A Hands-On Easter Lesson
Every year about his time - approaching Easter - a couple of hands-on lessons about Jesus' death and resurrection start to make the rounds on Pinterest and Facebook. They are both recipes where the final product (either cookies or rolls) are puffed up, yet empty - like the tomb on the third day.
Here is the one we tried when the kids were younger - about 4 and 7. (I copied the recipe just like I received it.):
Refrigerated crescent rolls
1. Give each child a triangle of crescent rolls. The crescent roll represents the cloth that Jesus was wrapped in. Read Matthew 27: 57-61
2. Give each child a marshmallow. This represents Jesus.
3. Have him/her dip the marshmallow in melted butter. This represents the oils of embalming.
4. Dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon and sugar. This represents the spices used to anoint the body.
5. Wrap up the coated marshmallow tightly in the crescent roll (not like a typical crescent roll up, but bring the sides up and seal the marshmallow inside). This represents the wrapping of Jesus after death.
6. Place in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. (The oven represents the tomb - pretend that it was three days!)
7. Let the rolls cool slightly. The children can open their rolls (the cloth) and discover that Jesus is no longer there. HE IS RISEN!!! (The marshmallow melts and the crescent roll is puffed up, but empty.)
I had envisioned the kids listening to the explanations, being engaged with the lesson and actually getting something out of the experience. But . . . we really never got to the lesson. After we prepared Jesus for the tomb, I was just too exhausted. Here are snippets of conversation:
Princess: Mom! Buddy took my Jesus!
Buddy: It wasn't your Jesus, it was MY Jesus! You can get another Jesus!
Princess: Mom, I rolled Jesus in the butter. Can I eat him now?
Buddy: I can't wrap my Jesus! It's too hard!
Princess: Mom, can I have another Jesus? I ate mine.
Buddy: Mmmmm. Jesus tastes good!
Now, in theory, the rolls are sealed tight and no marshmallow seeps out during the baking. That's the theory.
Looking at the cookie sheet when we took it out of the oven:
Princess: Ewww! Jesus leaked! It's brown!
Buddy: I don't want to eat THAT Jesus. He's burned.
Princess: How many Jesus' can I eat? They're good! I've only had two so far.
Maybe we'll try it again this year. But I'll lower my expectations as to what they will really get out of the experience.