To show that the Bible teaches that Jesus came back to life after he was killed.
You will need:
- a large empty matchbox
- Two sweets
Ask the assembly what reminds them of Easter. Take some suggestion, eg Easter eggs, Easter bunny, daffodils, etc. After you have heard their ideas, show them the large matchbox and say that this reminds you of Easter and you need two volunteers to explain why.
Ask for two volunteers to come to the front. Put a sweet inside the matchbox and give it to your first volunteer, asking them to remove it and eat it. There is no trick!
When they have done this, put another sweet in the box and ask the second person to do the same. However, they will only be allowed to eat the sweet if they manage to get it out of the box without anyone else in the room seeing them, not even you or the other pupil. This means that even if they turn their back, you should still be able to see what they are doing. They are not allowed to leave the room and must stay in front of you!
It’s not so easy to remove the sweet without anyone seeing when everyone is watching so closely! Give the second pupil the sweet and ask them both to take their seats again.
Imagine that the matchbox we were just using was a mini model of a tomb, where a body would be laid after the person had died. After Jesus was killed, his body was laid in a tomb, a large stone was rolled in front of the entrance (illustrate this by closing the matchbox) and Roman guards were posted outside to keep watch. There was not much chance of anyone getting the body out of the tomb without the guards noticing and stopping them!
When Jesus friends came to visit his tomb a few days after he was killed, the body was gone (illustrate this by opening the empty matchbox). It would have been impossible for someone to steal it without anyone noticing, and a dead body cannot escape on its own!
When his followers discovered the tomb was empty, they remembered something he had told them before his crucifixion, which they had not properly understood.
If you are doing this assembly as part of the series ‘What is Jesus all about?’, refer back to ‘A strange twist’ and recap on the strange series of events that Jesus told his disciples about. You could re-use the visual aid from that assembly to remind pupils that Jesus had told his disciples this would happen.
Jesus had said that he would be killed and then would be brought back to life again, so it is not that surprising that the tomb was empty. He had already shown that he was someone quite amazing when he had performed miracles. Even though he had died, Jesus came back to life, and some of the people who had known him saw him again before he went to be with God in heaven.
You may have heard of this event. Christians call it the resurrection and it is what is celebrated at Easter.
Optional prayer time:
The resurrection is an unbelievable event; pray that we would expect the unbelievable with God!