.          all rights belong to Tanis Harms, © 2016
.             refer to

TOPIC:       Jesus’ death & resurrection, gospel message
Style:       an Easter program with scriptures,
.            optional soliloquys, and songs (recommended
.            for soloists, choir or congregation)
SCRIPTURE:   Ps.16:10, 22:1,7-8,16-18, 68:18, 78:2, 118:22;
.            Is.9:1-2, 35:4-6, 40:3, 42:1-3, 52:4,14, 53:5;
.            Zch.9:9; Mal.3:1; Mt.3:1-3; 4:12-14,23,
.            12:14-17, 13:34-35, 21:1-4, 26:39,
.            27:35,39,43,46, 28:6; Lk.24:50-53;
.            Jhn19:1,18,24,33-36; Eph.2:19-22; Heb.5:7
.            PILATE; MARY (mother); NICODEMUS;
.            THOMAS; WITNESS (from modern times)
Set & Props: scroll, Bible
NOTE:        to shorten, select certain sections, etc.

.             $15.00 USD to receive a DIRECTOR’S SCRIPT
.                                    (plus sheet music)
how you receive this & package description


SONG 1:    “ONE DAY” by J. Wilbur Ghapman
.            and Charles H. Marsh
.          OR “The Word Made Flesh”
.            by John Purifoy & Joseph Barlowe

ANDREW     (enters during song)  I could only marvel
.          at the sight of Jesus.  My discipleship
.          originally began with John the Baptist.
.          While serving with him to spread the message
.          of the coming Messiah to the people,
.          I clearly remember the day when
.          Jesus approached John to be baptized.
.          John felt completely unworthy to do so,
.          but Jesus said that this WAS to be done
.          in order to fulfill all righteousness.
.          Jesus was our living example.  God in flesh.
.          As Jesus was leaving, I overheard John say,
.          “Behold, the Lamb of God!”  What compelled me
.          to then follow Jesus?  It wasn’t just John’s
.          words, but God’s power behind them.
.          God used John the Baptist to prepare the way.
.          (exits during readings)

OT 1a      The prophecy that John the Baptist          2
.          would prepare the people for Jesus’s ministry
.          is found in Malachi (3:1) and Isaiah (40:3) -
.          “Behold, I am going to send My messenger,
.          and he will clear the way before Me
.          And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly
.          come to His temple...”  It will be –
(OT 1b)    “A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for
.          the LORD in the wilderness;  Make smooth
.          in the desert a highway for our God.’”

NT 1c      Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 3:1-3 –
.          “Now in those days John the Baptist came,
.          preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,
.          ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is
.          at hand.’  For this is the one referred to
.          by Isaiah the prophet...”

SONG 2:    “GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD” by John Stainer

MATTHEW    (enters during song)  I had been living
.          a very selfish life, cheating people
.          as I collected taxes from the citizens
.          of Capernaum;  when this Man, Jesus,
.          moved in and made this place His hometown.
.          At first I could not understand why
.          He had such an enthusiastic following;
.          but I wanted nothing to do with Him,
.          until one day, as Jesus and His disciples
.          were walking by, Jesus looked right at me –
.          like looking into my very soul –
.          and He said, “Follow me.”  How could I not?  
.          Jesus forgave all of my sins, and wanted me
.          to be a disciple of His.  Me, Matthew,
.          a hated and accursed tax collector
.          from Capernaum.  (exits during readings)

OT 2a      The prophecy of Jesus using Capernaum as His
.          hometown during His ministry is found in
.          Isaiah (9:1-2)– “But there will be
.          no more gloom for her who was in anguish;
.          in earlier times He treated the land of
.          Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt,
.          but later on He shall make it glorious,
.          by the way of the sea, on the other side
.          of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.
.          The people who walk in darkness will see
.          a great light;  Those who live in a dark land,
.          The light will shine on them.”

NT 2b      Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 4:12-14 –      3
.          “Now when Jesus heard that John had been
.          taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee;
.          and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled
.          in Capernaum, which is by the sea,
.          in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.
.          This was to fulfill what was spoken
.          through Isaiah the prophet...”

