Every year, our family has a traditional Easter egg hunt with a twist. The plastic eggs when opened each contain a small token reminding us of some aspect of Jesus Christ’s agony in Gethsemane, His death on the cross, and His miraculous overcoming of death.
Since our Elder will not be home with us this year, I decided to send our tradition out to him. He is serving in an area with a lot of children right now, so this will be a wonderful teaching tool. My hope is that in one home, he will leave this package with a family and give them a new tradition to carry forward.
First, I needed an appropriate package for such a wonderful Easter tradition! So, I went to a local craft store, armed with a 50% off coupon. I found glitter-covered giant eggs! For a set of three nesting eggs, it was $20 before the coupon. Score!
Next, I dug through the years and years of accumulated plastic eggs from countless Easter egg hunts and picked out twelve. Next, in black Sharpie, I wrote the numbers 1-12 on the bottom of each egg.
Then I printed out the corresponding scripture for each egg, to be placed in the larger egg.
*Actual scriptural quotes:
1- Matthew 26:14-15
Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And the priests covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
2- Matthew 26:39
And [Jesus Christ] went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
3- Matthew 27:1-2
When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
4- Matthew 27:24-26
When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. The released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
5- Matthew 27:28-30
And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
6- Matthew 27:31-32
And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
7- Matthew 27:35-36
And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there;
8- Matthew 27:50-51; 54
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying Truly this was the Son of God.
9- Matthew 27:58-60
[Joseph of Arimathaea, a disciple of Jesus] went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. The Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
10- Matthew 27:65-66
Pilate said unto [the chief priests and Pharisees], Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
11- Mark 16: 1-4
And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
12- Mark 16:5-6
And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
Each egg’s scripture has a corresponding small token inside the egg. When the child opens the egg, we read the matching scripture and discuss how the token represents that scripture.
- Thirty pieces of silver: 3 dimes; 30 cents
- Cup: a small cup; we used a sacrament cup
- Bound: a small piece of twine, to represent rope used to bind our Savior
- Washed his hands: a small piece of soap
- Scarlet robe: a small piece of scarlet/red cloth
- Cross: two toothpicks, taped together to represent the cross
- Casting lots: two small dice, which are often used in games of chance/gambling/casting lots
- Rocks rent: a small rock that has been broken in two (I used a hammer to crack the rock.)
- Linen Cloth: a length of cream-colored cloth
- Stone: a stone
- Sweet spices: I used allspice berries; however, could use bay leaves, cloves, or other spice
- He is not here: empty
Each year, we hide the eggs around the family room or first floor of our home and then the children look for the eggs. As I’ve put this together for our missionary, his sisters have each shared how much they love this tradition each year.
Every year, the favorite egg for the children to find is the final, empty egg, representing that gloriously wonderfully empty tomb of our Savior and Redeemer.
How deeply grateful I am that this year the hopeful message of Easter will be shared by our son with those who are struggling and who feel alone. My prayer is that they will come to know and love their Savior and to feel of His love for them. None of us is alone. And because of Him, none of us need ever despair or feel without hope.