Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why Do We Surround the Cross?

A dramatic narrative for Good Friday

Why Do We Surround the Cross?

(this is a brief excerpt posted on my blog. Let me know if you'd like to read more)

MAN
Please--I can't hear if you're all speaking at once—Now quiet! What happened here to have created so much chaos? Please, one at a time...


AID
Sir, if I may. . .


MAN
Who are you?


AID
I am the Governor's aid.


MAN
Can you shed light on the events that took place here?

Jesus is Sentenced to Death
AID
Well, the governor and I were just about to settle some civil matter when they led him into the room--hands bound behind his back. His head cast down, hair hanging over his face--a tired little man. We stopped our conversation to address the matter at hand--the governor, however was quite impatient. The Jewish leaders started in --I just stared at this poor, weak man. I looked him up and down as the governor circled him listening to the Jews--he seems so small and harmless. A king--that is what the Jewish leaders said--this man must be disillusioned if he thinks he is a king. He slowly lifted his head and instead of looking at the governor he pierced my vision with his eyes. He was searching for something. For some reason I could not look away--his stare was one that suggested I should know who he was and he waiting for my recollection--that's it--my eyes pierced him right back with acknowledgment--this was the man who cured that soldier's servant. We had all heard about it. Jesus, from Nazareth. Soon as I realized who he was he took a final search of my eyes and then faced the governor. The governor yelled cursing the noise rising outside, Jesus remained silent. The more vicious the accusations grew against him the calmer he appeared--quiet and secure. In exasperation to the Jewish leaders' pressure the governor turned to me and ordered me to take this man to be crucified. "Treason, he claimed to be a king." As the order left the governor's lips my heart fell--Jesus turned and trapped my eyes again--to remind me of what I already knew--but what could I do? I had to follow my orders--this man was sentenced to death.

MAN
Yes--then what happened?

GUARDS
He was given to us guards. He'd been whipped badly......

MAN
and...

Jesus Falls To the Ground
GUARD
We followed behind him trying to keep the crowd away. I've never seen anything like it--the people seemed so wild. From behind I could see that his back was all torn up from the beatings--his head dripped with blood and sweat--people screaming, pushing, cursing--some even crying. He was slowing down at one point--the other guard pushed him forward and I could see him writhe with pain. Just leave him alone, I thought--how could this man be treated so cruelly? Crying women lined the street. Next to a doorway I caught site of an old man with tear-filled eyes--what got my attention was the large mat folded up under his arm. He just stared and cried in disbelief, calling out the name--Jesus. I looked at the old man and, then, at this man--Jesus--hmm--what have you done to cause so much confusion? He began to sway back and forth--the weight of the beam was too much for him. He stopped like in a daze--probably from the loss of too much blood. The other guard started to push him again--but I stopped him-- I don't even know why. Then, this man Jesus turned around and I found him face to face with me. Time stopped and all the noise ceased--his eyes pierced mine and my heart understood. The man with the mat ran up and threw his mat on the ground--but Jesus' eyes were still fixed on me--he sighed for help--he fainted--he started to fall--his body was coming right towards me--my first instinct was to stretch out my arms and catch him--to hold him--but the noise filled my head again, I broke out in fear, I saw this falling bloody body, I had to-I stepped back. His body fell to the ground crushed by the weight of the beam. What could I do? This man was sentenced to death.

MAN
Why didn't you try to get someone to help him?

PILGRIM
He did. . .

GUARD
Well, tell him--tell him what happened. . . 
(continued in full version)