Eyewitness 3

By Russell Stedman


A trilogy of multimedia Easter dramas.  Each drama is 35-40 minutes long.  Originally performed by our church over 3 consecutive years.  
Part 1 :  The Original Easter 
Part 2 :  The Conversion of Saul
Part 3 :  “Behind The Scenes” – Easter from a cosmic perspective.
Pre-recorded VCDs for the multimedia segments are available on request (for a fee – these are professional productions). For copies, write to the author at the email address below.
Parts 1 and 2 are set in a juxtaposition, with period-style costumes and closely based around the Biblical events, while at the same time using modern technology of television and telephones.  “Flintstonian” in a sense, and it works well.
Part 3 is more radical, kind of a cross between “The Screwtape Letters” and “Lord Of The Rings”.  It is both darker and more entertaining than Parts 1 and 2.  The use of 3 demons as main characters is a controversial choice.  Consists of Shadow-play scenes with narration and music to portray the Biblical events from Creation/Fall and to the life of Jesus, against live action scenes of 3 demons plotting to predict and disrupt an expected counter-attack from the Almighty following Satan’s great victory back in the Garden of Eden.  They eventually recognize Jesus as the focus of the Almighty’s counterattack, and set in motion several attempts to prevent the success of his mission.  The Shadow-play narrative style and music is based closely on “The Lord Of The Rings”, and the concept behind the overall drama is based on an article by John Bowen of www.dare-connexions.org on “The Spiritual Worldview of Lord Of The Rings”.

Part 2.  Behind the Scenes


Part 3 links to Part 1 by beginning with a shortened version of the Part 1 news broadcasts by Alpha Channel News (you can buy the VCD from russlerks@yahoo.co.nz).  As soon as the Part 1 news broadcasts are finished a live narrator creates the link to Part 3, explaining that in Part 3 we go behind the scenes of the very first Easter.
A Shadow play begins.  (you can obtain the VCD with the Flash file from russlerks@yahoo.co.nz).  The narration is modeled on the voice-over introduction by Galadriel to Lord of the Rings Part 1 FOTR (“It began with the forging of the Great Rings”).  The Shadow play takes us back to the story of the Creation and Fall, the explusion of Adam and Eve from the Garden, the promise of a Redeemer, and the sign of the star over Bethlehem.
The live play opens.  3 demons in Satan’s “intelligence agency” are charged with looking out for the Almighty’s counter-offensive.  They put two-and-two together and realize that a baby boy, born in Bethlehem, is the key.  They plot to have him destroyed.
The Shadow play takes us to the killing of the baby boys in Bethlehem under Herod, and tells of the escape of Jesus to Egypt.  
The next Shadow play scene is of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan.  
The live play continues.  One of the 3 was at the Jordan when Jesus was baptized and raises the alarm.  The head demon, Mestophiles, decides to escalate to Satan.
The next Shadow play is of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.  It harks back to the opening sequence where Adam and Eve were offered “the kingdom” and succumbed.  By contrast Jesus resists.  A key link between the “temptation” and “Garden of Eden” scenes is the representation of Satan by his hands only, not his body.
The 3 demons are starting to get desperate.  They know that if they do not stop Jesus, they are doomed to eternity in the Lake of Fire.  They hatch a plan which might just work, using Judas Iscariot as their agent.
Shadow play of the crucifixion.  No actors in the play this time, just a moving graphic from the website javaforjesus.com with some minor alterations.  No narration.  Just music (powerful and moving). 
Mephastophiles is ecstatic.  All the demons in Satan’s kingdom are in party mood, except one of the 3, Haman.  A cynical, depressive type, he is very uneasy.  The fact that their plot went so perfectly has surprised him, but the fact that Jesus went to the cross without protest has made him highly suspicious.  He things the 3 have just made a big mistake.   Mestophiles poo-poos this, when suddenly there is an appearance of the risen Christ in their midst (in silhouette against a strobe light).
The demons are in shock.  They realize they have played into the Almighty’s hands, and that all along it was his intention that Jesus should die.  They end by agreeing if they are doomed to the Lake of Fire, they might as well take as many people with them as they can.  The scene ends with all three turning on the audience.


