With the Newbie due any moment now, our Easter plans have become a bit questionable. Traditionally, however, we typically have a weekend long Easter celebration. We start just after dinner on Friday night with a family-led, in-home Good Friday service at the Radio Announcer's house. Even the children get to help lead in the worship by playing hymns on the piano and reading key Scripture passages out loud. Saturday is set aside to enjoy some kid-friendly Easter traditions (a fancy brunch, Easter baskets, crafts, games) in order to reserve Sunday for a more reverent reflection of Christ and His ultimate sacrifice.
In one of my many efforts to center our Easter focus in the right direction, several years ago, I put together a set of homemade Resurrection Eggs. Although you can now buy them at just about any Christian bookstore these days, I still prefer my homemade version as I was able to tailor the objects and Scripture verses to what our family would consider the most important elements of the account.
I have since made another homemade set with different symbols and verses and we enjoy rotating sets each year.
Before we serve up our delicious Easter feast, we pass this Resurrection basket around the table and each draw out one or two eggs. When I made this set, I used some inexpensive scrapbooking stickers to mark each egg with a number. We take turns going around the table opening up each egg in numerical order.
Inside each egg is a small symbol of one element of the Easter story along with a scrap of paper that contains a verse/verses that detail that portion of the narrative.
Here are the contents/verses that are in our original and most beloved Resurrection Egg set.
1. Small green palm-like leaf
They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
Matthew 21: 7-9
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparation for you to eat the Passover?" He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The teacher says My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.'" So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
Matthew 26: 17-19
3. Three Dimes
Then one of the twelve-the one called Judas Iscariot-went to the chief priests and asked "what are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.
Matthew 26: 14-15
4. Piece of Rope
Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to to put Jesus to death. They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor."
5. Chunk of soap
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility."
Matthew 27: 24-26
6. Large Thorn (section of a rose stem)
The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head.
Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which is called Golgatha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others-one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
John 19: 17-18
8. Piece of Sponge
Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus lips.
John 19: 28-29
9. Small wooden cross (made from two twigs and twine)
From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"- which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?...And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
Matthew 27: 45-46, 50
10. Pair of Dice
And they crucified him. Dividing his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.
11. Piece of Gauze
So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.
Mark 15: 46
12. Leave Egg Empty
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, he is risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."
Matthew 27: 5-6
Do you have any family Easter traditions that help point your thoughts towards the Cross?
I hope you all have a very blessed Good Friday and a wonderful Easter Sunday remembering the gift of life offered with the death of the Passover Lamb.