Easter is the record of a savage, barbaric event — with what Christians believe is a happy ending.
Jesus Christ is betrayed, scourged, crucified, buried and resurrected — a powerful but brutal account that can be difficult to explain to children.
But not anymore.
Plastic Easter eggs come to the rescue.
To anyone who has ever wondered what eggs have to do with Easter, maybe now it’s clear. They make simple work of telling children the story of Jesus’ last week on Earth.
You can make your own “Resurrection Eggs” by purchasing a set of plastic eggs and adding miniature symbols of the Easter story to each egg.
The last egg is always empty — a symbol of the empty tomb on Easter morning.
It works like this: A parent opens one egg at a time. He allows the child to discover and hold the symbol hiding in each egg. Then he tells that part of the Easter story or reads it directly from the Bible.
As you allow them to hold a flower, silver coins, thorns, nails, dice, a sponge, a rock, and toy soldiers, children quickly understand the complicated Easter story in this hands-on presentation.
That biblical week 2,000 years ago, which started with applause for Jesus on Passover and turned to agony by Friday, is easily told with easy-to-find doo-dads from around the house.
Start with a dozen plastic eggs that pop open. Number them 1 through 12. Put them in an egg carton from your refrigerator. Gather everyday symbols (see ideas below) of the Easter story, as told in any of the gospels.
Some families bring out their eggs before Easter and open them one day at a time. Some tell the complete story at one time.
Later, you might let your children use the eggs to tell the story to you, to younger siblings or to friends and relatives.
Set up an egg hunt and let the children tell the part of the story according to the eggs they find. After a few years of celebrating Easter with the eggs, ask them to remember what each numbered egg illustrates before you open one.