Last week over dinner, I asked my grandkids one of the questions from my newest set of Conversation Starters: What is your favorite Easter tradition? Two of them gave the same answer — Resurrection Eggs — though they used different words to say as much.
The first proudly proclaimed, “I love when you use those numbered eggs to tell us the Easter story.” And his little brother echoed the sentiment: “I like cracking open those story eggs and seeing the clay stuff inside.”
I’ve been telling and retelling the “Easter Egg Gospel” for decades now. First with my children. Now with my grands. You can purchase your own set of ready-made Resurrection Eggs, but I opted to make my own.
I started with the standard dozen, but as my family grew, so did the number of details I included in my gospel telling. I expanded from 12 eggs to 18, then eventually to 24. Considering the fact we just had our 13th grandchild, my story eggs may need to expand again before I’m done.
Sharing the Gospel with Resurrection Eggs
But here’s what my set of gospel eggs look like now. If you have a big family (or teach a Sunday School class or host a neighborhood egg hunt), you may want an expanded set of DIY Resurrection Eggs yourself. (If so, scroll down for tips on making your own.)
When telling the story, I let each child crack open an egg. Then I ask a lot of questions to keep everyone engaged:
- Who has egg #1?
- What’s inside?
- Who made the earth?
- What’s in egg #2?
- Who made man?
- What was the name of the first man God made?
- Who has egg #3?
- What does that apple remind you of?
- Do you remember the name of the tree Adam and Eve weren’t allowed to eat from?
- What did God say would happen if they did?
- What’s in egg #4?
- Who talked Eve into disobeying?
- With whom did she share the forbidden fruit?
- And so on (You get the idea, right?)
I tell the resurrection story in my own words, making reference to the Bible verses listed below, but normally do not take time to look them up and read them one by one (although the full passages are printed in our Resurrection Egg PDF and are linked below).
We cover the details for most of the eggs in less than a minute. It usually takes not more than 10-15 minutes to tell the whole story. I try to keep it moving, so younger kids don’t become bored or restless. Here’s the order I follow:
Scriptural Support for Resurrection Eggs
Below are the items I hide in my “Resurrection Eggs” along with Scripture prompt for telling the gospel story.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
“And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:17)
“Now the serpent … said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” (Genesis 3:1)
God alludes to Christ when He curses Satan in the garden: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Descendant; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise Him on the heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
4000 years later, God was ready to fulfill His promise, as Gabriel announced to the virgin Mary: “”Fear not, Mary; for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you shall call His name Jesus.” (Luke 1:30-31)
Jesus was 30 when He began His public ministry, which included His performing many miracles: “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” (Matthew 11:5)
A woman washed Jesus’ feet “with her tears and wiped them with her hair. Then she kissed His feet and anointed them with the perfume.” (Luke 7:37) “But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was going to betray Him, asked, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ Judas did not say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money bag, he used to take from what was put into it.” (John 12:4-6)
“But Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone; why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful deed to Me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them whenever you want. But you will not always have Me. She has done what she could to anoint My body in advance of My burial. And truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached in all the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” (Matthew 26:10-13)
“Then Judas…went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this, and they promised to give him money.” (Mark 14:10-11) How much money? (30 pieces of silver – Matthew 26:15)
Jesus “poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel that was around Him…. ‘Never shall You wash my feet!’ Peter told Him. Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.’ Simon Peter replied, “Then wash not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!’” (John 13:5, 8-9)
At the last supper, Jesus “took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body, given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’” (Luke 22:19)
“Then He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to the disciples, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’” (Matthew 26:27-28)
Jesus and His disciples went to the Mount of Olives, into the Garden of Gethsemane, to pray. The disciples fell asleep while Jesus agonized: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:36-39)
Judas showed up in the garden with an armed mob to arrest Jesus, whom he greeted with a kiss. “Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus, and arrested Him. At this, one of Jesus’ companions drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him before healing the servant’s ear. “For all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matthew 26:50-52)
Peter pledged to stick by Jesus until death, but Jesus told him, “This very night, before the rooster crows, you’ll deny Me three times.” (Matthew 26:34) And that’s exactly what Peter did.
