Much like Christmas, Easter comes filled with many wonderful and exciting things—Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies, egg hunts, baskets, new clothes, a delicious family brunch… but we know that Easter is SO much more than that. More than visits from the Easter Bunny, more than dyeing the most beautiful egg, Easter is the amazing realization of God’s promise to us that He would send His Son to die for and to save each and everyone of us. It is easily the most beautiful story in the entire Bible. And as much as that is deserving of a huge celebration and exciting activities, how can we ensure that we are keeping this special day Christ-centered for our family?
While on the Women’s Retreat, the women made resurrection gardens. These simple little table “centerpieces” beautifully and tangibly tell the story of Jesus—“A tomb. A death. And a risen Savior.” One of the women shared a wonderful way that parents and grandparents can make these adorable parable gardens with their children and grandchildren and share the story of Jesus’ resurrection all week leading up to Easter Sunday.
Here are the supplies you’ll need for your little garden (supplies available at Walmart for around $10-15):
• Terra cotta mini pot (tomb)
• Terra cotta small tray
• Small pebbles
• Fast growing grass seed
• One small bag of potting soil
• Small twigs and large rock (Smaller than a child’s fist)
• Glue gun
• Spray water bottle
Instructions for how to build your garden can be found at: wearethatfamily.com/2012/03/diy-mini-resurrection-garden/
Day 1 (The Sunday prior to Palm Sunday)
Look at the materials for your Resurrection Garden and talk about how the earth was void and without form. As you begin to assemble the dirt and rocks in the tray, talk about creation. As you place the tomb and cover it with soil, talk about how sin and death entered the world through Adam’s sin. Do not place the sin or crosses yet.
Day 2 & 3
Share stories about how the fallen world waited for their Savior. Discuss how the world became very wicked during Noah’s time that God brought the flood to start over with one faithful family.
Talk about how Jesus was born. Walk a tiny horse or donkey figurine to the garden. Share the miracles and wonders He did as He grew. Leave the donkey in the garden.
Day 5 (Palm Sunday)
Talk about Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the donkey. Have the kids scatter the grass seed on the hill just like the children laid palm branches on the ground for Christ and walk the donkey over it. Water the seeds with the spray bottle. Explain how Jesus wept over the city because He knew they would not let Him save them.
Continuing the Week
Water the seeds each day and discuss how the leaders sewed discord and lies among the people. Remind the kids how Jesus cried because He loved us so much. Remove the donkey.
Day 6 (Maundy Thursday)
Talk about how Christ and his disciples met in the upper room and partook of passover. Tell what the bread and juice represent and how Jesus was betrayed.
Day 7 (Good Friday)
Discuss Christ’s crucifixion. Turn out all the lights in the house as you place the three crosses on the hill. Leave the house darkened for a while. Then place the stone in front of the tomb and tell how Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea cared for Christ’s body.
Day 8 (Easter Eve)
Remind the kids of our sin and how we are the reason Christ had to die. We were not there, but our sins were included on the cross. Talk about how sin creates fear. The disciples spend this day hidden out of fear. Perfect love casts out fear.
Day 9 (Easter Morning)
Roll the stone aside. Discuss how Christ was not there. He is risen! New life (like the new grass) has been given to us and the price for our sins is complete if we accept Christ’s gift. Enjoy the beauty growing in your garden and pray as a family, thanking God for new life in Him.