Before I truly understood the real meaning of Easter and its importance to my new life in Christ, I was all about collecting as many brightly colored eggs as possible and hoping they held my favorite type of candy. I’m partial to Twix, Three Musketeers, and strawberry Starbursts! Nowadays, it’s not the size or contents of the eggs but the empty tomb that gets me most excited! Two years ago, First United Methodist Church in Joshua, Texas began a new tradition. Instead of the free-for-all egg hunt that usually leads to smaller, younger kids being trampled by older, bigger kids, we have an Easter treasure hunt. Small groups of children and adults are led around a big circle with five stations. Each station has a character from the Bible sharing the Easter story from their perspective. As kids move from one station to the next, they follow a trail of eggs to pick up along the way. Everyone is safe. Everyone has fun. And everyone leaves with a basket or bag full of eggs with candy and goodies.
Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, “I’m thirsty.” A jug of sour wine was standing by. Someone put a sponge soaked with the win on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. After he took the wine, Jesus said, “It’s done … complete.” Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit. ~ John 19:28-30 (The Message)
When he learned from the centurion that Jesus was dead, Pilate gave the dead body to Joseph. He bought a linen cloth, took Jesus down from the cross, wrapped him in the cloth, and laid him in a tomb that had been carved out of rock. He rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus saw where he was buried. ~ Mark 15:45-47 (Common English Bible)
Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.” ~ Matthew 28: 18-20 (CEB)
Brothers and sisters, I want to call your attention to the good news that I preached to you, which you also received and in which you stand. You are being saved through it if you hold on to the message I preached to you … I passed on to you as most important what I also received: Christ died for our sins in line with Scripture, he was buried, and he rose on the third day. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (CEB)
Because we are thankful for Easter and celebrating it with friends, here are more pictures from our treasure hunt!