“When Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was filled with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders.… Then he went away and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:3-5)
Jesus was brought before Pilate, where the crowds clamored for His crucifixion. “When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but that instead a riot was breaking out, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd. ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said. ‘You bear the responsibility.’” (Matthew 27:24)
Crown of Thorns
“They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. And they twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on His head. They put a staff in His right hand and knelt down before Him to mock Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” (Matthew 27:28-29)
Jesus was nailed to a cross, where He died for our sins. “When they came to the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on His right and the other on His left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’” (Luke 23:33-34)
“About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ …One of them quickly ran and brought a sponge. He filled it with sour wine, put it on a reed, and held it up for Jesus to drink.” (Matthew 27:45-48)
“When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who himself was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut into the rock.” (Matthew 27:57-60)
“Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance to the tomb and went away….The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and Pharisees assembled before Pilate. ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we remember that while He was alive that deceiver said, After three days I will rise again. So give the order that the tomb be secured until the third day. Otherwise, His disciples may come and steal Him away and tell the people He has risen from the dead. And this last deception would be worse than the first.’ ‘You have a guard,’ Pilate said. ‘Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.’ So they went and secured the tomb by sealing the stone and posting the guard.” (Matthew 27:60-66)
“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so they could go and anoint the body of Jesus. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they went to the tomb. They were asking one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone from the entrance of the tomb?’” (Mark 16:1-3)
“Suddenly there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, rolled away the stone, and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards trembled in fear of him and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said! Come, see the place where He lay….’ So they hurried away from the tomb in fear and great joy, and ran to tell His disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ They came to Him, grasped His feet, and worshiped Him. ‘Do not be afraid,’ said Jesus.’Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee. There they will see Me.’” (Matthew 28:2-10)
I made most of the “treasures” for my resurrection eggs out of polymer clay. If you are the crafty sort, you can look at the photos above and do the same. Otherwise, here are a few other ideas for sourcing these miniatures:
Making Your Own Set of DIY Resurrection Eggs
- Earth: use a keychain globe, earth-like bouncy ball, or large blue & white marble
- Adam: use a Lego man or small plastic Tarzan
- Fruit: use a small piece of plastic fruit or an apple Christmas ornament or a fresh berry (replace each year)
- Serpent: use a Lego snake, plastic figure, rubber snake
- Baby: a plastic baby from a King cake would work or a miniature baby doll
- Angel: try a small Christmas ornament or craft an origami angel
- Crutch: fashion one from small twigs and twine or use brown pipe cleaners to make one
- Perfume: use a small sample vial (free at some cosmetic counters) or a tiny sample tube of essential oil
- Coins: use a handful of dimes
- Soap: use a small decorative soap or cut a sliver off the end of a bigger bar
- Cracker: use an oyster cracker, saltine fragment, or tear off a piece of flour tortilla
- Cup: use the cap off a small spray bottle
- Flower: a few silk blossoms will do here
- Sword: use a lego sword or the plastic variety that cafeterias put in olives and cheese cubes
- Rooster: you may be able to find one in a set of plastic barnyard animals
- Rope: use a small piece of jute or sisal twine
- Pitcher: maybe track down a dollhouse miniature?
- Crown of Thorns: weave one from a thorny blackberry vine
- Cross: use a small crucifix, whittle one from wood, or wire a couple of nails together in the shape of a cross
- Sponge: tear of a piece off an artist’s sea sponge or cut a bit off a kitchen sponge
- Cloth: use a piece of sterile gause or a strip of cotton muslin
- Rock: find a stone outside that’s small enough to fit inside your egg
- Spices: use rosemary leaves, cinnamon bark, and/or a little potpourri
- (Empty): Don’t put anything in the last egg. Leave it empty!
Or you can go the easy route and just print, color, and cut out these little squares below to use in your Resurrection Eggs.
More Ways to Focus on the Real Meaning of Easter
For help in keeping your heart focused on Christ during the days and weeks leading up to Resurrection Sunday, check out my devotional journal, Because He Lives. It joins a growing collection of journals I’ve published, with ten titles now in the series.
My goal in creating this particular journal was to inspire readers to think deeply about the unfathomable grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. His love for us compelled Him to take on flesh, come to earth, and pay the penalty for our sins by dying on a cruel cross. When he rose from the grave, He conquered sin and death forevermore so that forgiveness and eternal life can be ours by grace through faith in Him alone. Hallelujah! What a Savior! Amen?