.          all rights belong to Tanis Harms, © 2015
.             refer to
www.church-skits.com

THE EASTER STORY – written by Tanis Harms

TOPIC:       Jesus death and resurrection
SCRIPTURE:   Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
STYLE:       drama/conversation: a mother tells her child
.            the story of Easter, which contains
.            vignettes of the various aspects of events.

SET          CAST                           PROPS
Stage R:     MOM, CHILD                     chair, Bible
Center V1:   JOHN THE BAPTIST, CROWD,
.            MAN 1-2, WOMAN 1, PHARISEES 1-2
Center V2:   WOMAN 1-4
Center V3:   SAMARITAN WOMAN, HUSBAND, WIFE
Center V4:   NICODEMUS, WIFE
Center V5:   MAN 1-4
Center V6:   CROWD, MAN 1-3, WOMAN 1-2      palm branches
Center V7:   MAN 1-3
Center V8:   MAN 1-4
Center V9:   MAN 1-4, WOMAN 1-3

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SCRIPT:                 STAGE RIGHT

(MOM sits and reads the Bible.  CHILD enters.)

CHILD    What are you reading?

MOM      (teasing a little)  The Bible.

CHILD    (rolls eyes as this is very obvious)
.        Mooommmm!  Which PART are you reading?

MOM      (looking up)  The part where Jesus dies -

CHILD    Oh, the Easter Story!  Can you tell it to me?

(CHILD sits down beside MOM.)

MOM      Of course I can.  

CHILD    Like, so I want to know the whole story.

MOM      Ahhhh-
.                                                       2
CHILD    (quickly)  I already know how Jesus was born.
.        That was the Christmas story.  I just want
.        to know what comes after that.

(MOM looks a little stunned, not knowing where to start.)

CHILD    Please?

MOM      Of course, of course.  I’m just thinking.
.        Well, just like the Christmas story –
.        which is found in two different books
.        of the Bible, the Easter story is in
.        all FOUR gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
.        Each book has a slightly different theme –
.        or purpose – but they all tell the exact
.        same story.

CHILD    Oh, it’s kind of like when you and Dad
.        tell us stories of your camping trip.
.        YOU like to talk about how you managed to cook
.        out in the wilderness even though
.        it was pouring rain, and Dad likes to talk about
.        how much you looked like a drenched cat-

MOM      (dryly)  Yes-yes-yes – exactly like that.

CHILD    (correcting self)  A CUTE drenched cat.

MOM      Nice save, thank you.  (changes the subject)
.        Now, the Easter story begins in the
.        gospel of Matthew –

CHILD    What does “gospel” mean?

MOM      Actually, that’s an excellent question.
.        “Gospel” means “good news”.
.        So we know from the Christmas story
.        that Jesus was born for a wonderful reason.
.        He was born in Bethlehem,
.        but He grew up in Nazareth,
.        and lived the life of a carpenter until
.        He was around 30 years old.  Then it was
.        time to start His ministry - to start letting
.        people know that He was the Son of God.

(CHILD scrunches up face, trying to think.)

MOM      Trying to imagine the story?

CHILD    Yes.                                          3

MOM      To help prepare the people for Jesus’ ministry,
.        God used the prophet named John the Baptist.

.                       CENTER STAGE
.                        VIGNETTE 1

(JOHN THE BAPTIST stands in the middle.
CROWDS squeeze in around him from the back and sides,
but JOHN THE BAPTIST speaks to the congregation
as if they are also part of the crowd.)

J.T.B.   Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
.        Make ready the way of the Lord,
.        make His paths straight
.        Every ravine will be filled,
.        and every mountain and hill will be brought low;
.        the crooked will become straight,
.        and the rough roads smooth;
.        and all flesh will see the salvation of God.
.        Repent and be baptized.

MAN 1    (to MAN 2)  He must be speaking about
.        our Messiah.

MAN 2    (to MAN 1)  I have never heard a message
.        like this.

(PHARISEES 1 & 2 haughtily push PEOPLE aside and step up
to JOHN THE BAPTIST.)

P1       We are here to be baptized.

