Symbols of the Resurrection

This article is from Issue 34 of “On The Move,” a publication of new learning possibilities for churches, at one time published by The Joint Board of Christian Education of Australia and New Zealand.
Although some ideas and liturgies may appear somewhat “dated” in style, concept, imagery or language, they may nevertheless offer a spring-board for new ideas among people who find themselves leading worship, perhaps in a new context, and with some trepidation.
Reproduced by permission. May be reprinted for use in local congregations only.


In the opening segment of our 8.30 a.m. Holy Communion Service, the children brought symbols of the resurrection forward, handed them to the minister to be placed on the table in the sanctuary, and read statements describing their significance:

THE JARS (Suitable jars to symbolise the spices and ointments used to embalm a body for burial)
These jars of spices and ointments remind us that very early on Easter Day some women came to the tomb to prepare Jesus body for proper burial. The women were the first to hear the good news of Christs resurrection.

THE STONE (A round flat slab of stone about 40 cm diam. was placed on a heavy-duty wire stand to give vertical visual impact.)
This stone reminds us that on the resurrection morning, the stone which sealed the tomb was rolled away. The Christ was ready to greet his people.

THE SHROUD (A white sheet folded to drape over a corner of the table.)
This shroud reminds us of the cloth in which they wrapped the body of Jesus for hasty burial just before the Sabbath began. On Easter morning it was found empty, lying in the tomb where Christs body had been placed.

THE FLOWERS (A vase of white flowers to represent the resurrection)
These flowers help us to rem ember that Jesus was buried in a borrowed grave in a garden. It was in that garden that Mary Magdalene was the first to meet the risen Christ. Until he spoke her name, she thought he was the gardener.

THE BREAD (Two round homemade wholemeal loaves with a cross on them were presented in a white-cloth-lined wicker basket.)
This bread reminds us that on the first Easter evening Jesus walked and talked with two of his followers on the road to Emmaus. It was not until he broke the bread with them at the meal table that they recognised who he was. Overcome with joy, they raced back to Jerusalem to share the good news of the risen Christ with the disciples.

THE WINE (A glass chalice and the Communion trays were brought forward)
This wine, representing Christs blood, helps us to remember that Jesus died for our sins and that through his death and resurrection we are put right with God and each other.

When we share the bread and wine in Communion, God graciously strengthens our love for him.

THE BIBLE (The large Bible from the Communion table was brought forward)
This book gives unique witness to Jesus Christ the living Word of God. From its pages we read of Gods power over sin and death by raising Christ from the grave, and of his invitation to share that victory.

THE CROSS (The large rough sawn cross was left in the church from Good Friday, so the reader pointed to the cross as he read.)
The cross you see is an empty cross. Jesus is not dead. He is risen! This empty cross is our constant reminder that not even such a cruel death could defeat Gods love for us.

THE CANDLE (A large homemade candle in a wooden bowl)
Christ is Risen! He is risen from the dead! Hallelujah! The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out. This candle reminds us that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. May his light so shine in our lives this Easter day that we may ever share in his victory over sin and death.

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