Tell the Easter story through SNACKS!
Snack ideas to make Easter week come alive!! I wrote this a few years ago while we were living in the Middle East. Our children were much younger and ways to illustrate the Week of Easter with them was heavily impressed upon my heart. This is what the Lord brought to mind! May it bless you and your family as you too, lead your children through the Passion Week of Jesus Christ.
Palm fronds: Sugar cookies cut out like palm fronds and frosted green. Allow children to wave them around as you all shout “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (John 12:13)
Donkey: Marshmallows and pretzels-allow the children to be creative as they master the art of balance as they create a donkey. Remind the children that it was a young colt, a young donkey, that Jesus rode into Jerusalem into Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread to fulfill the prophesy (Zechariah 9:9 & John 12:14-15).
Kingly Crown: With pineapple rounds, allow children to stick pretzels into it to form their own crowns. Allow the children to then poke orange, mango, kiwi and other soft fruit chunks onto the pretzel pieces to give it a royal feel. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Communion: Gram crackers (or pita) with juice-allow the children to experience the communion with foods they are familiar with. As they break the grams and pass them around, explain that Jesus described this as His body (Luke 22:19). As each child then receives some juice (grape is best), explain that Jesus described this as His blood (Luke 22:20). These comments are to state that through Jesus Christ alone, we are granted freedom, new life and clean hands in sight of Father God.
Praying in the Garden: Fresh olives (pitted is best)—allow the children to eat fresh olives as you describe what happened on the Mount of Olives. Jesus prayed for the brutal death not to happen, if there was another way for humanity to be pardoned from all the naughty things we have done. There was no other way. So, surrendering His own will to Father God, Jesus stated “Not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
Judas’ Betrayal: Mini M&Ms or sprinkles—explain that Judas Iscariot loved money more than Jesus. He was willing to accept money (30 pieces of silver) to turn Jesus in to the powerful Jewish council, called the Sanhedrin (Zechariah 11:12-13 & Matthew 27:9). To Judas, the thirty pieces of silver sounded so sweet at first, but after watching Jesus arrested and mistreated by the Sanhedrin, he tried to give the money back and said he had betrayed an innocent man (Matthew 27:4-5).
The Beatings: Licorice ropes or carrot sticks—allow the children to hit the side of the table as hard as they can with the licorice or carrot. Explain that Jesus was hit with whips, and laughed at by the very ones He had come to rescue. He was on a mission. Nothing, not even the ones He had come to save would stop Him from bringing about a rescue that each human heart desperately needed (Isaiah 53:5 & John 19:1)
Crown of thorns: With licorice rope and tooth picks (not to be eaten)—create a crown by securing both ends with a toothpick piece. Then, allow the children to each create their own “crown of thorns”. Point out how pokey it is—and ask them to imagine how much it must have hurt Jesus to have a real crown of thorns on His head (John 19:2).
The Cross: Sugar cookie with frosting—although it was a sad, sad day, we thank God for the sweet, sweet gift of Jesus taking the BIG TIME OUT for each and every one of us. Punishment for our sins was a consequence and punishment too big for any of us–that’s why Jesus did it! Jesus took our place and that is the sweetest gift of all (John 3:16).
Lots Cast: Jelly Beans (or blueberries)-allow the children to roll the jelly beans across the floor or table. Teach them that this is what the soldiers did for Jesus’ clothing—just as the prophesy had predicted (Psalm 22:18 & John 19:23-24).
Veil is Torn: Sugar candy that peels apart-explain that when Jesus died upon the cross and shouted “It is finished!” (John 19:30), the separation that all of humanity had experienced from God, since the Garden of Eden, was lifted! The veil within the Holy of Holies, the inner most part of the Temple, where only the High Priest could go once a year—had been ripped from top to bottom (Mark 15:37-38)! This was highly significant! There was no longer a need to go to the Temple to be declared clean by the High Priest! Now, through Jesus Christ, all of humanity was given direct access to God the Father once more through the atoning work of Jesus Christ’s death (and approaching resurrection!).
Empty tomb: Use a cookie cutter to take the middle out of marshmallows (or apples). The marshmallow symbolizes the tomb, whereas the portion cut out symbolizes the stone, which was rolled away (Matthew 28:6-7). Read from Matthew 28:5-7. where the angel asks the women, “Why are you looking for the living in a grave yard? Jesus is not here, He is risen, just as He said!
“5The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6 “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” Matthew 28:5-7 (NASB)
Jesus’ Ascension: Cotton candy look like clouds and makes this point beautifully! Oh, how sweet it is! Jesus blessed His disciples and encouraged them to tell all people, in every nation, that hope and forgiveness of the naughty things we do, can be grasped by all, through Jesus Christ alone. Then, as He blessed them, Jesus began to rise off of the ground and return to Father God in heaven! His disciples marveled in astonishment as they stared up into the sky—now unable to see Jesus. Then, two angels appear to them and told them to return to Jerusalem and do the things that Jesus told them to do—share the GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST with all people—because Jesus has made a way for people of all backgrounds, all languages and all doubts to come to heaven through believing that Jesus Christ is the Risen Son of God (Matthew 28:19-20 & Acts 1:9-14).
It is through the powerful act of love demonstrated by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that grants us access to heaven. As Jesus Christ died upon a cross and rose from the dead on the third day, all were granted freedom from the prison of our own selfishness when we believe and trust in Him (Romans 8:28). What a blessing to know that when we say “I am sorry, God.” We are forgiven—because of Jesus taking the BIG TIMEOUT for us. Ask Him into your heart and tell others that you trust in Jesus Christ to be the one and only true leader of your life–and He will do it with faithful love (Romans 10:9-10).