Mephastophiles - Senior Demon, a leader in Satan’s intelligence agency. 
Haman: Cynical but extremely smart.  An analyst in the agency
Rastus: An agent in the field.  Seems a bit stupid but in fact is very observant.  A bit of a Beavis and Butthead character.
Characters for the Shadow Play :  
Satan (hands)
Adam & Eve
2 mothers and some Roman soldiers
John the Baptist
Some of John’s disciples being baptized

SCENE 1 Video :  Eyewitness 1 Flashbacks

Live Narrator : In Eyewitness I, we took you 2000 years back in time, to Jerusalem, to witness the events of the very first Easter.
[PLAY VIDEO CLIPS –  Flashbacks from Eyewitness 1, of the events of the first Easter]
Alpha Channel News Report # 1 – Thursday Evening
Sarah : Good evening, I am Sarah and this is Alpha Channel news from Jerusalem on Thursday...
Jesus, the popular teacher from Nazareth, may be arrested at any time.  A spokesman for the religious leaders says a warrant for Jesus' arrest was issued yesterday.  He is likely to be charged with creating civil unrest.  If found guilty, Jesus may be fined or jailed for a short time. This marks a surprising turn of events.  Only last weekend, huge crowds turned out to welcome Jesus as he arrived in the city.
However, popular opinion about Jesus is divided…[fade out]
Alpha Channel News Report # 2 – Friday Evening
Sarah : Happy Passover to all our Jewish viewers. Good evening, my name is Sarah and this is Alpha Channel news from Jerusalem on Friday.  Leading the news.
Dramatic events today in Jerusalem.  Early this morning, Jesus, the popular teacher, was sentenced to death.  He has been crucified on a hill just outside the city walls.  
Confusion surrounds the events leading to his trial and sentencing.  
Last night we reported Jesus may be arrested and charged with a minor offense in a religious court.  However he was taken to Governor Pontius Pilate, who awarded the death penalty.  Eyewitnesses described the sentencing as “peculiar”.
No charge was specified by the Governor, who appeared reluctant to pass judgment.  At one point he proposed freeing Jesus as a Passover goodwill gesture but the crowd voted for a notorious bank robber instead. Let's go now to our reporter, who is at the crucifixion…
Rep : Yes Sarah, I'm standing just below the execution site.  You can see 3 crosses behind me, where Jesus has been crucified in between 2 other criminals.  Soldiers confirmed Jesus 3 hours ago, that Jesus has died.
But let me update you on a couple of really unusual things that happened earlier today… [fade-out]
Alpha Channel News Report # 3 – Sunday Evening
Sarah : Good evening, my name is Sarah and this is The Alpha Channel news from Jerusalem on Sunday.
And once again the now deceased person of Jesus, who was executed on Friday, is in the news.  His body is missing from its tomb. Followers of Jesus are suspected of stealing away his body during the night, according to a spokesman for the religious leaders…[fade out]

Live Narrator : In Eyewitness III, we take you Behind The Scenes.

