This assembly looks at the Easter egg and connects this to the Easter story of Jesus. Make sure you don't reveal the purpose of the assembly yet!
You will need 4 Easter eggs. At least one should be a fairly big one and make sure it has some goodies inside the egg before buying it - preferably get one of the range of The Real Easter Egg. These are available from all major supermarkets or direct from the makers.
Also buy a Kinder surprise egg (the one with the toy on the inside) and a Cadburys cream egg. All of these can be broken and used in the assembly. If you can find a fair trade chocolate egg then that will be useful for the end part as well.
Ask for 3 volunteers. Often you'll struggle to get volunteers. So anyone that does come must be super keen or do it for a laugh in front of their mates... Either way, if someone comes up, you give them a ticket each. Then tell them that if they go to reception (or a chosen place) at the end of the day, there will be an Easter egg waiting for each of them.
(Just also be aware of any allergies so buy exclusively chocolate eggs and make sure you say to them to let you know of any allergies. If anyone in school is able to check for you that will also help).
Then they can sit down with a round of applause for volunteering.
The History of the Egg
The history of the painted egg at Easter seems to have various traditions and sources. Across the world, the symbol of an egg being broken has had real meaning. Hinduism has a tradition that is associated with an egg being broken and created earth and sky and Egyptian legends talk about the Phoenix (a mythical bird) living for hundreds of a years and then laying an egg to pass on life.
Among many, the painting of eggs at Easter has a real meaning. Traditionally for Christians, the egg would be painted red to symbolise the blood of Jesus who was crucified on a cross, who died but who then rose again. This is at the heart of Christianity - the truth that Jesus died on the cross, that he paid the price that was owed to pay for the sins of the world and that Jesus rose again and now through that, people can believe in Jesus and have a new start, new life. This is the message of Easter for Christians. It is a message of new life and of hope. The Bible says this:
For God formed Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Easter Egg Thoughts
At Easter, people have a holiday. Did you know that the origin of the word holiday is 'holy day' - a day that is set apart for God.
The Easter egg that we now see in our shops actually points us to the message of Jesus.
(Get out the big Easter egg)
The egg is often wrapped in a packet and in a piece of decorated foil. This attracts you to buying the egg! You're not being attracted to the packaging for the packaging but for what is inside the packaging - the chocolate egg or even what's inside the chocolate egg! This is the real value!
But to stretch the meaning of this, Christians are called to live a life that shows and reflects the life of Jesus who went around doing good, healing all who were sick and bringing life where there was death and hope where people felt there was no hope.
Even if you don't believe in God, as life goes on you will find that life isn't about what you just see on the surface like what people wear or say. But real life is on the inside of you. It's who you are as a person that makes a difference. Many people go through life chasing money, fame or sex. But they are like the Easter egg packaging. It's who you are that will make a difference - your character.
Life and happiness isn't found in what you can get but in what you can give.
(Break the chocolate of the egg - maybe have a dish underneath to catch the chocolate!)
Easter is a time when we remember that Jesus was crucified on a cross (even those who don't believe in God recognise this was a historical fact). The first half of the Bible accurately predicts the death of Jesus and some of the things that happened to him.
To get into an Easter egg and to start eating it, the chocolate layer has to be broken. Unless you swallow an egg whole like a snake, you'll struggle to eat it if it's not broken up!
Before Jesus was killed on the cross, he had a meal with his friends. He got some bread, broke it and they all ate the bread together. Jesus told them that this bread was his body, broken for them.
When Jesus died on the cross, Christians believe that the body of Jesus was broken as an exchange. In his broken body, Jesus took all the evil and death that is in us as humans - and instead Jesus offers us all the good and the life that is in him. Out of the death of Jesus comes life.
Another Bible verse puts it this way, "I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds."
Inside The Egg
(Get and open the Kinder egg)
I used to love Kinder surprise eggs. Even now it's good to eat the egg and then make the toy that is on the inside of the egg! With other Easter eggs, there's often something else inside. In the Cadburys cream egg, there's the sweet cream and in other eggs there is more chocolate - but you have to break the outside bit of the egg to get to the goodies on the inside!
(Break open the Cadburys cream egg)
The inside bit of the egg is like the heart of the egg. Obviously in the animal kingdom, the inside of the egg is where new life is formed, the same as the inside of a woman's womb. It's here that a miracle takes place and all the elements come together and create new life. As a Christian, I find it impossible to believe that the miracle of birth is simply an accident of time and adaptation and not from God!
The Bible says this:
"If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here."
At the heart of the Easter message is a message about new life. It is about Jesus turning things around for people and giving the opportunity to turn bad into good and death into life.
Whether you believe in God, have different beliefs or believe something else, this is what Christians believe about Jesus. Whatever your view, it's a belief that has changed billions of people's lives over time and a message that is still just as relevant today.
This Easter, think about your life and think about your response to the Easter message.
At the very least consider if there are things in your life that you can change to be better or to bring hope and life to other people around you. Is there someone you can do something good for? Is there someone who you can buy an Easter egg for?
Don't be someone who just scoffs down an Easter egg and throws the packet on the floor. Even the simple act of putting the packaging in recycling or buying a Fair Trade Easter egg is one that will make a difference.
Consider getting The Real Easter Egg which will also donate money to charity for every Easter egg sold. As of Easter 2017, over £250,000 had been raised for various charities.
(Show the fair trade egg - with the fair trade chocolate logo on the packaging and explain as necessary).