Egg Race – Easter

Bible base:

John 11:25,26

Aim:

To help students learn more about the meaning of Easter.

Things you’ll need:

  • Three Cadbury’s Creme Eggs (or similar)
  • An advert for Cadbury’s Creme Eggs (or similar)
  • A stopwatch
  • Mini chocolate eggs – enough for one for everyone in the assembly (optional, depending on school and your finances!)

Preparation

Find out, if possible, the current ‘world-record’ for time taken to eat a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, or have a suitable other ‘record’ ready (eg from other schools, youth groups etc visited).

Presentation

1 Ask the students some questions about Easter eggs, for example:

  • Who likes chocolate?
  • How many Easter eggs did you get last year?

2 Show an advert for Creme eggs. Show them a Cadbury’s Creme Egg – hinting that someone in this assembly might get the egg!

3 Tell them the ‘record’ time taken to eat a Creme Egg. Ask if anyone thinks they could beat that.

4 Ask for two volunteers (who like Creme Eggs!). Give them both a Creme Egg and challenge them to see who can eat their egg in the shortest time. Will either of them beat the record?

Use a stop-watch for timing. Make sure that both competitors start at the same time, on your ‘Go!’. Encourage support for both (making sure that both volunteers have support!). You could ask half the audience to support one competitor, and one part the other one. Build up the atmosphere by commentating as the contest develops.

Cheer the winner. Announce the times. Is there a new record? Award the winner another egg as their prize.

Reflection

  1. Comment that it’s great getting – and eating – Easter eggs at Easter, but what’s the point of them? Ask the students to suggest some answers.
  2. Respond to answers given by students. These might include:
  • New life
  • Baby chicks being born
  • Spring/new life beginning
  • Jesus coming back to life.

3 Talk briefly about the answers you receive, making sure that the above are included. Then go on to explain that Christians believe Jesus’ death and resurrection – his coming back to life – mean that forgiveness, new life and the chance to start again are possible for everyone.

Response

1 In a time of quiet, ask students to think about:

  • What does Easter mean to me?
  • Are there any ways in which I need to make a new start?

2 Pray, if appropriate, then wish everyone ‘Happy Easter’!

Optional extra: Tell students that you’re going to give them each a mini-Easter egg as they leave. As they eat it, ask them to think about anything they need forgiveness for, or ways in which they need to make a fresh start. Say that they could even ask God to help them with that. (Make sure you encourage them to put the wrapping in a rubbish bin!)

 

 

Enigmas – Easter

Aim

To show pupils that the only reasonable explanation of the mystery of the empty tomb is that Jesus rose from the dead.

Bible base

  • John 19 – the death and burial of Jesus
  • John 20:1-10; Luke 24:1-12; Matthew 28:1-15 – the empty tomb;
  • John 20:11-29; 21:1-22; Luke 24: 13-53; Matthew 28:16-20 – appearances of Jesus after his resurrection.

You will need:

Either a digital projector & laptop or visual display cards.

Preparation

Prepare display cards or powerpoint for each enigma

Content

Enigmas

1. Explain that you are going to play ‘enigmas’. An enigma is another name for a puzzle or a riddle. You are going to describe some situations. The contestants have to work out how and why those situations have come about. For the sake of time in this assembly, they may only ask a maximum of three questions to which you can answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

2. Ask for six volunteers to make two teams of three people each. Each team takes turns in trying to solve the following ‘enigmas’. Display each ‘enigma’ in turn, so that everyone in the audience has the opportunity to consider them. Here are the ‘enigmas’ (NB: they are quite well known situations, so be prepared for quick answers!):

  • In the middle of a field is a hat, a scarf, a pipe, a carrot and a few lumps of coal. (Answer: A snowman has melted.)
  • A man goes into a pub and asks for a glass of water. The man behind the bar takes out a gun and points it at the man’s head. The man says, ‘Thanks,’ and walks out. Why? (Answer: he had hiccups! The barman frightened him to make the hiccups stop.)
  • A man is pushing a car along. He can see a hotel in the distance and he knows that when he gets there, he’ll have to give the owner of the hotel a lot of money. Why? (Answer: He’s playing Monopoly!)
  • An empty ship is floating in calm waters. It is far from any port and is in no danger of sinking. There is no one on board, there are no signs of a struggle and it hasn’t been reported missing. Why? (Answer: It’s a plastic toy boat in someone’s bath!)

3. Whether the two teams get the answers right ot not, give them all a round of applause and then pose the next situation to the entire audience:

• A cave hollowed out of a rock has been used as a grave. The mystery is – it’s empty. Inside, the sheets which had been wrapped around the body are lying on the floor. Why?

4. Suggest a few questions people might ask in order to solve this ‘enigma’, and follow each with the answer. For example:

  • Did the person really die? (Answer: Yes. He was executed by experts.)
  • Was the body stolen? (Answer: No. The body was never produced.)
  • Did this person appear alive to anyone after his execution and disappearance from his grave? (Answer: Yes, to well over 500 people on various occasions.)

5. Say that the most reasonable explanation for this ‘enigma’ is: this person must have risen from the dead!

Application

  1. Explain that the enigma you have just solved is not a made-up one like the ones in the game earlier. This enigma is actually the key to the Christian faith.
  2. Many people through the centuries have asked many more questions than these about this amazing event. And they have ended up coming to the conclusion that Jesus Christ – the person buried in that grave in the cave – did come back to life from the dead, and he could only do this because he was none other than God himself.

 

An unbelievable event – Easter

Bible base:

Luke 24:1-12

Teaching objectives:

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

Introductory activity:

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!