SCENE 2 Shadow Play :  Creation & Fall  (Macromedia Flash)
It began in the Garden Of Eden.  
At the dawn of time, The Almighty Creator forged a perfect universe and a perfect world, and into these He poured His glory, His power and His wisdom.  
The universe was given to the Angels, spirit beings, mighty and beautiful.  
Earth He gifted to the race of men, that they should fill and subdue it.
And there in the dazzling splendour of  Eden, a man and a woman, firstborn of the race of men.  Creator and creature, in perfect harmony.
But in the Garden a shadow moved.  That great serpent, Satan, God’s mightiest angel, fallen into darkness.  
With cunning he plied their minds.  
Why should you not eat the fruit forbidden by the Creator?   
Is he trying to hide something from you?
Why should the Creator forbid you, the crown of His creation, anything?   
If you take the fruit, you will surely not die, as the Creator has said.  No, He knows you will become like Him, knowing good and evil. 
Blinded with ambition and pride, they were deceived.  
Desiring power and knowledge forbidden, they took the fruit…and rebelled. 
Time passed.  Death and darkness filled the whole earth.  Generations, kingdoms, empires came and went.  Memory of The Creator faded.  
Yet still a hope remained.  A promise of a Redeemer, who would come to crush the serpent, and restore the creation back to The Creator. For a new day was about to begin.  
In the east, a star arose.  And some, seeking the promise, discerned its meaning.  
They followed the star, and by its light, came to the land of Palestine, and to the town of Bethlehem.

SCENE 3 Live Play :  The Bethlehem Plot

(Setting :  The Office of Mephastophiles, a senior demon.  Mestophiles is at his desk, lighting a cigarette. Phone rings)
Mephastophiles:[still leaning back in chair].  Mestophiles here…  [leans forward suddenly].  Yes, sir…  Yes, sir…  I see, sir…  [long pause]  I’ll find out all there is to know, sir…  [presses a button on the phone]  Haman.  Rastus.  In my office, now.
(Door opens.  Haman and Rastus enter.  They sit down without saying anything.)
Mephastophiles: Our Great Leader just called.
Rastus: You mean, Satan just called.
Mephastophiles: No, not Satan.  I mean, yes, Satan.  But don’t call him Satan.  That name has so many negative connotations.
Haman: Lucifer, then.
Mephastophiles:Yes, yes.  Mr Lucifer.  That’s better.  He called just now.  We’re on alert.
Haman: We’re all going to end up in the Lake Of Fire, anyway.
Mephastophiles:Haman, that will become self-fulfilling if you keep on saying it.  There is no need for any of us to end up in the Lake Of Fire.  We have the upper hand now.  Ever since Our Great Leader got Adam and Eve to go along with him, it’s been quite straightforward.
Haman: Somehow I doubt it is so straightforward.  [pause]  Why did you call this meeting?
Mephastophiles:Alright.  Our Great Leader suspects The Almighty is about to launch a counter-offensive.
Haman: Ahhh.
Mephastophiles:So he’s instructed us to gather whatever information we can.  Anything out of the ordinary.  Any clue of what The Almighty is up to.
Haman: [to Rastus]  We’re clutching at straws, in other words.
Mephastophiles:So Haman.  Rastus.  Do you have any intelligence?
Rastus: Are you calling us stupid?
Mephastophiles:I’m not calling you stupid, you idiot.  I’m asking for information.  Have you seen anything unusual recently?  Anything that you could not understand?
Haman: Such as?
