Spring! Just even the word brings a breath of fresh air to my soul. After having been cooped up inside for months hiding from the cold, being able to step outside to feel the sunshine on my face, hearing the laughter of children playing, watching as beautiful blooms spring forth out of the ground feels like a little piece of heaven. Spring, a time in the church where we celebrate the death and resurrection of our precious savior, Jesus.
Have you ever wondered where our Easter traditions of bunnies and eggs come from? Growing up I didn’t understand why we celebrated the resurrection of Christ by dyeing Easter eggs, participating in egg hunts, and receiving baskets from some magical bunny. Those things are fun, but what do they have to do with the death and resurrection of our Savior? If you’re curious to know about the history of these traditions, click here.
Now, as a young adult and mother, I find myself questioning these things even more. I want my children to know what Easter is really about. I want us to celebrate it in ways that point to Jesus. I want us as a family to look at the cross before we look at the empty tomb. I want us to remember what it cost Jesus before we celebrate. I want us to remember that in both life and death, Jesus was our substitute. He lived the perfect life we are unable to live. Then He died the death we should have died – separated from the Father – so that we can live in relationship with the Father. The resurrection of Jesus means that everything sad is coming untrue. Now THAT is something worth celebrating!
The following are some great ways to share the true message of the death and resurrection of Jesus with children. Give them a try – and feel free to comment to this blog post and let me know if they added meaning to the holiday for you and your children or grandchildren.
Empty Tomb Roll
Empty tomb rolls are fun for children of all ages and open up conversation about how Jesus rose from the dead. Step by step directions can be found here. Have each child take a large marshmallow and dip it in melted butter. Then have them roll it in a cinnamon/sugar mixture. Wrap the marshmallows in store-bought crescent roll dough and cook the rolls according to the package directions. The marshmallows will melt during baking, but the shape of the “tomb” remains. When the children bite into the roll, they will find the roll hollow. As the children eat, read them the story of the resurrection found at the end of each gospel.
The Un-Easter Basket
Give your child the gift of the resurrection story with this fun alternative to a traditional Easter basket. Learn about the Un-Easter Basket here.
Associate Director of Children’s Ministries (Middle School)