.Scripture:  Mark 15:24-25Item:  A die (or two dice).

 

Egg #2Message:  Jesus ate the Last Supper with His disciples.

Scripture:  Matt. 27:17-19

Item:  A small piece of cracker to represent the Passover bread.  An oyster cracker or the newest miniature saltine crackers work very well.

 

Egg #8Message:  Jesus was nailed to the cross and they pierced his side.

Scripture:  John 19:18, and 33-37

Item:  A nail

Egg #3Message:  Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

Scripture:  Matt. 27:3

Item:  A dime or two, or plastic “silver” coins.

 

Egg #9Message:  They gave Jesus vinegar to drink on a sponge.

Scripture:  Matt. 27:34

Item:  A small piece of sponge.

Egg #4Message:  They scourged Jesus.

Scripture:  John 19:1

Item:  A small piece of rope or thick string.

 

Egg #10Message:  They used spices to prepare Jesus’ body for burial.

Scripture:  John 19:38-40

Item:  A few whole cloves, allspice or other whole spices and/or a piece of linen cloth.

 

Egg #5Message:  They mocked Jesus as the King of the Jews.

Scripture:  Mark 15:16-20

Item:  A small piece of purple cloth.

 

Egg #11Message:  The angels rolled the stone away that covered Jesus’ tomb.

Scripture:  Mark 15:46-16:4

Item:  A small rock.

Egg #6Message:  Jesus carried His cross.

Scripture:  John 19:17

Item:  A thin popsicle stick that is cut and glued into the shape of a cross, or a cross from a necklace or earring.

 

Egg #12Message:  He is risen!  The tomb is empty!

Scripture:  Mark 16:5-6, or John 20:1-18

Item:  None.  The tomb is empty.  As an alternative, you can use a piece of linen cloth to represent the burial clothes that were left empty.

Resurrection Cinnamon “Tombs”

1 can Grands biscuits (OR frozen bread dough, thawed)

Melted butter or margarine

Cinnamon / sugar mixture

1 large marshmallow per “tomb”

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Have each child flatten a biscuit until it is about 5”  across.  Then brush melted butter on it, and sprinkle some cinnamon/sugar mixture on it.  Explain that the spices represent the spices used to anoint Jesus’ body for His burial.

Then give each child a large marshmallow to place in the center of the flattened biscuit.  Fold the sides of the dough around the marshmallow to form a “tomb.”  Pinch the sides of the tomb closed and place it seam side down on a baking sheet.  The marshmallow represents Jesus.  It is white because it represents His purity and sinlessness.  Then you may brush more butter and sprinkle more cinnamon-sugar on the outside of the tomb.  Discuss with your child the sweet taste of the spices and how Jesus gave us the sweetest gift we will ever receive.

Bake the buns until golden brown, according to the package directions.  Allow them to cool awhile before eating.  The children will be surprised to bite into the “tomb” and discover the center is empty.  The marshmallow has melted.  When the children discover the empty tomb, say together, “He is not here; He is risen!”

Easter Story Cookies

This is BEST done on Saturday night before Easter morning!

1 c pecans (halves or whole; NOT chopped)

1 t vinegar                               1 c sugar

3 egg whites                            Zipper baggie

Pinch salt                                 Wooden spoon

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Place pecans in the zipper bag and beat with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.  Teach your children that Jesus was beaten after He was arrested by the Roman soldiers.  Read John 19:1-3.

Let everyone smell the vinegar before placing it in a medium mixing bowl.  Explain that Jesus was given vinegar on the cross to drink when He was thirsty.  Read Jn. 19:28-30.

Add the egg whites to vinegar.  Eggs represent life.  Jesus gave His life to give us life.  Read Jn. 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a pinch of salt into each child’s hand.  Let them taste it before brushing the rest into the bowl.  This represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ disciples, and the bitterness of our own sin.  Read Luke 23:27.

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add 1 cup sugar.  The sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us and wants us to belong to Him.  Read Ps. 34:8 and Jn. 3:16.

Beat the mixture on high for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.  The color white represents the purity of those whose sins have been paid for (forgiven) by Jesus.  Read Isa. 1:18 and Jn. 3:1-3.

Fold in the broken nuts.  Drop by teaspoons onto a wax paper covered cookie sheet.  Each mound represents the tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.  Read Matt. 27:57-60.  Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.  Give each child a piece of tape and seal the door like Jesus’ tomb was sealed.  Read Matt. 27:65-66.

Go to bed!  Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies overnight.  Jesus’ followers were also sad when the tomb was sealed.  Read Jn. 16:20, 22.  On Easter morning, unseal the oven and give everyone a cookie.  Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.  The cookies are hollow!  On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were surprised to find the empty tomb.  Read Matt. 28:1-9.

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Legend has it that the coloring of Easter eggs originated from Mary of Magdala who presumably brought eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Christ.  When she saw the Lord, the eggs in her basket turned bright red.  Thus, the true meaning of dyeing eggs is to show the miraculous transformation of the whole world by the resurrection of Christ.

Consider dyeing eggs the old-fashioned way – with natural substances rather than store-bought kits.  Except for spices and juice, place a handful of dye material in a saucepan (more for more intense color).  Use liquids as is.  Cover with water to at least an inch above the dyeing material.  Bring the water to boil and reduce to a slow simmer for about 15 minutes, longer for deeper color.  Remove from heat and pour the liquid into a measuring cup.  Add 2–3 teaspoons of vinegar for each cup of the colored liquid.  Pour into a bowl deep enough to immerse your eggs.  Lower your eggs into the hot liquid and leave them till they reach the color you like.  Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and dry on a rack or strainer.  For a textured look, dab the wet egg with a sponge.

Blue

red cabbage leaves OR purple grape juice

Green

spinach leaves

Light Yellow

orange or lemon peels; OR carrot tops

Golden Yellow

ground tumeric

Red

lots of red onion skins; or canned cherries w/ syrup; or pomegranate juice

Purple

small amount of red onion skins; or red wine

Pink

beets; or cranberry juice; or red grape juice

Orange

carrots; or yellow onion skins

Enjoy these great recipes with children, grandchildren or anyone that might enjoy hearing and learning about Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Let us know if you have traditions you have found to be meaningful for you and your family.

Happy Easter!

Advertisements