J.T.B.   You brood of vipers, who warned you
.        to run from the wrath to come?  You
.        must bear fruit in keeping with repentance;
.        and do not suppose that you can say to
.        yourselves, “We have Abraham for our father;”
.        for I say to you that from these stones
.        God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
.        The axe is already laid at the root
.        of the trees;  therefore every tree that
.        does not bear good fruit is cut down and
.        thrown into the fire.

(PHARISEES take an indignant step backwards.  People look
from the PHARISEES to JOHN THE BAPTIST questioningly.)

MAN 1    Then what shall we do?
.                                                      4
J.T.B.   The man who has two tunics is to share
.        with him who has none and he who has food
.        is to do likewise.

(CROWD mutters to each other.)

MAN 2    Maybe THIS man is the Christ.

J.T.B.   As for me, I baptize you with water;
.        but One is coming who is mightier than I,
.        and I am not fit to untie His sandals;  He
.        will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

(CROWD mutters again.)

MAN 1    You have seen Him?

MAN 2    You have seen the Christ?

WOMAN 1  Who is He?

(PHARISEES are ready to leave, but stop, curious.)

J.T.B.   I have seen Him already.
.        His name is Jesus.
.        And when He came to me to be baptized, I told
.        Jesus that I needed to be baptized by HIM,
.        but He told me to permit it at this time –
.        to fulfill all righteousness.
.        And behold, right after I had baptized Jesus,
.        the heavens were opened,
.        and I saw the Spirit of God
.        descending as a dove and lighting on Him,
.        and a voice out of the heavens said,
.        "This is My beloved Son,
.        in whom I am well-pleased."

(CROWDS look up in awe, drinking in J.T.B.’s words,
PHARISEES 1 & 2 stand by skeptically.)

MAN 1    Still, I would like to meet this Man personally.

(PHARISEES 1 & 2 nod at this statement, then walk away.)

.                        STAGE RIGHT

CHILD    If Jesus is God’s Son, why would He
.        have to be baptized?

MOM      While here on earth, Jesus was our           5
.        living example.  Whatever we are expected
.        to do, Jesus did.  And whatever terrible or
.        tempting things we might go through
.        here on earth, Jesus experienced those.

CHILD    So Jesus can understand how we are feeling!

MOM      Definitely.  So, right after being baptized,
.        Jesus went into the wilderness to fast and pray
.        for forty days.

CHILD    He didn’t eat for forty days?  I can’t make it
.        from lunch to supper without a snack.

MOM      While Jesus was weak with hunger,
.        Satan went to Him and said that -
.        he would give Jesus food –
.        if Jesus would only stop trusting
.        in God to provide for His needs.
.        Satan wanted Jesus to worry and be afraid.
.        This is a sin that we struggle with – a lot.
.        Then Satan offered Jesus possessions –
.        if Jesus would worship Satan instead of God.
.        Here, Satan wanted Jesus to become selfish.
.        And, we can relate.  We all like to have
.        a lot of things.

CHILD    Yeah, so far I can relate.

MOM      And Satan tempted Jesus
.        by offering Him power in exchange
.        for serving Satan instead of God.
.        Satan wanted Jesus to be prideful.
.        But every time, Jesus quoted scriptures
.        which said that we should
.        trust, worship and serve ONLY God.

CHILD    Oh!  This is another example for us to do:
.        know God’s words so we will not be tricked.

MOM      As Jesus began His ministry, speaking
.        to the people, this was His message to them:
.        to trust, worship and serve ONLY God.
.        And Jesus always used scripture
.        to back up what He was saying.

CHILD    Wait.  So back to the temptations of Jesus.
.        Did Jesus pass the test perfectly?

MOM      Yes, of course.  And this is very important.  6
.        Jesus came to earth, one hundred percent man –
.        and one hundred percent God.
.        In order for Jesus to die for our sins
.        as the spotless sacrificial Lamb, He had to be
.        without any sin.  Only God can do that.  
.        But to take our place, He had to be a man.

CHILD    And as God, He is all-powerful?

MOM      And to prove that He TRULY was
.        the Son of God, Jesus showed His power
.        through miracles, like healing people.

CHILD    This also showed God’s love, right?

MOM      Indeed it did.

.                       CENTER STAGE
.                        VIGNETTE 2

(WOMEN 2, 3 and 4 are standing together talking, when
WOMAN 1 enters and approaches them.)

