We celebrate because Jesus rose up from the dead, because he came back to life and is living even today. Many times, we have heard the story of how Jesus died on the cross and then beat death by coming back to life on the third day. Easter is not a surprise for us, but it is a wonderful celebration.
Here is a fun project you can do with your kids to talk about the empty tomb and the beauty of a butterfly – and it all points to new life for you and me! Right now, Jesus is in heaven preparing a place for us. Easter reminds us of the hope we have in God. He is faithful to us and keeps his promises. Easter reminds us that we have been redeemed by Jesus and given new life through Him. Because of that, we have hope for now and for the future, and we can share that hope with one another.
Cookie #1 – The Flower
As we see glimpses of spring erupt around us, we see new plants, flowers and life. We all love butterflies. They have beautiful wings and fly all over. Did you know their lives tell us a story and they also can point us to Jesus? Where do we find caterpillars? In a garden? Did you know everything started in the garden? Genesis 1:1 tells us the Garden of Eden was a perfect place full of God’s creation. Our first cookie to decorate is a flower, and it represents a Garden. In the beginning God created a perfect garden for Adam and Eve. They sinned in the garden by eating a fruit that God told them not to eat and because of that sin, their relationship with God was hurt. But God sent Jesus to us to teach us His ways and also to pay the cost to redeem our sins.
Redeem is a big word! Do you know what it means to redeem something? Think about it this way. Do you ever disobey and do something you should not do? That is called sin. For example, if Susie was caught doing something wrong, she might have to pay a punishment, maybe even one she can’t afford to pay! If Linda worked hard to raise funds and pay the price, she could redeem Susie and pay her punishment. That’s what Jesus did for us! Our sins made it so that we should pay the price, but Jesus died and paid that price to redeem us and allow us to go to Heaven with Him someday! Yay, God!
The Gospel of John says there was another garden, and in it was a tomb that had never been used before. John says that’s where Jesus’s body was placed — in that garden tomb — after her died for you and me. Early in the morning while it was dark Mary Magdalene and some other women went to the garden tomb and saw that the stone was rolled away. She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple John and said they took Jesus. They did not know where Jesus’s body was, and they were very sad.
Cookie #2 – The Egg
The next cookie we decorate is the Egg. Eggs are a perfect Easter symbol, and a symbol of new life in Christ. Think about this verse from 2 Corinthians. “So, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (Verse 5:17). Do you know that when Jesus Christ rose from the dead everything became new? Did you know that before a caterpillar hatches, they are actually an egg? The time it takes for the egg to hatch varies. Do you know that when Jesus arose from the Garden tomb it only took 3 days? Once the egg opens a caterpillar exits and enters the world. Did you know that they eat themselves out of the egg? Two Fun Facts: Caterpillars like to eat and chomp on plants. They also shed their skin 4 to 5 times! In the next stage of a caterpillar’s life, it forms into a Chrysalis — a clear hard covering where the caterpillar changes into a butterfly. He becomes a new creation! This stage can take a few weeks or months.
Cookie #3: The Butterfly
Once the butterfly is ready to leave its Chrysalis, it splits open, and the beautiful butterfly gets ready to fly! Like the caterpillar, Jesus once walked the earth like you and me. BUT, like the butterfly, Jesus rose from the tomb and ascended to the heavens where He is preparing a place for you and me! (See John 20:1-18; Matthew 28:1-10. In fact, all Gospels contain the story of Christ’s resurrection!) And because Jesus rose again, the Bible says that anyone who believes in Jesus also is a new creation! We walk on earth today, but someday, Jesus says, “I will raise them to life.” (John 6:44b GNT)
Let’s pray this prayer together: “Jesus, I thank you for gardens – the first one that you created in Eden and the garden where Jesus was buried. Thank you for the gardens we see on earth today that remind us of You and how You created this world for us to live with You. I thank you for Easter eggs. They are pretty to look at and fun to make! But they also remind us that just like a caterpillar breaks out of its shell, Jesus came out of the garden tomb and is alive today! And thank you for butterflies. They are beautiful as they fly around the sky! They remind us that when we believe in You, we are a new creation – like caterpillars that become butterflies – and that one day we will soar alongside you too! Your Bible tells us, God, that You so loved the world so much that You gave Your only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life. (John 3:16 GNT) I believe in You, Jesus! Hear my prayer. Amen!”
— The Sublime Soiree © March 2022