Resurrection Rolls (Or Empty Tomb Rolls)

resurrection rolls

resurrection rollsThe 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.resurrection 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
resurrection rolls

Resurrection Rolls (Or Empty Tomb Rolls)

My Windowsill
Easy to assemble and make, these rolls help children understand the Easter story and the empty tomb.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 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

resurrection rollsHow 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 answer is this: Jesus became our perfect Sacrifice and died for our sins so we can go to Heaven and be with Him. God said that there is no remission of sin without shedding of blood.

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.

resurrection rollsJust 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.

resurrection rolls

Doing the Next Thing

see you in the morning

Mark 16:5-7 ESV: And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.
  And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”

Doing the next thing can be so hard to do.

Who of us hasn’t experienced times when our pain and questions were so intense that it was hard to see past the fog? The women who were on their way to the tomb must have been in such a state.

On the way to the tomb, they wondered about the stone. Unknown to them, their problem had already been removed. The door to the tomb was open, unleashing His invincible power to all believers!

Yet the words, “See . . . Go, . . . tell . . . He is going ahead of you,” must have been lost to their ears.

They were simply asked to do the next thing: Go and tell. They were assured of success as the angel spoke, “He is going ahead of you.”

Obviously, they saw the empty tomb. They went as they were told to do.

Yet they did not tell.

Scripture informs us that they were “trembling and bewildered” and “said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” (v. 8)

I’ve been there. Paralyzed by fear. Immobilized by worry. Stagnated by anxiety. Unwilling to really believe that He actually is going before me. Sure, I know it in my head, but I can’t move beyond that point. Later, I wonder how I could have been so incapacitated. Yet at the time, it’s hard to put one foot in front of the other. I just want to hibernate and hide.

It is often our fear that causes us to fail in doing the next thing.  

Sometimes God asks something small of us –  and sometimes what He asks is huge. At times, we are so immobilized by fear and pain that we can’t decide what to do next. Sometimes we can’t take the next step because we are unwilling to do what is required of us.

What was true for the women then is true for us today. Jesus is going before us. The same power that raised Him from the dead and moved the stone for all the world to see is ours today.

Doing the next thing can be so difficult when we worry about who is going to roll back the stone. We forget that He has already unleashed that power to us!

Chickadee photo by  Ken Ruhl.

When we walk in His power and presence, then and only then, can we do the next thing.

What is the next thing that He is asking you to do?

photo credit Aaron Slabach

Take the next step forward. Do the next thing.


Why the Curtain is Open!

I wonder how it felt to be able to walk right past that veil that had been torn in two and enter into that most sacred place: the Holy of Holies?!  Before the ripping, only the High Priest was allowed to go into the Holy of Holies – because God said that was how it was to be. The high priest was symbolic for the people: he represented them to God. The high priest was their go-between. He petitioned God for the sins of the people as he sprinkled blood on top of the mercy seat, all for the sins of the people.

There was that curtain.

It is called the veil – separating the tabernacle from the Holy of Holies. This veil shielded a holy God from sinful man. Anyone going behind that veil (unless he was the high priest) would surely die. Even the priest could only go there once a year, on the Day of Atonement.

Behind that curtain, no one else could see, and no one else could go, under penalty of death – because God said so.The high priest was no less divine than are we; he was no less human than are we. Yet he was chosen by his tribe and by God to be the representative of his people to Jehovah God.


tomb lambThere was the priest.

He washed and put on special garments. The high priest followed the laws and on the appointed day, he went behind that curtain where no one else could go. There, he met with God. There, he sprinkled blood from the slain lamb on the mercy seat. There, he atoned for the sins of the people. There, behind that curtain, he met God.

All that changed on Easter.

It started with a death on Friday.

There was a tomb.

Yet the story didn’t end when the body was put into a tomb. It wasn’t finished when a stone so large that no one could move it alone was put in front of the opening to that tomb. I can imagine God and His angels smiling as they watched those soldiers put that stone in front of the tomb. Perhaps God said, “Wait until Sunday!”

There was an earthquake.

The stone got moved back from the opening of that tomb for all the world to see that the tomb was empty. That stone wasn’t moved so Jesus could come out of the tomb. He was already gone! That stone was moved so all the world could see that He had risen just like He said He would!

There was the tearing of that curtain.

That temple veil was split in two – from the top to the bottom. A veil hanging between the tabernacle and the Holy Place, all 60 feet in length, was torn in two. It wasn’t torn by man, for man could not have reached that high or torn that wide to sever the threads.

In an instant, that separation between man and God was gone. Now man could walk right into that holy place to meet with God because Jesus had become the Forever High Priest.

There is a place behind the curtain.

You and I can go into that holy place and meet with God at the mercy seat. We don’t need to stand outside in the temple courtyard waiting on a priest. Jesus is our Great High Priest.

He waits to meet with us.

We can walk into His chamber

There are two symbols I love about Easter: the empty tomb and the veil that is forever split. No longer separated from God by a priest or a time frame, we can walk into His chamber any time and place our burdens on His lap.

There is a Mercy Seat.

There, at the Mercy Seat, there is a place I can go to obtain mercy – and find grace – to help me.  I don’t know about you, but I need that every day. The days I don’t go into that Holy place? I am missing so much!

We can have the confidence to walk into that inner sanctuary, that Holiest of Holy places, and meet at the feet of Jesus. Because of that opened curtain, we can draw near to God with confidence.

Because of that open curtain,

I belong.

It might be Good Friday and we might have worries and concerns. We might be suffering spiritual, emotional, or physical pain.

Yes, because of that open curtain, Resurrection Sunday has come!


Our family has used this book for years. There are many ideas for family devotions and celebrations throughout the year. Just this week I used the scriptures and the banner for the Easter celebration in my kids’ class. I recommend this highly.