W 1      Did you hear?  Jesus healed the Nobleman’s son.

W 2      There was something wrong with his son?

W 3      He was next to death with a very high fever.

W 4      (skeptical)  So how did Jesus do it?

W 1.     The nobleman begged Jesus to go see his son,
.        but all Jesus did was say,
.        “Go, your son lives.”

W 4      So Jesus did not even have to go SEE the son?
.        Then how do they know it was Jesus that healed
.        him?  Maybe he got better all on his own.

W 1      The servants confirmed the exact time
.        the son was healed.  It was exactly at the time
.        when Jesus said those words.

W 2      (noticing WOMAN 4’s skepticism)
.        I was at the wedding where Jesus turned
.        the water into wine.

W 3      (snooty-like)  You were not there as a guest.

W 2      No, I was helping to SERVE the guests.       7
.        But - that is beside the point.
.        We had been serving all the good wine first,
.        of course, as one usually does-

W 3      (lightly)  Of course, so by the time
.        you serve the cheap stuff, the people
.        will not even care - or even notice.

W 2      Well, we ran right out of everything.
.        Mary overheard this and got Jesus to help.
.        We all thought this was absurd.  Especially
.        when He told us to fill every jar with water.

W 3      What?  So He made some quick grape juice?

W 1      Oh no, I heard that - this was the best wine
.        anyone had ever tasted.

W 2      This is the kind of wine that normally
.        takes months to ferment.

W 4      (blasé)  So He can make wine.

W 1      And heal people.  He’s making the blind to see,
.        the lame to walk, the deaf to hear...

W2       Yes, and it is not just like He is some
.        kind of doctor, this man is very different.
.        He cares very deeply.

W 4      Really, ‘cause I have an Uncle with leprosy.
.        Can He heal leprosy?

W 2      If Jesus is the Son of God, as He says,
.        and it sure would appear that way,
.        then I believe He can do anything.

W 1      I think that is the point.  YOU have to believe.
.        Jesus CAN do anything, but He will not do it
.        unless you believe.

W 4      Well, I’m going to ask if maybe my
.        Uncle believes, or wants to believe...
.        whatever that really means.  But I’m sure
.        he would like to be healed from this disease
.        so that he’s not an outcast anymore.

(WOMEN exit.)

.                      STAGE RIGHT                    8

MOM      Although, Jesus’ ministry was not to physically
.        heal people, it was to spiritually heal people.
.        But most people just wanted the physical
.        healing, and did not understand the
.        real salvation being offered.
.        They saw - but did not see.

CHILD    Was there anyone who COULD see?

MOM      There were a few - like the Samaritan woman.
.        After speaking with Jesus, she bravely ran
.        to tell all the people in her town about Him.

.                       CENTER STAGE
.                        VIGNETTE 3

(SAMARITAN WOMAN rushes out into the street, calling
people.  HUSBAND and WIFE stroll past and take note.)

S.WOMAN  Come, see a man who told me all the things
.        that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?

WIFE     What are you talking about?

S.WOMAN  His name is Jesus- He has come from Jerusalem-

HUSBAND  And HE spoke to YOU?  Jews never speak to
.        Samaritans.

WIFE     Not only that, but He had the nerve – to talk
.        to a WOMAN?  Especially a woman like YOU?

S.WOMAN  I know-

WIFE     Is He THAT kind of a man?

S.WOMAN  Not at all!

WIFE     So if He is a descent man, as you say,
.        but knows what kind of woman you are,
.        He would certainly not even look at you.

S.WOMAN  Except that, He is like a prophet,
.        He told me all the things that I have done
.        in my life.  But then - He told me of a way
.        to have a new life.  He offers living water,
.        so you will never thirst again - in your heart -
.        and you will have eternal life.
.                                                     9
WIFE     (looks at HUSBAND, clutching his arm)
.        Perhaps this could be our Messiah?
.        The Messiah is to be a Jew, is He not?

HUSBAND  (to S.WOMAN)  How can you be so sure
.        that this man is the Messiah?

WIFE     (back to S.WOMAN)  Yes, how do you know?

S.WOMAN  I asked Him if He was, and He said “yes.”

WIFE     Anyone can just say “yes.”

HUSBAND  So He insists then that we follow Him
.        to Jerusalem to worship?

