Since I don't know what songs we'll sing or who will say the prayer, we'll skip that and just get down to the gist of it.
Before you begin, gather together the following:
- 1 cup pecan halves (not pieces)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (but keep the bottle handy)
- 3 eggs whites
- 1 cup sugar
- Plastic baggie
- Rolling pin or meat tenderizer
- Mixing bowl
- Tape (I use masking tape because it's easiest to remove)
Pull the kids in close and open your scriptures.
- Place the nuts in the plastic baggie, making sure to seal it tight. Either read or have the kids read John 19:1-3. Using the rolling pin or meat tenderizer, have them hit the nuts to break them into pieces to illustrate how Jesus was beaten by the soldiers. Set the nuts aside.
- Let the kids smell the vinegar in the bottle. Does that smell like it would taste good? As you pour one teaspoon into a large mixing bowl, have someone read John 19:28-29. When Jesus was thirsty, the soldiers gave him vinegar instead of water to drink.
- Eggs represent life. Add the egg whites as someone reads John 10:10-11. Jesus gave his life for us on the cross. Crucifixion might need to be explained in terms your kids can understand
- Give each person a sprinkle of salt in their hand and let them taste it. Shake a little into the bowl. Read Luke 23:27. This salt represents the salty tears of Jesus' friends and followers and also the tears we cry over our own sins. Explain that a lament is a great sadness and crying.
- Take a look at the ingredients in the bowl (vinegar, eggs, salt). It's not a very tasty combination, is it? Now let everyone have a taste of the sugar. Read John 3:16 and Psalm 34:8. Pour the cup of sugar into the bowl. There's a lot more sugar/love in there than any bitterness. Explain that this very sad thing happened because of love for us, from Heavenly Father and Christ.
- Using the mixer, start beating on high speed. Point out that the mixture is white, the color of purity. Read Isaiah 1:18. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, we are able to be cleansed of our sins. (This is the part where things can get derailed...it takes about 15 minutes to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and your kids are going to get bored. Talk about Jesus but once their attention is gone, send them to go get ready for bed or have a coloring page for them while you work.)
- Once you've got the stiff peaks, fold in the nuts. Scoop up some and drop it on the prepared pan. Read Matthew 27:57-60. These mounds represent the rocky tomb where Christ's body was laid to rest.
- Place the cookies in the oven. Turn the oven off. Read Matthew 27:65-66. Let every have a piece of tape to help seal the tomb. Christ's tomb was sealed and guards were set outside it.
- But where are the cookies? You might get some sad faces; after all, there was talk of treats. Read John 16:20, 22. Christ's followers despaired when he died on the cross but he had told them there would be reason to be joyful soon enough. You might need to have a back-up treat handy...I usually just let my kids lick the beaters. Be sure to close with a prayer if this is your FHE.
- This is the end for tonight! The cookies remain in the sealed oven overnight.
- The next morning, gather everyone at the "sealed tomb." Show them that the tape is still in place. Remove it and them pull out the cookie sheet. Have the cookies changed? Give one to each child and then read Matthew 28:1-9 as they eat the cookies. Just like the rocky tomb, the cookies are hollow and empty. His disciples were just as amazed to find that the tomb was empty. Jesus was no longer there because he had been resurrected.