.           by Cecil F. Alexander & William H. Jude

MARY M.    (enters during song)  The sweetest name
.          on earth – Jesus!  He saved me from a
.          life of bondage, and forgave all my sins.
.          Not that I was perfect after that point,
.          but His perfect love kept me in fellowship,
.          as a child of God forever.  Me, Mary Magdalan,
.          once possessed by demons, once a prostitute.
.          It does not matter what you’ve done – NOTHING
.          is too great for Him to forgive.  And nothing
.          is too great for Him to heal.  Jesus healed
.          people in order to demonstrate that He was
.          the Son of God.  That He had the power and
.          authority – not just to heal people -
.          but to conquer death – that He had the power
.          to forgive all sins.  (stays during readings)

OT 3a      The prophecy of Jesus healing people
.          is found in Isaiah (35:4-6) – “Say to those
.          with anxious heart, ‘Take courage, fear not.
.          Behold, your God will come...  
.          Then the eyes of the blind will be opened,
.          And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
.          Then the lame will leap like a deer, And
.          the tongue of the mute will shout for joy...”

NT 3b      Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 4:23 –
.          “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee,
.          teaching in their synagogues and
.          proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,
.          and healing every kind of disease
.          and every kind of sickness among the people.”

MARY M.    People were also eager to follow Him so that
.          they could hear His words of wisdom, and
.          His parables.  Oh, how they wondered at His
.          many stories, and about the possible mysteries
.          contained within.  (stays during readings)

OT 3c      The prophecy of Jesus speaking in parables   4
.          is found in the Psalms (78:2) –
.          “I will open my mouth in a parable;
.          I will utter dark sayings of old.”

NT 3d      Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 13:34-35 –
.          “All these things Jesus spoke
.          to the crowds in parables,
.          and He did not speak to them
.          without a parable.
.          This was to fulfill
.          what was spoken through the prophet...”

MARY M.    But Jesus was not so popular amongst
.          ALL the people, especially amongst most
.          of the Pharisees.  THEY did not appreciate
.          the authority that Jesus claimed, or how
.          Jesus attracted such a large following.  This
.          threatened THEIR power and positions of rank.
.          Right from the very beginning, there were many
.          plots against Him...  with the most diabolical
.          intentions of putting Jesus to death.
.          (exits during readings)

OT 3e      The prophecy of Jesus proclaiming and
.          providing victory in spite of the unjust plans
.          to put Him to death is found in Isaiah (42:1-3)
.          “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;
.          My chosen one in whom My soul delights
.          I have put My Spirit upon Him;
.          He will bring forth justice to the nations.
.          ‘He will not cry out or raise His voice,
.          Nor make His voice heard in the street.
.          A bruised reed He will not break, and
.          a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
.          He will faithfully bring forth justice.’”

NT 3f      Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 12:14-17 –
.          “But the Pharisees went out and conspired
.          against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.
.          But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there.
.          Many followed Him, and He healed them all,
.          and warned them not to tell who He was.
.          This was to fulfill what was spoken
.          through Isaiah the prophet.”

.            by Jenette Threlfall & Bruce Greer

PETER      (enters during song)  One day, Jesus      5
.          said to me, “...you are Peter, and upon
.          this rock I will build My church; and
.          the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”
.          At that point, I was still prideful, and
.          did not understand what Jesus intended to do.
.          Like when Jesus entered Jerusalem, presenting
.          Himself as our King – riding in on a donkey!
.          A humble donkey?  Now, why not a horse –
.          signifying power? We were expecting – we were
.          hoping – that Jesus our Messiah would lead us
.          into battle against the Romans to reclaim
.          our land.  Little did we know that He came
.          to bring us PEACE - but not a worldly peace
.          devoid of violence, He was going to provide
.          a much deeper peace - meant for the soul.
.          A spiritual peace for ALL people.  Of course,
.          this was a very difficult concept for me
.          to grasp.  This peace requires one to humble
.          one’s self to the King of kings... the King
.          of kings who led by example.  (stays)

OT 4a      The prophecy of Jesus riding in on a donkey
.          is found in Zechariah (9:9) -
.          “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
.          Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
.          Behold, your king is coming to you;
.          He is just and endowed with salvation,
.          Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
.          Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

NT 4b      Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 21:1-4 –
.          “When they had approached Jerusalem
.          and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount
.          of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
.          saying to them, ‘Go into the village
.          opposite you, and immediately you will find
.          a donkey tied there and a colt with her;
.          untie them and bring them to Me...”

PETER      But the people did not accept Jesus as
.          their King.  Instead, they plotted against Him
.          in order to put Him to death.  When they came
.          to arrest Jesus, while we were praying  
.          at the Garden of Gethsemane, I actually
.          thought that I could stop this from happening.
.          Who am I to stop God’s will from being
.          carried out?  This was the plan all along.
.          Jesus came to suffer and die for our sins.
.          (exits during readings)

OT 4c      The prophecy of Jesus suffering for our    6
.          sins is found in Isaiah (52:14 & 53:4-5) –
.          “Just as many were astonished at you,
.          My people, So His appearance
.          was marred more than any man
.          And His form more than the sons of men.”
(OT 4d)    (53:4-5) “Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
.          And our sorrows He carried;
.          Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
.          Smitten of God, and afflicted.
.          But He was pierced through
.          for our transgressions, He was crushed
.          for our iniquities; The chastening
.          for our well-being fell upon Him,
.          And by His scourging we are healed.”