S.WOMAN  No!

(HUSBAND and WIFE are surprised and curious at this.)

HUSBAND  (skeptically)  What did He say then?

S.WOMAN  That it matters not WHERE you worship,
.        we can worship anywhere –
.        in spirit and in truth.

HUSBAND  (very curiously now)
.        What else did He say?

S.WOMAN  Come!  Why not speak with Him,
.        yourself.

(HUSBAND and WIFE look at each other then nod.
Then, they ALL rush to exit, SAMARITAN WOMAN leading
the way and calling out as they go.)

S.WOMAN  Come!  Come!  See the Man
.        who knows all things.

.                        STAGE RIGHT

CHILD    I guess there were a few people like that,
.        who could not keep quiet
.        about what Jesus did for them.

MOM      And there were other people
.        who also believed,
.        but were not so brave.
.        Such as Nicodemus.
.                                                   10
.                       CENTER STAGE
.                        VIGNETTE 4

(There is a bang or thud, some sort of noise,
and NICODEMUS enters.  WIFE rushes over.)

WIFE     (quietly, afraid)  Nicodemus, is that you?

NIC      Yes.

WIFE     Where were you at this time of night?

NIC      I, ah-

WIFE     (angrily)  Well?  What were you doing?!
.        Should I be worried - or angry?

NIC      Sh!  No, not like that, not at all... well...

WIFE     Well?  What do you mean “well?”  Which is it?

NIC      I went to see Jesus.

WIFE     Oh, well, why did you not say so.
.        Did you catch Him doing anything wrong?

NIC      No.  And I did not go out to SPY on Him...
.        I went to ask Him a few questions.

WIFE     Are you mad?  What will the other Pharisees say?

NIC      That is why I went out at night.  You must not
.        say anything about this to anybody.

WIFE     Oh, I do get that.  That would be stupid.
.        I certainly do not want you losing your position.

NIC      Good.  (starts to walk away)

WIFE     Well?  Wait!  Was it worth it?  Was it worth
.        putting us into danger to go speak with Him?
.        Did Jesus say anything worthy?

(WIFE spins around to follow NICODEMUS while speaking,
but NICODEMUS turns around and faces WIFE.)

NIC      Jesus told me that to enter heaven,
.        we must be “born again-”

WIFE     (guffaws)  I can just hear                    11
.        your mother laughing now.

NIC      Be born again – spiritually.

WIFE     Interesting.  But – as I FAIL to see how the
.        physical rebirth is possible – how in the world
.        is this spiritual rebirth even possible?

NIC      It will be through Jesus - believing in Jesus -
.        to have eternal life. Jesus has come to save us.

WIFE     From the Romans?

NIC      Not like that for now.  Right now, we need
.        saving from ourselves.  We need saving –
.        from God’s wrath.

WIFE     What nonsense are you talking about?

NIC      You know you have been taught: where there
.        is sin, there is death.  Right now, when we sin,
.        we must make a sacrifice on the alter,
.        as a symbol of the death that must occur.
.        The blood from that animal symbolically shows us
.        that God has forgiven those particular sins.

WIFE     I am quite aware of all this, yes.  We have
.        been doing it this way for thousands of years.

NIC      But, we must be doing this continually.
.        Our sacrificial system is only a temporary
.        solution for our ongoing sin nature.

WIFE     So there will be something more permanent?

NIC      I believe so.

WIFE     Again - how will that work?

NIC      I am not sure.  But we must trust God
.        to work that out.

WIFE     Through this man - Jesus?

NIC      Yes.

WIFE     And you will be telling this to the other
.        Pharisees?

NIC      (stops to think)  At least for now,          12
.        they are certainly not opened to hearing
.        this news.  Or making ANY sort of change.
.        For the Pharisees, their fight is to
.        maintain control - and keep things as they are.

WIFE     So not a word then!  To anyone!
.        Come, let us try to get some sleep.

(WIFE leads NICODEMUS out.)

.                        STAGE RIGHT

CHILD    Why was Nicodemus scared to tell anybody?

MOM      Because most of the Pharisees hated Jesus
.        and wanted to kill Him.

CHILD    But why?

