Over the past twenty years that my husband and I have been parents, we’ve tried many fun and faith-based traditions to teach our children about the real meaning of Easter. We’ve made a wooden cross to display with a spotlight in our front yard. We’ve taken our kids to a passion play that depicted the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. We’ve made crafts and done local service projects for those who were struggling financially. But one of their favorite activities—should you ask my kiddos—was making Resurrection Cookies.
For over a decade, when our children were small, we did this creative activity every year, usually on the evening before Easter. It is a kitchen endeavor that not only makes a yummy treat, it walks children through the story of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection right on the pages of the Bible.
Here are the items you need on hand:
1 c. whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
1 c. sugar
resealable plastic bag (1 quart-size or 2 smaller)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Put pecans into plastic bag, seal, and let the children break them into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, the Roman soldiers beat him.
Read John 19:1–3.
Set the nuts aside.
Remove the cap from the vinegar and allow the children to smell it. Put vinegar into a mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink.
Read John 19:28–30.
Add egg whites to vinegar. The eggs represent new life. Explain that Jesus gave his life so that we could live eternally with God and have a new life here on earth.
Read John 10:10–11.
Sprinkle some salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it. Sprinkle a dash of salt into the bowl. Explain that the salt represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’s followers. It also represents the bitterness of our own wrong choices.
Read Luke 23:27.
Tell the children that there is a sweet part of the story. Add sugar to the bowl. Explain the best part of the story: Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents that God sees us as without sin thanks to Jesus’s sacrifice.
Read Isaiah 1:18.
Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto a wax paper–covered cookie sheet. Explain that each spoonful represents the tomb where Jesus’s body was put after he died.
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 masking tape to “seal” the oven door. Explain that Jesus’s tomb was sealed.
Read Matthew 27:65–66.
Acknowledge that the children may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’s followers were sad too 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 explain that on the first Easter Jesus’s followers were amazed to find the tomb open. Now take a bite of the cookie. They are hollow! And the tomb was empty too because Jesus had risen!
Read Matthew 28:1–9.
Rejoice in the fact that He is risen! Happy Easter!
For more ideas for celebrating Easter and holidays throughout the year, check out Everyday Confetti: Your Year-Round Guide for Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions. In our book, Glynnis Whitwer and I hope to spark your creativity and provide with you ideas for planning and implementing wonderful holiday and holy day celebrations with your loved ones. In addition, you will learn to toss a little confetti and make the ordinary days extraordinary.