NT 4e      Prophecy fulfilled.  John 19:1, and 18 –
.          “Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him.”
.          “There they crucified Him,
.          and with Him two other men,
.          one on either side, and Jesus in between.”

SONG 5:    “O SACRED HEAD, NOW WOUNDED” by Paul Gerhardt
.          James W.Alexander, Hans Leo Hassler & J.S.Bach

PILATE     (enters during song)  As the Roman governor
.          of this region, even though I had the authority,
.          I was unable to stop the injustice.  I could
.          see that this Man, named Jesus, was innocent.
.          But the Israelites insisted that He should
.          be crucified.  I tried reasoning with them.
.          I tried delaying the process.  I even had Him
.          scourged – thinking that THIS would be enough
.          to satisfy their appetite for blood.  As it was
.          their feast, it was customary for me to release
.          a prisoner of their choice.  I offered them
.          either Jesus or Barabbas.  I figured surely
.          they would not choose Barabbas, the worst known
.          criminal in prison.  But they did.  And I,
.          Pilate, let the people have what they wanted.
.          The guilt!  I tried washing my hands of this.
.          If I could only wash the guilt from my soul.
.          Perhaps this Jesus is the answer.  When I saw
.          Him on the cross, I ordered a sign be put up
.          so all would know that this Jesus - was - King.
.          The chief priests wanted me to change the sign
.          to say “He SAID I am King of the Jews,” but I
.          remained firm on this.  The sign should say –
.          “The King of the Jews.” (exit during readings)
.                                                       7
OT 5a      The prophecy of Jesus being crucified
.          is found in the Psalms (22:16) –
.          “For dogs have surrounded me;
.          A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
.          They pierced My hands and My feet.”

NT 5b      Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 27:35
.          “And - (when) - they had crucified Him...”

SONG 6:    “WERE YOU THERE” a traditional spiritual

MARY       (enters during song)  It was so difficult
.          to watch everything that my son, Jesus,
.          went through.  And some of the people made
.          such sport out of it.  How could they?
.          Could they not see who He really was?
.          (stays during readings)

OT 6a      The prophecy of the soldiers gambling over
.          Jesus’ garments is found in the Psalms (22:18)
.          “They divide my garments among them,
.          And for my clothing they cast lots.”

NT 6b      Prophecy fulfilled.  John 19:24 –
.          “So they said to one another,
.          ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it,
.          to decide whose it shall be’...”

MARY       Although Jesus came from my womb,
.          I cannot take any of the credit.
.          I was merely a human vessel, imperfect,
.          sinful – and in need of salvation -
.          as much as anyone else.  Jesus was not
.          really MY son, He is GOD’S Son.
.          Jesus is God’s perfectly obedient Son
.          who came to pay the price
.          for all our sins -
.          even those sins that took place
.          on that day.  (stays during readings)

OT 6c      The prophecy of Jesus being ridiculed
.          is found in the Psalms (22:7-8) –
.          “All who see me sneer at me;
.          They separate with the lip,
.          they wag the head, saying,
.          ‘Commit yourself to the LORD;
.          let Him deliver him;  Let Him rescue him,
.          because He delights in him.’”

NT 6d      Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 27:39, 43 –     8
.          “And those passing by were hurling abuse
.          at Him, wagging their heads -
.          ‘HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now,
.          for He said, 'I am the Son of God.’”

MARY       As Jesus hung on the cross, I looked on,
.          knowing that He had the power to come down,
.          but chose - not to.  Still, my heart ached.
.          My entire body ached.  Then, at some point,
.          Jesus looked down at me and said, “Woman,
.          behold your son.”  And then said to John,
.          one of His disciples, “Behold your mother!”
.          John then saw how much I was suffering, and
.          took me away from there.  Even in His own
.          suffering, Jesus cared and knew that
.          I needed to be comforted, AND that I needed
.          to go – and let go – give everything to God.
.          Jesus was going to finish what He had to do,
.          so that all people, including myself,
.          could find eternal comfort and protection.
.          And what He did in His death – for us –
.          was something only He, alone, could do.  (exits)

OT 6e      The prophecy of Jesus bearing the world’s
.          sins ALONE is found in the Psalms (22:1) –
.          “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
.          Far from my deliverance
.          are the words of my groaning.”

