This week I was working in a local daycare (working on a school project) and the director asked me to go through the Resurrection Eggs with the kids. I hesitated for a brief moment since it really had nothing to do with my project – but then I knew without a doubt more important than a grade or a project, was the opportunity to share Jesus with these kids. I was also really excited because growing up my family used these eggs to tell the story of Easter.
So, out on the playground mulched ground, we gathered in a circle. I had a couple books and the eggs in my lap and the kids piled in around me. Trying to read through the story, we were interrupted by the animals in the books, kids pushing other kids to “get closer”, or because “I can’t see”, one child tried biting another and then one little girl was crying for no reason whatsoever. I’m trying to put out one fire after the next and stay on track with the story, all the while I can feel my mind racing because this isn’t going how I planned. In my mind, I picture a group of children sitting like little angels, listening in rapt attention and answering any questions I ask. I see them behaving nicely and taking turns….needless to say, that’s just a dream and not gonna happen with 12+ two to four year old children. Anyway, we finally make it through the stories and I decide to let each child take turns opening the eggs. I was hoping that it would help hold their attention AND be a positive motivator for better behavior. Bribery is not above me when it comes to working with children who aren’t my own! As we begin going through the eggs, I feel like they’re more excited about the pieces inside the eggs than actually listening to what they represent…until….
We get to the egg that’s holding the whip. It falls to the ground and the squeal because they think it’s a worm. I quickly tell them it’s not a worm and pick it up from the mulch. They look at it curiously and begin guessing string, rope and so on. I tell them it’s called a whip and it’s used to hurt people. One of the little girls looks up at me and quietly says “That’s not very nice”. I agree and we talked briefly about how Jesus was beaten for us. The next egg held the crown of thorns, so I explain how sometimes we’ll touch a rose thorn or a prickle bush in the grass and how it hurts, but this crown of thorns was much worse and it was beaten into Jesus’ brow. They watched with rapt attention at this point. The little girl just frowns and says “owww, that would hurt”. Her eyes are watching my every move. We open the next egg which contained three nails that made a cross. They knew what this one was and I explained how Jesus died on that cross after being beaten and hurt – just for us. I look up and the little girl looks at me with the saddest eyes that are filling with tears and she goes “that’s sad”. I agree with how sad and then talk about how Jesus died for us, and for three days He was dead. We move to the next egg that was holding a stone. This was symbolizing the rock that covered the tomb. The precious little girl is blinking her eyes and looking at me, just waiting to find out what happens. We talked about how Jesus was dead for three days and was gone. Moving to the next egg, the little boy had been patiently waiting through the 11 other eggs and was about to jump out of his seat when I told him it was his turn to open it. He grabbed the last egg from my hand and pried it open. He looked up at me shocked. It was empty. All the kids looked at me and I smiled. The little girl looked up at me and was like “where’s the stuff?” I grinned bigger and held the egg open for all to see and told them “it’s empty because Jesus didn’t stay in that tomb, He came back to life for you and me. He didn’t stay dead, He’s coming back for us one day too!” The tears from her eyes fled, and wonder and excitement jumped into her gaze. They all cheered. One of the little boys who had caused a LOT of problems was like “I didn’t get to open an egg!” I knew I’d have a riot on my hands if he didn’t open something so I let him pick. He grabbed the first egg he could get his hands on and pried it open. It was the pair of praying hands. I asked the kids what it meant. They replied by folding their hands and looking at me…they were ready to pray. My heart was warmed as I asked them if they wanted to pray and they all eagerly nodded and closed their eyes. I asked God for some quick guidance on what to say that they would understand and started with “Dear Jesus”. I was blessed by those children as they began repeating word-for-word everything I said. I fought back tears at their childlike faith and wonder at the Easter story. The tears that so quickly swam to their eyes at the news of Jesus’ death and the pure wonder of His resurrection. I was encouraged to look deeply again at the resurrection story!
It’s easy when you grow up around Christians, in church or believing in Jesus to just go “yes, I know He died and rose again”. But His story is so rich in His love for us. He came to earth JUST FOR YOU. JUST FOR ME. Knowing that He would grow up, to suffer and die for me…to bridge the gap between my sinful heart and His holiness. Jesus created a way for us to have a relationship with Him for eternity. He opened the path to a promise of security, everlasting love and Lord Who would guide the way for us.
I’ll write more to come on the story from the Bible tomorrow…please come back for the 2nd part. I have been TRULY blessed in the last week. Looking forward to sharing with everyone!