Subject: The sorrow of the crucifixion. Good Friday reflections by eight people who knew Jesus intimately.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 10-15 mins
Actors: 4M, 4F (+ optional non-speaking extras)
Mary, the sister of Lazarus
The Samaritan Woman
Mary, the mother of Jesus
Set: Six chairs (three on each side) and more if extras are used
Costumes: All black
NOTE: Music can be included in between each monologue as part of a full evening service.
All enter quietly from various places in sanctuary and sit in chairs on stage. Walk to single mic (center stage) when speaking.
Peter: I remember the first day I met you. I was just a fisherman, a blue-collar worker. Not much to speak of. But You looked beyond the calloused hands, the constant stench of fish, the skin leathered from daily sun. You saw something in me. And You called me to learn from You. You were my Rabbi, my teacher, my friend. Every day for three years, I walked with You, talked with You. I saw You raise the dead, heal the sick. You spoke words that quickened my heart and gave me hope. (pause) I thought You’d live forever. I tried to save You when the soldiers came. And then I denied You. But even then, when You looked at me across the courtyard, I knew You forgave me. (pause) But this? This cross? This horrible death? This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.
Mary Magdalene: I was filled with evil spirits; I was an outcast. People ran from me in fear or scorned me for my affliction. But You came to me. You spoke to me, not with scorn, but with love. You healed me from the evil, but You also healed my heart and soul. When others would still have pushed me from their lives, You said I could follow You and listen to Your teaching. I watched You perform miracles. You made the blind to see; You healed the lame. You listened to everyone, men and women. And You loved children so much. You were just so full of love. (pause) I thought You’d live forever. I watched as they conducted a mock trial that broke all the laws. (pause) But this? This cross? This horrible death? This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.
The Centurion: I was a man of authority with soldiers and servants under my command. A Roman. A leader. Of course, I had heard of the upstart Prophet from Nazareth. I figured You would fade away just as so many had before You. But then my favored servant fell ill. No Roman doctor could heal him. No one could save him from his affliction. Then, I remembered people said You healed, even from death. I went to You, and at the very moment I asked, my servant was healed. I believed You were more than a mere prophet. (pause) I thought You’d live forever. I stood by Pilate as he washed his hands and freed Barabbas. And allowed Your own people to hand down punishment. (pause) But this? This cross? This horrible death? This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.
Mary, the sister of Lazarus: I sat at Your feet even though my sister objected. You said that I had “chosen the good part.” You taught of love and forgiveness. Then there was the day that I saw you raise my brother from the dead! I knew you were my Lord and would save me. You were so eager to make us understand God’s purpose and plan. You spoke the words of the Father, and those words never failed to fill me with peace and joy. You wanted to share your Father’s message with everyone! (pause) I thought you’d live forever. My heart broke when I saw the crown of thorns they had pressed into Your tender forehead. (pause) But this? This cross? This horrible death? This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.
Zacchaeus: Oh, that day. I had been collecting taxes from my own people for decades. I had overcharged, exacting fees and interest that only filled my own pockets. I had the best house in town, owned the strongest horses, had my every wish fulfilled. I heard You were coming to town, and I felt compelled to see You. People thought I’d climbed the tree because I’m short. I am, but that wasn’t the only reason. I was ashamed of what I had become … until You looked up at me. I didn’t see condemnation; I saw love. (pause) I thought You’d live forever. I cringed with every lash of the whip; it was punishment enough. (pause) But this? This cross? This horrible death? This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.
The Samaritan Women; In the heat of noonday, I slunk to draw water. I felt sure I wouldn’t see anyone. But there You were. You asked me for water and then told me things that You couldn’t possibly have known. You spoke of Living Water. You spoke of hope and love. And instead of cowardly sneaking back to town, I eagerly ran with the news of eternal life through You. (pause) I thought You’d live forever. I watched them as they made you drag their instrument of death through the streets. (pause) But this? This cross? This horrible death? This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.
John: Oh, Jesus! You called me a son of thunder. You brought me into Your inner circle. You taught of being reborn, of salvation, of love, of grace. You embraced me as a special friend. I followed You without reservation, without hesitation. When Peter said, “Whom else shall I follow?” I echoed those words. You were Jesus the Christ. You gave life and healing and forgiveness. You spoke words of wisdom and hope. (pause) I thought You’d live forever. I watched them as they pounded the nails in your wrists and feet, and erected the cross and nailed the sign, “Jesus, the King of the Jews.” I watched them as they bartered for your clothes and mocked you and gave you vinegar to drink. (pause) But this? This cross? This horrible death? This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.
Mary, the mother of Jesus: My son, my firstborn, the child of my heart. I don’t understand. Just thirty-three short years ago, the angel told me that You would be mine . . . but not really mine. You would be the Son of Jehovah, and I knew You were destined for great and wonderful things. I watched You grow and mature. I loved You so. I never wanted to have favorites, but You always were the easy child. You were so caring and wanted to please Joseph and me. You loved Your brothers and sisters, and played with them as You grew up. But there was always something different about You. I delighted in Your joy of this world that Your Father had created. I watched You touch thousands with Your words. (pause) I thought You’d live forever. My heart wrenched with every struggled breath. A cascade of my tears mirrored the blood flowing from Your hands and feet. (pause) But this? This cross? This horrible death? This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.
All exit, quietly
(c) 2016 Sauni Rinehart All rights reserved