NT 6f      Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 27:46 -
.          “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out
.          with a loud voice, saying,
.          ‘ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?’ that is,

.           by Isaac Watts & Ralph E. Hudson

NICODEMUS  (enters during song)  Joseph of Arimathea
.          and I were both secret followers of Jesus.
.          Having a family tomb available, Joseph was
.          determined to get Pilate’s permission to
.          properly bury Him, so we were at the cross
.          of Jesus – watching – waiting.
.          As it was the Day of Preparation,
.          Pilate did not want the bodies hanging
.          on the crosses over the Sabbath.

(NICODEMUS continues.)                               9

NICODEMUS  In order to speed up the process,
.          he ordered the soldiers to break the legs
.          of those still alive.  Reaching Jesus,
.          they found Him already dead, because Jesus had
.          willingly given up His spirit just moments ago.
.          To make sure, the soldiers pierced His side
.          with a spear, and saw that there was already
.          water mixed in with the blood that came out.
.          This was proof that He had died.
.          (exits during readings)

OT 7a      The prophecy of Jesus not having any
.          broken bones is found in the Psalms (22:17) -
.          “I can count all my bones.
.          They look, they stare at me;”

NT 7b      Prophecy fulfilled.  John 19:33-36 –
.          “but coming to Jesus,
.          when they saw that He was already dead,
.          they did not break His legs...”

SONG 8:    “CHRIST AROSE” by Robert Lowry

THOMAS     (enters during song)  When I heard that Jesus
.          was no longer in the tomb, and that He
.          had risen, I did not want to believe this.
.          I was called Doubting Thomas because
.          I claimed I would NOT believe this until
.          I had not ONLY SEEN, but put my fingers
.          into the nail prints and His pierced side.
.          Jesus was not there when I said that,
.          but He heard.  He came.  Jesus told me
.          not to be unbelieving – but to believe.
.          Jesus also said that - “Blessed are they
.          who did not see, and yet believed.”
.          Now when I think about it, there is so much
.          evidence of His resurrection.  I could have
.          trusted what my fellow disciples told me.
.          Or remembered the words that Jesus told us
.          before His crucifixion – about how He would
.          rise again.  Even the Old Testament
.          gives evidence of this. (exit during readings)

OT 8a      The prophecy of Jesus’ resurrection
.          is found in the Psalms (16:10 and 22:22) –
.          “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;”
.          (22:22)  “Nor will You allow Your Holy One
.          to undergo decay...”

NT 8b      Prophecy fulfilled.  Matthew 28:6 –
.          “He is not here, for He has risen,
.          just as He said...”

.            by Charles Wesley, John Darwall
.            & Camp Kirkland

WITNESS    (enters during song)  There were many people
.          who were witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection,
.          as well as His ascension to heaven.  And now,
.          over two thousand years later, it’s as if
.          I was there to see this for myself –
.          because not only are these events
.          and eyewitness accounts recorded
.          in the Bible in the New Testament – these
.          events were prophesied in the Old Testament –
.          hundreds, and some thousands, of years
.          before all this even took place.  (stays)

OT 9a      The prophecy of Jesus’ ascension
.          is found in the Psalms (68:18) –
.          “You have ascended on high,
.          You have led captive Your captives;
.          You have received gifts among men,
.          Even among the rebellious also,
.          that the LORD God may dwell there.”

NT 9b      Prophecy fulfilled.  Luke 24:50-53 –
.          “And He led them out as far as Bethany,
.          and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.
.          While He was blessing them,
.          He parted from them and was carried up
.          into heaven.  And they, after worshiping Him,
.          returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
.          and were continually in the temple
.          praising God.”

WITNESS    Jesus was victorious over death
.          and now sits on the throne in glory,
.          as the foundation of salvation - so that
.          we might enjoy eternal life through Him.
.          All we have to do is believe.  (exits)

OT 9c      The prophecy of Jesus being rejected
.          as the corner stone is found
.          in the Psalms (118:22) –
.          “The stone which the builders rejected
.          Has become the chief corner stone.”

NT 9d      Prophecy fulfilled –                         11
.          in Ephesians 2:19-22 –
.          so when you find eternal salvation
.          through believing in Jesus Christ. –
.          “...you are no longer strangers
.          and aliens, but you are fellow citizens
.          with the saints, and are of God's household,
.          having been built on the foundation
.          of the apostles and prophets,
.          Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,
.          in whom the whole building,
.          being fitted together,
.          is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,
.          in whom you also are being built together
.          into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”

SONG 10:   “THE DAY OF RESURRECTION” by Henry T.Smart,
.            John of Damascus & John M.Neale