Empty Tomb Rolls is a tradition. It is magic and there isn’t a kid around who wouldn’t love these not just because of the taste, but the magic.
Every Easter as a young mom I’d try and come up with ideas to teach my children the true reason we celebrate. This idea/recipe is one of my favorites.
I use frozen Rhodes rolls, but you can use Crescent rolls too if you want. I prefer Rhodes rolls because they really show the “empty” tomb and crescent rolls sometimes ooze the marshmallow out…you’ll understand in a minute. Let me explain.
Take the frozen dough out and place it on the counter to start getting soft. I place mine in a sprayed cupcake pan and cover with a cloth. Within the next hour they will be ready to go.
While they are softening you’ll want to gather three cereal bowls. One for melted butter, one for a cinnamon sugar mix and one for Jet Puff Marshmallows (regular size not small).
When the dough is ready, melt one stick of butter in one of the bowls. Set aside.
Then mix 1 c. Granulated Sugar and 1 t. cinnamon together.
Place the marshmallows in a separate bowl as well.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Now for the teaching. Gather your kiddos and start teaching them about the crucifixion.
Something like this: Jesus was a perfect example for all of us. While He was on the earth he never sinned and never did anything wrong. However, some people did not like Him and wanted Him to stop preaching, healing and loving everyone. They wanted to hurt Him. They made Jesus carry a cross and they killed Him. This made our Heavenly Father VERY sad, but this was part of the great plan of redemption so that each of us could live with Him again. When Jesus died, His friends took His body off the cross and prepared His body for burial. This means they put special oil and spices on him and wrapped Him in special cloth. Then they laid Him in a tomb.
The DOUGH represents the linens that Jesus was wrapped in after He was crucified. MARK 15:46
Let them roll the dough or press out the dough into a circle large enough to fit the marshmallow in the center.
The MARSHMALLOW represents our Saviors body. He died for you and for me because He loved us so very much and wanted us to return to Him and our Father in Heaven again.
The BUTTER represents the special OIL they used to prepare his body. LUKE 23:55-56
The SUGAR/CINNAMON mixture represents the special spices they used to prepare His body. JOHN 19:38-40
The marshmallow represents the Savior. Place the marshmallow in the melted butter (oils), and roll in the sugar/cinnamon mixture (spices). Place the marshmallow (Jesus) in the center of the dough and fold the dough all around it and firmly pinch to seal the dough.
Next roll that dough ball of yumminess in the butter and then the cinnamon/sugar mixture and place pinch side down in the cupcake pan as you explain that they then laid Jesus to rest inside a tomb. A tomb is like a big cave carved out of a rock. That represents the cupcake pan where we put the rolls inside the tomb.
The soldiers who were guarding the tomb didn’t want anyone to disturb or steal the body in the night so they rolled a very heavy stone over the entrance of the tomb. Let’s just use the oven as the representation of the stone as you shut the oven door “sealing” in the heat.
Place all the rolls in the oven for 10-12 min until golden. It. Smells. Divine.
Would be fun to have one of the kids stand guard next to the oven for extra “drama”. My mom would have that child in costume…I’m not kidding. lol Plus the MO-TAB choir would be singing the Messiah in the back
READ: MATT 12:40 and LUKE 24:1-8
Explain that Jesus was in the tomb for three days. If you have more than one child let them take turns “guarding” the tomb. When they are ready take them out of the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes.
Tell them that on the third day after Jesus had died, and angel of God appeared to one of Jesus’ friends. He told her that Jesus was ALIVE! Jesus’ friends decided to look in the tomb where they had put Jesus’ body, but when they did, it was empty! Jesus had risen! Cut open one of the rolls. This is where the magic comes in.
Ask the question, Where is the Marshmallow? Just like Jesus, our marshmallow is missing! But we know that Jesus ascended to His father and is alive just like He said. ROMANS 10:9
Lastly, explain that these rolls are so sweet, just like the love of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. We celebrate Easter because Jesus died and rose again after three days and He lives in Heaven right now with God. He did all of this so that we could have the opportunity to live in heaven with Him again someday.
I for one am very grateful for the sacrifice and love of Jesus Christ. He is my brother and I honor His life and His eternal message. Happy Easter!