Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Brennan and I always loved baking cookies together. It was not only a special time, it never failed to provide a teachable moment or two. If you’re looking for ways to help your children understand the Easter story, why not make these cookies together on Saturday night?
What you will need:
Bible (or use scriptures listed below – I used New International Reader’s Version for ease of understanding)
1 cup sugar
1 cup whole pecans (You can omit these from recipe, but use them for purposes of the object lesson)
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
Preheat oven to 300° F. (Important that you do this before starting the recipe)
Place pecans in ziploc bag 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
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. The soldiers twisted thorns together to make a crown. They put it on Jesus' head. Then they put a purple robe on him. They went up to him again and again. They kept saying, "We honor you, king of the Jews!" And they hit him in the face.
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink.
Read John 19:28-30
Later Jesus said, "I am thirsty." He knew that everything was now finished. He knew that what Scripture said must come true. A jar of wine vinegar was there. So they soaked a sponge in it. They put the sponge on a stem of the hyssop plant. Then they lifted it up to Jesus' lips. After Jesus drank he said, "It is finished." Then he bowed his head and died.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
Read John 10:10-11
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so they can have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.
Sprinkle a little 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
A large number of people followed Jesus. Some were women whose hearts were filled with sorrow. They cried loudly because of him.
Up to this point, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Now 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 we belong to Him.
Read Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who goes to him for safety.
and John 3:16
God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes or until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isaiah 1:18
"Come. Let us talk some more about this matter," says the Lord. "Even though they are deep red, they will be white like wool."
There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus. He was one of the Jewish rulers. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. We know that God is with you. If he weren't, you couldn't do the miraculous signs you are doing." Jesus replied, "What I'm about to tell you is true. No one can see God's kingdom without being born again.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.
Read Matthew 27:57-60
As evening approached, a rich man came from the town of Arimathea. His name was Joseph. He had become a follower of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. He placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb. Then he went away.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.
Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.
Read Matthew 27:65-66
"Take some guards with you," Pilate answered. "Go. Make the tomb as secure as you can." So they went and made the tomb secure. They put a seal on the stone and placed some guards on duty.
Now, go to bed. Explain you understand they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Remind them Jesus' followers felt great sadness when the tomb was sealed.
Read John 16:20-22
What I'm about to tell you is true. You will cry and be full of sorrow while the world is full of joy. You will be sad, but your sadness will turn into joy. "A woman giving birth to a baby has pain. This is because her time to give birth has come. But when her baby is born, she forgets the pain. She forgets because she is so happy that a baby has been born into the world. "That's the way it is with you. Now it's your time to be sad. But I will see you again. Then you will be full of joy. And no one will take your joy away.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matthew 28:1-9
The Sabbath day was now over. It was dawn on the first day of the week. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a powerful earthquake. An angel of the Lord came down from heaven. The angel went to the tomb. He rolled back the stone and sat on it. His body shone like lightning. His clothes were as white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Don't be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here! He has risen, just as he said he would! Come and see the place where he was lying. Go quickly! Tell his disciples, 'He has risen from the dead. He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you." So the women hurried away from the tomb. They were afraid, but they were filled with joy. They ran to tell the disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings!" he said. They came to him, took hold of his feet and worshiped him.