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The Empty Box

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Theme:  The end of the Easter story is a happy one for Christians

Story (Bible reference):  The Easter Story – The empty Tomb (Matthew 28 1-10)

Key Stage Relevance:  KS1 & KS2

Resources: 

All your previous boxes from the term’s assemblies (if this is too difficult, then pictures will suffice). 

A large upturned cardboard box

Items to turn the outside of the box into the scene of the easter story:

  • Repositionable spray glue  (or blu tack) 
  • Blue card cut to shape of box, with yellow sun in corner 
  • Green card cut to shape of a hill (x2), one rising to each side of box.
  • Grey card cut to shape of rock to cover tomb
  • Black silhouettes of two ladies, tomb and a cross
  • Yellow silhouette of angel. E.g. 

 Empty tomb 2 Empty tomb 3

 Empty tomb4 Empty tomb5

 Empty tomb6 Empty tomb7

Empty tomb8 Empty tomb9

Alternatively, use the pictures provided in a PowerPoint presentation:

Introduction:  

As you begin the assembly, play some music and slowly take out all the boxes from the previous stories. Do this in silence so children can reflect to themselves about the stories. At the end, set out the final box… the empty box.

Say good morning to the children as you usually would. Say “Here is the box for today. Oh… It is empty!  I wonder what story this could be about.”

Look at the boxes. Ask some of them to tell you which story they liked the best. Remind them that each of these stories was a parable, told by Jesus. They are stories with meanings. Ask children to share one thing they have learnt from a story this term. (This could be done in pairs, giving 30 seconds to turn to the person next to them and share with each other. Then, ask children to tell you what their friend thought was best/had learnt etc. Do check with the teacher in charge before doing so, and agree the best way of getting all the children to come back together.)

This is the last assembly of term. As you know, it is nearly Easter which is the time when Christians think especially about the end of Jesus’ time on Earth. Today’s story is not a parable – parables were made up by Jesus, this story is one that Christians believe actually happened to Jesus and is true. A lot of Jesus’ stories have happy endings, though not all, and the Easter story has a happy ending… although in some ways, it hasn’t ended yet!

Main Content:  

Tell the story of Easter, using the following script, and building up the scene on your box as you go. Again, you might like to put some reflective music on in the background.

The Empty Tomb

(1. Sky) As the sun came up on another bright Jerusalem morning, Mary and her friend did not feel so sunny. In fact, they had never felt more miserable in their lives. They walked along the road to the outskirts of town hearing the cockerels crowing and the crickets chirping. ‘They wouldn’t be so lively if they knew what had happened.’ thought Mary. 

(2. Hill a) The hillside they passed seemed to stand a little lower today. Perhaps it was aware of the awful thing that had happened there just a few days before. Perhaps, like the ladies, the hill was sad at the sight of the empty wooden cross that stood at its peak. 

(3. Cross) For it was here, that Jesus, Mary’s teacher and friend had died, on that very cross.

The ladies continued past the first hill to another, (4. Hill b) looking for the place where Jesus’ body had been taken. They had seen the tomb before. A small cave, with a huge stone in front and soldiers outside. (5. Stone) 

But this time, as they arrived something was different… The soldiers were gone and the stone had moved. An angel was there, standing by the tomb. (6. Angel) He was tall, and shone like the sun.

“Don’t be afraid.” Said the angel. “I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. But he is not here. He has come back alive just as he said he would. Come and see the tomb. It is empty. And go quickly and tell his followers, ‘Jesus has risen from the dead. He is going into Galilee ahead of you, and you will see him there.’” 

The women left the tomb quickly. They were afraid, but they were also very happy. They ran to tell Jesus’ followers what had happened. Suddenly, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings.” The women came up to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my followers to go on to Galilee, and they will see me there.”

Mary and her friend left to tell Jesus’ followers about Jesus. (Remove ladies). The angel went and did other ‘angelly’ things. (Remove angel). As time went by, the empty cross and the empty tomb faded away. (Remove cross and tomb, leaving just the hill and the sky). But that same sun that rose on that morning carried on shining, the stories that Jesus told keep being heard, and as Christians would say, Jesus has carried on living. In fact, Christians would say, that this story is not finished yet and the best ending is yet to come!

Adapted from Matthew 28 by Steve Palmer © Spinnaker Trust Ltd 2012

Reflection: 

Dear God,

As we think back on this term we have learnt lots. We have heard a lot of stories. Help us to listen to what these stories have to say to us. Help us to act on what we hear, so that the stories carry on living in us.

Amen

   
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