Inspector Clueless
       
An Interactive Celebration

                       by Cheril Seidel

 

 
 

This skit was originally created for an Easter Family Breakfast event at Cheril's church. However, it may be used as an interactive celebration throughout the year! It is always a great time to celebrate and remember the Resurrected Christ!

Suitable for Grades 1-6, or Grades 3-6

The interactive celebration will work with the breakfast or as a stand alone program. Holding the breakfast first, however, works well to relax families and prepares them to work in groups afterwards.

This celebration was designed to be held the Sunday before Easter. Like many Sunday Schools, we have inadequate funds, so we put a sliding scale charge on the breakfast to defray most of the cost without making it too expensive for larger families. We offered a hot breakfast with a set menu, and I'm sure that this (as well as our prayers) helped draw parents out so early on a Sunday morning.

We are blessed to have a couple who help us with catering for special Sunday School events. We also invited last year's 6th grade graduates-plus some from 2 years ago-to act as waiters. Every Young Person (YP) we invited came, worked hard, and enjoyed themselves. This is a wonderful way to introduce them to service. The result was efficient service and hot food on the tables.

Following the breakfast, parents took their seats to another room, then seated themselves in adjoining semi circles around the room, while the children sit on the floor in front of them. We divided the parents into five groups to provide one 'witness' from each group.

Note: the song I Believe was taught for two Sundays in advance of this occasion.

Approximate Duration of full Program

Breakfast: 45 minutes

Interactive Program: 45-60 minutes

Interactive program

Songs: God's not Dead
I Believe (Nan Gurley)

Interactive family search:

Task: parents interact with their children to locate the statement of a given witness from a set Bible passage in the Resurrection story. (see full instruction below)

Story Presentation: Believe it or not! (or There's Nobody There!)

Response: song: I Believe

Family Group Activity: R E S U R R E C T I O N

Prayer & Close

Interactive Family Search

Group 1

Use these clues to find the evidence.

Time: 10 minutes at the outside

Groups: break families into 5 groups

Materials: Good News Bibles for each group;
5 x numbered clues (1 for each group) to the evidence (a Bible reference).

Inspector Clueless needs witnesses who saw what happened before he can solve the case of 'the disappearing body'.

Group Task

Each family group is asked to find the witness 'statement' in the Bible reference that you have been given.

This will be an easy task for adults, so would you please help the children to work with you towards a solution.

Would you please choose one member of your group who can read your evidence quickly, confidently and loudly (this could be an adult or older child).

The nominated reader will present the group evidence (Bible verse) when it is asked for by number throughout the story.

Cue cards displaying the number will be held up at points throughout the story.
Please be sure of your number, watch out for your cue card, and be listening for key words in the story, eg 'angel', 'Peter', 'disciples', 'Jesus (x 2)',

You are Witness 1: ' What the angel said '

Your clue is found in Matthew 28:1-7a

Group 2

(Content as above)

You are Witness 2 'What Jesus said to the ladies.
Your clue is found in Matthew 28: 1-10

Group 3

(Content as above)

You are Witness 3: 'What Peter saw at the tomb'.
Your clue is found in Luke 24:1-12

Group 4

(Content as above)

You are Witness 4: 'What Jesus proved to the disciples - first account only'

Your clue is found in Luke 24:36-39 (first piece of evidence)

Group 5

(Content as above)

You are Witness 5: 'Jesus and the disciples' (2nd and last piece of evidence).

Your clue is found in Luke 24:36-43

Figure 1

Sample Cue card

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There's No body There! (or Believe it or Not!)

A Resurrection Story Presentation

Props: an old sheet with a large entrance hole in it and hung over chairs could be used, or any designated area that can be 'marked out'. Imagination will do the rest.

Inspector Clueless: Dressed in trench coat, hat/cap, (etc for disguise). He carries an outsized magnifying glass, an outsized notebook & pen, tape for marking out the crime scene, and anything else that might add to the role.

Story Teller: One small writing table, 2 sheets of blank paper, and two colored jumbo marker pens. A copy of Ripley's Believe it or Not (or copied page); Bible and 5 cue cards with large numbers.

Note: Words in bold type are terms that that are used to describe Easter in the RESURRECTION alliteration activity at the end of the program. (See below).

Story Objective: John 20:31:

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you might have life in his name.

Main Bible passages: Matthew 28:1-10; Luke 24:36-48; Acts 1:11

Explanation: it is planned to follow this story with Acts 2: 1-47 The Coming Of The Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday. It is expected that at this time an appeal will be given.

Focus

Leader (sits at a table and practices writing with two hands at the same time, finally giving up in disgust).

Oh, I'll never be able to write with two hands at once! Look at this, it's terrible! But I know of a man who could. His name was James A Garfield, and a long time ago he was a President of the U S A. He could even write in two different languages at the same time. He wrote Greek with one hand, and Latin with the other. That's hard to believe isn't it? But I know that it is true because I read it in Ripley's Believe it or Not! Perhaps you have seen that show on TV. But in our everyday lives, what usually makes us believe that something is true. Yes, seeing it for ourselves! Or a reliable person could tell you, or read a reliable book(Suddenly she is interrupted by 'Inspector Clueless' who barges into the room rather rudely and begins searching around for clues.)

The search for witnesses

Leader (surprised) (taps Clueless on shoulder)

Excuse me! Excuse me! Who are you? What are you doing here?

Inspector Clueless (draws himself up importantly and looks around)

I am Inspector Clueless of the Jerusalem police. I'm here to investigate the case of the 'disappearing body'! Now, where did it go? And, how did it go?

Leader (puzzled)

Whose body are you talking about?

Inspector Clueless (impatiently, and counting off the facts on his fingers) (cynically)

Jesus' body of course. § We know that Jesus died on the cross on Friday § that he was buried in this tomb. § That a huge stone was then rolled over the entrance. § The soldiers sealed up the tomb so that no one could get in-or out! But on the morning of the 3rd day -that's Sunday-the guards rushed back to headquarters shouting, "There's nobody there! There's no body there. Then they gabbled on about an earthquake, and angels and … next thing they knew, the stone had been rolled away and the tomb was empty! We didn't know what to believe, but when the chief priests heard this story they came in a big hurry I can tell you. They ordered the guards to say that Jesus' disciples came in the night and stole the body.

Leader (with understanding)

Aaah1…But you don't seem to believe them!

Inspector Clueless (confidentially) (darkly) (thoughtfully)

Of course not? How could those disciples get past our armed guards! Why, it would have taken Samson to move that stone. There's something else! The chief priest bribed those guards. He gave them a bag stuffed full of money-more money than those poor soldiers had ever owned in their lives before! After that the guards were willing to say anything that would keep them out of trouble. There's something fishy going on here! Jesus was a good man & he didn’t deserve to die-and now, this! If only I could find some witnesses who really saw what happened

Leader (surprised)

But there are witnesses-lots of them. There's no body in the tomb because Jesus is alive!

Inspector Clueless (incredulously)

Alive?! Witnesses?! But can we believe them. Are they reliable-?!

Leader (thumbs through Gospels one-by-one)

Oh yes! They saw everything with their own eyes-some of them even touched Jesus. Look, I have copies of their written statements here. There's Matthew's, Mark's, Luke's, and John's. You can read them for yourself.

Inspector Clueless (curious)

What did they say happened?

Jesus is Alive!

Leader (takes a seat and invites Inspector Clueless to do the same)

Mary Magdalene and some of the other women, they had been friends of Jesus, went to visit the tomb early on Sunday morning. They wanted to rub perfumed ointment into his body- that was their custom. And this was the last thing they could do to show how much they had loved Jesus. Suddenly a rumbling noise filled the air, the ground shook under their feet, and rocks pelted down the hillside where the cave tomb was. It was a violent earthquake! A gleaming angel appeared, rolled the stone away-and sat on it (piece of cake!). Do you know what those tough, muscle-bound guards did? They got such a shock that they fell flat on the ground-unconscious! The angel turned and spoke to the terrified women. Listen to what he said!

Witness 1 (Lk 24:5-6) Show cue card #1

"You must not be afraid," he said. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has been raised, just as he said. Come here and see the place where he was lying. Go quickly, now, and tell his disciples…

Leader

The ladies started off to tell the disciples, but on the way a man stopped and spoke to them …

Witness 2 (Mt 28:8-9) Show cue card #2

Suddenly Jesus met them and said, "Peace be with you." They came up to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Do not be afraid: Go and tell my brothers…

Leader

The women were thrilled to see their Lord again, but they ran for all they were worth and told the disciples, " Jesus is alive, we've seen him. Did those disciples believe them? No, they thought they were talking nonsense. But Peter decided to find out for himself.

Inspector Clueless

And what did he find?

Witness 3 (Lk 24:12) Show cue card #3

But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; he bent down and saw the linen wrappings but nothing else. Then he went back home amazed at what had happened.

Inspector Clueless (puzzled)

How could the burial clothes stay in place with nobody in them? But Peter didn’t see Jesus, did he?

Leader

Not then, but he certainly did later.

