At this time of year–approaching Easter–a couple of hands-on lessons about Jesus’ death and resurrection start to make the rounds in Christian circles. They’re recipes where the final product (either cookies or rolls) are puffed up, yet empty–like the tomb on the third day.
I love lessons that involve learning while you actually DO something. So we tried one recipe when my kids were five and eight years old, and it although it was certainly hands-on, it didn’t turn out quite as I imagined.
Refrigerated crescent rolls
1. Give each child a triangle of crescent rolls. The crescent roll represents the cloth that Jesus was wrapped in. Read Matthew 27: 57-61.
2. Give each child a marshmallow. This represents Jesus.
3. Have him/her dip the marshmallow in melted butter. This represents the oils of embalming.
4. Dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon and sugar. This represents the spices used to anoint the body.
5. Wrap up the coated marshmallow tightly in the crescent roll (not like a typical crescent roll up, but bring the sides up and seal the marshmallow inside). This represents the wrapping of Jesus after death.
6. Place in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. (The oven represents the tomb – pretend that it was three days!)
7. Let the rolls cool slightly. The children can open their rolls (the cloth) and discover that Jesus is no longer there. HE IS RISEN!!! (The marshmallow melts and the crescent roll is puffed up, but empty.)
Now read Matthew 28:1-10 Enjoy your warm rolls as you rejoice at the good news of Easter!
I had envisioned the kids listening to the explanations, being engaged with the lesson and actually getting something out of the experience. But… no. We really never got to the lesson. After we prepared Jesus for the tomb, I was just too exhausted. Here are snippets of the conversation with “Princess,” my daughter, and “Buddy,” my son:
Princess: Mom! Buddy took my Jesus!
Buddy: It wasn’t your Jesus, it was MY Jesus! You can get another Jesus!
Princess: Mom, I rolled Jesus in the butter. Can I eat him now?
Buddy: I can’t wrap my Jesus! He keeps slipping out!
Princess: Mom! He has more Jesuses than I do!
Buddy: That’s because you keep eating your Jesuses.
Princess: Give me one of yours!
Buddy: No! Get your own Jesus.
Princess: Mom, can I have another Jesus? I ate mine.
Buddy: Mmmmm. Jesus tastes good!
In theory, the rolls are sealed tightly and no marshmallow seeps out during the baking. We were not adept at rolling our Savior in burial cloths. Several of the shrouds had obviously lost their filling as they baked, which prompted more comments when we took them out of the oven.
Princess: Ewww! Jesus leaked!
Buddy: It’s burned! I don’t want to eat that Jesus.
Princess: I’ll eat that one! How many Jesus’ can I eat? I’ve only had two so far. They’re good!
We never tried it again. I just didn’t have it in me. Coloring eggs is much more my speed.
Milaka Falk is a wife and a mom to 13-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy. It’s never dull. She blogs about life and movies at Cabin77.