By Annette Wetherbee
Three witnesses of Christs life, death, and resurrection find forgiveness, healing, and redemption. Length 4-6 minutes
CARPENTER - fashioned Christs cross. More concerned with profit and his own desires than with truth and justice.
WOMAN - a social outcast, she longs for forgiveness, but can not see how Jesus can truly be a part of her life.
SOLDIER- a hardened, brutal man who mocked Jesus. He expected destruction, but found eternal life.
Each character may be dressed in biblical costume, or in all in black as in a readers theater. Simple accents such a head wrap for the WOMAN, a hammer for the CARPENTER, or a sword for the SOLDIER may also be used.
(Scene: Blank stage, preferably with a black back drop. If possible, spot light on each character as he or she speaks. Stage is empty. CARPENTER appears, and comes up center stage. Addresses audience. Spotlight appears on first words spoken.)
CARPENTER: I swung the ax that felled the tree which then was fashioned into His cross. I was crude, but effective. What did I care how it look, as long as it worked....and I got paid. Who hung on my cross didnt matter, as long as it wasnt me. (Bows head, steps to side.)
WOMAN: (Enters as CARPENTER moves to side. Is hesitant, and ashamed. Glances from floor to audience and back.) For the longest time I followed Him from a distance. I had heard of His love, but didnt dare hope that it could be for me. I knew I was despised. (Defensively.)Oh, not by Him, but by those who sought to hurt Him. So I stayed away, but still hoped for a glimpse, a word, a chance to be in His presence. I knew what I was, I had no right to seek Him. (With awe, disbelief.) But He came to me. And offered forgiveness, mercy, and healing. (Heartbroken.) It was also because He was ridiculed, scorned, and finally condemned. (Bows head, and moves to opposite side of stage from CARPENTER.)
SOLDIER: (Arrogantly strides in as WOMAN moves. Speaks with callousness and hatred.) I was there the night He was arrested. I even witnessed a miracle. But it didnt matter. I thought to myself, How could someone said to have so much power be so weak? (Contempt.) He did nothing to stop us. And when His followers realized He would not protect Himself or them, (Brief pause.) they fled. (Remains straight, and defiant, but eyes look down and off to side.)
CARPENTER: (Shouting.) Crucify Him! Crucify Him! (Deep breath, continue in an anguished but quieter voice.) The sound of my own voice still echoes in my ears. A mindless part of a bloodthirsty mob. (Gains control. Continues with difficulty, but calmly.) When it came to the legendary Messiah, I was skeptical. So many before Him tried and failed. I started to believe in Him though, or at least what I hoped He would be- (Grows in intensity.) A savior who would restore our people and (Raise arms and clench fists.) crush our enemies. I sang His praises as He rode into town... on the back of donkey, no less. But when I realized He wasnt what I expected, I turned on Him and shouted for His death.
SOLDIER: (Challenging, boasting.) I beat Him. I mocked Him. I waited for His pleas for mercy. I crowned Him with a crown of thorns, and as the (Raise hand to side of face and sign fingers as if raining.) blood trickled down His brow I stared into His eyes looking for defeat. (Flustered, but angry.) But, but I saw no fear... no hatred.... no weakness. Only pity. (With building rage.) Pity for me. And it infuriated me!!!
WOMAN: I stood silent when the mob cried out for His death. Helpless. (Shakes head, then confesses.) Afraid. Who was I to speak on His behalf. So I did nothing... but kneel at His cross... and watch... and wait... and hope for a miracle. (Freeze with hands folded in prayer.)
CARPENTER: The sky grew dark, lightening flashed, thunder echoed, the earth shook, and He died. (Flatly, almost with disbelief of his own role.) The temple veil was ripped in two. All that had been foretold about the Messiah happened... it was then I knew I had helped kill the Son of God.
SOLDIER: (Fearful, but with power.) It wasnt until the stone was heaved away from the mouth of the tomb did I know fear. I sank to the ground as a dead man. The one who I tortured and executed was leaving the tomb I sealed. I was certain He would destroy me for all I had done.
WOMAN: (Excited, joyful and for the first time looking straight at the audience.) I was in the garden that morning. I went prepared to bury Him and found the stone rolled away. I heard the angel ask Why seek the living among the dead? (More convection.) I can be silent no more. Jesus, the Christ lives!
(Spotlight broadens to include SOLDIER.)
SOLDIER: (With joyful authority.) He conquered sin and death.
(Spotlight broadens to add CARPENTER with other two.)
CARPENTER: (Confidence and joy.) In Him is forgiveness and eternal life.
WOMAN: Let Him be your Lord!
CARPENTER: Your Savior!
SOLDIER: Your King!
ALL: (Lift up holy hands, look up and proclaim:) He is ALIVE!!!!
(All freeze. Lights out.)
Copyright Annette Wetherbee, all rights reserved.
This play may be performed free of charge, provided no charge is made for entry. In return the author would appreciate being notified of any performance. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org