Mephastophiles:For example, we’re pretty interested in the land of Palestine at the moment, and the town of Bethlehem in particular.  About 2 weeks ago there was a disturbance in the sky over Bethlehem.  A huge number of angels suddenly appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the night.  None of our demons could get very close, but from a mile away they thought they heard the angels singing.
Haman: Tell him about the star, Rastus.
Rastus: The star?
Haman: Yes.  The star.  Tell him about it.
Rastus: Oh right.  The star.  You see, Mr Mestophiles.  There are stars.  And there are stars.  Well, there was this particular star.  But it wasn’t really a star.  It looked like a star.  It was little.  It twinkled.
Haman: Get on with it Rastus.
Rastus: Yes.  Well.  There was this twinkly little star.  Up above the world so high.  Like a diamond in the sky.
Haman: [long pause]  And…?
Rastus: And it moved.
Mephastophiles:That’s all?
Haman: Rastus here, spotted something that looked like a star in the sky one night.  It was moving.  It moved from east to west.  It hovered over Jerusalem.  Then it travelled north and hovered over Bethlehem.
Mephastophiles:When was this?
Haman: About a week ago.
Mephastophiles:Anything else, Rastus?
Rastus: Not really, no.  [pause]  Not unless you’re interested to hear about the three men who followed the star to Jerusalem and Bethlehem last week.
Mephastophiles:I’m very interested.  Go on.
Rastus: I’m in Herod’s palace in Jerusalem.  Just hanging around.  All of a sudden these three men riding camels arrive at the palace gate.  They want to see the newborn king.  Herod tells them “there is no newborn king”.  And they say “Oh yes there is. We have seen his star in the sky.  We have followed that star from the east.  And we are not going home until we find him”.  So Herod says, “Okay, go and find him then”.   So off they go.
Mephastophiles:And did they find the newborn king?
Rastus: I don’t know.  I haven’t seen them since.
Mephastophiles:So.  Angels singing over Bethlehem.  A star that moves.  Men following the star from the east.  Talk of a newborn king.  What do we make of all this?
Haman: [long pause]  A baby boy.  Born in Bethlehem 2 weeks ago.  The Almighty is protecting him.
Mephastophiles:This is the counter-offensive Our Great Leader was warning about.  A baby boy.  [pause]   What do we do now?
Haman: You had better tell Our Great Leader, as you are so fond of calling him.
Mephastophiles:Yes, but let’s go to him with a plan.  That will look a lot better.  Any ideas?
Haman: [sinister] If we can find the baby boy, we can make life very difficult for him.
Mephastophiles:If we can find him, yes.  But there are lots of baby boys in Bethlehem.  We don’t know which one he is.
Rastus: We could make life very difficult, for all the baby boys!
Mephastophiles:Yes we can.  But that’s going to take a lot of resources.  A lot of wasted effort.
Rastus: [long pause].  Let’s kill all the baby boys! [snigger]
Mephastophiles:Excellent [laughs].  But how?
Rastus: Herod!  We can use Herod!
Mephastophiles:Yes.  Yes!  Now go back to Herod’s palace in Jerusalem.  Make him very anxious about this newborn king.  Make him jealous.  Make him think the baby king is his enemy.  And put the idea in his head to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem, immediately.
Rastus: Right away, Mr Mestophiles.
Mephastophiles:I’m going to get a promotion out of this.  Sometimes, Rastus, you’re quite clever, for an idiot.
Rastus: Thank you, Mr Mestophiles.  Thank you very much [snigger].

