Author: Tony R. Stuckless, Spaniards Bay, Newfoundland, Canada.
Drama written about February 16th, 2001.
Author's Note: This dramatisation is written solely for the glorification of God. It is not copyright protected and is freely available for all those who will use this drama in God's name. At the end of the drama you could finish with an altar call if appropriate. You have the author's permission to use the drama as often as you like, but please keep the focus of the message intact. God bless you.
Setting: Israel during the last few weeks of Christ's life on Earth and following through into the birth of the Christian Church. The story is being told to the members of a synagogue after the day of Pentecost.
Characters: Simon - a young Zealot of unknown origin. His dress should be of the Jews of the day. There is no reason why Simon can not become Simone, a young Jewess, who has just lost her family in similar circumstances, if a lady wishes to present the drama.
(Introduction to be read by a layperson or clergy as required: This is the story of what may of happened to a young Zealot of Jesus day in the weeks leading up to the Crucifixion of Christ and the Day of Pentecost. A Zealot in Jesus' day was a Jewish rebel or freedom fighter bent on getting the Romans out of Israel by force. As Simon (or Simone) begins to tell his story, we realise he is speaking of events he witnessed during the previous weeks. He is speaking to you as if you were members of a synagogue in Simon's day. He has both seen much and been changed by what he has seen. Let your minds and hearts feel what Simon has to say. Keep in mind what it might have been like to experience first hand these events as they unfolded.)
Hello. Where do I begin? My name is Simon and I have a lot to tell you. I want to thank the Rabbi for a chance to speak to you today. As your are aware, much has happened in Jerusalem in the last few weeks. I was there for some of it and perhaps some of you were there as well. This is my story.
First, I am or was a Zealot until all this happened. I was only just becoming a Zealot. You see Roman soldiers burned my village four months ago as retaliation for a Zealot attack on a small Roman border garrison. It didn't matter that my people had nothing to do with the attack on the Romans, we were just an easy target to teach the Zealots a lesson. . (Looks at the congregation with obvious pain in his eyes and in his speech) I wasn't home at the time of the attack, but I was the first on the scene a couple of hours later. I would have given anything to have been there and to have had a chance to kill a Roman, or die trying. . The Romans killed everyone except for my Grandfather. They let him live so he could tell what had happened and why. They made him watch as they killed everyone in the village. My mother, father, brothers, and even my baby sister were killed. .. (Pauses and appears visibly overcome for a moment but then gathers himself and goes on). (Looks directly at the audience for effect) Can you begin to imagine how I felt? I wanted to kill Romans! I wanted them dead! The hate was eating me alive ..I wanted to die. . (Pause and quieter now). How I cried. If you could have seen my grandfather's eyes When they wiped out his family they destroyed his soul. I stayed with him a few days in the ruins of my home, but he just gave up and died. . I buried him next to the rest of my family and left home for Jericho. .I had nothing to stay for. . (pause for effect).
You are probably wondering why Jericho? I had heard that Zealots were active in the area and I wanted to become a Zealot. I wanted to kill Romans. .Then, as I wandered the streets of Jericho, I heard that Jesus was in town. (pause)
You need to understand, I knew of Jesus but I was not looking for Him . I had heard of the miracles and His words but it all seemed too good to be true. Besides, I was not looking to forgive the Romans. I wanted them dead. What I had heard of Jesus was that he preached love and compassion. Some even said He was the Messiah. Like many, I did not believe this, as my Messiah was a conqueror who would free Israel from the Romans .
As I walked down the road, I saw a procession coming towards me. I did not have to ask what was going on as all around me I could hear people saying, "Jesus is coming". I quickly picked out who Jesus was. He had a way of standing out in a crowd. I kept walking towards Him. He was talking and walking with his followers and more and more people on the roadside started following Him. Finally, only a few feet separated us and I moved to let Him and his procession pass by, or so I thought. ..
He was right in front of me when He just stopped. .. He motioned for His followers to be still and then He looked at me with those eyes! (pause for effect before going on and more emotional now) I just stood there while He looked into my eyes. Time just seemed to stop! No one said a word . I could feel the love and compassion in those eyes. It was as if He knew my pain. I can't explain it, but He knew what I was going through! I just lost myself in His eyes. It seemed like He was comforting me with just a look. . He glanced forward and then back at me and then He started moving again.
