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#Easter

The Easter story through tweets

by Alexandra Palmer

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To explore the Easter story by using tweets from Jesus; Mary; John the Baptist; Jesus’ disciples, Peter and Judas; and God.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (#Easter) and the means to display them.

  • Prior to the assembly, ask some students to write down a sentence about what comes to their minds when they hear the words ‘spring’ and Easter. If possible, have sentences that include a wide range of ideas, such as the Easter Bunny, Easter eggs, Jesus dying on the cross, hot cross buns, new lambs and daffodils.

Assembly

  1. Show Slide 1.

    Introduce the students who are going to read out their thoughts about what comes to their minds when they hear the words ‘spring’ and Easter.

    Go on to explain that this assembly is going to explain the Easter story through a series of tweets.

  2. Show Slide 2.

    The Easter story starts with Jesus giving up his job as a carpenter. Jesus learnt how to be a carpenter because his father on earth, Joseph, was a carpenter himself. Jesus was 30 years old when he began his special work, which is referred to as his ministry. This work lasted for three years.

    Read out Jesus’ Twitter handle and his tweet.

  3. Show Slide 3.

    Before Jesus started God’s work, he knew that he had to do two things. The first was to get baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist, because Jesus knew that he had to have the blessing of God, his father in heaven. The blessing came as a dove from heaven, with God speaking to say that he was very pleased with his son.

    Read out John’s Twitter handle and his tweet.

  4. Show Slide 4.

    The second thing that Jesus had to do was to spend 40 days in the desert, where he had a really tough time because he was tested by the Devil. God allowed this to happen because it was a time of preparation for the next three years.

    Read out Jesus’ tweet.

  5. Show Slide 5.

    The first miracle that Jesus performed was at a wedding. Back in the time of Jesus, wedding celebrations would normally last several days. It didn’t look good if the families involved in the wedding celebrations ran out of food or wine. However, on this occasion, thats exactly what happened: the wine ran out. Jesus’ mum, Mary, asked Jesus to fix the problem, so he turned water into wine.

    Read out Mary’s Twitter handle and her tweet.

  6. Show Slide 6.

    Jesus chose 12 people to become his disciples so that he could teach them about God. Their names were Simon (later renamed Peter), Andrew, James, John, Philip, Thomas, Matthew, Thaddeus, another James, Simon, Judas and Bartholomew. However, none of them were highly qualified people or priests who already taught about God. They were just ordinary people with ordinary jobs. For example, the Simon who was renamed Peter by Jesus, Andrew, James and John were all fishermen.

    Read out Peter’s Twitter handle and his tweet.

  7. Show Slide 7.

    During the next three years, the disciples would have seen Jesus perform all sorts of miracles such as calming a storm, making the blind see, making the deaf hear and healing the sick.

    Read out Peter’s tweet.

  8. Show Slide 8.

    The day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey is the day that we call Palm Sunday. Back in Jesus time, people wouldn’t have used flags and banners to wave; instead, they would have used leaves from palm trees to cheer Jesus into Jerusalem. They were excited to see him because they had heard about his miracles. However, when Jesus entered Jerusalem, he knew that he was going to die on a cross.

    Read out Jesus’ tweet.

  9. Show Slide 9.

    Judas was cross with Jesus, so he decided to betray him for 30 pieces of silver.

    Read out Judas’ Twitter handle and his tweet.

  10. Show Slide 10.

    Jesus and his disciples gathered to eat the Passover meal. This meal is important for Jewish people because it remembers Moses and the last of the ten plagues sent by God that passed over the Israelite homes in Egypt. The Passover meal is also important for Christians because it was the last meal that Jesus ate before he died on the cross.

    Read out Jesus’ tweet.

    Explain the hashtag #Godswillnotmywill by saying that ‘God’s will, not my will is what Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. He did so because he knew what was going to happen to him and he wanted to do what God had planned for him rather than backing out.

  11. Show Slide 11.

    Before Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, he told Peter that he would end up denying him three times before the cockerel crowed in the morning. This meant that Peter was going to say three times that he didn’t know Jesus. Peter was shocked when Jesus told him this, and said that he would never do it.

    However, on the night that Jesus was arrested, Peter did deny three times that he knew Jesus. When the cockerel crowed the next morning, Peter felt terrible.

    Read out Peter’s tweet.

  12. Show Slide 12.

    Read out Mary’s tweet.

    There are three hashtags on Mary’s message. The first one, #notacriminal, comes from one of the criminals dying on the cross next to Jesus. He realized that Jesus hadn’t done anything wrong and shouldn’t have been there.

    The second hashtag, #heforgavethosewhohurthim, stems from the fact that, when Jesus was on the cross, he forgave the people who had put him there. Christians believe that Jesus forgiveness encompasses all the people who physically hurt him or lied about him, the Jewish priests and Judas, the disciple who betrayed him.

    The third hashtag, #itisfinished, are the words that Jesus said just before he died. These words mean that Jesus had done the job God wanted him to do.

  13. Show Slide 13.

    After Jesus died, his body was taken off the cross and placed in an empty tomb. This is the day that Christians remember as Good Friday. Three days later, Jesus came back to life again, and this is the day that Christians remember as Easter Sunday.

    Read out Mary’s tweet.

  14. Show Slide 14.

    When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, they disobeyed God and ate some fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Christians believe that this is when sin - the things that people do wrong - entered the world. Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross because God wanted to renew his relationship with all people and to forgive them for the things that they do wrong. They believe that Jesus was punished for the wrongs of other people.

    Read out Jesus’ tweet. 

Time for reflection

Ask the students if they can think of anything they would give up to help somebody else. Some ideas might be pocket money, favourite clothes, time, bikes, skateboards or money. Christians believe that God gave up the life of his only son so that he could have a relationship with the world.

Show Slide 15.

It says in the Bible that Jesus returned to heaven after he told his disciples to spread the good news about God.

Read out God’s Twitter handle and his tweet.

Christians believe that God loves everyone in the world. They believe that God’s love is the reason why he allowed Jesus to take the punishment and die on the cross for the things that other people had done and would do wrong.

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for the love that you have for all of us.
Thank you for allowing Jesus to die on the cross for the things that we do wrong today.
Please help us to say sorry for the things that we do wrong and forgive those who have hurt us.
Amen.

Song/music

‘We have a king who rides a donkey’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSbEEwik2hs (2.25 minutes long)

Publication date: April 2019   (Vol.21 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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