MOM      The Pharisees were some of the religious rulers
.        at that time.  They liked the power that
.        they had, and they liked to put extra rules
.        and laws in place to control the people.

CHILD    (appalled)  You mean they added rules
.        and laws that were not even in the Bible?

MOM      Exactly.  The Pharisees were only concerned
.        about the outside of the body.  The do’s and
.        the don’t’s.  Even today, people struggle
.        with that.  But Jesus cares about the inside,
.        and about love.  And so, the people
.        were following Jesus instead of the Pharisees,
.        and this made them very angry.

CHILD    What about when Jesus was angry?  You know,
.        at the temple?

MOM      The anger that Jesus had - was righteous anger.
.        The temple was where the animal sacrifices
.        were done.  People were to offer either
.        oxen, sheep or doves, but some people lived
.        and worked in the cities, and did not have
.        animals, so it was acceptable to buy them.
.        This should have been done outside, but men
.        had set up their stores right inside the temple,
.        to sell those animals, AND charged lots of money.
.        But God wants everyone, rich or poor,
.        to be able to come to Him and worship.
.                                                  13
CHILD    I guess they were angry at Jesus
.        for tipping over their money tables
.        because they loved money more than God.

MOM      What also upset some people, was that
.        Jesus said He would destroy the temple,
.        and in three days He would raise it up.

CHILD    (confused)  But if He was just cleaning
.        the temple, why would He then destroy it?

MOM      Jesus was talking about the temple – which
.        was His body.  See, humans tend to think
.        of the physical, and not the spiritual.

CHILD    Jesus did that a lot – said things in a way
.        that makes you really have to think.

MOM      Jesus was slowly trying to prepare
.        the people for the things that were
.        to happen next, so His messages were
.        becoming more and more obvious about
.        why He was here on earth.  And still,
.        the people did not understand.

.                       CENTER STAGE
.                        VIGNETTE 5

(MAN 1 approaches MAN 2, 3 and 4.)

MAN 4    Were you at the temple today?

MAN 1    No, why?  What happened?

MAN 3    You should have been there.

MAN 4    (to MAN 2 & 3)  Did you hear what Jesus said?

MAN 2    You mean the part about the
.        “time being fulfilled,” and that
.        “the kingdom of God is at hand?”

MAN 4    He said way more that.  Think about it.

MAN 2    He IS trying to set Himself up
.        as someone really important.

MAN 3    That’s an understatement!

MAN 4    And if He is - who He claims to be –
.        why  are His disciples just made up
.        of fishermen, and tax collectors...
.        just regular people like you and me?
.        Not one Pharisee is in His group!

MAN 1    Why not choose regular people
.        like us to be His disciples?
.        That means there is hope for us.
.        That means God can use us, too.

MAN 3    But Jesus is making Himself equal to God!
.        He has even been saying that He IS God!

MAN 4    He has even been telling people their sins
.        are forgiven because they BELIEVE IN HIM!

MAN 1    But we have seen Him heal diseases,
.        cast out demons, raise people up from the dead,
.        and feed thousands of people
.        from a few pieces of fish and bread.
.        What more do you need to see?

MAN 3    I am just being careful, that’s all.
.        I just have a feeling about all of this.

MAN 1    You would rather go by feelings than fact?

MAN 4    I do not see any facts.  Not really.

MAN 1    Then you are not really looking.

MAN 4    What we DO see, is Jesus and His disciples
.        constantly breaking the laws of the Pharisees.

MAN 1    Are you going to obey man, or God.

MAN 2    Jesus is constantly healing people on
.        the Sabbath.  Keeping the Sabbath holy
.        IS one of God’s laws.

MAN 1    But Jesus is doing God’s work.

MAN 3    You’ll change what you’re saying
.        when the Pharisees find something to charge
.        Jesus with and have Him arrested.

MAN 1    (speaks as all exit)  Do you really think
.        they will find anything?

.                        STAGE RIGHT                 15

CHILD    But, Jesus never did anything wrong.

MOM      Jesus led a perfect life to prove
.        to the people that He was their Messiah.
.        But people have always struggled
.        with peer pressure.

CHILD    But didn’t most of the people
.        want Jesus to be their King?

MOM      At first.

.                       CENTER STAGE
.                        VIGNETTE 6

(PEOPLE enter with palm branches, except for MAN 3.)

WOMAN 1  Jesus is entering Jerusalem!  I was there
.        when He raised Lazarus from the dead.
.        I saw it with my own eyes.  I know
.        He is our Messiah.

MAN 3    You are making this up.

MAN 1    I was there, too.

MAN 3    So maybe Lazarus was not really dead.

MAN 1    Oh, Lazarus was VERY dead.  For several days.
.        I helped prepare his body for burial.

WOMAN 1  Here He comes!  Jesus is coming!

(ALL look to one side as if Jesus would be approaching
from a distance.  MAN 1 is excited.)

MAN 1    He is riding in on a donkey as our King!

MAN 3    (questions)  A donkey?!
.        (with disgust)  To signify PEACE?

MAN 1    Perhaps it means He will be bringing about
.        peace after He kicks the Romans off our land.

MAN 2    (gets into it)  Hallelujah!  At last!  Our King!

WOMAN 2  Our Messiah!

(WOMAN 2 looks at WOMAN 1’s palm branches.)         16

WOMAN 2  Do you have more of those?

(WOMAN 1 hands out the palm branches to those around.)

MAN 2    Hosanna to the Son of David!

MAN 1    BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME
.        OF THE LORD!

ALL      Hosanna in the highest!
.        Hosanna!

.                        STAGE RIGHT

CHILD    So what would have happened if they HAD
.        accepted Jesus as their King RIGHT THEN?

MOM      They would have had all that God promised them.
.        They would have gone into the Kingdom
.        of Heaven - the Millennium.

CHILD    The what?

MOM      The thousand year reign, when Jesus will sit
.        on the throne and rule the earth.  And it will
.        be back to more of what the Garden of Eden
.        should have been.

CHILD    So WHY didn’t they accept Jesus as their King?

MOM      They were expecting this King to fight
.        for their land and kick the Romans out.
.        Instead, they saw Jesus go straight to
.        the temple where He kicked out the
.        money changers and the people who had made
.        the temple into some sort of flea market
.        once again.  This angered the Pharisees
.        very much.

CHILD    Why would they be angry?
.        Why wouldn’t they just believe?

MOM      Welll... (thinking of an example)
.        why do you have such a hard time believing ME?
.        Whenever I tell you that you should be wearing
.        your helmet when driving your bike.
.        Don’t you usually get angry?

(CHILD remains quiet while thinking, then grimaces.)   17

MOM      And you know that I’m right, and that it’s
.        for your own safety...  Even after falling
.        and bumping your head, you still sometimes
.        forget... or CHOOSE to forget.  Why?  Because
.        your friends might not think you’re cool?

CHILD    (sighing)  Continue.

MOM      So now the Pharisees and the Herodians,
.        who normally did not get along,
.        were working together to trap Jesus.

.                       CENTER STAGE
.                        VIGNETTE 7

(MAN 1 walks up to group of MEN.)

MAN 1    What did I miss?

MAN 2    They have been trying to GET Jesus to make
.        a mistake.

MAN 3    I thought for sure they had Him a couple
.        of times, but it seems like He always
.        has the answer to everything.

MAN 2    We asked Him if it is lawful for us
.        to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?

MAN 1    Ooo, and what did Jesus say?

MAN 3    He looked at a coin and asked who’s inscription
.        was on it.  They answered – "Caesar's."

(MAN 1 waits patiently, but the MEN don’t continue.)

MAN 1    So do we have to pay our taxes?

MAN 3    Yeah, unfortunately, Jesus said – “Give to
.        Caesar the things that are Caesar's,
.        and to God the things that are God's.”

MAN 1    Hmph!  Clever.

MAN 2    Then the Sadducees approached Jesus.

MAN 1    This ought to be good.

MAN 3    They asked Jesus what happens if a woman marries,
.        then her husband dies before they have children,
.        so she remarries, et cetera, et cetera-

MAN 2    -Seven times.

MAN 3    Then when she dies, which man is her husband
.        while in heaven?

MAN 1    What’s the answer to that one?

MAN 2    Jesus told them that in heaven there
.        will not be any marriages because those
.        in heaven will be like the angels.

MAN 3    Then one of the scribes challenged Jesus
.        and asked Him which was the greatest
.        commandment of all.

