Resurrection Sunday is another great opportunity to impress the truth of the gospel on our children. Here’s a few ideas (some old, some new) for helping children enter into the joy of this special day:
~Read Scripture and good books to cultivate personal joy in the resurrection and that will overflow to your children. Nancy Guthrie’s Keep Me Near the Cross is one I try to pick up every year. For kids, Paul Maier’s The Very First Easter is a great resource.
~For the past few weeks my husband Steve has been taking our son Jack through a little booklet called Easter Unscrambled: A 3-week adventure to discover the real meaning of Easter. It has puzzles, secret codes, and best of all, a wonderfully clear gospel presentation. I know it’s a little late for this Easter, but I highly recommend you check it out next year.
~The folks from St. Helens Bishopsgate in the UK who brought us “That’s Christmas” have two new videos “That’s Easter: Death to Life” and “That’s Easter: Life to Death.” Great for watching and talking about with older kids.
~We like using the Resurrection Eggs from Family Life Ministries, or you could make your own. Each of the twelve plastic eggs contains an object (you could use Scripture references instead), and together they tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Of course the kids love the jelly beans we add as well!
~A few years ago, our friend Rebecca Wilson shared with us one of her Easter traditions with her daughters—Resurrection Cookies. “Not only do they help us remember what we are celebrating,” she writes, “but we find them yummy and pretty heart healthy too.” We’ve included the recipe below.
May your family Easter celebration be full of joy!
1 cup pecans (halves or whole)
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vinegar
pinch of salt
Tape (Packing tape works best)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pecans in Ziploc bag and let children beat them with the wooden spoon until broken into small pieces. Read John 19:1-3 and remind them that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
2. Let each child smell (or taste) the vinegar. Pour 1 tsp into the mixing bowl. Read John 19:28-30 and explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink.
3. Add the egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Read John 10:10-11 Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
4. Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it, then brush it into the bowl. Read Luke 23:27. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed Jesus’ followers as well as the bitterness of our own sin.
5. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because of His great love for us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16
6. Beat with mixer on high for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3. Explain that the color white represents the purity of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
7. Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper (or parchment). Read Matt. 27:57-60. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.
8. Place the cookie sheet into the preheated oven. Close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape to seal the oven door. Read Matt 27:65-66. Explained that Jesus’ tomb was sealed.
9. Go to bed. Read John 16:20 and 22. Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were very sad when the tomb was sealed.
10. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are empty!! On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matt 28:1-9. HE HAS RISEN!!!