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Resurrection plus: Ties and scarves

To help students see how amazing the resurrection of Jesus Christ really was and how the people who first saw it communicated the news and what the response was.

by The Revd John Challis

Suitable for Key Stage 3

Aims

To help students see how amazing the resurrection of Jesus Christ really was and how the people who first saw it communicated the news and what the response was.

Preparation and materials

  • Second-hand lady’s scarf and a gentleman’s tie from a charity shop or similar – it’s going to be cut up, so nothing too special.
  • Two weeks before the assembly, bring one female teacher and one male teacher into your confidence. Headteachers are often the best! Give them the scarf and tie and ask them to occasionally wear the items during the two weeks and then wear them on the day of the assembly.
  • A pair of scissors, either left in the staffroom or other convenient place, but not so it looks obviously set up, and ensure that there is no a danger of the students coming across them. Ideally, prime a member of staff so that, in the assembly, you can ask him or her for the pair of scissors and they can be fetched.

Assembly

  1. Start the assembly as boringly as you can. Waffle on about how wonderful the resurrection of Jesus is. How exciting and amazing it was and so on and so on. When the students look like they’ve lost interest, say that, actually, you have changed your mind. You are not going to deliver the assembly that you had planned and you want to do something more exciting. Say that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was so amazing that it changed the world, so shocking that you want to do something the students will not forget.
  2. Ask the lady teacher you agreed it with beforehand if you can borrow her scarf and ask the other member of staff to get a pair of scissors. Then, while the member of staff goes to find the scissors, talk about just how shocking Jesus’ resurrection was to those who saw it at that time, how the witnesses went and told as many people as they could.
  3. When the member of staff comes back with the scissors, the students will be reasonably wound up by the excitement and anticipation of wondering what you might do, so do not keep them waiting to long – you can play along with them a little, though. Maybe ask two students to hold the scarf, one at each end. Then, simply cut the scarf in two. Say, ‘Now that was shocking!’ Wait for a moment and then say, ‘Some of you are already doubting and thinking that this is a trick.’
  4. Walk over to the male teacher and cut his tie in half. Bring the pieces back to the front and say, ‘Now, I can tell you are shocked, so you have the same feeling that the people in Jesus’ time had of just how shocking the resurrection was.’
  5. Tie the pieces of the scarf back together and give it back to the first teacher, making an apology. Say sorry to the teacher who now only has half a tie, too.
  6. Then, say, ‘Today, when you go home, tell your family what you saw here. Some people in your family will believe you and ask you questions to understand what you witnessed and join in with this surprising event. Some people will not believe you. Try as you might to tell them what you witnessed, they still will not believe you. Some people, when they come in to school, will ask the teachers if what you said was true. So, think about how the first people who saw Jesus raised from the dead must have felt. Some believed just because they were told, others needed proof and still others said that it could not have happened.
  7. Christians believe because generations have read the Bible, which is a record of the news written down by those who saw it and wanted all of us to know it, too. We don’t need to have seen it ourselves to believe. The resurrection was so shocking it changed the world.
  8. Note that, often, this assembly makes such an impression, it is never forgotten. I have hung up in school the cut pieces of scarf and tie. At the end of term assembly, the families of students have approached me and said, ‘So you really did cut the scarf and tie.’ This gives you another chance to say something about why we do not need to see to believe and trust the Bible.’

Time for reflection

Sometimes people do not believe us even when we know that what we have seen is true. Also, sometimes we have to learn to trust other people when they tell us something, no matter how shocking it is and disbelieving we are. Learning to have trust and faith is something we can spend our whole lives doing. Seeing does not just mean believing. Believing is also because we know what we are being told is the truth. 

Prayer
Jesus,
your resurrection changed the world.
Help us who have not seen it to trust and believe in the words of those who did.
As we tell others of our faith, open their hearts to see that you died, rose from the dead and will come again.
Amen.

Hymn

‘Now the green blade rises’ (Come and Praise, 131)

Publication date: June 2013   (Vol.15 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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