Object Lesson

Theme: Christ's Resurrection

The Tomb Was Empty
(Contrary to what the women expected)


I began by talking about the women who came to the tomb with their spices in order to anoint the body of Jesus.  I printed out some pictures of these women from the internet as illustrations.  I asked the class this question:  What were these women expecting to find?   Since they were coming to anoint the body of Jesus (Mark 16:1) it was obvious that they were expecting to find His dead body in the tomb.

I then showed the class three objects:

1) A sealed cereal box.   What do you expect to find in this box?   (cereal)

2)  An unopened can of black olives.  What do you expect to find in this can?  (black olives)

3)  An unbroken egg.  What do you expect to find in this egg?  (the yoke and white of the egg in its gooey, liquid form)

Prior to class I had prepared these three items as follows:

1)  The cereal box.  I carefully opened the box and removed all cereal from the bag.  I then put some popcorn into the box so that the box would have some weight and sound like cereal, and put the empty bag back into the box.  I glued the top of the box so that it seemed to have never been opened.

2)  The can of olives.  I carefully removed the label from the can, and drilled a hole into the side of the can and then widened the hole with a jig saw (or reciprocating saw or some other tool that would cut through this thin sheet of metal) so it was big enough for the olives to come out.  I emptied the can of all olives and all liquid, then put duct tape over the hole and carefully put the label back on the can, gluing it in place.

3)  The egg.  I took a needle and put a hole in each end of the egg.  If necessary one can move the needle around to make the hole slightly bigger.  Then I took a paper clip and opened it up and stuck it into the egg and moved it around so as to stir the egg yoke (break it up).  Then I blew into one hole as the gooey stuff came out of the other end (if you have trouble with this, make the holes slightly bigger).  Once the contents were empty, I ran water over the holes to let some water into the egg so as to clean out the egg, and then I blew out all the water in the same way.  I put a little putty to cover the holes, although this may not be necessary because if you hold the egg with your fingers covering the holes, the children will never see the holes.

Then the fun part.  I first let one of the children open the cereal box and he discovered that there was no cereal in the box at all, just an empty bag.  I then showed the children the can of olives.  They could see that the bottom of the can had not been opened and they could see the same looking at the top of the can.  The can I used did not require a can opener, but had a ring on top that you could pull.  So I pulled the ring, opened the top of the can and showed the children that the can was empty.  Not what they expected. [I did not let a child open the can because the child would have been able to tell from its weight that it was empty.]  Then I took the egg out of an egg carton and broke it in front of the children and they were amazed to find it totally empty!  [I also did not let a child crack the egg open because if they held the egg they would know from its weight that it was empty.]

I then reminded the class about the women who came to the tomb expecting to find the dead body of Jesus, but instead found the tomb to be empty.  It was not what they expected!  It was a joyous surprise!  Talk about these women and the Biblical account with as much detail as desired.

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