MAN 1    There ARE ten of them.  So which one is it?

MAN 3    Let me see if I get this right.  He said,
.        “To love the Lord your God with all
.        your heart”...

MAN 2    “and with all your soul, and with all your mind,
.        and with all your strength.”

MAN 3    That was it.  And the second is
.        “To love your neighbor as yourself.”

MAN 1    I guess that really sums up all ten.
.        You cannot argue with that.

MAN 2    Nor did the Sadducees or anyone else.
.        They pretty much gave up after that and
.        left Jesus alone.

MAN 3    They’re probably figuring out another trap.

.                      STAGE RIGHT

CHILD    If they couldn’t catch Jesus in any mistake,
.        how did they arrest Him?

MOM      They decided to be very sneaky about it.
.        They paid Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus
.        and they found out where Jesus would be during
.        the night... at the Garden of Gethsemane,
.        where He would always go to pray.
.                                                    19
CHILD    But God could have stopped all of this.

MOM      Of course, but this was the very reason
.        why Jesus came to earth.  To die for our sins.
.        It was not that people killed Jesus, but that
.        Jesus willingly gave Himself up as a sacrifice.

.                       CENTER STAGE
.                        VIGNETTE 8

(MAN 3 and 4 rush up to MAN 1 and 2.)

MAN 4    Where have you two been?

MAN 3    They finally got Him.  It is happening.

MAN 1    What?  How?

MAN 3    One of His own disciples betrayed Him.

MAN 2    Hm, that says something, does it not?

MAN 1    But what were the charges?

MAN 3    When they brought Jesus to the High Priest,
.        they opened it up for people to come forward
.        with anything to report.

MAN 4    I went forward with something.  Ahhhh...
.        let me see if I can remember exactly what I said.

MAN 2    Was it even the truth?

MAN 4    Um, I mean, parts of it, kind of.

MAN 3    The testimonies were really weak... except
.        for the one about Jesus destroying the temple,
.        and then rebuilding it.  Several people
.        definitely heard Jesus say that.

MAN 4    The high priest finally just asked Jesus
.        if He was the Christ, and Son of God.
.        Jesus admitted to that, saying that He was.
.        So that was enough.  On the charges
.        of blasphemy, they claimed that
.        Jesus was deserving of death.  
.        But first He was beaten, and
.        they had a bit of fun with Him.

MAN 1    Fun?                                        20

MAN 4    Well, not for Him.

MAN 3    Anyway, next we had to take Him before
.        the governor and find a charge that would
.        hold up in THEIR court.  But Pilate
.        did not want anything to do with this.

MAN 4    Even though we said Jesus had been
.        misleading our nation by claiming
.        to be Christ - and a King.  And -
.        for telling us NOT to pay taxes to Caesar-

MAN 1    But we know that is not true.

MAN 3    Pilate washed his hands of all this,
.        and sent us on to King Herod, but
.        he got bored and sent us back to Pilate.

MAN 2    What about our annual custom of releasing
.        one prisoner?

MAN 3    Pilate recommended Barabbas.  He probably
.        thought if he recommended the worst criminal,
.        everyone would ask for Jesus to be released.

MAN 2    What are you saying?

MAN 4    I think one of the Pharisees started
.        yelling out that Barabbas should
.        be released.  Everyone just joined in.
.        And when Pilate asked what we wanted to do
.        to Jesus, someone started yelling out
.        that He should be crucified,
.        and everyone joined in.

MAN 3    (almost sadly)  I’m ashamed to admit that now.
.        And eventually we were all shouting out
.        that CAESAR was our only King.  CAESAR!
.        What got into us?  What were we all thinking?

MAN 1    (sadly)  So it is happening?

MAN 3    It is.

.                      STAGE RIGHT

CHILD    How could they all turn on Jesus like that?

MOM      Well, I don’t know.  What do kids usually do   21
.        at school when someone is being picked on?
.        Do you stand up and try to stop them all?
.        Most kids will join in.  They would rather pick
.        on someone, than be the one getting picked on.

CHILD    That’s the easy way out.  So why didn’t someone
.        go tell the teacher or– I mean– the authorities?

MOM      They were all in on it.

CHILD    Jesus must have felt very alone.

