Updated: Apr 11
Today is Holy Saturday. Jesus, the hope of so many people, had been brutally murdered and buried on Good Friday. The anguish his followers must have felt. The shock. The devastation.
The man that had radically changed their lives, which they believed was their Savior was gone. The disbelief and utter horror they must have felt on Holy Saturday.
Yet we know now, through holy scripture, that this is the day Jesus descended to the land of the dead where the Gospel message was preached. Jesus’ saving works continued and the world had no idea.
This is why we are suspended on Holy Saturday between the world of darkness, sin, and death and the new world of light and resurrection.
We remember the anguish the followers of Jesus felt on this day but it is hard to contain our excitement because we know what tomorrow holds - the most glorious day of all - the day that Our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead and defeated death forever!
Ways to celebrate:
Read Matthew 27:57-66.
Discuss. Why do you think Joseph of Arimathea allowed Jesus to be buried in his tomb? Why do you think Mary Magdalene and Mary waited outside the tomb? How do you think they felt as they waited? What were the Pharisees afraid was going to happen to the body of Jesus? What did Pilate do to keep this from happening?
Get ready. Dye your Easter eggs and get all of your church clothes ready for the Great Easter Vigil or Easter Sunday.
If you can, attend an Easter Vigil service.
Make Resurrection Cookies with your family. Resurrection Cookies are meringue cookies with special interactive steps and scriptures to walk your family through the death and resurrection of Jesus. You bake the cookies in a warm oven overnight and when your children try them on Easter morning, they will find that the cookies are “empty” just like Jesus’ tomb!
After supper, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Then assemble the ingredients for the Resurrection cookies.
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 cup of sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup of pecans
Place pecans in a plastic baggie and let your children beat them with a wooden spoon to break them into small pieces. Explain to them that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon of vinegar into a mixing bowl. Explain to them that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was only given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Explain to them that eggs represent life and that Jesus gave his life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain to them that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing!
Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain to them that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because of his great love for us. He wants us to know this and how to belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain to them that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto parchment paper-covered cookie sheet. Explain to them that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape to seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.
Explain to them 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 16:20-22. Now, go to bed.
When you wake up the next morning it’s Easter! Open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty! Read Matthew 28:1-9 and rejoice in Jesus’ resurrection!