The why behind the Resurrection rolls.
The first time I made these rolls was the evening I had kids in a class at church. It was Easter time, and I wanted the kids to grasp an understanding of the surprise the women received when they came to the tomb, found the stone rolled back and the tomb empty. When you’re teaching kids who get no Bible teaching at home and the only thing they know about the Bible is what they learn in your class, it’s a fun challenge to help them grasp new concepts.
On this particular evening, I told the story about the crucifixion of Jesus, His burial, and the sadness of the disciples. I explained to the kids that Jesus had to die so we can live. Then we went to the kitchen and made these rolls. We “washed” the “body” of Jesus, placed it on the “linen cloth”, sprinkled “spices” over the body, and wrapped it up. Then we put the wrapped body into the “tomb” and set the timer for 15 minutes.
When the rolls were done, we opened the door of the “tomb” and took out the burial cloths. Then each child got to eat his wrapping.
One of the boys took one bite, looked at the inside of the roll, and yelled, “What happened to His body?!?!?!?”
“That,” I told him, “is just what the disciples said when they came to the tomb and found it empty.”
5 ingredients in the resurrection rolls
To make these resurrection rolls, you only need five things:
Crescent rolls; marshmallows; melted butter; brown sugar and cinnamon rolls.
This is what each one symbolizes:
- marshmallow – body of Jesus
- melted butter – water used to wash the bruised body of Jesus
- crescent roll – linen cloths used to wrap His body
- brown sugar/cinnamon – spices to anoint His body so it would smell good
- oven – the tomb
- 8 Crescent rolls - or one for each child
- 8 Regular marshmallows - one for each child
- Melted butter - just enough to dip the marshmallow in - probably 1-2 Tbsp. for 8 marshmallows
- Brown sugar - enough to sprinkle
- Cinnamon - enough to sprinkle on each marshmallow
- Flatten each crescent roll
- Dip marshmallow into melted butter
- Place marshmallow on crescent roll
- Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon
- Wrap the marshmallow up in the roll by bringing all the ends together
- Bake in pre-heated 350 oven for 15 minutes
- The marshmallow will disappear while the roll is baked
How to assemble
You can cut the marshmallow into the shape of a body if you’d like, or just use a regular marshmallow. As you explain that the body of Jesus was bruised and bleeding and Joseph of Arimathea didn’t want to wrap His body when it was dirty, you tell the kids that Joseph “washed” the body.
Then, so it would not stink, he put spices on the body. Next he wrapped it in clean linen cloths and put the body inside the tomb.
The real meaning of the rolls
While the oven times counts out 15 minutes, talk about the sadness everyone felt when they went home that night. The Man they thought would be their King was dead. They were afraid. They were sad.
What was going to happen to them? Why didn’t He stop the people from crucifying Him? They had seen Him disappear in a crowd, walk on water, heal sick people, raise children and adults from the dead, and feed 5,000 men with five loaves and two fish. Why didn’t He keep this from happening?
The empty tomb
When the timer goes, open the “tomb” and take out the wrapped body. Let the children each take a bite. They will discover that the “body” is no longer there. It’s gone.
Just like Jesus was no longer in the tomb or in the grave clothes. The cloth was there, but Jesus was gone. The stone was rolled back – not so Jesus could get out, but so the world could see that the tomb was empty!
For the Christian, Easter is the most important holiday. The empty tomb is the greatest symbol! Ours is the only religion with a Risen leader. We need to help our kids understand this. This is an easy and great activity to do with kids – at home, at school, or at church – to help them visualize the importance of the empty tomb.