Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter Cookies

Here's a really fun one to do this time of the year to help your little ones get a better understanding of the true reason for Easter.  Plan ahead, because you MUST start this on the night before Easter and finish it on Easter morning.

I'm inserting photos this weekend as we make them at our house.

Here's what you need:
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 3 egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zipper baggie
  • wooden spoon
  • masking tape
  • Bible
Here's what to do:
  • Preheat oven to 300 (must be preheated).

Part 1 

  • Place pecans in a zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. (Oops! Warn them to keep their little fingers away from the bag or they will experience first-hand how painful it is to be beaten.)
  • Read John 19:1-3
So Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. The soldiers, having braided a crown from thorns, set it on his head, threw a purple robe over him, and approached him with, "Hail, King of the Jews!" Then they greeted him with slaps in the face.
  •  Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. (Set aside the baggie of crushed nuts).
Part 2
  • Let each child smell the vinegar.   Put 1 tsp vinegar into a mixing bowl.
  • Read John 19:28-30
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said ( to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst." 29A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
  • Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink.
Part 3 

  • Add egg whites to vinegar.
  • Tell your children that eggs represent life.  
  • Read John 10:10-11 
 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

  • Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. 
Part 4
  • Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hands. 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
27A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.

Part 5
  • Ask your kids, so far the ingredients are not very appetizing.
  • Add 1 c sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.
  • Read Psalms 34:8 and John 3:16.

8Discover for yourself that the LORD is kind.  Come to him for protection, and you will be glad. 
 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

  • Beat the mixture with a mixer on high speed for 6 to 15 minutes (depending on your method of mixing) until soft peaks are formed.
  • Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Part 6
  • Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

"Come. Sit down. Let's argue this out." This is God's Message: "If your sins are blood-red, they'll be snow-white.  If they're red like crimson, they'll be like wool."
1There was a man named Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and a Jewish leader. 2One night he went to Jesus and said, "Sir, we know that God has sent you to teach us. You could not work these miracles, unless God were with you."
    3Jesus replied, "I tell you for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God's kingdom!"
  • Gently fold in the broken nuts with a spatula.
Part 7
  • Drop by teaspoons onto silpat or wax paper covered cookie sheet. 

  • Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus was laid.
  • Read Matthew 27:57-60.

57That evening a rich disciple named Joseph from the town of Arimathea 58went and asked for Jesus' body. Pilate gave orders for it to be given to Joseph, 59who took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60Then Joseph put the body in his own tomb that had been cut into solid rock and had never been used. He rolled a big stone against the entrance to the tomb and went away. 

Part 8
  • Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn off the oven.

 (Very Important!)
  • Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. (My kids LOVED this part!). Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.  

  • Read Matthew 27:65-66.

 65"Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." 66So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

Part 9
  • Tell them it's time to go to bed!! Explain that they feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight, just like Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. 
  • Read John 16:20 and 22.
20I tell you for certain that you will cry and be sad, but the world will be happy. You will be sad, but later you will be happy.     22You are now very sad. But later I will see you, and you will be so happy that no one will be able to change the way you feel.

Part 10

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 Matt. 28:1-9
1-4 After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God's angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn't move.  5-6The angel spoke to the women: "There is nothing to fear here. I know you're looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.
 7"Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, 'He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.' That's the message."
 8-10The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. "Good morning!" he said. They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him. Jesus said, "You're holding on to me for dear life! Don't be frightened like that. Go tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, and that I'll meet them there."

I hope this becomes a sweet tradition in your family as you celebrate the Risen King of Kings!  
Happy Easter!  Laurie

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