A Lenten Devotion – Resurrection Eggs
presented at the “Lunch at Lent” March 16th, 2016
by Sue Dickinson
I have spent most of my adult life interacting with young children…as a classroom teacher, as a Sunday School teacher, as a mother, and as a Grandmother. I love the candor, the unquestioning love, and the simple faith of children. As all of you who have had children in your lives know, two of the things you are guaranteed to hear from them often are:
“Why?” and “It’s not fair!”
A couple of Sundays ago we were visiting grandchildren in Kansas City. On the way home from Sunday School, we overheard a conversation that the eight and six year old were having that involved “Why” and “It’s not fair”. But instead of a sibling disagreement they were discussing something they had heard at Sunday School. They’ve been taught that Jesus was a man worthy of love. They’ve learned that Jesus loved people, taught others about God’s love, and cared for those whom others ignored or ridiculed. It’s easy to understand that they were asking why this good man could be beaten and killed. The injustice of it all certainly does not seem fair.
Later that day we got out the Resurrection Eggs to remind our young grandchildren of the Easter story, and to help them understand that it was not God that put Jesus to death, but other people. For any of you not familiar with the concept of Resurrection Eggs, it is simply a set of 12 plastic Easter eggs, each containing a small object and a Bible passage that is part of the Holy Week story. There are commercially prepared sets of these eggs that can be purchased, or they can be home-made.
The first egg contains a small piece of bread or an oyster cracker with this verse: Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it, broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said:
“Take, eat; this is my body.”
The second egg contains a silver coin and this message: Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said:
“What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.”
The next nine eggs contain the following items, as you listen remind yourself of the part of the story they represent:
- a piece of purple cloth Matthew 27:28
- thorns Matthew 27:29
- a rope
- a cross
- a nail
- a small sign saying “King of the Jews” Matthew 27:37
- a sponge Matthew 27:48
- some cloves or other spices
- a rock Matthew 27:66
The twelfth egg is empty, with this verse:
But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come see the place where he lay.”
While reviewing the story with the items in the eggs may not completely answer the question of injustice for children or for us, it is certainly an important thing to do during this Lenten season. We need to hear again the story that brought us salvation. We need to remember that Jesus’ death is one part of the Easter story. What comes next is new life and resurrection.
Lent should be a time for self-reflection and deepening one’s relationship with God. Some give up something they enjoy during Lent as a sign of contrition. Others spend extra time in devotions or prayer, or some may carry a cross or nail in their pocket as a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice. If you are looking for something more to do to observe this holy season during the days that remain, let me suggest three simple things:
- Forgive someone. Lent is a season of repentance and forgiveness. If someone has wronged you in some way, say “I forgive you.” If it’s not possible or appropriate to do it face to face, write a note, or at the very least, forgive someone in your heart.
- Say “thank you“. Send a note of gratitude to someone who has made a difference in your life….a family member, a pastor, a neighbor, a Sunday School teacher, an author whose book inspired you, a speaker whose message was especially meaningful. Tell them how much their presence in your life has meant to you.
- Tell others you love them. Some of us struggle to say those words. We assume others already know how we feel, or we think that we show our love and don’t need to say it. Remember one of Jesus’ last messages:
“Love one another, even as I have loved you.”
John 13: 34-35
It is our challenge, during this holy season, to not only remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, but to make that sacrifice a personal part of our daily lives. That message is expressed so well in this writing by Faith Mikita:
Oh my Lord, was Thy sacred head
With thorns pierced for me?
If so, pour thy blessing on my head
That I may think for thee.
Oh my Lord, were Thy sacred hands
With nails pierced for me?
If so, shed Thy blessing on my hands
That I may work for Thee.
Oh my Lord, were Thy sacred feet
With nails pierced for me?
If so, pour forth Thy blessing on my feet
That I may follow Thee.
Oh my Lord, was Thy sacred heart
With spear pierced for me?
If so, send forth Thy Spirit in my heart
That I may live for Thee.
Let us pray…
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help us to remember the simple faith of childhood
and live the adult faith
that encourages us to lead lives
of forgiveness, gratitude, and love.
And as we approach Easter,
let us remember that If Jesus’ death was the unfair act of humans,
the resurrection is surely your act.
Through the Easter experience,
we make the simple faith statement
In His name,