Easter is coming up, and whether nonbelievers choose to recognize it or not, the reason we celebrate Easter is Christ’s resurrection. 1 Peter 1:3 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” This living hope is the hope we celebrate on Easter.
Below, I’ll be sharing seven ways to keep Christ at the center of your Easter festivities – some that are ideal for adolescents and adults, a few that are perfect for families with little ones, and one that’s great for everyone!
HOST A PASSOVER MEAL RECREATION
I’ve never done this myself, but last week, my fiancé was invited to join a church family for their Passover meal recreation, I thought it was a great idea.
Although Passover is a traditionally Jewish celebration, it is a great way for Christians to connect with Scripture in a tangible way and remember the Lord’s faithfulness. The account of the first Passover can be found in Exodus 12. The Israelites were told to slaughter a lamb or young goat, smear some of its blood on their doorframes, and then roast and eat the animal with bitter salad greens and unleavened bread. That night of the first Passover, the Lord passed through the land, killing the firstborn of every Egyptian household, but sparing the Israelite households whose doorframes were marked with blood. The next morning, the Israelites fled out of Egypt, liberated by the hand of their mighty and faithful God.
Their God is our God, and He is as mighty and faithful as ever. He brought the Israelites out of Egypt and freed them from the bondage of slavery. By the blood of Jesus, the true Paschal Lamb, we are brought out of darkness and freed from the chains of sin (John 1:29, 1 Peter 2:9). As you meditate on His faithfulness and power this Easter season, consider hosting your own Passover meal.
READ THE EASTER STORY
There’s nothing like the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself, so open your Bible and read the true Easter story this season. It’s recorded in all four Gospels (Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 18-20).
You may also consider a Bible guide to assist your devotions. Personally, I like the Family Worship Bible Guide, edited by Joel Beeke. It provides a manageable summary of every chapter of the Bible with deep insights and questions for meditation or discussion. I’ve also found that the summaries are also helpful for shaping your prayers as you read through Scripture.
DO A BIBLE VERSE SCAVENGER HUNT
This is a fun Easter game for well-read Christians. It’s also a great way to expose newer believers to more of the Word. All you do is make sure everyone in your group has a non-electronic Bible, make a list of Easter-related prompts, and see who can find the applicable passages in the shortest amount of time.
Some ideas for prompts are: (1) where it is prophesied that the soldiers will cast lots for Jesus’ garments, (2) where Jesus tells His disciples to rise and pray that they would not enter into temptation, (3) where Jesus’ interaction with the repentant thief on the cross is recorded. When judging people’s answers, remember that answers to certain prompts may vary, as all of the Gospels record similar, but slightly differing details. And have fun with this! The point isn’t really to beat anyone else to the punch, but rather to spend time in the Word.
BAKE EMPTY TOMB ROLLS
This idea is all over Pinterest, and it looks like a fun and delicious way to teach little ones about our Lord’s resurrection.
Ingredients: Pillsbury biscuits, jumbo marshmallows, melted butter, sugar and cinnamon mixture
Directions: (1) Flatten out individual biscuits. The thin dough represents the linens Jesus’ body was wrapped in. (2) Dip the jumbo marshmallows in the melted butter. The white marshmallows represent our sinless Savior, and the butter symbolizes the oil He was anointed with. (3) Roll the marshmallow in the sugar and cinnamon. This represents the way Jesus’ body was prepared with spices before He was buried. (4) Wrap one marshmallow in each circle of dough. This is to symbolize that Jesus’ body was wrapped in linen cloths before He was placed in the tomb. (5) Brush each ball with melted butter and roll in sugar and cinnamon again. (6) Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Take this time to discuss what Jesus’ death and resurrection mean for us. (7) Let cool, break open, and enjoy! Spoiler: The marshmallow will have dissolved, leaving you with an “empty tomb!”
“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 is risen, just as He said.’” Matthew 28:5-6.
DO RESURRECTION EGGS
I love these! My parents did them with me when I was little, and I’ve done them with my little cousins for the past few years. If you’ve never heard of these little gems, they’re just plastic Easter eggs filled with items to help you retell the Easter story. Each one also has a strip of paper with the reference to an accompanying Bible passage. You can make your own Resurrection Eggs, or purchase this premade set from LifeWay Christian Bookstore.
PLAY BIBLICAL EASTER TRIVIA
I’m currently in the process of developing a Biblically-based Jeopardy game for my family to play at our Easter brunch this year. I think this will be a fun way to get people excited about the real meaning of Easter and also expose folks who may not know the Biblical story so well to the truth and beauty that is contained in the Word of God.
SING HYMNS, PRAY CORPORATELY, AND GO TO CHURCH
This one’s a given, but it’s still worth mentioning! Make sure you take time out of your Easter Sunday to sing hymns, pray, and attend church with your loved ones. Corporate worship is one of the means through which the Holy Spirit sanctifies believers, and what better way to celebrate our Lord’s victory over sin, death, and the power of the devil than to gather joyfully with the saints in His house!
“Jesus Christ is Risen Today”
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!
Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!
But the pains which He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation hath procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s king, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!
Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as His love, Alleluia!
Praise Him, all you heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia!