Friday

Expecting Easter: Sounds of the Crucifixion

Matthew 27:45-54

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.
46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
(which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

47 When some of those standing there heard this,
they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge.
He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.

49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone.
Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice,
he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open.
The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection
and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him
who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened,
they were terrified, and exclaimed,
“Surely he was the Son of God!”

***

There are so many dramatic sounds
that surround the death
of our Savior.

After reading the Bible passage above
with the kiddos,
we made maracas,
per the instructions from our
A Sense of the Resurrection
lesson for the day.


 (Don't ask- she is in her goofball phase...)

We made the maracas
so that every time we played them
we would be reminded 
of the sounds surrounding
Jesus' death...
Make a joyful noise, right?

:0)

***

On Good Friday,
we continued to dwell on Jesus' death
by reading about his burial:

Matthew 27: 57-61

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea,
named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.
58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body,
and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.
59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60 and 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
and went away.
61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
were sitting there opposite the tomb.

To honor Jesus' burial,
we made ourselves a little snack
inspired by Catholic Icing's
Using graham crackers as the base...
...the kiddos covered them with
green icing.

Next...
...the kiddos cut a small section
off of the bottom of a chocolate covered
doughnut...
...and placed it on the icing.

Finally,
using a mini Oreo...
...the kiddos sealed their "tombs" shut.

A simple sweet reminder
of bigger events to come...

***

Thursday

Expecting Easter: Taste of Sin

Well,
today's
was a little bit tricksey of me.

But sinse I also planned some fun 
AFTER the meanness,
I felt OK about what I did...

;0)

First,
I read the following scripture passage
to the kiddos:

Luke 19:28-30

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished,
and so that Scripture would be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
29 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.
30 When he had received the drink,
Jesus said, “It is finished.”
With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

***
After we read the scriptures,
I asked if any of the kiddos...
...wanted to try some Rice Vinegar.

Here's what happened...


Yep-
they were not fans!

(I also took a spoonful to set an example for the kiddos-
YUCK!)

Now,
there is significance in why Jesus did not
drink the vinegar,
involving the fulfillment of scripture,
but we did not go into that.

We focused on the NASTINESS of the vinegar.

Yes-
it was gross to drink.

Our sins are also nasty.

Jesus took all of our sin with him
to his grave,
so that we could be free from it.

After this lesson,
I hope the kiddos remember the taste and smell
of vinegar
and associate it with
the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for our sins.

***

To get that nasty taste out of our mouths...
...I had prepared a little eggs-tra special snack
for the kiddos to eat!
All the eggs were filled with either
Goldfish crackers, mini-marshmallows,
or Honey Nut Cheerios.
I am pretty such this snack...
...left a much better taste in their mouths
than the vinegar did!

While they ate, I read...
by
Jan Brett.

Since the bunnies in the book
were decorating eggs,
we had to decorate some eggs too!

Guess what we used IN our decorating?
 Vinegar!
When you add vinegar to the color tablet
it makes the egg colors more vibrant.





Our final fun activity happened
while our eggs were drying.
 The older kiddos went out
and hid some Easter Eggs 
for the littles to find...








***

Next up on Expecting Easter:
Sounds and Sights of the Tomb

Wednesday

Expecting Easter: Touching the Crown

John 19:1-16

 1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.
The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head.
They clothed him in a purple robe
and went up to him again and again, saying,
“Hail, king of the Jews!”
And they slapped him in the face.

Once more Pilate came out
and said to the Jews gathered there,
“Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know
that I find no basis for a charge against him.”

When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns
and the purple robe, Pilate said to them,
“Here is the man!”

As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him,
they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him.
As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

The Jewish leaders insisted,
“We have a law, and according to that law he must die,
because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid,
and he went back inside the palace.
“Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus,
but Jesus gave him no answer.

10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said.
“Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

11 Jesus answered,
“You would have no power over me
if it were not given to you from above.
Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free,
but the Jewish leaders kept shouting,
“If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar.
Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”

13 When Pilate heard this,
he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat
at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha).
14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.

“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
The lesson about Jesus' arrest and trial
can be a bit intense for little ones,
but I feel it is important for them to understand
what Jesus endured for us.

handles the subject matter well,
focusing on how the soldiers made fun of Jesus,
and NOT graphically describing
what a Crown of Thorns
could do to a person's head.

However,
I wanted my kiddos to have a good
physical reminder from this part
of the Easter Story... 
 ...so they all made Crowns of Thorns,
using Fimo clay and pre-dyed toothpicks.
(You can get the directions for this craft
by going HERE.)


We did bake our crowns, 
per the Fimo directions...
...so we could display them next to our
Easter family devotional area.

(Learn more about The Messiah Mystery HERE
and learn to make your own Lenten Cross candle set
by going HERE.)

***

After our Bible lesson,
I decided to tie in another fun activity...
...after I read
to the kiddos.

This story fit PERFECTLY with
our Bible lesson!

The totally brown Robin in the story
sees Jesus' Crown of Thorns and at first
mistakes it for a bird nest.

He then realizes the pain it is causing the Savior,
and tries to help him
by pulling out one of the thorns.

As he does this,
a drop of blood falls from Jesus' brow
and lands on the Robin's breast,
staining him as a permanent reminder.

After reading the story...
...the littles helped me make some
Robin Nest Cookies.

There are SEVERAL different recipes
out there on how to make these.

We just made ours by coating
some crispy Chow Mien noodles
with melted
chocolate and peanut butter chips...

Then we scooped the mixture into
pre-sprayed muffin tins,
Stuck them in the fridge for about 30 minutes,
popped them out of the tins with a spoon...
...and added some Speckled M&M's to them...
...for the finishing touch!
These cookies made the perfect dessert
for our bird themed lunch that afternoon...

 Mac 'n Cheese Bird Nests and Pea Eggs
 Egg-Shaped Ham Slices and Mandarin Orange "Tweets"
 Robin Nest Cookie for Dessert

What a fun way to FEEL the Easter story!

***

Up next on Expecting Easter:
The Taste of Sin