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The Easter story

To consider the Easter story and its importance in Christian religion.

by Jenny Tuxford

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To consider the Easter story and its importance in Christian religion.

Preparation and Materials

  • Make sure that the children are familiar with the events of Easter. They can be found in Matthew chapters 26–28. Discuss it with the children; talk about the idea that Christmas preparations last for months and the festivities dominate our thinking, but Easter is the oldest and most important Christian festival. It is a time when we celebrate the death and coming to life again of Jesus Christ. The dawn of Easter Sunday, with its message of new life, is the high point of the Christian year.
  • The Easter story is a sad one, but it has a happy ending, because Jesus came back to life and then went up to heaven to be with God, his Father.
  • The poem may be divided into sections and the lines spoken by individual children, or groups of children.
  • The poem would also work well as a class drama. Allocate the speaking parts, or have a group of narrators while children mime the story as the poem is read.

Assembly

The Easter Story

1.
In Jerusalem city at Passover time
Some men were plotting a hideous crime.
They didn’t need motives and reasons why,
They were jealous; they decided that Jesus must die.
‘We must wait,’ said a scribe. ‘We won’t kill him yet.
His friends might become just a little upset.’

2.
Now, Judas Iscariot – a friend he was not,
Decided to help with the murderous plot.
He said to a scribe, ‘Tell me what will you do
If I point out Jesus of Nazareth to you?’
Then Judas’s eyes went all glittery with greed.
‘Well,’ whispered the scribe, ‘we’d be grateful indeed.
Thirty pieces of silver are heading your way.
Have we got a deal? Now what do you say?’

3.

That evening the disciples were going to meet
For they would be joining with Jesus, to eat.
Jesus prayed, then broke and blessed the bread.
He handed it out, then solemnly said,
‘When you eat this and drink, then remember me,
For certain things are meant to be.
We’ve taught together and healed and prayed,
But soon I am certain to be betrayed.’

4.
‘Oh no!’ cried one. ‘That couldn’t possibly be.’
‘I agree,’ said another, ‘so don’t look at me!’
Then, later on, at the end of the day,
They went to a peaceful garden to pray.
But who should appear to banish the calm,
But Judas and armed men who meant Jesus harm.

5.
‘Look,’ whispered Judas, ‘and take note of this,
For the man that you want I shall greet with a kiss.’
Being Jesus, he wasn’t prepared to fight,
So they carried him off like a thief in the night.
Then they asked him questions and brought out their spies
To make accusations and tell terrible lies.
Herod said, ‘Is he guilty, crowd? What do you say?’
‘Of course!’ they replied. ‘You must lock him away.’

6.
When Judas found out he was sad as can be
And he went and hanged himself from a tree.)

7.
Now at this time of year a custom decreed
That mercy be shown and one prisoner freed.
When Pilate called out, the crowd all agreed:
Barabbas, not Jesus, they thought should be freed.

8.
Jesus was whipped – he was nearly dead,
But they still put a crown of thorns on his head.
Having caused such pain, were they satisfied?
No, they took him away to be crucified.

9.
A man called Simon was there on that day
And he carried the cross for part of the way.

10.
Jesus didn’t have much – some clothes, not a lot,
But the soldiers drew lots to see who would get what.
And the people mocked him and gave out the news,
‘Here he is, everybody – this King of the Jews.’

11.
Next to Jesus a criminal hung either side.
‘Get down, why don’t you?’ one of them cried.
But the other was sad to see Jesus there
And Jesus could feel his utter despair.
When he said, ‘We are guilty! We’re paying the price.’
Jesus said, ‘Today you’ll be with me in paradise.’
What a horrible death to be thus crucified,
But at last came the hour when poor Jesus died.

12.
When he did die, the temple veil tore clean in two.
He said, ‘Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they do.’
It went dark, the earth shook and when it was done,
One soldier cried out, ‘Truly this was God’s Son.’

13.
Later, a man came to where Jesus lay
And wrapped him in linen and took him away.
He owned a tomb, so he took Jesus there.
And he laid him to rest with love and great care.

14.
When Mary Magdalene visited after two days
She found the guard gone and the stone rolled away!
Then she saw another astonishing sight:
A stranger – a young man who was dressed all in white.
‘Mary,’ he said, ‘Praise to God now be given,
For Love’s conquered Death. The Master has risen.’

15.
The disciples met with him. This time he said,
‘My destiny was to return from the dead.
As yours is to go bravely into the world,
To teach people forgiveness and pass on God’s word.’

Time for reflection

(Hold the final tableau during the prayer.)

Dear Father God,

Thank you for sending us your Son

And for giving hope to everyone. 

Amen.

Song / Music

‘The angel rolled the stone away’ (Sing to God)

‘Lord of the dance’ (Come and Praise, 22)

Publication date: 2010
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