No matter how bad things look, this is not the way it’s going to end. No one will take away your joy. Jesus glorifies that message on Easter morning with his empty tomb. Kids need practical tangible “tools” to see how this transformation of bad to good takes place… it helps them to settle the lesson in their hearts, so they can pull it up when they need it later in life.
The act of making resurrection cookies with them can give them these practical tools… far more effective than simply coloring eggs …. although I recommend that too.
A couple of years ago, the recipe for Easter Resurrection Cookies, or Empty Tomb Cookies, landed in my inbox. The story starts with pecans that are broken, egg whites (new life) and vinegar (Jesus’ drink on the cross) and a tomb (your oven) and ends with a beautiful white pristine “hollow” cookie. All of the “ingredients” humbly thrown together, looking nothing like the product that comes at the end — and somehow, a little miracle is created in your oven on Easter morning.
I have posted the recipe posted below — without pictures — as I will be doing this on Saturday as well.
Empty Tomb Cookies
- 1 cup whole pecans
- 1 tsp. vinegar
- 3 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 qt. or gal. size zipper bag
- wooden spoon
- 1. Preheat oven to 300F or 150C.
Place pecans in ziploc bag and let kids beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
Read: John 19:1-3. Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted
together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and
went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they struck him in
Let each child smell the vinegar. Add teaspoon of vinegar into the mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink.
Read John 19:28-30. Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
Read John 10:10-11. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that
they may have life, and have it to the full. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd
lays down his life for the sheep.”
Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sins.
Read Luke 23:27. A large number of people followed Him, including women who
mourned and wailed for Him.
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Psalm 34:8. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes
refuge in Him.
John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that
whoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
7. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have
been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isaiah 1:18. “Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins
are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall
be like wool.”
John 3:1-3. Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the
Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a
teacher who has come from God, for no one could perform the miraculous signs you are
doing if God were not with him.” In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can
see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
Fold in broken nuts. Line the cookie sheet with waxed paper. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.
Read Matthew 27:57-60. As evening approached, there came a rich man from
Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate,
he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body,
wrapped it in clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of
rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
Place the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed.
Read Matthew 27:65-66. “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as
secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on
the stone and posting a guard.
Go to bed. Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read John 16:20. “I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world
rejoices. You will grieve, buy your grief will turn to joy.” And John 16:22 “So with you~
Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will
take away your joy.”
On Easter morning, open the oven and remove the cookies. Take a bite. Notice that the
cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matthew 28:1-9. After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary
Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake,
for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the
stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as
snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 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 and see the place
where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples: “He has risen from the dead and is
going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him. Now I have told you.” So the
women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell His
disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them, “Greetings,” He said. They came to Him, clasped his
feet and worshipped Him.