(Excited) I just kept standing there as Jesus and the procession passed me by. I know that He only looked into my eyes for a moment, but that moment seemed forever! . With one look into my soul, He managed to tell me He knew me! I could not get over it and I was shaking. My rage against the Romans was gone as I watched Him go on down the road. My feet started moving and I realised I was following Him!
(Quieter now and steady) I just had to follow Him. No one had ever seen so much of me with just a simple look. I felt He knew more about me than I knew myself. I began to move up through the crowd and noticed we were leaving town. As I neared Jesus, I heard a voice crying, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" It looked like some blind man on the side of the road begging. He kept calling out and some of the people called out to the blind man to be still, but he kept calling out to Jesus. . Jesus stopped and asked someone to bring the blind man to Him. (More excited now) I wondered what would happen. Was Jesus going to heal this man?! What would He do? . The blind man came to Jesus and Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied, "Rabbi, that I may receive my sight.". .. You could hear the hush come over the crowd. . We all expected Him to do some fancy thing with a flash of lighting but Jesus just looked at the blind man and said, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." . (Looks around at the audience) By this time I had moved up to where Jesus and the blind man were. I could see the blind man's face as Jesus spoke to him. (Very emotional) Suddenly the blind man could see! He could see! This was the very same blind man I had passed by earlier that day with hardly a glance. Jesus not only saw him but Jesus saw His need and healed Him. Jesus turned before going on and for another second He looked into my eyes as well. .He seemed to know that what I needed healed was not my eyes but my heart. . Again, He said nothing to me and we moved on. The blind man came with us rejoicing that he could see and praising God! The crowd was alive with what they had seen. No one but Jesus and I knew what effect He was having on me.
(Voice is steadier now) Needless to say, I followed Jesus being more careful to keep at a distance now. Those eyes knew me and I wasn't sure what I would do if I looked into them again. I followed Jesus and listened as He talked about the 'Good Shepherd'. I did not understand it all at the time but every word captivated me. Some of the Jews took up stones to kill Him because He had said; "I and my Father are one". They felt He was making Himself equal to God. I had no love for the Scribes and Pharisees either and I was afraid for a moment that they would kill Him, but He escaped them.
Messengers came to Jesus telling him that some man named Lazarus was sick. I understood from the crowd that Lazarus lived in Bethany and was some one Jesus already knew. The funny thing is Jesus, did not go right away to heal his friend but stayed where we were for two days before going to Bethany. By the time we arrived at Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days. One of the crowd told me the women speaking with Jesus were Lazarus' sisters. Jesus asked where Lazarus was so they took Him to the tomb. (Quietly but with emotion) Jesus was crying! He was crying for Lazarus! You could feel His pain. I even began to cry to for someone I did not even know! .
What happened next was beyond belief. (Louder and more intense) Jesus asked them to roll the stone away from the tomb. After the stone was moved, Jesus looked up to Heaven and then called out to Lazarus telling him to come out of the tomb! Can you imagine telling a dead man to come out of the grave! . (Pause and more calmly). But that is just what Lazarus did. He came out of the tomb. (Louder) What kind of man was this Jesus that He could even raise the dead!! I had never heard of such a thing. But now I was seeing this with my own eyes.
(Quieter) For awhile after this, I left Jesus and went my own way. I just couldn't get my head straight as to what I had seen. I wandered around eating and sleeping wherever I could. .
I woke up one morning to the sound of shouting. I went to see what was going on and I saw Jesus riding on a donkey. (Louder) The crowd were following Him shouting, "Hosanna, hosanna!" They thought He was a king! I followed Him around for the next few days after this and the things I saw and heard are too many to tell you here. He even threw the moneychangers out of the Temple. .That was the only time I saw anger in His eyes.
