Easter is filled with candy, colored eggs, food and a few toys but the real reason we celebrate Easter should never be forgotten. The Easter story can be disturbing, to say the least, but I found a way to make it fun and make the outcome something that the kids could remember. This is how we explain Easter to our children.
We take twelve plastic eggs and fill each egg with a message and a small visual to help with the story. We pass the basket of eggs around the room and each child opens one egg, in number order, they read the message, show the contents of the egg and then passed the basket to the next child.
Here is what each egg contains:
Egg 1 – Include a piece of fur to represent the donkey Jesus rode into Jerusalem and the message below.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to celebrate Passover. As he entered Jerusalem, the people welcomed him with songs of praise and covered his path with flowers, and waved green palm fronds in the air. The leaders of Jerusalem were afraid and angry when they saw the welcome he received from the people of Jerusalem and felt he was a troublemaker.
Egg 2 – Add a cracker to symbolize the Last Supper and the message below.
At the last supper, Jesus told his friends about the people in Jerusalem who did not like him and that the next day he would be arrested and nailed to a cross.
So that they would remember him Jesus broke some bread and said ‘This is my body. Take it and eat it and remember me.’ Then he took a cup of wine and told them that it was his blood. They should drink it and remember him.
Egg 3 – Include a small piece of soap to symbolize Jesus washing the disciples’ feet and the message below.
The disciples began to argue among themselves as to who was better than the others. Jesus listened in silence, and then taking a basin of water, began washing the feet of his disciples. He did this to tell them that no one was better than the other, that if he, whom they called Lord and Master, could wash their feet, then they too could wash each other’s feet.
Egg 4 – Add three dimes to symbolize the 30 pieces of silver Judas received to betray Jesus and the message below.
Jesus told his disciples, that before the night was out, one of them would betray him, and give him up to those who would kill him. It was the disciple Judas that had agreed to betray Jesus for the sum of thirty pieces of silver. Later that evening as Jesus was praying in the grove of olives, Judas arrived with many men who carried swords. They had been sent by the priests to arrest Jesus.
Egg 5 – Add a feather to represent the rooster that crowed three times and the message below.
Earlier Jesus had predicted that his disciples would betray him. Peter said this was not possible. Jesus explained ‘Before the rooster crows at dawn you will have disowned me three times.’ Peter had replied ‘Never.’ Jesus, now under arrest, was being questioned by the Jewish council. As Peter watched from a distance, people asked if he was a friend of Jesus. Three times he denied knowing him. Suddenly the cock crowed and he cried as he recalled Jesus’ words.
Egg 6 – Add a thorn, symbolizing the crown of thorns that were put on Jesus’ head and the message below.
The soldiers took Jesus away, removed his clothes and dressed him in a purple robe. On his head, they placed a crown of thorns. Mocking him they knelt down before him and said ‘Hail, King of the Jews.’ As the blood ran down his forehead they made fun of him. Jesus never said a word.
Egg 7 – Add small wooden cross or a nail to represent Jesus’ death on the cross and the message below.
The Jewish leaders wanted Jesus to be guilty, but they could not find that he did anything wrong. They asked him if he was the Son of God. Jesus replied ‘I am.’ This was enough. They said this was an insult to God. Jesus was taken before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor. Pilate called for a bowl of water and let everyone see him washing his hands of sending an innocent man to his death for he could not see he had done anything wrong.
Jesus was made to carry the cross out of the city gates and up a nearby hill. On the way some of the crowds cheered, others wept. On top of the hill Jesus was put on the cross and nails were put through his hands and feet.
Egg 8 – Add a piece of black paper to symbolize the darkness that covered the earth and a message below.
At noon darkness fell on the land. It lasted a few hours. Jesus cried out aloud, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’ In the sadness and the dark, Jesus died. At the moment Jesus died, the earth shook. One of the soldiers who had been keeping guard said ‘This man was the Son of God.’ Many people began to feel afraid.
Egg 9 – Add a piece of cloth to symbolize the cloth in which Joseph wrapped Jesus’ body and the message below.
Some of the friends of Jesus and his mother waited for permission from Pontius Pilate to take Jesus down from the cross. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
Egg 10 – Include a rock to symbolize the stone that sealed Jesus’ tomb and the message below.
They laid the body in a tomb cut in the rock. The tomb was sealed with a large stone.
Two days later a friend of Jesus known as Mary Magdalen went to the tomb. She found that the huge stone had been moved and the body had gone.
She ran to tell Peter and John who only found burial sheets in the tomb. Mary, weeping, was approached by a man she did not know, who asked her why she was crying. She explained that it was because they had taken her Lord away. The man was Jesus, risen from the dead.
Egg 11 – Add a picture of an angel and the message below.
Later Jesus spoke to all of the disciples telling them that once he had left them they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit. He wanted them to spread the word of God throughout the world. Jesus was then taken up into heaven. Two angels appeared and told his friends not to be sad because one day Jesus would return.
Egg 12 – Fill the egg with confetti and include the message below.
REJOICE!!! Jesus had come back to life! He was able to spend some more time teaching his friends before he went to live in God’s house, and his Spirit is with us always, helping us remember to try to make good choices, and when we do wrong, to tell God we are sorry and be forgiven. Jesus came back to show us that dying is not the end of everything, that when we live in Love we go on forever. Those high priests killed Jesus to show how powerful they were, but God is more powerful even than death.
Today we celebrate how Jesus came back to life and how the whole world comes back to life in the springtime, with flowers and eggs and new baby bunnies.