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REACTIONS TO THE CRUCIFIXION – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        crucifixion, faith
SCRIPTURE:    Mt.26-28, Mk.14-16, Lk.22-24, Jh.18-21
Style:        drama/conversation:  Mary and Peter compare
.             their reactions to Jesus’ crucifixion which
.             demonstrates their lack of faith
.             (“
Reactions to the Resurrection”/a sequel
.               demonstrates their newfound faith)
Cast:         MARY MAGDELENE, PETER
Set & Props:  Bible era costumes

SCRIPT:

(MARY and PETER step out on opposite sides and speak
to each other, but look out to the congregation only.)

PETER   Mary!  Mary Magdalene!  There you are.
.       I’ve been  looking for - for any familiar face.  

MARY    There was a big earthquake – Peter - right when –
.       right - at the time – oh, how could this happen?

PETER   I tried to stop them from taking Jesus.  I did.
.       I did whatever I could.

MARY    You tried everything?

PETER   I grabbed a sword we had with us – when
.       they came for Him - but Jesus told me to stop.

MARY    Why?  Why would He want you to stop?

PETER   I had cut off a man’s ear.  Jesus told me
.       to stop, and then He healed the man.

MARY    Of course He did.  Jesus would rather suffer
.       than see anyone else hurt.  But – but didn’t
.       Jesus at least try to reason with them?

PETER   There were too many – and – and – well –
.       truthfully – I don’t know...  I ran away,
.       with the rest of the disciples.

MARY    How could you just leave Him like that?
.       You KNEW they wanted to kill Him.
.       How could you leave Him all alone?

PETER   I don’t know.  But I did come back              2
.       and follow after the crowds as they
.       took Jesus to the high priest’s courtyard.
.       I thought I could maybe do something
.       at that point.

MARY    Did you?

PETER   I was – I was too scared.  I saw the way
.       they were treating our Lord.
.       Spitting in His face, slapping and
.       beating Him with their fists – mocking Him.
.       At one point, they covered His eyes –
.       then took turns hitting Him, and saying things
.       like, “Prophesy and tell us who hit You.”
.       The people were - so angry – and riled up.
.       I feared for my life.  The trial - was a fiasco.
.       So-called witnesses were stepping forward
.       and outright lying.

MARY    You could have acted as a witness.
.       You could have told the truth.
.       Why didn’t you step forward?

PETER   I – couldn’t even admit that I knew Him.
.       People were starting to recognize me.
.       I feared for my life! - even though
.       I swore to Jesus that I would follow Him
.       and even die for Him...  But – instead,
.       I – I denied Him – three times...
.       just as He said I would...  

MARY    The crowds WERE in a frenzy.

PETER   The Pharisees stirred up the people
.       against Jesus.  Imagine, the people preferred
.       to have a notorious criminal like Barabbas
.       released instead of Jesus.  There was nothing
.       I could have done with everyone so worked up.
.       I tried following again, but, only at a distance.

MARY    We followed too.  Mostly women.  We also kept
.       at a distance hiding in the shadows,
.       afraid for ourselves.  They made Him carry
.       His own cross.  He kept stumbling.
.       He looked so tired and beaten.
.       And not one of us stepped forward to help.
.       No one even tried.

PETER   No one?
.                                                       3
MARY    Jesus was so well guarded,
.       the high priests made sure of it.
.       And there were soldiers making sure
.       that nothing would interfere with this agenda.
.       Did they think Jesus would suddenly escape?
.       He could barely walk, let alone carry
.       those heavy beams.  And all we could do
.       was cry and lament.  At one point,
.       Jesus looked up at us and told us
.       NOT to cry for Him, but instead, we should be
.       crying for ourselves and our children.
.       What did He mean by that?

PETER   I do not know.

MARY    How could we NOT cry for Him –
.       as He struggled along in so much pain?
.       Eventually they became impatient
.       and made a bystander carry the cross.
.       It was just too much for Him.  His robe –
.       His whole body was - so bruised and blood-soaked.
.       The pain He must have had from the 40 lashes.
.       I just cannot imagine.

PETER   The barbs would have torn away at His flesh...

MARY    And the thorns - on His head.  (shaking her head)
.       Then there were those people just going
.       about their daily business like nothing
.       unusual was happening - selling their wares
.       to take advantage of the crowds-
.       oblivious to the injustice.
.       He was hung on a cross like a common criminal!
.       And He did nothing wrong!
.       How could people not see the injustice?!

PETER   I just stood by and watched –
.       as they nailed Him to the cross...
.       It felt the same - as if I had put the nails
.       into His flesh myself.

MARY    I could not watch.  And once when I DID look up -
.       there was just a moment when He looked at me.
.       Even though He hung there, gasping to breathe -
.       He seemed to look right at me, into my very soul.
.       I felt like I died with Him.  And on some level,
.       I know that it SHOULD have been me on that cross
.       instead.  I am deserving of death – not Jesus.

(MARY sobs softly.)                                     4

MARY    WHAT did Jesus ever do to anyone?  Nothing!
.       He did nothing wrong!  The Son of God –
.       who loved and healed people –

PETER   The One who could control even the winds
.       and the sea-

MARY    Then WHY did He just ALLOW us to put Him
.       to death?  What was He thinking?
.       I don’t understand.

PETER   I certainly didn’t want to see Him die.
.       WHAT is so wrong with that?
.       But Jesus kept rebuking me for saying so.
.       I always tell myself that I mean well.
.       Who am I kidding?  I don’t have control of my
.       OWN actions, how did I ever think I could control
.       the world around me and stop Jesus’ death?...
.       Well, it’s over.

MARY    Are you sure?  Perhaps –

PETER   No, they made sure He was dead.
.       When they pierced His side,
.       there was water already in the blood.
.       Nothing more can be done now.

MARY    Then I will go with a few of the women
.       to prepare the spices for His burial.
.       I just hope the rulers will at least –
.       let us bury Jesus’ body properly.

(PETER and MARY sadly exit, each to their side.)