Easter and Jesus – Ideas to Keep Jesus the Center of the Celebration

Easter and Jesus. Fun activities to do with your family that will help keep Jesus as the Center of the Celebration. SmellingCoffee.com.

Have you noticed how few ideas there are “out there” for Easter activities that actually have something to do with the real meaning of Easter? I went on Pinterest and found a few, but mostly there are just tons of {cute} Spring and bunny offerings.  I took all I have and gathered all I could find and created a Pinterest board entitled “Jesus and Easter”.  In this post I’ll share a few of my favorites, and the rest can be found on the Pinterest board.

Whatever it is that we do in our homes, whether we are single, married, no children, or a house-full… whatever it is, especially this week, let’s not miss celebrating this most important gift of New Life, Forgiveness, and Eternal Life!  (If you’re not sure what the real meaning of Easter is, I’d love to share it with you!  Click here.)

Of course, probably my all-time-favorite Easter activity/possession is our set of homemade Resurrection Eggs. I shared our “recipe” and instructions last week, with print-out included. You can get that here. (I have even used this with my adult ladies’ Sunday School class!)

How to make your own Resurrection Eggs – with 6 additional eggs that continue the wonderful story!

One of the first Easter traditions we started in our home was the Cross Cake.  It’s so simple and easy to make (especially with children),  and a treasured and meaningful part of our Easter dinner.  Plus, since it’s made by the children, there is no pressure to present a perfect dessert! BONUS!  😉

The Cross Cake

Simply make a rectangular cake, (pan of brownies, or cookie cake) and cut out the four corners to leave the shape of the cross.  Then decorate and serve.  I’ve used many different cake mixes (yes… I’m a cake-mix-kind-of-gal) for the cake, but a favorite one is “Quick Red Velvet Cake” (recipe follows).

Even as the children were babies, they had a part in making this Easter Cross Cake.  Nathan’s was 5 months old on his 1st Easter, so as I frosted the cake, I took his little fingers and ran them through the icing to make the “swirls” on it.  This is a picture of our 1st Easter Cross Cake and of Nathan.

Nathan and our 1st Cross Cake, Easter 1997

The message that year said: Jesus lives for Nathan, Mommy, and Daddy!

By the time Abigail had her first Easter, Nathan was big enough to help ice the cake and choose what would go on it.  He chose jelly beans.  Then Abigail got to help add the jelly beans to the cake.  (Btw, the color on jelly beans run when they are damp.) It wasn’t too pretty, but a lesson was taught and a memory was made.  (And, the cake was delicious – this one was a spice cake.)   😉

Abigail and her 1st Cross Cake, Easter 1999

No matter how old you or your children are,  this Cross Cake makes a wonderful addition to Easter dinner – a delicious reminder of the mercy and grace God gave to us through Jesus’ death AND RESURRECTION!  He is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!!!

This is a delicious and moist “red velvet-type” cake, and is the preferred flavor of our Cross Cake.

Quick Red Velvet Cake

1 pkg Pilsbury Moist Supreme German Chocolate Cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1 (1 oz) bottle red food color
3 eggs

(I used canned… vanilla or cream cheese are my favorites, but whatever is easiest for you will work!)

In large bowl, combine all cake ingredients at low speed until moistened.  Beat 2 minutes at high speed.  Pour batter into greased and floured pans.  Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly touched in center.  Cool 15 minutes, then remove from pan(s).

If making the cross cake, cut the corners out, leaving the shape of the cross.  Then frost and decorate as desired.  Be sure to take pictures, so you can start your own Easter Cross Cake tradition. 🙂



This idea came from a wonderful article from the  Focus on the Family website here.  It’s a super idea and a way to make the egg-dying all about Jesus.


Tell the Story of Easter with Eggs

Instead of merely coloring eggs this Easter, why not use the eggs to tell the story of God’s love and forgiveness?

  • Before you hide the eggs or put them in baskets, encircle each one with a colored strip of paper (or place the strip inside plastic eggs) that tells one small part of the Easter story. When the eggs have been found, the children must unscramble the story and put it in the right order.
  • Instead of decorating the eggs with dye, or in addition to dying them, write one attribute of Jesus on each egg. You can do this by writing on the egg with a crayon before you put it in the dye. If you are using plastic eggs, you can write with a permanent marker or paint pen.
  • Send kids on a hunt for the eggs that have Jesus’ attributes written on them. Instead of just discovering eggs, they will be discovering the wonderful things that make Jesus so special. If the eggs are plastic, fill them with treats to remember how sweet the life of Jesus really is.
  • Dye eggs in certain colors and use them to tell the story of salvation.  (See the Jelly Bean post for those colors and the story to go along with them.)


Jelly Bean Prayer Baggies:

Here is a fun “Easter” gift for young children to make and give to their friends at school, church, dance, etc.

Take a small ziploc snack baggie and fill it with one or more of each color of Jelly Bean mentioned below. Attach the following poem to the baggie. As you put this little gift together and talk about the wonderful truths represented by the different colors of Jelly Beans, your children will probably remember and think of these truths each time they enjoy Jelly Beans.

Red is for the blood He gave.
Green is for the grass He made.
Yellow is for the sun so bright.
Orange is for the edge of night.
Black is for the sins we made.
White is for the grace He gave.
Purple is for His hour of sorrow.

Pink is for our New Tomorrow.

A bag full of Jelly Beans – Colorful and Sweet, is a prayer, is a promise, is a special treat.

May the joy of Christ’s resurrection fill your heart and bless your life!

For older children, this is an adaptation to each color of Jelly Bean

Red ~ the blood of Jesus that He shed
Black ~ Our sin, His death, the final hour.
White ~ Pure and holy. The Blood’s cleansing power.
Green ~ New Life that His death brings.
Purple ~ The Royal color, A reminder that Jesus is King of Kings.
Orange ~ is for the Holy Spirit Fire that glows,
Pink ~ is for the Infilling of the Holy Spirit that your life shows.
Yellow ~ is for the Joy & Celebration that Easter Brings.

With a grateful heart for what Jesus did for me/us, and Praising Jesus for Life and Freedom through Him… and praying that you’ll experience His grace in an abundant way this Easter season… and always with love,






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About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com


  1. Thank you so much! I have struggled with how to make Easter about Jesus rather than easter baskets and bunnies. I will try the resurrection rolls for the first time and love the idea of atteibutes of Jesus on the eggs.