By Gregory L. Ritchie
How the news of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is received by and impacts the 11 disciples. (Note: This is written to reflect the speech patterns of the Bahamas, in the Caribbean.)
Matthew 28: 1 - 8; Mark 16, 1 - 11; Luke 24: 1- 12
Makeshift television screen, desk and chair for TV news anchorman, TV remote control, 12 chairs set in a circle or around a table. Each disciple carries a cellular phone. (Toy phones will add humor and make good give-away treats for the children afterwards).
(Scene: It is now the mornimg of the third day since the crucifiction of Jesus. Nine (9) desciples sit around in a circle or around a table feeling depressed, fearful and discouraged. They have been here for three days trying to make sense of what has happened. The television set is off.)
Disciple -1: Its been three days now, I don't think I can take any more of this.
Disciple - 2: I know what you mean. I didn't know I would miss him so. I feel lost without our friend and leader.
Disciple - 3: He tried to tell.
Disciple - 4: Tried? He did tell us.
(A knock is heard at the door. The disciples dart for the floor in fear of their lives. Two disciples James and John Zebadee walk sheepishly into the room.)
Peter: Where you'll come from.
James: We went home to see our old man. He's been rather sick lately.
Peter: Boy, you'll get some nerve. What if the Roman guards saw you'll.
Disciple - 5: Well we can't sit around here forever, I'm going fishing, try to make me a couple bucks.
(All the other disciple turn to look at disciple - 5. Phone rings. All disciples make a slight nervous jump. They look around, not sure what they just heard. Phone rings a second time. All disciples simultaneously reach for their cell phones thinking it is theirs.)
All disciples: Hello
John: It's mine.
John: Hello. Shush..sh..sh fellars (John sits up excitedly).
John: Its Mary Magdalene.
Disciple - 6 Where is she?
John: At the sepulchre
Disciple - 7: What! What's she doing there this early in the morning?
John: She says her and Salome and Mary, James' mother went there about an hour ago with some spices. She said when they got there they found the stone rolled away from the tomb but when they entered the tomb they found no body.
Thomas: Boy stop talking fool, give me that phone let me hear this for myself.
John: Be quiet boy, let me get a load of this. Mary says, while they were wondering about what could have happened, two men in white appeared beside them. Said they were so frightened they bowed down before them with their faces to the ground.
Disciples: Various reactions, shaking head in disbelief. Others waving their hands in dismissal of what thy were hearing.
John: Listen guys, she say the men asked them why they were looking for the living among the dead. Says . . . (John gets to his feet) he is not here he is risen!!
All disciples: What?
John: Ok Mary, see you soon. Bye. Mary is on her way over here to update us further.
Peter: Well, I'm not waiting around I'm going to see for myself. (Peter gets up and leaves)
(There is a moment of silence as Peter exits stage left.)
Disciple - 9: Let's see if anything is on TV. Maybe JNN has something. Thy seem to know things even before it happens.
(Disciple - 10 picks up remote control, points it in direction of TV and depresses the on button. News introductory music plays. Television comes on.)
News anchorman: Good morning and welcome to JNN local and world news. In our top stories this hour:
- Reports are surfacing that the body of the man Jesus who was crucified three days ago is missing.
- Astronomers and geologists say they are no further ahead in explaining the darkness and earthquakes that suddenly occurred on the evening of the 14th, and
- The provincial governor continues to deny that dozens of person's came back to life three days ago.
Stories making headline around the world this 17 day of Nissan.
(Any current headlines may be substituted)
- US President Bill Clinton steps up his campaign for the election of Vice president Al Gore, and
- Prime Minister Tony Blair meets with IRA leaders in an effort to end the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Now to our top story:
It has been three days since the dramatic events surrounding the crucifixion of the man from Nazareth known as Jesus Christ. On that day darkness covered the land from the sixth hour to the ninth hour.
Eyewitnesses to the crucifixion say that at the ninth hour Jesus cried out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me".
We have also received numerous reports that at the moment of his death the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split and many persons who were dead and buried came alive.
In an amazing story just now breaking are reports that the body of this same Jesus is missing from his tomb.
We have on our live line Fetus Augustus a guard from the fifth regiment. Mr. Augustus, is it possible that the body of this Jesus may have been stolen by his disciples? What can you tell us?
Augustus the Guard: Well, that's the rumor going around but I tell you we were standing guard about the end of the fourth watch when we saw these two women coming to the tomb. It was still dark but I know I had seen them before. They constantly followed after this Jesus and were also there when we crucified him. Anyway as I was saying, there was a violent earthquake. A man in white appeared out of nowhere, went to the tomb and rolled the stone back. I tell you I was so scared I peed my pants. The man, whose appearance was like lightening talked with the women, I couldn't hear what they were saying but after a while they all left.
News anchorman: So Mr. Augustus how do you feel about all this.
Augustus: Well, I tell you, I have never witnessed anything like what happened over the last three days. I think we did wrong. I believe this Jesus was the Christ.
News anchorman: Thank you Mr. Augustus.
News anchorman: We also have on our live line Joseph of Arimethea in whose tomb this Jesus was buried.
Mr. Joseph, what do you make of this rumor that the body of Jesus is missing.
Joseph of Arimethea: Well sir, it is really no mystery. I followed the life and teachings of this man Jesus since he was born. Every thing about him happened exactly as it was written in the law and the prophets. The prophets told us plainly that he would die and after three days he would be raised alive. That is why I was able to freely offer him by sepulchre since I knew that he would only be there 3 days. I have no doubt that he arose from the dead and is alive.
News anchorman: There you have it folks. It seems that this Jesus who is called the Christ is indeed risen from the dead. And now this break
All Disciples: Yes!
(Disciple - 10: Takes remote control and turns off TV.)
(Door bursts open and in comes Peter out of breath, panting, and excited.)
Peter: Its true boys. He is alive. He is risen. I saw the empty tomb. Come, you gotta see for yourselves. Come on, let's go.
All disciples: Hallelujah!
(All disciples get up to leave, exit stage left)
Disciple - 11 Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
© Copyright Gregory L. Ritchie, February 2000, Nassau Bahamas.
All rights reserved.
This play may be performed free of charge in any not-for-profit situation. However, in return the author would appreciate being notified of any performance. He may be contacted at email@example.com P. O. Box N-9942, Nassau Bahamas.