MOM      And when Jesus was about to die, even God
.        had to forsake Him.

CHILD    What does that mean, exactly?

MOM      It’s hard to explain. But God is holy
.        and cannot look on sin.  That’s why
.        we cannot go to heaven – unless our sins
.        are taken away.  Jesus took on all
.        our sins when He died on the cross –
.        so God had to THEN turn away from Jesus.

CHILD    So when it says that Jesus suffered and died,
.        that part probably would have hurt the most.

MOM      I would think so.  We could never even
.        begin to imagine that.  We can relate more
.        to the physical and emotional pain
.        that Jesus went through.

CHILD    THEN there was an earthquake?

MOM      Exactly at the time when Jesus died.

CHILD    And it got dark?

MOM      There was an eclipse, exactly at that moment,
.        so the sky became very dark.

CHILD    That IS perfect timing.

MOM      I’m sure many people wondered if they had
.        made a mistake.  Because after Jesus
.        had been dead and buried, three days later –

CHILD    There was another earthquake!

.                       CENTER STAGE                22
.                        VIGNETTE 9

(MAN 3 and WOMAN 3 walk on from stage right.)

MAN 3    Come on.  We have to see if our house
.        is still there.

WOMAN 3  That was the second earthquake in three days.
.        Do you think it means anything?
.        Do you think there will be more?

MAN 3    I don’t know.

(MAN 2 and WOMAN 2 rush up.)

MAN 2    The tomb where Jesus was buried has
.        been opened!  And His body is gone.

MAN 3    Someone stole His body?

MAN 2    The Pharisees and other rulers made sure
.        that no one would be able to do that.
.        They had the rock sealed very tightly
.        and guards were there night and day.

MAN 3    Then what happened?

WOMAN 3  Maybe the earthquake opened it up.

WOMAN 2  That’s what I said.

MAN 3    That could certainly be possible.

(MAN 1 and WOMAN 1 run up.)

WOMAN 1  Mary Magdelan –

MAN 1    And then Salome and Cleopas –

WOMAN 1  They all have seen Jesus –  alive.
.        He’s alive.  Jesus has risen!

MAN 2    (to MAN 1)  Is this true?

MAN 1    (shrugs then nods)
.        I trust Cleopas completely.
.        I’ve known him for a long time,
.        and he’s not one to lie – or even exaggerate.

(MAN 1 thinks back, and getting concerned.)

MAN 1    And here the people – all of us –
.        were taunting Jesus while
.        He hung on the cross saying,
.        “If You are God - save Yourself.”  And now –
.        what?  Has He risen from the grave as He said?

WOMAN 3  If He was – if He IS God – then – could that
.        be possible?

MAN 1    All things are possible with God.

MAN 2    Did you know – at the time of Jesus’ death –
.        during that first earthquake – the big curtain
.        in the temple tore – from the TOP - DOWN!

WOMAN 3  See, I knew it all must have meant something!

(MAN 4 rushes up.)

MAN 4    I just heard some news from the authorities.
.        Jesus’ disciples came by at night
.        and stole His body away while they were asleep.

MAN 1    Seriously?  We are to believe that?
.        ROMAN guards - sleeping on the job?

MAN 2    Sounds fishy.

MAN 3    It makes sense to me.

MAN 2    And then what?  A bunch of disciples
.        fought the Roman soldiers?

MAN 3    Maybe the disciples were passing by just when
.        the second earthquake happened.  They –
.        noticed that the huge stone had moved,
.        and – the guards had fallen asleep –

WOMAN 2  You really think that they fell asleep?
.        Through that earthquake?  It woke me up.
.        It woke HIM up.  (pointing at MAN 2)
.        And he sleeps through everything!

MAN 2    That does sound really fishy.

WOMAN 3  If this is all true.  If Jesus rose again,
.        because He is God’s Son – what did we just do?
.        What have we done?  Is there any hope for us?
.                                                    24
.                      STAGE RIGHT

CHILD    So even the people who helped kill Jesus,
.        would they have any hope?

MOM      Of course.  Jesus forgives anyone who
.        confesses their sins and believes in Him.
.        John 3:16 says, (NASB)
.        “For God so loved the world, that He gave His
.        only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him
.        shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

CHILD    And that is the good news.

MOM      It is great news.