Easter bunnies. Chocolate bunnies. Stuffed bunnies. Bunnies are everywhere this time of year, along with more colorful plastic eggs than we know what to do with. While all these bunny-shaped things are fun to enjoy, especially if they’re in candy form, that’s not what this season is really about.
Every year, believers come together to celebrate our biggest holiday. No, not Christmas, although it had to start there. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus’ payment of our sin debt and defeat of the grave, we can have a relationship with the Father and an eternity in heaven. Truly, it’s something we should celebrate every day. But we make sure to celebrate it on the anniversary of Jesus’ victory.
Unlike last year when covid-19 shut down churches shortly before Easter, this year brings opportunities to gather and celebrate. Many local churches are holding special events, and those are amazing gatherings to join. However, the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection needs to be more than just an at-church thing. Let’s take a look at some ways you can commemorate the true meaning of Easter with your kids at home, plus details on an event you’ll want to attend with your family at Pine Valley Baptist in Wilmington.
ENGAGE WITH THE STORY OF EASTER WITH YOUR KIDS
Maybe you’re already doing bible readings daily with your littles. If so, great job! If not, then there’s no better time to start. Studies show that reading the bible with your child sets them up to continue reading the bible and walking with the Lord as they grow older. But this Easter weekend, take some time to read through one of the accounts of the resurrection story. You’ll find them in the latter chapters of the gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
But don’t just read. Help your kids engage with the story by asking them questions as you go along. Think of questions like this:
How would you feel if people were treating you like they treated Jesus?
What do you think Jesus’ friends were thinking as they watched Jesus die?
Jesus could have stopped it all at any moment. Why do you think He decided to go through all of that?
What would you do if you saw Jesus after he came back to life?
You may be thinking that this a heavy, difficult topic for young kids. And you would be correct. There’s nothing fun or easy about the death of Jesus. But it’s important to take advantage of the opportunities to talk about the most essential parts of our faith and the truth of Easter with your kids. There would be no salvation or forgiveness without Jesus’ death. No celebration of Jesus’ resurrection and victory over sin without the devastating events of Good Friday. Mourning had to precede the celebration. But praise the Lord, there’s a celebration to be had!
DO-IT-YOURSELF RESURRECTION EGGS
When mid-days host Mandy was a little girl, Resurrection Eggs were the highlight of their home Easter celebration. “My parents purchased this special set of Easter eggs that had little items in each egg,” she says. “Every item related to an important part of the Easter story and it helped me better understand those events as a young child.”
It’s probably too late at this point to order a set of Resurrection Eggs from Amazon before this weekend. (Unless you’ve got Amazon Prime! Free two day shipping baby!) But it’s not too late to make your own version to celebrate Easter with your kids. Faithward.org provides helpful printables of symbols to place in 12 plastic eggs, plus details on how each symbol ties into the story. For instance, the first symbol is a donkey and palm branch, which relates to Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem at the very beginning of Holy Week. Faithward.org also provides ideas for more tangible items to use in place of printed symbols, like a snippet of dog hair to represent the donkey and a few blades of grass in place of palm branches. In addition to the visual or tangible items, this DIY Resurrection Egg resource provides Scripture verses to accompany each symbol.
MAKE EMPTY TOMB ROLLS
You can also commemorate the miracle of Easter with your kids using a delicious lesson of Empty Tomb Rolls. There are many recipes available online for these sweet treats, often using pre-made dough. However, cleverhousewife.com has an amazing recipe for making them from scratch.
Here’s what the “Clever Housewife” Emily had to say about the symbolism of the Empty Tomb Rolls:
“The Empty Tomb Rolls are created from a basic dough recipe, wrapped around a marshmallow, and baked. I happen to love my mom’s basic rolls so that’s the recipe I use. The reason these rolls are great for Easter is because of their symbolism. The dough/bread represents Christ’s Tomb, and the marshmallow represents Jesus Christ. After the roll is baked, the marshmallow melts into the bread and the roll is left with an empty hole, representing the Empty Tomb after Christ was resurrected. It doesn’t hurt that these rolls are super yummy too!”
EASTER CELEBRATION AT PINE VALLEY BAPTIST CHURCH
It’s such a joy for many churches this year to celebrate Easter once again. Pine Valley Baptist Church in Wilmington is bursting with joy at the announcement of the Easter Celebration on Saturday April 3rd. Pastor Bryan Blackwell, Worship Pastor Scott York and Children’s Director Anna Worley join our Church of the Week with all the details:
Pine Valley is thrilled to offer a way you can get outside, have some fun, and celebrate Easter with your kids. The big party begins at 10:30 on Saturday morning, April 3rd, and runs to 1:00pm. Pine Valley offers egg hunts, food trucks, activities for kids, and fun for the whole family. The event is also open to those who just want to come out for lunch, enjoy music and celebrate Easter together. In addition to the Saturday Easter Celebration, Pine Valley Baptist will have an Easter service on Sunday beginning at 10:30am. Attendees can join either in person or online. For more information about the church, go to pinevalleybc.org.