It's Holy Week here in Nicaragua and we've already seen our fair share of Jesus', crucifixs and other religious icons. Having not been raised Catholic, the uber-Catholic traditions of Nicaragua are really interesting and new to me.
These must be started the night before Easter.
- 1 cup whole pecans
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 3 egg whites
- a pinch salt
- 1 cup sugar
- a zipper baggy
- 1 wooden spoon
- scotch tape
1. Preheat oven to 300F.
2. Before you do anything else put the whole pecans in zip-loc and let your children beat them with a meat mallet, or hammers, to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested. He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
John 19:1-3 So Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. The soldiers, having braided a crown from thorns, set it on his head, threw a purple robe over him, and approached him with, "Hail, King of the Jews!" Then they greeted him with slaps in the face.
3. Allow each child to smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar
John 19:28-30 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 wine 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.
4. Add the egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
John 10-11: I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary.
5. Put a little of the salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest
into the bowl. If you have a lot of kids like I do put the pinch of salt INTO the bowl and then allow them to taste a little of salt or you will have too much salt in the recipe! Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Luke 23:27 A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, don't cry for me.
6. So far the ingredients would not make a very good dessert! Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to
know and belong to Him.
Psalm 34:8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him.
John 3:16 This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
7. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks form. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Isaiah 1:18 "Come. Sit down. Let's argue this out."
This is God's Message:
"If your sins are blood-red,
they'll be snow-white.
John 3:1-3 There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews. Late one night he visited Jesus and said, "Rabbi, we all know you're a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren't in on it." Jesus said, "You're absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it's not possible to see what I'm pointing to—to God's kingdom."
8. Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper covered cookie sheet.
Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.
Matthew 27:57-60 Late in the afternoon a wealthy man from Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus, arrived. His name was Joseph. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. Pilate granted his request. Joseph took the body and wrapped it in clean linens, put it in his own tomb, a new tomb only recently cut into the rock, and rolled a large stone across the entrance. Then he went off.
10. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.
Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed.
Matthew 27:65-66 Pilate told them, "You will have a guard. Go ahead and secure it the best you can." So they went out and secured the tomb, sealing the stone and posting guards.
John 16:20, 22 Then fix this firmly in your minds: You're going to be in deep mourning while the godless world throws a party. You'll be sad, very sad, but your sadness will develop into gladness...The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you'll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you. You'll no longer be so full of questions.
12. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked
surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow!
On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Matthew 28:1-10 After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God's angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn't move.
The angel spoke to the women: "There is nothing to fear here. I know you're looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.
"Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, 'He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.' That's the message."
The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. "Good morning!" he said. They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him. Jesus said, "You're holding on to me for dear life! Don't be frightened like that. Go tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, and that I'll meet them there."