by: Greg Schaffer
Easter is such a precious, joy filled day. Some years keeping our focus on Jesus' death and resurrection is such an easy task, but other years take a little more work. Here are some ideas and resources to help you keep centered, no matter your age.
- What about doing a variant on the stations of the cross at home? You can move around your yard or from room to room in the house. Take a a sheet with scripture references and your Bible, or if you have a cell phone handy you can read appropriate passages from there. Feel free to pick out your own stops, but what about: (1) Jesus is condemned to death, (2) He is made to bear his cross, (5) Simon of Cyrene is made to bear the cross, (10) He is stripped of his garments, (11) He is nailed to the cross, (12) He dies on the cross, (13) He is taken down from the cross, and (14) He is placed in the tomb. (Numbers are taken from the traditional stations of the cross, some of which I have skipped.)
- Many kids know about candy in eggs, but what about including Bible verses too? These could also go in a basket. Here are links to free color, picture versions. https://biblestoryprintables.com/wp-content/uploads/BSP/BibleVerseThemePacks/Easter/EggVerse2.pdf https://biblestoryprintables.com/wp-content/uploads/BSP/BibleVerseThemePacks/Easter/EggVerse1.pdf
- A fantastic Easter idea for home (and not just those with kids) is to share the Easter story with a set of twelve plastic eggs that are numbered, and inside each egg is a Bible passage and an object to represent something that happened during the last few hours of Jesus’ life, culminating in the resurrection. If you are alone, savor opening each one, or with others, take turns opening an egg (in numerical order) and reading the scripture and sharing the object that is inside. A little prep is needed, but if you don’t have a printer, maybe you can write the references and each read from a bible. All scriptures taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible. This idea is adapted from https://www.yourhomebasedmom.com/easter-egg-scriptures/
#1 Small cup (can be a communion cup, a condiment cup from fast food, a nut cup, a doll’s tea cup, or even a Lego cup)
Going a little farther, he fell face down and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39
#2 Three dimes
Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you? ” So they weighed out thirty pieces of silver for Him. Matthew 26:14-15
This fulfilled the prophecy in Zechariah 11: 12-14 that Jesus would be sold for 30 pieces of silver.
#3 Small rope or twine or string
When daybreak came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. 2 After tying Him up, they led Him away and handed Him over to Pilate, the governor. Matthew 27: 1-2
#4 Soap chip
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that a riot was starting instead, he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. See to it yourselves! ” All the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children! ” Then he released Barabbas to them and, after having Jesus flogged, handed Him over to be crucified. Matthew 27: 24-26
Do we also wash our hands?
#5 Red cloth or a thorn (Thorns from Russian Olive trees work well or you can always use marker on a Kleenex.)
They stripped Him and dressed Him in a scarlet robe. They twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and placed a staff in His right hand. And they knelt down before Him and mocked him: “Hail, King of the Jews! ” Then they spat on Him, took the staff, and kept hitting Him on the head. Matthew 27: 28-30
#6 A small nail
After they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the robe, put His own clothes on him, and led Him away to crucify Him. As they were going out, they found a Cyrenian man named Simon. They forced him to carry His cross. Matthew 27: 31-32
And He was crucified… nailed to the cross. (Press this nail into your hand. Feel how it must have hurt.)
#7 One or more dice (you can just borrow one from a board game)
After crucifying Him, they divided His clothes by casting lots. Then they sat down and were guarding Him there. Matthew 27: 35-36
#8 Rocks or crushed stone (If you don’t have one ready broken, a hammer can work wonders on soft stone)
But Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit. Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, and the rocks were split… When the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was the Son of God! ” Matthew 27: 50-51 & 54
#9 Strips of white cloth or Kleenex, or if you’re in a pinch, wipes.
When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph came, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’s body. Then Pilate ordered that it be released. So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean, fine linen, and placed it in his new tomb, which he had cut into the rock. Matthew 27: 57-60
#10 A round stone
He left after rolling a great stone against the entrance of the tomb… “You have a guard of soldiers,” Pilate told them. [The chief priests and Pharisees.] “Go and make it as secure as you know how.” They went and secured the tomb by setting a seal on the stone and placing the guard. Matthew 27: 60, 65-66
#11 Spices (Whole spices are easy to identify, such as bay leaf, cinnamon stick and clove, or you can make a nice mix ground baking spices in a bag to sniff.)
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they could go and anoint Him…. There was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it…The angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. Mark 16:1, Matthew 28: 2 and 5
#12 Leave empty
The angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. For He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Matthew 28:5-7
Tell us, how are you going to celebrate Christ in your Easter?
Compiled by Cindy Tucker