Easter has always been a very important day for our family. We love the celebration of Jesus' resurrection as it is the cornerstone of our faith. When our children were young we used to have an early morning, pre-sunrise picnic outdoors (normally the weather was still freezing!) I would prepare special food items including hard boiled eggs with words written on them with white crayon. As part of the Easter picnic activities, the children would drop the eggs into red food coloring so that they could read the phrases such as, "Jesus is alive", or "He is risen!" as they appeared!
One of the key elements of the picnic was our time opening the Easter Story Eggs and re-telling the Easter story. This has been one of our family traditions through the years and now we are so happy that our grandchildren are also opening the Easter Eggs on Easter morning and hearing the story. My husband Brett has recorded where we have celebrated Easter each year by writing the date and location on the lid of the egg box. So our box is looking a bit worn, but it so precious to us as it brings back many memories.
I encourage you to make your own Easter Story Eggs and keep them as a tradition for your family (see directions below). Last year we were able to celebrate with our grandsons which was such a joy.
Purchase a set of empty plastic eggs. (If you are unable to obtain these where you live, you could put the items in little boxes or envelopes.
You will need the following supplies. Most can remain in the eggs so they do not need to be replaced each year, but obviously the bread, grapes and crackers will need to be fresh.
- small pieces of fresh bread
- a few grapes
- a couple of silver coins
- a few thorns (pick from a bush or off a rose)
- a small cross (you can buy one or cut one from wood, or use two match sticks glued together. Ours has real blood from where my husband cut himself while carving it!)
- a small piece of cloth sprayed with perfume
- a round stone
- gold fish crackers (to represent fish), or something cut in the shape of a fish
- cotton balls/cotton wool or paper cut in the shape of a cloud.
Fill the plastic Easter Eggs with these items and open them on Easter morning. Take turns as each member of the family opens an egg and tells of the significance.
At the Last Supper Jesus said to his disciples, “This is my body broken for you.” Jesus was predicting his upcoming death. (We eat the bread.)
“This is my blood poured out for you.” Jesus shares the wine with his disciples foreshadowing the shedding of his blood on the cross. (We eat the grapes…less messy than drinking grape juice from the eggs!)
30 pieces of silver, the betrayal money paid to Judas the treasurer turned traitor. (Pass the coins around. What do you think Jesus was worth? Can money pay for a life?)
The soldiers pressed the thorns into Jesus’ head, a mock crown as they taunted him for being the King of Kings. They also lashed him 39 times. “By his stripes we are healed.” (Take the thorns and allow the children to gently poke their fingers so that they can imagine in a small way the pain Jesus felt.)
Jesus was nailed to the cross where He died to save the sins of the world. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” (Pass the cross around.)
6. Linen (Scented)
Jesus’ friends wrapped His body in special burial cloths and laid Him in the tomb. (Let children smell the cloth.)
Early on Easter Sunday morning the women ran to the tomb. They wondered who would roll away the stone. When they arrived they saw that the stone had been rolled away. (Pass the stone around.)
8. Empty Egg
The grave cloths were still lying in the tomb but Jesus was not there. He had risen! (Pass around the empty egg. “He is Risen!” is how early believers greeted each other. Say these marvelous words to each other.)
9. Fish (cracker goldfish)
The women tried to convince the disciples that Jesus was alive, but they didn’t believe the news. They went back to fishing. Early one morning when they came back from fishing, Jesus was there and had made a fire and cooked breakfast for them on the beach. He ate and talked with them. (Let children eat the fish.)
10. Clouds (cotton balls)
Jesus appeared to over 500 people at different times after He rose. One day He gave His followers a big job, to go into the whole world and tell others about being forgiven from sin and its consequences. He promised to be with them always and then a cloud came down and He was lifted up into the heavens. (Pass around the cotton balls.)
I would love to see photos of your family opening the Easter Story Eggs. Please share your photos with us by emailing Lyn@Heartistry.info.
We are delighted that the next generation of our family is enjoying this family tradition too (although a few years ago our first grandchild didn't take too much notice of the eggs on his first Easter!)