SCENE 4A Shadow Play :   The Baby Boys

And so it was.  Herod gave orders that all baby boys under the age of 2, in Bethlehem and the surrounding area, should be put to death. But an angel of The Almighty gave warning in a dream to the parents of the boy-child Jesus.  They fled, in the middle of the night, to Egypt, and so escaped the sword of Herod.

SCENE 4B Shadow Play :  Baptism of Jesus

Thirty years passed.  And in those days, John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is near.”  People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.  Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan river. Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.  As soon as Jesus was baptized, heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love.”

SCENE 5 Live Play :  The Discovery of Jesus

(Setting :  The Office of Mestophiles.  Mestophiles is wearing a bow tie, lighting a cigar.  Haman and Rastus enter)
Mephastophiles:So why do you two want to see me?
(Haman and Rastus sit down and make themselves comfortable)
Rastus: We have some news for Mr Lucifer.
Haman: Remember the Bethlehem incident a long time ago.
Mephastophiles:The Bethlehem incident.  The one with the star?  When we got Herod to kill all the baby boys?
Haman: Indeed.
Mephastophiles:That must have been twenty years ago, or more.
Haman: Thirty, to be exact.
Mephastophiles:That was one of the greatest moments of my career.  You know, Our Great Leader was so impressed with our work there he gave me a promotion.  Chief of Anti-Counter-Offensive Strategic Planning.
Haman: Good for you.  That makes you the right guy to hear what we have to tell you.
Mephastophiles:Which is…?
Haman: You have heard of this character “John The Baptist”?
Mephastophiles:Of course.  We checked him out.  He’s harmless.  One of these prophets who gets up and tells the people they are sinners, must repent, blah blah blah.  People will start getting sick of him soon, who wouldn’t?   “Be holy.  Be righteous”.  He’s a fad, and he’ll fade.  A pop star.  A star today.  “Pop” tomorrow.
Haman: You think so.
Mephastophiles:Why?  What are you worried about?
Haman: Oh we’re not worried about him at all.  Tell him, Rastus.
Rastus: You see, Mr Mestophiles.  I was hanging out at the Jordan River yesterday.  Watching this John The Baptist.  Watching the crowd.  He’s preaching.  Baptizing people.  There’s a queue of them.  In the queue is this particular man.  Quiet chap.  Nothing special.  It’s his turn.  Says a few words to Jonnie.  Splash.  Baptized.  Next thing, BOOM!  [shouting, excitable] A voice from heaven.  I swear it’s the Almighty.  I can’t tell exactly what He’s saying, something about a son.  Next thing, this bird, a little white dove, floats down.  Lands on this chap who’s just been baptized.  Now, Johnnie stands up, and in a loud voice, tells everyone :  “Don’t follow me.  Follow him”, pointing to the the other guy who’s standing there, dripping wet.  The crowd’s a bit confused, but a chunk of them peel off and go over this guy.  He walks off and they follow.
Mephastophiles:Did you find out who this man is?
Haman: His name is Jesus.  He’s from the town of Nazareth.  A carpenter.  Eldest son of the family.  Mother Mary.  Father Joseph, recently deceased.
Mephastophiles:How old is he?
Haman: Thirty.
Mephastophiles:[pause]  Say that again?
Haman: Thirty.  He is thirty years old.
Mephastophiles:How did he escape??  [pause] We have a problem.
Haman: We have a very big problem.
Mephastophiles:What are we going to do now?
Haman: That would be a question for the Chief of Anti-Counter-Offensive Strategic Planning.
Mephastophiles:We’d better inform Our Great Leader right away.
Haman: I think YOU had better inform Our Great Leader right away, Chief, sir.
Mephastophiles:He’ll skin me alive.  I’ll be demoted.
Rastus: Just pick up the phone, Chief
Mestophiles starts to pick up the phone.  Puts it down again.
Mephastophiles:You two can leave my office now.
Rastus: We’d really rather stay and listen, Chief.  I’d like that.
Mephastophiles:Get out of my office now.
Haman: We’re all going to end up in the Lake Of Fire, anyway.  I’m saying that to make you feel better.
(Haman and Rastus leave.  Mestophiles picks up phone and dials.  Lights fade out.)

SCENE 6 Shadow Play :  Temptation

Then Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, to be tempted there by the Satan. For forty days and forty nights he ate nothing, and became very hungry. Then Satan came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, turn these stones into loaves of bread." 
But Jesus told him, “No!  The Sacriptures say, 'People need more than bread for life; they must feed on every word of God.’"
Then Satan took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "jump off!  For the Scriptures say :  " 'He orders his angels to protect you.  And they will hold you with their hands, to keep you from striking your foot against a stone.'"
Jesus answered him, "The Scriptures also say : ‘Do not test the Lord your God'. "
Then Satan took him to a very great height.  He showed him all the nations of the world, and all their glory.  "I will give it all to you," he said, "if you will only bow down and worship me." 
Jesus said to him, "Get away from me, Satan! For the Scriptures say :  'You must worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'" 
Then Satan left him.

