Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Easter Bunny Died and Left Us Resurrection Cookies

 Dear Girls,

I've talked before about traditions we've begun to observe as a family.  Easter, for us, was always one of those holidays that was steeped in tradition--but our rituals lacked substance.  Just like during Christmas time, we did a whole lot of celebrating but didn't fully understand what the party was about.

As a little girl, I don't remember ever buying in to the whole "Easter Bunny" thing.  I mean, come on...a giant rabbit who goes around stealing people's eggs only to hide them around their house and yard and leave behind baskets full of treats and toys?  That's just weird.  And have you seen those giant rabbits at the mall?!  CREE--PY.

So, Dad and I made the decision to kill the Easter Bunny.  As fairly young Christians ourselves, we only just learned that Easter is truly the cornerstone of our faith.  Because yeah, Jesus was a man who lived, taught, and was crucified, but if we don't believe in the resurrection, our faith is nothing.  When we made that realization, we knew we didn't want anything overshadowing the reason we celebrate this holiday.  Especially not a huge, creepy bunny.

We've kept some traditions.  We still paint eggs, though now we talk about the stories behind the eggs.  You guys still enjoy the baskets full of cool stuff, because Dad and I can't resist the opportunity to celebrate with you in that way.

It's just now we have new traditions.  Sunrise service at church is so beautiful.  And I absolutely love doing Resurrection Cookies.  I love how it employs all of our senses to more fully understand the events surrounding the arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus.

I hope you feel the same way, and I hope that this continues to be a tradition that we enjoy for years to come.  Enjoy.


Resurrection Cookies

1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
a pinch salt
1 cup sugar
a zipper baggy
1 wooden spoon
scotch tape

What You'll Do:

These are to be made the evening before Easter.  Preheat oven to 300F.
(This is important to do first!)
Place pecans in zipper baggy and let children beat them with the wooden spoon
to break into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He
was beaten by the Roman soldiers.  
Read: John 19:1-3
Let each child smell the vinegar.  Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl.
Explain that while on the cross, Jesus was given vinegar to drink. 
Read: John 19:28-30 
Add egg whites to vinegar.  Eggs represent life.  Explain that Jesus gave His life
so that we would have life. 
Read: John 10:10-11
Sprinkle a pinch of salt into each child's hand.  Let them taste it and brush the rest
into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers,
and the bitterness of our own sin. 
Read: Luke 23:27 
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add 1 cup sugar.  Explain that the
sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us!  He wants us to
know Him and belong to Him. 
Read: Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16 
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
Explain that the color white represents our purity in God's eyes because of Jesus' sacrifice. 
Read: Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3
Fold in the nuts.  Drop the mixture by teaspoon onto parchment paper-covered cookie sheet.
Explain that each mound represents the tomb where Jesus' body was laid.
Read: Matthew 27:57-60 
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.  
Give each child a piece of tape to "seal" the oven door.
Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. 
Read: Matthew 27:65-66 
Go to bed!  They'll probably be sad about this--they were expecting to eat cookies!  
Explain that Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. 
Read: John 16:20 & 22
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.  Point out the cracked
surface and take a bite.  The cookies should be hollow!  Explain that Jesus' followers were amazed
to find the tomb open and empty. 
Read: Matthew 28:1-9

He is Risen--He is Risen Indeed!

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