You may be expecting to read a blog post about Easter eggs, egg coloring contests, pretty Easter dresses, etc. But if you know me, you know I'm not all about that. When it comes to Easter, my kids and grandkids always do the typical Easter egg hunts and we always get them Easter baskets. Even being a former Pastor, it doesn't bother me to do so when it comes to Easter as long as we always instill into the kids the true meaning behind the day. But there is one thing I've been doing for many years to incorporate the real Easter story with the secular commercialized form of Easter we see everywhere.
For about 17 years, I have been teaching the combined fourth and fifth grade Sunday school class at my church, Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. Every year at Easter, while many churches and secular places are having Easter egg hunts, I've been doing something a little different. I've been using Easter eggs to actually tell the Easter story. I got the idea from our youth directors at a Baptist church where I was the worship leader back about 20 years ago. I purchase 100's of multicolored Easter eggs, empty egg carton's, and other small items all in bulk. I then fill each egg with one thing that represents a portion of the Easter story. On Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter), we go through the egg carton one egg at a time in class, telling the story. At the end of class, each child takes a carton home with them so they can share with their friends and family. I have found that the project actually helps remind the kids of each part of the story and it ties the whole "egg" thing to the real Easter.
I had trouble finding items for each egg that would not cause me to go broke so I found inexpensive items that are available anywhere.. I fill each of the 12 eggs as follows:
Egg 1 - A Palm Leaf Reminding us of the triumphal entry by Jesus into Jerusalem riding on a donkey being hailed king by the people waving palm branches as is customary in the day.
Egg 2 - A piece of Matza Reminding us of the Passover meal where Jesus broke the bread and told the disciples that it represented his body which was going to be broken for them.
Egg 3 - A red Lifesaver Reminding us of the wine Jesus gave the disciples at the Passover meal telling them that it represented His blood that was going to be shed for them (and us). The lifesaving blood of Jesus
Egg 4 - A sticker with the praying hands of Jesus (or a sticker of Jesus praying in the Garden) Reminding us of the time Jesus prayed to God the Father before being betrayed.
Egg 5 - 30 Cents (3 plastic silver dimes) Reminding us of the 30 pieces of silver Judas was paid to betray his very close friend, Jesus
Egg 6 - A piece of leather (a 4"-5" portion of a leather shoelace) Reminding us of the terrible, torturous scourging given to Jesus by the Romans
Egg 7 - A wooden cross Reminding us of the heavy cross Jesus carried through the streets of Jerusalem to the hill where he would be put to death.
Egg 8 - 3 nails Reminding us of the crucifixion where nails were pounded through each of his hands and feet as He took the horrible punishment for each of our sins.
Egg 9 - One dice Reminding us of the Roman soldiers gambling at the foot of the cross to win Jesus's cloak fulfilling the prophecy in Psalm 22:17-18
Egg 10 - A strip of cloth (muslin cloth) sprayed with cologne Reminding us that Jesus died and was buried, wrapped in the traditional burial cloth with the burial spices. Possibly the same burial spices Jesus received from the "wise men".
Egg 11 - A stone Reminding us of the stone placed in front of the tomb where Jesus was buried. That same stone that God rolled away on the 3rd day.
Egg 12 - It's empty Reminding us of that the tomb is empty because we serve a living God.
We don't hunt FOR the eggs. I give each child a carton with the 12 eggs inside and we "hunt" through each egg to get clues to what happened that week over 2000 years ago. Last Sunday night, I handed out "Easter Toolkits" to 33 kids in my class. I look forward to hearing from them the next time we meet about how they used them to share the story with friends and family.
Have a Happy Easter!