SCENE 7 Live Play :  The Judas Plot

(Setting :  The Office of Mephastophiles.  Mephastophiles is at his desk, lighting a cigarette, no tie, shirt is open (demoted again).  Phone rings.)
Mephastophiles:This is Mephastophiles…  [leans forward suddenly].  Yes, sir…  I know, sir…  [wincing as he speaks]  Yes, I’m terribly sorry about that, sir…  Yes, I know I deserve that, sir…  I won’t let you down this time, sir.  I’m working on a plan.  I think we can find a way to… Sir?…  Sir?… [looks at the phone.  Lucifer has hung up on Mephastophiles]
(Mephastophiles shakes his head and puts his head in his hands for a moment.  Then he sits up and presses a button on the phone.)  Haman.  Rastus.  In my office, now.
(Door opens.  Haman and Rastus enter.  They sit down without saying anything.)
Mephastophiles:Our Great Leader just called.  [sighs]  You do not want to talk to him when he’s angry.
Haman: Mr Lucifer is too highly strung.  You should tell him to relax.  We’re all going to end up in The Lake Of Fire, anyway.
Mephastophiles:Friends.  I need your help.  We’ve got to find a way to stop The Almighty carrying out His plan.  I think we can do this, if we work together.  There’s a good chance for us to all get a nice promotion from Our Great Leader, if we can pull it off.
Rastus: A nice promotion will be very useful, in The Lake Of Fire.
Mephastophiles:So we’re together on this?  Alright.  So.  Jesus.  We identified him 3 years ago.  The cornerstone of The Almighty’s plan.  Our Great Leader tried to persuade him personally to give up his mission.  Without much success.  Without ANY success.  And now he is immensely popular.  Thousands following him.  What is to be done?  All the demons are starting to talk like you, Haman :  “We’re all going to end up in The Lake Of Fire.”
Haman: Is that wrong?
Mephastophiles: Look.  The Almighty’s plan hinges on this single person.  Jesus.  If we can remove him, The Almighty’s plan is finished.
Haman: And just what is The Almighty’s plan?
Mephastophiles: It must be for Jesus to stage a popular uprising and seize power.  If that happens we will be well and truly finished.  It will be the start of The Almighty’s new kingdom.  The whole human race could eventually come back to him.  We have to kill Jesus.  As soon as possible.
Haman: What do we have to work with?
Mephastophiles:He has this follower.  Judas Iscariot.  I’ve been studying him.  He walks like a follower.  Talks like a follower.  But He’s a fake.  He’s counting on following Jesus into power.  He just wants power and money.
Rastus: I like the guy.
Mephastophiles:I think we can use him.  But I can’t figure out how.
Haman: [long pause] Imagine what would happen if the authorities thought Jesus was going to seize power.
Mephastophiles:They would arrest him.  Probably execute him for treason.
Haman: So we just have to make them believe that’s what he’s going to do.
Mephastophiles:That’s good.  But how are we going to do it?
Rastus: Judas!  Get Judas to tell them.
Mephastophiles:Yes, I thought about that as well.  But the problem is Judas doesn’t want Jesus to be executed.  He wants to follow him into power.
Haman: Let’s see.  Maybe we can still use Judas.  Judas knows how powerful Jesus is.  And how popular.  Judas is greedy for power and money.  So we work on his greed.  Make him impatient.  Desperate.  He’s been with Jesus for 3 years, and still Jesus hasn’t made a move to take power.  What if he has to wait another 3 years?  He can’t wait that long!
Mephastophiles:Okay, but what can he do about it?
Haman: [stands up and walks around].   Imagine I’m Judas.  I think to myself :  “If the authorities make a move to shut Jesus down, Jesus is not going to wait around to get arrested.  He would strike out and take power right away.  And he could do it anytime, he’s popular enough.”
Mephastophiles:So you go to the authorities.  You give them a false tip-off.  You force Jesus’ hand.
Haman: Exactly.  “I tell them I know Jesus is planning a revolution.  If they want to arrest him, I’ll help them.  I’ll take them to him.  I’ll even promise to be a witness for the prosecution in court.  They can’t turn me down.  They’ll probably even pay me to do it.  Then when they come to arrest Jesus, he will blow them all away.”
Mephastophiles:But we don’t want Jesus to blow them away!  Our plan would backfire!
Haman: Ahh, but we want Judas to think :  “Jesus will blow them away”.
Mephastophiles:I see.
Haman: And Jesus won’t be able to do that, if we move in quickly.  Jesus needs some organization to support a proper revolution.  What does he have?  Twelve followers, including Judas.  That’s all.  You’ve seen them.  What do you think?  Look at them.  Squabbling.  Jealous of each other.  So much weakness!  But we can make blind Judas to all that.  That part is easy.  Look at him.  Greedy.  Selfish.  He’s one of ours.
Rastus: I LOVE the guy!
Haman: [sinister, low voice] We can control him.
Mephastophiles:Okay.  [slowly] So we take Judas over.  Judas tips off the authorities.  They arrest Jesus.  What then?
Haman: They take him to trial.  There are plenty of people we can work on to make up all sorts of stories about him.  The case for the prosecution will be irrefutable.  Jesus’ followers will be terrified.  They’ll abandon him.  There will be no defense.  Then the authorities pass sentence.  Treason.  Death.  Crucifixion for Jesus.
Rastus: Poor Judas.  Game over.
Mephastophiles:[hearty laugh] Let’s do it.  I’m going to tell Our Great Leader about this.  Promotions, friends.
[in a conspiratorial, suggestive way]  Think about this.  If we can pull this off, we save all the demons from The Lake Of Fire.  Think how popular we’ll be!  They’ll love us more than [point to phone] Our Great Leader.  Know what I’m saying?
Haman gives a low whistle
Rastus: No.  What are you saying?
Haman: Never mind Rastus, I’ll explain it to you later.  Now come with me.  We’re going to pay a visit to our friend Judas.  You’re going to be seeing a lot of him in the next few days.

