.....BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD! We had a blessed Easter season this year with remembering our loving Savior's redemptive sacrifice, all the joyous celebrations, and preparing for a wonderful vacation. Courtney and I used to do this as kids....I remember that space being a lot bigger.
Coloring eggs....Joni really got into it this year. These are special Q-tips with paint in them. Easy for decoration, messy for cleaning up.
A family affair. Hadley loves her stickers.....she went to town.
When our family decorates eggs, we compare the colored eggs with the plain ones and remember that when we believe in Christ and what He did for us on the cross, He makes us a New Creation (2 Thess. 5:17). In God's eyes we're no longer like everyone else, but we're beautiful and set apart because of Christ's righteousness.
Every morning the week before Easter, Andy would teach the girls about what Jesus was doing that lead up to his death and resurrection. Here we're remembering Jesus' triumphal entry, fulfilling the prophecy that the coming King (Jesus!) would humbly ride a colt into Jerusalem (Zech. 9:9). The girls each took a turn riding their "donkey" and the other was yelling "Hosanna!" and putting coats on the ground (Matt. 21:8-9).
The next day Jesus went into the temple and saw all of the people there who were only concerned about making money rather than worshipping God. Jesus declared His authority over God's temple by driving all of the people out and preventing them from entering except for worship (Mark 11:15-16). Andy set up a table for the girls with a bunch of money on it and they took turns flipping it over and shouting "My Father's house is a house of prayer!" (This was probably a little more fun than it should have been :), but they definitely won't forget the story!)
Before his arrest, Jesus celebrated the Jewish Feast of the Passover with His disciples. During the supper, he got up, took off his outer garment and washed his disciples' feet (John 13). He told them that this was an example of humility for them (and to us!), so that they would remember that, since was willing to give up everything for their good, so they should do for others. While Andy washed the girls' feet, he told them about loving others by doing what's good for them even if it's hard for us. Since Jesus gave his life to save us from sin and death, we should give our lives telling other people about Him.
At the Passover meal, Jesus also taught His disciples that the wine and the bread eaten at the meal would now represent His sacrifice for their (and our) sins. He taught them that the cup of wine (or grape-apple juice :)) would now represent the blood He would shed as a payment for the sins of His people. The bread would represent His body that was broken as he suffered God's judgment on their behalf. Those who put their faith in Christ partake of Christ's body and blood through faith in His atoning sacrifice and are to remember and proclaim His death for their sins whenever they share in the meal together. (1 Cor. 11:23-26)
Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of what we did on Saturday and on Easter Sunday, but we talked about how sad Jesus' friends were when He was murdered on the cross. He was dead and they didn't know what to do. They took Him down off the cross and buried him in a tomb. We made "Empty Tomb Rolls" on Saturday night using biscuit dough, some cinnamon sugar, and big marshmallows. We "put Jesus in the tomb" by setting the marshmallows on the rolled out dough, "put spices on his body" by sprinkling cinnamon and sugar on the marshmallow and "buried Jesus" by wrapping the dough tightly around the marshmallows. The girls went to bed and we baked the biscuits so they'd be ready for the morning. When the girls got up, we looked inside our rolls "to see if Jesus was still in the tomb" and (since the marshmallows had melted, leaving the rolls hollow), "the tomb was empty"--Jesus is alive!
The Rec Center on campus has a Resurrection Celebration every year and this year it was big. They had games and face painting and bouncy houses, then someone told the Easter story, and then there was an egg hunt. Definitely what Hadley would call a "fun fun place."
Joni wanted to be a kitty.
Looking for eggs.
So Hadley, if you remember, is totally into painting. She asks everyday if she can paint. After the Resurrection Celebration she thought it was would be fun to paint faces instead of paper (a new medium, why not?) and asked so nicely that I couldn't say no. Note to self: watercolor does not mean that it removes easily with water! I had to bust out the nail polish remover, dish soap, and scrub brushes to get this off for EASTER the next day, but she thought it was fun!
The girls were VERY excited about eating their Empty Tomb Rolls on Easter morning and it definitely made us ready to go to church and celebrate Christ's resurrection with our church family. My sweet Easter girls dressed in their Sunday best. We left from church to drive to Miami for the cruise but we did get a few Easter pictures before changing into comfy travel clothes. They are getting so big :( *sniff*
I know this isn't the best family picture we have ever taken but it was windy and we were in a hurry. Many, many, more to come in the next post about our awesome cruise with Nana, Papa, and Uncle Ben!
Happy Easter all....we love you!