When decorating for Easter, families can use secular or Christian decorations. Secular decorations include bunnies, chicks, decorated eggs, flowers and other springtime items. These decorations do not reflect the Christian meaning of Easter, which focuses on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Make decorations that draw on elements of the biblical Easter story.
The cross is one of the main symbols of the Easter season because it is where Jesus suffered and died to pay for the sins of mankind. A cross made from burnt matches provides a reminder of the pain Jesus suffered in his crucifixion. To make the craft, burn the ends of about 120 matches for each cross. Draw a cross on a piece of cardboard and glue four sets of seven matches each, arranged in chevron shapes, pointing diagonally out in each direction from the intersection of the cross. Glue four sets of 13 matches each, arranged in chevron shapes, pointing orthogonally out to make the arms, top and bottom of the cross. Glue an additional set of 13 matches pointing down to elongate the bottom of the cross. (See the Resources section for a diagram.)
Rather than decorating with baskets overflowing with plastic Easter eggs full of candy, make a set of resurrection eggs. These eggs look similar to other Easter eggs but contain reminders of the story of Jesus' entrance to Jerusalem, crucifixion and resurrection. Make 12 eggs, each containing an object that relates to the story of Easter and a Bible verse that mentions that part of the story. For example, one egg contains a few dimes to represent the pieces of silver that Judas received for betraying Jesus and another has a nail to represent the nails used to hold Jesus on the cross. Number the eggs on the outside so they tell the story of Jesus' last week when opened in order.
The main focus of Easter for Christians is the empty tomb that the friends of Jesus saw on Easter morning. Include an empty tomb in your decorations as a reminder of the reason for celebrating Easter. One simple way for kids to make a model of the tomb is to use a paper plate and brown paper bag. Paint the plate black on the top and brown on the bottom. After the paint is dry, fold the plate in half with the black on the inside and staple it closed around the edges. Cut out an arch on one side as the door to the tomb and glue an angel figure inside. To make the stone that was rolled away, crumple a brown paper bag into a sphere and secure it with tape.
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