SCENE 8 Shadow Play :  The Crucifixion

(Macromedia Flash of crucifixion scene from javaforjesus.com, music only, no narrative)

SCENE 9A Live Play :  Party Time

(Theme music from Mission Impossible (from the 90s movie), very loud.  Flashing lights.  M enters, wearing bow-tie, smoking a cigar, dancing around to the music.  Silver champagne bucket is on the desk.  He pulls out the champagne, uncorks it. H & R enter.)
Mephastophiles:Welcome friends, welcome.  Our Great Leader sends his congratulations.  And a case of champagne.
Rastus: May I?
Mephastophiles:Please, help yourself.
Phone rings.  M picks up phone.
Mephastophiles:[talking into the phone] This is Mestophiles …  Thank you, thanks very much…  Yes, brilliant, I agree…  Stop by for some champagne sometime.  Courtesy of Our Great Leader.
[to H & R] You know the phone’s been ringing red hot since the crucifixion.  The demons can hardly believe it’s all over.
Haman: Neither can I.
(Phone rings.  M picks up phone.)
Mephastophiles:[talking into the phone] Mestophiles… Why thank you… No, I think there’s been enough partying for this old demon in the last 2 days, I’ll pass.  But thanks, appreciate it.
[to H] Why, what’s your problem?
Haman: It was all too easy.
Mephastophiles:What do you mean?
Haman: Apart from Judas deciding to grow a conscience and kill himself half way through, everything went far too smoothly.  Judas betrays Jesus.  Jesus gets arrested.  He doesn’t object.  Dragged before the court.  Not a word in his own defense.  Gets flogged.  Ripped open.  Not a whimper.  Gets nailed to the cross.  He blesses those torturing him.  He’s dying.  In utter agony.  Still he doesn’t curse anyone.  Doesn’t blame anyone.  Not Judas.  Not us.  The only one he blames for anything is The Almighty.  Weak as he is, he shouts it, from the cross :  “My God, why have You forsaken me?”  Can you believe it!  I thought we were the ones making all this happen and he’s pointing the finger at The Almighty!
Mephastophiles:You’re just paranoid.  Drink up and relax.  Cheers!
Haman: When I heard him shout like that, I tell you, a chill went through me.  Until then I was as happy as the rest of you to see him dying.  But not now.  Now I am thinking we have made a very big mistake.  A very big mistake.
Mephastophiles:Haman.  [laughing] Haman.  You are impossible.  You worked out what the Almighty was up to in Bethlehem.  You picked up the trail of Jesus when he was baptized.  You figured out how to get Jesus killed.  You engineered Judas.  Your whole plan went perfectly.  Perfectly!
Rastus: [slightly drunk by now] Perfectly!
Mephastophiles:And now you’re worried because it went TOO perfectly.
Rastus: TOO perfectly!
Mephastophiles:Haman, you’re the smartest demon there is.  Smarter than me.
Rastus: Smarter than me!
Mephastophiles:I dare say even smarter than Our Great Leader.  I mean, he’s better looking.  Stronger.  Terrifying.  But you’re smart.  You just lack self-confidence.  Ahh, but I have faith in you.  And when we give Our Great Leader a little [makes a nudge with his elbow], if you get my meaning, you’ll be right up there with me.
Rastus: Right up where?
Mephastophiles:Never mind, Rastus, you idiot.
[loudly]  To Haman.  The smartest demon.  Cheers!
Rastus: Cheers!   [M&R touch glasses]  To poor old Judas!
Mephastophiles:Cheers!   [M&R touch glasses]  To the three of us.  We will take on The Almighty and win!  We already have!!!

