Peter: We became different men when we were with him. Knowing who I was before I knew Him, I’m amazed that He would want anything to do with me. I’m just Simon Peter – a simple fisherman, a common man. I’m amazed He would want to work with me, to change me and shape me into someone that could take His message to the entire world. I’m not sure that any of us caught a glimpse of what His true purpose was in being here. You see, we had figured it out for Him – a grand entrance to the city of Jerusalem, the people bowing before Him, maybe even a short scuffle with the Romans. But we would prevail, and then He would be King. And He would right what had been so horribly wrong for so long – He would oust the Romans and take the Holy City back. As the events of that horrible weekend unfolded, we realized that we were the ones who had been horribly wrong. For Jesus’ enemies were not the Romans, but the leaders of his own people, the Jews. Christ became the object of their wrath; and when threatened, those in power seek to destroy that which threatens them. It turns out that our Master became that target.
John: We knew of the danger – we had been warned and we had observed the tension ourselves. But all we could do was continue with Passover preparations as he instructed us. Passover is one of the greatest celebrations within the Jewish year, and we desperately needed to come together and renew our spirits. We found a place to celebrate the Passover meal, and soon we were all gathered there to eat together. Despite the looming clouds, it seemed like our dreams were coming to pass.
Video: (Last Supper clip from "Jesus of Nazareth" – end with Jesus saying to Peter, “When you have recovered you must give strength to your brothers.”)
John: It was during that Passover meal we started to realize that things were changing. Before long, they were spiraling out of our control. It all started with those simple words of Christ’s, “I shall not be with you much longer.” With those words, fear struck in our hearts. All of a sudden, we knew our time of training and instruction was over, and we were heading towards a destination we couldn’t bear to look at. All we wanted was to be with Him forever – to sit at his feet and worship him – to never let him out of our sight and our protection, our very limited protection, as we soon discovered.
Peter: And to hear him say that we would fail Him – that I would deny Him! It was impossible! No one questions my loyalty. I would have served Him to the death! (calmer – all the anger diffused) At least I thought I would have. Little did I know that all the loyal feelings in the world wouldn’t get me through that night and the following day. All the adrenaline, all the love, all the changes He had made in me were out the window as soon as I was challenged; as soon as He had been taken away, and had left me. He even knew I’d fail Him. He told me, “This very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” I still can’t even bear to think of it. Just sitting there at his feet and listening to him talk, even if it scared me, was some of the purest joy I’ve ever known. He was all I wanted.
Song: “Everything” – Lifehouse (a secular band that writes really spiritual stuff. This song is absolutely perfect here, and the tabs can be found on the internet)
John: The Last Supper, as it came to be known, drew to a close. Jesus and the disciples closest to Him retreated to the Mount of Olives to be near him as He prayed. We tried to keep watch with him, but the stress of the recent weeks was catching up with us, and we fell asleep. Often, he would rouse us and beg us to stay with him, to be strength for him, human contact in a misty world where he was fighting the shadows of his destiny. But we failed him. And in the midst of our failure, a traitor crept among us.
Peter: A man we didn’t know was a traitor, a man who had eaten with us, slept with us, and listened to the same words of love from the lips of Christ. But he was a traitor nonetheless. And with his betrayal, the crushing events of the weekend truly began. And I, Peter, found Christ’s prophecies come to life.
Video: (Betrayal and Peter’s denial clip – end first clip with “Take him away”. End 2nd clip with Peter sobbing by the wall.)
Song: “Yesterday” – The Beatles (Change the “she’s” to “he’s”. It becomes a perfect reflection song from Peter’s perspective.)
John: Somehow that night kept going. Somehow most of us survived. But what a night. Our world was crashing around us. The security and love we felt as a part of Jesus’ inner circle had vanished, and in its place was a world in which nothing made sense, and everything was upside down. We were running around aimlessly without our leader – desperately wondering what to do and how to feel. We were back and forth between thinking we should try to save him and wanting to just run away. Such fear! And such confusion. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way!
Peter: I found myself crushed by the events of just that one night –
and there was so much yet to come.
The Jewish leaders had conspired, through Judas’ betrayal, to arrest Jesus and have him brought before Roman authorities for questioning and, they hoped, conviction. The Romans leaders, Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea, and Herod, the king, wavered on what to do with Jesus. But eventually they grew tired of the Jews’ fanaticism over this “King of the Jews” and they sentenced Him, upon the crowd’s demand, to death.
John: Crucifixion! With that one word, all our dreams were finally and irrevocably destroyed. Our Messiah was sentenced to the death usually reserved for common criminals - robbers and murderers. Our hopes for a strong, ruling kingdom right in the midst of Jerusalem were gone. Our plans for the overthrow of the Romans, gone. Our dreams of serving beside him, gone. And even worse than all of this, the man we loved, served, and followed was suffering horribly. We could hardly even bear to look upon him, and neither could many of the rest of those who loved him.
Video: (Cross clip – beginning with the guard ushering Jesus out with the crosspiece on his shoulders - end with the woman wiping his face.)
Peter: In the crowd were many different types of people: those who knew nothing of him, and those who thought they knew everything about Him. Those who had served Him and loved Him, and those who had hated and insulted Him. Those who prided themselves on their knowledge, and those who knew that they knew very little according to the world’s standards. There were those who were old, and had seen many a Passover, and there were very young ones – too young to be watching such a spectacle of death and horror.
Song: “Why” – Nicole Nordeman
John: Later we understood that Jesus was dying for all of us, including the children he had loved so much in his time here on this earth. But during that one horrible weekend, all we could see was the pain and tragedy of it. You see, with the death of our Master, it wasn’t just the loss of our dreams that we suffered from. It was the personification of those dreams – Christ himself – that we lost. Everything we lived for was wrapped up in that man, and now, he was gone. And with him went all our dreams, yearnings, and our very hearts.
© Alison Hay, all rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. She may be contacted at: AlisonHay@aol.com