Easter Devotions, Traditions, Food and More

Hi all,
As you’re preparing for Easter Week, I thought you might enjoy some ideas. Don’t let them overwhelm you, either. I rarely send emails like this, however, Easter and Christmas are the most important holidays of the year.
1. DEVOTION
See the attached devotion from Billy Graham. As your kids get older and older, they will grow in their appreciation of devotions. If you want to make it more memorable, read it after the sun goes down in candlelight. We tend to read these things during dinner, while everyone is a captive audience.
2. MUSIC
Seeds Family Worship’s “Seeds of Easter” songs – what a great way to hear the Easter story and memorize the Word. See this sample. (You would memorize Rev 5:12, John 14:6, 1 John 5:11-12, Rom 5:8, Rom 6:23, John 3:16, Rom 8:38-39, and 2 Cor 5:17)
The Harrow Family’s CD: A New Commandment includes John 3:16 in “For God so Loved the World”, and John 14:6 in “I am the Way”, and John 14:23 in “If anyone loves me”
The Harrow Family’s CD: All Nations Shall Worship includes John 10:7-8 in “I am the Door”
In general, the Harrow Family and Seeds Family Worship are the two go to music choices for our family, and has helped all of us store God’s word in our hearts more joyfully and effectively. We play these every. single. day. in the background, or watch the videos during breakfast sometimes. Seeds Family Worship has videos with hand motions to some of the songs.

3. FOOD

Resurrection Rolls – melt butter and dip large marshmallows in the butter. Dip the marshmallow in equal parts cinnamon sugar. Wrap in a crescent roll. Bake according to the crescent roll directions. When your kids take a bite, they will see the tomb empty.
Resurrection Cake – Cut the tombs entrance out of the side of a cake. Make the tomb big enough to put a battery operated tea light inside.  Turn the light on right before you serve the cake after sundown. Take turns saying what Jesus’ sacrifice has meant to you this year. Each person should take a turn. Little kids who are too young for that, can tell you for what they are grateful. Close by saying a prayer thanking Jesus for dying on the cross for us and conquering death and sin so we can live forever with Him in freedom.
Easter Bread – http://www.laurainthekitchen.com/recipes/italian-easter-sweet-bread/ I add anise sometimes, but it’s not what everyone loves… it’s a licorice flavor.

4. TRADITIONS

SOMETIME BEFORE EASTER
Organize or attend a children’s Easter Tea Party where they can celebrate a Passion Lunch and hear some Easter stories (find one fun Easter story and 1 Easter story that tells the real story to kids, decorate cookies, have tea, and do an egg hunt (if you’re into that, but I can tell you the kids LOVE it). Eggs represent rebirth and new life through Jesus Christ.
ON GOOD FRIDAY
Christian Passover Dinner – Directions below which also came from my mentor, Sandy Tallo. Do this on Good Friday! Hang a red rag on your door outside.
ON EASTER MORNING
SIN WIPED CLEAN – Leave a pile of rocks in a jar as you leave for church. The jar is the tomb Jesus was laid in. This represents sin. Cover it with a red cloth. This represents Jesus’ blood. After you load the kids into the car, someone has to sneak back into the house to empty the rocks and cover the tomb back with the red cloth. When your kids come home they will find the tomb empty. Celebrate with a quick music parade, sing hallelujah, shake a tambourine and ring bells! I like this song: https://youtu.be/JuQFGWAd7wQ AND this is joyful! https://youtu.be/Q4bJ8D6lvrk
GENERAL TIPS FROM MY MENTOR, SANDY TALLO
“If possible, use this time to have your children help with deep spring cleaning. Wash windows and floors, get cob webs down, give stuff you don’t use away!
 
Attend a good Friday service, talk about why this day is called good. 
 
The day before Easter finish cleaning, cooking, set the tables,  lay out prepared outfits for church, shine shoes, get fresh spring hair cuts, have bible time with little ones after dinner highlighting the resurrection. Pray together. After kids are in bed, prepare Easter baskets (bags)
 
Sunday- play Easter music, eat a quick, healthy breakfast, (go to a sunrise service), dress and get to church early, it’s the best part of the day! Don’t allow fighting and tardiness to ruin the day!
 