SCENE 9B Shadow Play :  The Resurrection

 [music starts playing.  Jesus appears in strobe]

SCENE 9C Live Play :  Vengeance

Mephastophiles:What just happened?
Rastus: That was Jesus – right?
Haman: That was Jesus.  Alive.
Mephastophiles:But we just killed him.  We saw him dead – right??  He was dead, wasn’t he?
Haman: He was definitely dead.  And buried.
Mephastophiles:[shouting, almost screaming] So what’s he doing alive again?!
[pointing his finger at the phone].  That phone.  That phone is going to ring any minute now.  Our Great Leader will be in a rage.  Heads will roll.  He will want facts.  Answers.  Strategy to regain our advantage.  We’d better get ready with something – fast.
Haman: What are you thinking???  We never had an advantage!  Tell that to Mr Lucifer.  The Almighty has been one step ahead of us every step of the way!  You thought I could read The Almighty’s gameplan.  THIS was the Almighty’s plan all along.  He wanted Jesus to die!  How could we have foreseen that??
Mephastophiles:You miss the point, Haman.  The problem is not that Jesus died.  The problem is that he is alive again and we haven’t got rid of him.
Haman: [shouting and jabbing with finger] No, YOU miss the point.  The problem is that The Almighty wanted Jesus to die.  He never lets anything happen without a reason.
Mephastophiles:Just whose side are you on, Haman?
Haman: [shouting even louder] Face it, Mestophiles.  We can’t outplay The Almighty.  [quieter, building up to the end] We thought we were fighting Him, but He was using us!  We thought we were trying to kill Jesus, but He wanted Jesus to die.  We thought that would be the end of Jesus, but He brings him back to life.  We are finished.  Finished!
Mephastophiles:Would you stop talking like that!  [pause] Alright, alright.  It’s bad.
Rastus: It’s worse than that.
Mephastophiles:Yes it’s worse than that.  But let’s get a grip.  We are not in the Lake Of Fire yet.  But if that’s where we are headed, let’s…
Haman: [pointing to audience at the left] Let’s make someone pay.
Rastus: [pointing to audience at the right] Let’s get the human race!
Mephastophiles:Yes.  Yes!!  [in the center of the 3 and lunging at the audience in the center] Let’s make THEM pay!
End of part 3
Copyright Russell Stedman, 2001, all rights reserved.
This script may be used with royalty payment, provided no charge is made for entrance to the performance. In return, the author would like to be told of any performance. He may be contacted at : russlerks@yahoo.co.nz