Last year I was thrilled doing a small garden with the girls that showed the empty tomb, etc. This year I took it a step further and we did a lesson and activity every night. Some nights included Justin and I acting out the story which brushed us both up on our theatre skills. It was nothing short of awesome. And fun. And beneficial. And some nights emotional.
Our first night started with Palm Sunday! "Hosannah! Hosannah!" Our activity included the homemade palm branches (yes, made from a cut out of their palm. *snickers*). Everyone got a turn riding the donkey (played by their sweet daddy) and playing Jesus. I actually loved this first night---Hosannah, meaning 'Jesus save!!' while they threw their coats and palm branches in His path. Thank you, Jesus, you did!
Our second night introduced Mary Magdeline. The woman forgiven of much who therefore loved much! She is the woman as we all remember who walked into the midst of many accusers and fell at Jesus' feet and wept. She broke the expensive perfume and poured everything out on the one who she saw as the most valuable. This was acted out by Justin and I, and in the middle of telling this story I did choke up....how can you not feel the overflowing love of this woman sitting at the feet of love Himself. Our activity included the girls emptying their piggy banks with a bag full of coin rollers laid out counting that money! This was to be their offering for Resurrection Sunday! What they hold as valuable given to one who is priceless!
Our fourth night was the Last Supper. Our activity was exactly that--the Lord's supper.
Our sixth night was the resurrection cookies. Each ingredient symbolizes a specific part of His death: Vinegar, what they gave Jesus on the cross when He was thirsty. Salt, representing the bitter tears of those who mourned His death. Crushed nuts, representing how His body was broken for us. So far, the ingredients are not very appealing! Egg white, representing the righteousness of God! But then you add a cup of sugar, representing the whole reason why He did this! Ultimate love, eternal life and a hope! drop them by the spoon full and throw in oven, which represents the tomb, tape it shut and the next morning they are hollow! Because He is risen!
Feel free to share how you kept Jesus at the heart of Easter for your kids. There are many, many great ideas out there. A couple nights we also added coloring pages to go with the night's story & listened to the Kids Audio bible for each lesson. May we strive as Christian households to uphold Jesus in our celebrations & lifestyles.