Invite family and friends for dinner, eat, talk, play and rejoice together.”
Love, Robyn
___________________________

Christian passover
1. Light candles- Jesus is the light of the world. ( oldest woman in the house)
Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who sanctified us with his commandments, and commanded us to be a light to the nations
and Who gave to us Jesus our Messiah
the Light of the world.
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (Galatians 4:4 KJV)
I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:46 NKJV)
2. The wine-
After the candles have been lit and everyone is seated around the Seder Table, we are ready to begin the Passover Seder by  pouring the “Cup of Sanctification” 
which means to set apart or make holy. When the LORD said that He would take the Israelites out from Egypt, He separated them and therefore sanctified them.
The Four Cups of wine used in the Seder symbolize four distinct promises made by God as told in Exodus 6:6-7. These are traditionally referred to as follows:
Cup of Sanctification – “I will bring you out (i.e., hotzeti: הוֹצֵאתִי) of Egypt”
Cup of Deliverance – “I will deliver you (i.e. hitzalti: הִצַּלְתִּי) from Egyptian slavery”
Cup of Redemption – “I will redeem you (i.e., ga’alti: גָאַלְתִּי) with My power”
Cup of Restoration – “I will take you (i.e., lakachti: לָקַחְתִּי) as My people”
   
Which cups did Jesus  drink during his early Passover Seder with his disciples? He drank the first two cups in the traditional way. At the third cup, the Cup of Redemption, he said: “This is my blood” (Matt. 26:27-39). Jesus told his disciples that He would not drink the fourth cup (the Cup of Restoration), but promised to do so with them in the coming Kingdom (Matt. 26:29), after the Great Tribulation when “all Israel shall be saved.” 
3- washing hands
The second activity of the traditional Passover Seder is to wash your hands before you eat.  
Q: “Why do we wash our hands?”
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. (Psalms 24:3-5 NKJV)
   
Hand Washing Procedure
The seder leader calls out, “U’rchatz!” and then everyone present will begin the ceremony of washing  their hands. 
Fill a cup or vessel with water and pour some over your right hand three times, then over your left hand three times. It is customary for children to present the towel to the guests as each person performs the ritual.
Jesus and Urchatz
It is possible that the Jesus washed His disciples feet at this point of the early Seder he had with the disciples. Imagine the disciples passing the urchatz pan from person to person for the ritual cleansing of hands. Then,
“Jesus laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?” (John 13:4-12)
4. Parsley dipped in salt water
Why do we dip parsley in salt water?
The salt water represents the tears of the Israelites in bondage and the tears shed in our own lives at the remembrance that it’s our sin that nailed Jesus to the cross. 
Parsley represents the hyssop that the Israelites dipped in the blood of a lamb to paint the door post of their homes so that the angel of death would pass over it. 
Jesus is the lamb of God who was sacrificed for us and it’s by his blood we are saved.  
Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord In the land of the living. (Psalms 116:7-9 NKJV)
5-  matzo bread- 
The Seder leader takes the matzo, and breaks it in half. He then takes the larger piece and carefully wraps it in a linen cover. The leader then tells the children present to close their eyes and he hides the bread somewhere in the room.
Unleavened bread was taken by the Israelites the night of the exodus because there was no time to wait for bread to rise. They left in haste. 
Look at the bread it has stripes and holes. 
Jesus took 40 lashes/ stripes for our punishment and there were holes punctured into his body at the time of his crucifixion. 
7-bitter herbs- Maror 
Q: Why is this night different from other nights?
God told us to teach these things to our children. This is the night we’ve chosen to remember all that God has done for us.  
Serve bitter herbs in cracker. 
The most common vegetables used as bitter herbs are horseradish and romaine lettuce. Romaine lettuce is not initially bitter, but becomes so after the first taste, which is symbolic of the experience of the Jews in Egypt. 
Q: Why do we eat matzo and Maror?- bitterness of slavery both in Israel and in our own lives as we remember or own bondage to sin. 
“Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:3-7 NKJV)
4. Mortar- (find recipe in Evernote!)
Q: Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once,
but on this night we eat them twice?
A:  We eat bitter herbs and Charoset to remind us of the bitterness of our slavery turned into the sweetness of freedom. The chopped apples and nuts look like clay used to make bricks for Pharaoah’s buildings. As We did parsley in salt water to remember the tears of our captivity.
Q: Why is it that on all other nights we eat sitting but on this night we eat in a reclining position with pillows?
   
A:  We lean on our pillows to remind us that we are now free and no longer live as slaves.
2 Cor 4:4 
7. Egg- symbol of new life in Christ. Everything needed to create life is in the egg. It also represents the triune nature of God. 
Slice eggs eat them dipped in salt water. 
8. The lamb- lift the bone as a reminder that
They would slaughter all the lambs brought to the courtyard. The blood of the lamb would be caught in a pan and then passed from one priest to another until it reached the priest standing at the altar, who would pour it out on the lower part of the altar. While this was happening, the Levites would be singing praise to the LORD.
   