Inspector Clueless (reviews notes)

Hmm! So far that’s some of the ladies and Peter… Oh, I don't know! This is all a bit hard to believe…

Leader (eagerly)

The disciples thought so too. They wouldn’t believe the most reliable witnesses until Jesus came to visit them. The disciples were hiding out from the Jewish leaders. The doors were closed tight, when Jesus suddenly appeared-right there in the room with them. The disciples were terrified! Nobody could get through closed doors unless he was a… What do you think they thought Jesus was? Yes, a ghost! Jesus knew this so he said:

Witness 4 (Luke 24:39) Show cue card #4

“Look at my hands and my feet, and see that it is I myself. Feel me, and you will know, for a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you can see I have.”

Leader

What was so special about Jesus' hands and feet? Yes, he had nail marks from the cross.

Inspector Clueless (very excitedly)

So now the disciples believed, right?

Leader

Wrong! This time it seemed to good to be true! So Jesus asked them to do one more thing…

Witness 5 (Luke 24:41b-43

"Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of cooked fish, which he took and ate in their presence.

Inspector Clueless (humorously)

If he had been a ghost the food would have floated right through him. Only a real, live person can eat food!

Leader

Exactly! That's what finally made the disciples believe that Jesus was alive-God had raised him from the dead. Jesus was God's own dear Son and their Savior. "You're such a stubborn lot," Jesus scolded them. Why did it take you so long to believe me? Didn't I tell you that I was going to die and come back to life after 3 days? I suffered on the cross for what you have done wrong. That's the only way that you could be forgiven for your sins. Now, I'm sending you to tell everyone, "God will forgive your sins too-if, you are sorry for going your own way, and will go Jesus' way from now on."

Inspector Clueless (convinced at last) (suddenly thinks)

This is incredible news, Jesus really is alive! That's why there was no body there… But if He is alive, where is he now?

Leader

Can any of you children tell him? He's in heaven! But did you know that Jesus stayed on earth for another 6 weeks. During that time he visited hundreds of his friends. But the day came when Jesus led his disciples up the Mt of Olives-that's near Jerusalem. While they were still talking, Jesus was taken up into heaven-right before the disciples' eyes. They watched and watched him until he was covered with cloud and they couldn't see him any more. He had gone home to his Father. But before the disciples had time to miss him, two more angels arrived with another message. "Jesus Christ will return. He'll come back the same way you saw him go, but this time he will take his friends to live with him forever. Now get going, and share this incredible news with everyone you meet". And they did! And so this exciting news spread right around the world. Now people like us-mums and dads, boys & girls-can believe that Jesus died for our sins, and is alive-forever!. ©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©

Debrief

(Briefly thank Inspector Clueless for his help. He exits room)

Jesus offers us Life

Display flash card showing verse Display flash cards showing the italicized summaries.

The story about the Resurrection, is the most amazing story of all-and it's true! How do we know it is true? Because many reliable witnesses saw Jesus for themselves, and they wrote it down so that we could believe it too. Listen to what the disciple John said at the end of his gospel: But these [stories/evidence] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:31 NIV) Jesus is alive, and he promises to share his special eternal life with us if we believe and trust him. (Optional ending) * How can we believe or trust him? § First, we need to believe that Jesus suffered and died on the cross to take our punishment. We deserve it for going our own way instead of God's. This includes me, you, you, each of the Mums and Dads, (etc). § Next, we need to be truly sorry for going our own way, and § we want to go God's way from now on. If we do these things, God promises that § He will forgive us our sins and give us a new start § He will share His special, eternal life with us. Then we will be God's friends again; friends who will love and please him forever. (This ending could conclude with an appeal if desired)

Response: Sing I Believe

There are two different approaches to Christian Story telling:

That the story, should convey the intended outcome through its structure, eg constant references to Believing v unbelieving. The story then should be brought to a swift, decisive, and satisfying conclusion as in all good story telling. The Gospels themselves use this method. The story-teller is relying on the work of the Holy Spirit-the Spirit of Truth-to apply the meaning and change lives.

That people need to be called to decision, eg Elijah on Mt Carmel: Choose today…, so we should always call for decision.

It may well be that we should use both of these methods-appropriately. If the power of the story would be pushed into the background by an extended application, then perhaps the method ought to be in favor of the swift ending approach.

I would agree, however, that opportunities for decision must be given from time-to-time.

Family group Alliteration Activity (use if you have enough time)

Materials: 5 large sheets of clean news paper, a set of colored markers for each group; I sample sheet with the letters of the word written vertically down the page. 

Instructions: show the sample page, and ask each group to:

List the letters of the word R E S U R R E C T I O N as shown in the sample.

Use each given letter to complete a word that was used in the Easter story. 

Ask one representative from each group to hold up their results so that groups can compare them.

Copyright 2002 Cheril Seidel * cda@alphalink.com.au

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