A couple years ago I wrote a post filled with ways to celebrate a Christ-centered Easter. Since then our own family traditions have slowly begun to take shape and “set” if you will. I, in no way, mean to imply that I am done implementing new traditions (I am sure I will be trying out some new activities this year). Today, however, I would like to share with you some of the ways our little family tries to purposefully keep this holiday about our Savior by celebrating his death and resurrection.
Hot Cross Buns
“…this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” (Acts 2:23 ESV)
“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8 ESV)
As the season progresses I will be making these delicious fruit-filled buns with my children. They are a simple bread to make and provide an excellent opportunity to meditate on Christ’s sacrificial work on the cross. As we squeeze the yummy icing onto each bun and slowly make the cross symbol I explain that it was on a cross that our Savior suffered and died for our sins.
Good Friday Meal
“…and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”’ (John 1:36 ESV)
“…and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”’ (Matthew 27:29 ESV)
On the Friday before Easter we take a special meal to remember the Lord’s crucifixion. I decorate the table with a wooden cross and candles. (See here where I suggest using wood from your Christmas tree for this cross.) On the cross I attach fresh rose petals to symbolize Christ’s blood. As I rip the petals off of these beautiful flowers and pin them to the cross I am reminded of Christ willingly suffering and giving up his life so that I might experience life everlasting. (On Easter morning I remove the rose petals to signify his resurrection.) For dinner we enjoy lamb to symbolize Jesus being the sacrificial “Lamb of God” and a special Easter bread that’s shape symbolizes the crown of thorns our Savior wore as he suffered and died. After we have finished eating my husband reads the Biblical account of the crucifixion to us and then the children blow out all of the candles symbolizing the Light of the World’s death.
“And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” Matthew 9:15 ESV)
After our Good Friday meal my husband and I fast until Easter morning. Fasting is a way to focus our hearts on the Lord and draw near to him. It is a time to dedicate yourself to prayer and meditation. From Friday night on we dedicate our time and thoughts to meditating on the beauty of the cross, appreciating Christ’s death, and looking forward to the celebration of his resurrection.
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses…” (Colossians 2:13 ESV)
“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22 ESV)
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103 ESV)
Easter eggs have been a symbol of new life for generations. Much of the symbolism has been lost today as the world focuses on a Bunny instead of a Savior, but in our home eggs are symbol of Christ giving new life to his people through his death and resurrection. We celebrate with eggs in three ways. The first is the traditional egg dying which is always a fun activity for children.
On Good Friday I dye some eggs dark red to symbolize the blood of Christ that brings us all to perfection. There is something so incredible about dipping this perfectly white egg into dark, bloody red that focuses my heart on the sacrifice of the pure lamb on my behalf. I use these eggs in the Easter Bread above.
The third way we celebrate with eggs is through the traditional Easter Egg Hunt. Though our hunt is a little different than others. First of all, there is no bunny. I don’t particularly have anything against the Easter Bunny (besides the fact that he tends to distract from our Savior during this holiday), I just don’t feel he is necessary for our celebration, so he is largely ignored this time of the year. Each egg contains some candy and a scripture that reminds us how sweet a relationship with the Lord is. Just as candy (and things like honey in Biblical terms) are sweet to our taste, the Lord and his Word are sweet to our souls as we draw near to him.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)
“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices…” (Colossians 2:19 ESV)
Every year we buy a new outfit for our children to wear to Church. The new clothes are a simple reminder that Christ both clothes us in his righteousness and gives us a new, redeemed nature. (To get your own clothing tags like the ones below click here.)
“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. (Matthew 28:5-6 ESV)
On Easter day I make Resurrection Buns with my children. They are simple crescent rolls wrapped around cinnamon/sugar covered marshmallows. As the rolls bake, the marshmallows disappear into the bread creating an “empty tomb” and a yummy sweet bread. Children find these rolls exciting as they find the marshmallow has disappeared and adults find them just plain tasty! It is a fun way to teach your children about Christ’s miraculous resurrection. As they open their rolls to find the marshmallow missing you have the opportunity to explain that in the same way, the disciples found that Jesus was missing from his tomb. Our Lord as been raised from the dead!
These are some of the simple ways that we as a family celebrate an Easter focused on Christ. I pray that these examples will encourage you to be purposeful in how you guide your own heart as well as our children’s hearts this Easter season. May Christ be exalted and treasured through our traditions!Click here to read more ways that you can celebrate Christ this Easter.
How do you celebrate a Christ-centered Easter? I would love to hear your suggestions!
This post is linked up at Time~Warp Wife