Afterward, each lamb’s hide was pulled off, the flesh was salted, and certain parts were burned upon the altar to the LORD. Finally, the remainder was given to the offerer who took it home to be roasted whole over an open fire. The family would gather and eat some of the meat of the passover lamb with matzah and maror.
Jesus was found to be the true Lamb of God  without spot or blemish.
Like the original Passover in Egypt, the sacrifice of the Lamb causes the wrath of God to “pass over” those who are trusting in the LORD’s provision for redemption, but in the case of the sacrifice of the everlasting Son of God, this redemption delivers us from the cruel bondage of Satan and causes the everlasting wrath of God to forever be put away from us. Indeed, Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!
9. Finish the meal – after the meal Find the hidden matzo wrapped in linen. 
Q: why was the cracker wrapped in linen? Burial cloths
Q: Why was it hidden? Like in the tomb where Jesus’ body was hidden away. 
Before Jesus death he celebrated a passover meal with his disciples and when they were finished 
   He broke the bread and gave each one present a piece. “And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me'” (Matt 26:26). 
Jesus had told His disciples that He was the Bread of Life (John 6:48).
He also had told them:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:51).
We hold the unleavened bread and consider its purity (leaven is a symbol of sin, and Jesus was sinless). We look at the stripes and pierced holes in it. We remember that Jesus was without sin, striped by the Roman’s whip and pierced by nails and the soldier’s spear. 
Jesus’ sacrifice of atonement was for our sins so that we might have peace with God. When we eat of the broken matzah, we remember that He allowed His body to be broken as our sacrifice for sin, and we thank God for that He was willing to be the Lamb of God who came to bear the sins of the world. 
10. The wine- 
Since the New Testament says explicitly that Jesus  took the bread and wine “after (the Passover) supper” (Luke 22:20, 1 Cor. 11:25) it is clear that this cup, the Cup of Redemption, is the one He raised when He said, “This cup is the New Covenant in my blood, which is shed for you” (Matt. 26:27-39). The Cup of Redemption commemorates the shed blood of the innocent lamb that brought redemption from Egypt, but it even more fully commemorates the greater redemption provided by the shed blood of Jesus.
For the believer in Jesus, this cup also symbolizes our participation in the  (marriage contract) of the New Covenant, in which the groom signified his pledge by sharing a cup of wine with His bride, therefore, it was originally intended to be the model for the Christian practice of Communion (or the “Lord’s Supper”).
Jesus had earlier said to his disciples, “I am the Vine and you are the branches” (John 15:5). When we trust in Him as our Savior, we become the “fruit of the vine” and become a part of his body. 
Note: Jesus told his disciples that He would not drink the fourth cup (the Cup of Restoration), but promised to do so with them in the coming Kingdom (Matt. 26:29), after the Great Tribulation when “all Israel shall be saved.”
The leader says: “This cup represents our great hope that someday soon the messiah is coming back to both take His followers to be with Him and to fulfill his promises. In that great day, all Israel shall be saved and the followers of Jesus will reign with Him in the millennial kingdom of God upon the earth. 
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the shofar blast of God: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 
“The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
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Homeschool days in a time of silence

God has asked me to back out and cut off most of my activity with the outside world, and I have submitted my will to prefer whatever God has for me.

My homeschool is quieter. I have had a reputation of “doing” a lot with my kids. God blessed me with some “rhema” about them. He gave a lamb’s wool fleece to my oldest, and a hammer to my middle one (in a vision on Feb 10). Then he told me my middle one will be a drummer at the end of that month (in rhema).

I wanted to share one thing He taught me this month in visions.

One, I saw plates spinning in the air. I was spinning them all. When I let go, some fell but didn’t break. This meant when I give all my things to Jesus, He really DOES take care of it!

Two, I was a bird flying in the air with my children who were also birds. Then I saw us in each of our own nests. One nest was empty. Then a snake came for my children and its head was cut off. A male lion with full mane leapt towards my children and it was sliced in half. This meant that to care for my children I need to keep flying too. The Holy Spirit reminded me there is dead air. But He didn’t give us any dead air space. Our air is filled by His Spirit, so we can really fly. The empty nest means we will have more children. And the enemies launching at us who are split in half is the judgment He issues on them. We will not be harmed though we are attacked.

These two visions have one voice: Trust Jesus will ALL my concerns. I CAN rest in HIM. He is a fiercer mama bear than I will ever be! Amen!

Since I am learning how to do this every hour and every day, I am seeing what real rest looks and feels like. I am so excited for this transformation. Granted, I still overwhelm myself, but I am learning what God said He would teach me: precision and acuity.

Thank Jesus for Him!!