Note: As well as telling the facts of what happened when Jesus died on the cross the Bible also explains why Jesus died – what god achieved through his death. The theological word is ‘redemption’ – God ‘buying back’ people who were lost to him. It’s a word that was used to describe the process by which people were freed from slavery. When applied to God and humankind it makes clear how precious we are to God – that he would give up his only son to help us.
Jesus often told stories to explain truths about God. The story ‘Dogger’, which is probably well known to infants, is a lovely illustration of this: a child giving up a teddy to get back her brother’s lost precious toy dog. It falls short of what God did for us: Bella didn’t really like the teddy, whereas it cost God dearly to give up Jesus. This assembly attempts to explain what Jesus’ death means, and how precious we are to God.
You will need:
- Dogger by Shirley Hughes, published by Picture Lions/Collins
- You may also want to use a toy dog to illustrate the story
Edit the story to a manageable length.
Most children will be familiar with the story, but tell your edited version, showing the pictures as appropriate. The key points to include are:
- Dogger was very precious to Dave.
- Dave was devastated when Dogger was lost and searched long and hard for him.
- Dave wanted to buy back Dogger as soon as he saw him on the stall.
- By giving up something special Bella was able to reunite Dave with Dogger.
Because Dogger was so precious to Dave, Bella was prepared to give up the teddy bear she had won so that Dave and Dogger could be together.
The Bible says that people were made to have a friendship with God. But the wrong things we do spoil it, and make it as if we are lost.
People who didn’t like Jesus killed him and he died on a cross. But God did something very special. Because we are so precious to God, he used what they did to get us back, like Bella got back Dogger for Dave. So we can be with God for ever.
Actually, Bella didn’t like the teddy all that much, so it wasn’t too hard for her.
The Bible says that God loved Jesus very much, and it must have been very hard for him to let him die. But we are so special that he was willing to do it to get back our friendship.
That’s what Easter is all about: remembering Jesus dying on the cross and how, because of that, we can be with God for ever.
Thank you, God, that we are precious to you. And thank you for Jesus, who shows us just how much you love us.