(Quieter now) Early one morning word went around that Jesus had been arrested. I could not believe my ears! I ran to the courtyard and saw Jesus standing with Pilate. (Louder now) The crowd was calling for His blood! They wanted Pilate to crucify Jesus! .. (Quieter now) Pilate gave his consent. I believe he agreed because he was afraid of a riot. . The next thing I knew was that the soldiers were beating Him. They placed a crown of thorns on His head and dragged Him away. He was forced to pick up a cross and carry it. He looked barely alive. He fell a couple of times and once I was very near Him as He picked Himself up. (Louder) He looked in my eyes again. I thought I would see defeat, but I did not. .For another second, time seemed to stop. . I could see the determination mixed in with the pain in His eyes and again I had that feeling that this man knew me better than I would ever know myself. . Then the soldiers jerked Him away.
(Quieter) Later, at Golgotha, they nailed Him to the cross. I wanted to leave but I couldn't .I had to stay. He was in such pain. I got as close as I could and again His eyes locked into mine. (Louder) I could feel His love for me. He had never spoken to me, but I knew this man loved me. .. Then the sky got dark in the middle of the day. It was like night! . (Quieter) Then . Then he died. ..
I ran and I ran. I hid in the caves until Sunday morning. Sunday morning was so bright and alive that I had to get up. I went back into the city . (Voice slowly rising with excitement). One of the women who had been at Golgotha ran past me muttering something like, "He's risen, He's risen.". I thought she was crazy but I followed her and she disappeared inside a house for a few minutes. I hid in the shadows to see what would happen next. (Excited) A couple of Jesus disciples came running out, heading in the direction of the tombs. .. I let them get a head start and then I followed them so they would not see me. . They arrived at the tomb. One hesitated and then they both went in. (emotional) I held my breath. This must be Jesus' tomb. .. After a couple of minutes, they came out of the tomb and ran away. I hid nearby but I could hear them muttering as they went past that the tomb was empty! . (Pause and state for effect) The tomb was empty! What was this?! I stayed hidden as I watched a woman crying near the tomb. She looked in for a minute and then stood up quickly, as a man seemed to come from nowhere! I could not here much of what they were saying but she seemed to recognise Him and she called Him, "Rabbi". He disappeared again as quick as He had appeared. She ran off in the direction the disciples had gone. (Long pause and quieter) Now what? I was alone at the tomb. I had to look inside. I had seen Him die myself and now the tomb was supposed to be empty? .. I made my way quickly to the tomb and stooped to look inside. .. I was not prepared for what I saw next. (Excited) The tomb was indeed empty! Jesus was not there! Where was He? What did this mean? ..
(Quieter) Just as I had run from Golgotha, I now ran from the Tomb. I moved around in the city over the next few weeks or so like a lost lamb. My mind was alive with what had happened to me since I had left home. I could not understand what it all meant but I could not get the events out of my mind. I needed something but I did not know what.
. One morning, I heard a strange sound. I was not alone as many others in Jerusalem heard that sound. We came together and there were the disciples of Jesus speaking to the crowd! (Louder) I could not speak to half the people around me as they were from everywhere but it was obvious we all heard the disciples in our own languages as they spoke. . The disciple named Peter shouted for attention as some people were making fun.
(Pause and quieter) What he had to say changed my life forever. As Peter spoke his eyes looked into mine and I felt a chill go down my spine. . I had seen this look before in Jesus' eyes. Those eyes belonged to Peter, but I had the feeling that Jesus was looking at me again. . (Louder) I hung on every word. Peter talked about Jesus and how He had risen from the grave to give us all eternal life. Peter said Jesus would take away our pain and our sins if we would only let Him. By the time Peter was finished, I was down on my knees crying out to Jesus for mercy. The sobs just came out of me. A hand touched me and I looked up into the eyes of one of the disciples. He asked me if I believed and I said, "Yes with all my heart". .. (pause) Again, time stopped for me. . The pain and confusion in my soul were gone! (Very excited) I was free! My heart was ready to burst! I stood and took a place near the disciples to find myself surrounded by hundreds of others with more coming to stand with us by the minute! (Pause and quieter) What peace I felt and still feel. Three thousand of us were saved that day alone and many more in the days that followed. . (Pause).
(Firm and confident) I had to come here today to share this with you .. Jesus is real and He is alive and lives in my heart today. His spirit fills my soul to overflowing, so that I must share Jesus with you. Won't you accept Jesus today? He wants to forgive all of us. We have to tell the world about Jesus!