Preparing for Easter: Telling the story

Colorful plastic Easter Eggs

Got any of these around?

I figured you might.

That’s good because they can be useful… to tell the Easter story… and I don’t mean the Easter bunny version! These eggs can be filled with symbols of the story from Palm Sunday to Easter. Use them to help children to learn and re-tell the story of Easter.

First, shoo away the chickens and gather some eggs
You’ll need some plastic, separating eggs – 8, or perhaps 12, or more! It all depends on how detailed you’d like to get in telling the tale. This is a project where creativity can reign!

It should be noted that you can buy a set of 12 pre-filled eggs (do a Google search on “Resurrection Eggs”). But where is the fun in that?

If you have young children perhaps you’d like to make a set of 8 eggs and open one every day from Palm Sunday to Easter; a sort of “advent calendar” for Easter week! (Though the elements inside the eggs, except for the two Sundays, don’t really relate to the days of what we call “Holy week.”)

If you’ve got readers in your family, add slips of paper with the Bible verses written on them (as indicated below). Include reading the verses as part of the daily opening of an egg.

For older children perhaps you’d like to elicit their help in preparing the eggs. Ask them which details to include in the story, thus determining how many eggs will be used.

Keeping your ducks in a row eggs in order!
Whatever the number of eggs you create, you’re going to want to keep track of the order in which they should be opened. Use a permanent marking pen to number each egg or use different colors of eggs, or different color combinations of eggs (maize and blue is my favorite combination). If you go the color route, create a numbered list of the objects placed in the eggs and write down the color of the egg next to each object.

Following are some ideas of what to include in your eggs…

The 8 egg version – open one a day between Palm Sunday and Easter
  1. Palm Sunday – a piece of palm branch (that you brought home from church, or cut one out of green paper) – Mark 11:1-10
  2. Judas Iscariot betrays Jesus – a couple coins – Luke 22:1-6
  3. The Last Supper – a cup (use a small bottle cap) or a piece of bread – Luke 22:7-20
  4. The Garden of Gethsemane – a twisted pretzel (because pretzels were first made in this shape to represent someone praying), or perhaps a drawing of praying hands – Matthew 26:36-46
  5. Jesus is arrested – A slip of paper with a lip print – Matthew 26:47-56
    A Lip Print
  6. Jesus is killed on a cross – use a bread twist-tie to wire together two small twigs as a cross – Luke 23:26, 32-49
  7. Jesus is buried – a rock (to cover the tomb) – Matthew 27:57-60
  8. Jesus is risen (the tomb is empty) – an empty egg! – John 20:1-20

If you’d like… Add more story details and more eggs! (You’ll have to re-number your list!)

  • Mary anointed Jesus’ feet – a cotton ball with some vanilla extract or some perfume on it – John12:1-8 (Make this a new egg #1)
  • Split Palm Sunday into 2 eggs… Procuring a donkey – A picture of a donkey, or a piece of fake fur, or even dog hair!
 – Mark 11:1-6, and the palm branch portion of the story – Mark 11:8-10
  • Then come eggs #2, 3, 4 and 5 from the list above.
  • Next, add Peter’s denial with a feather or a picture of a rooster – Matthew 26:69-75
    a rooster
  • Then add Jesus being bound – a piece of rope – Matthew 27:1-2
  • Pilate washing his hands – a small piece of soap – Matthew 27:15-24
  • Jesus beaten with whips – a piece of leather cording or a shoe string – Matthew 27:26
  • A crown of thorns is placed on Jesus – a piece of a rose bush
 or a drawn crown of thorns – Matthew 27:27-31
  • Change the cross egg (the tied together twigs) to Matthew 27:31-32
  • Add an egg with a slip of paper saying “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” – John 19:19-22
  • Then add an egg for the dividing of Jesus’ clothing – A dice or two – John 19:23-24
  • Add a piece of cloth ripped in half – Mark 15:38-39
  • Finish with eggs #7 and #8 (from the list above).
  • Have fun telling, and re-telling, the Easter story!

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    Photo credits…
    From Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0):
    Easter eggs by Jeff Petersen, and Lips by Jan McLaughlin.
    And from Pixabay:
    Rooster by OpenClipart-Vectors, released under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Public Domain.

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