Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

With Craig travelling so much, we've missed Easter with him for the past several years. This year was no exception. As during the previous years, we rearranged the visit from the Easter Bunny to coincide with his trip home (in this case, a week early). As I was preparing for church this Easter morning, it was so nice to relax and think about the real reason for the season. There were no chocolates. No kids hyperactive from too much candy. No broken hard boiled eggs. It was just a typical Sunday where we struggled to find shoes (matched and put aside yesterday, but somehow managed to be lost this morning) and get everyone ready to head out. Even though we had a typical Sunday-morning rush to get ready, it somehow seemed more relaxing and less stressful to not have the secular Easter celebration items to mar the morning. It was just us and a humble recognition that our lives would be in vain without Christ's willing sacrifice for us.

Sister Wendy Heder taught the Easter lesson in Relief Society this morning. I was in nursery with the twins, but she was kind enough to make sure the nursery leaders and adult attendees received the handout. I took an extra to give to a sister recovering from surgery, and I liked it well enough that I wanted to share it with you. She found the lesson on SugarDoodle. I'm going to share this with my children later today. Even if you don't get to it this Easter, I think it's a lesson that can work any time to teach the significance of Christ's sacrifice.

Easter Egg Lesson

For a unique presentation of the often heard Easter story, cut apart the following scriptures and put them correspondingly numbered plastic eggs. Add the appropriate item (in parentheses) except for the 12th egg, which should remain empty.

Serve the eggs in a decorated basket, from an egg carton, or at each place setting at the dinner table. This adds a nice touch to a church lesson, family home evening, or as a gift. Or play a game of “scrambled eggs” by having players match the scriptures to the items, or putting the story in sequence.

1. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. Matthew 26:39; (Sacrament Cup)

2. Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,, And said unto them, what will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. Matthew 26:14-15 This fulfilled the prophecy in Zechariah 11: 12-14 that Jesus would be sold for 30 pieces of silver. (3 dimes)

3. When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Matthew 27: 1-2; (knotted twine)

4. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Matthew 27: 24-26; Do we also wash our hands? (chunk of hand soap)

5. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews and they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. Matthew 27: 28-30 (square of red velvet)

6. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. Matthew 27: 31-32 And He was crucified… nailed to the cross. (Press this nail into your hand … feel how it must have hurt.) (toothpick cross, tiny nail)

7. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet… And sitting down they watch him there: Matthew 27: 35-36 (small pair of dice)

8. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent:. . . Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. Matthew 27: 50-51 & 54 (tiny bag of crushed rock or potting soil)

9. Then Joseph, a rich man) went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, the wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock. Matthew 27: 57-60; (strip of white cloth)

10. And he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. Pilate said unto them (the chief priests and Pharisees), Ye have a watch; go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. Matthew 27: 60, 65-66; (a stone)

11. And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. / And, behold, there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. And the angel . . . said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. Mark 16:1, Matthew 28: 2 and 5; (bay leaf, cloves or other herb)

12. Then the angels said unto the women, “Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen.” Matthew 28:6; (empty)