The Passion Play Script
What a week for Jesus it was to be. "Today's the day!" the people of Jerusalem shouted. Jesus, the great prophet,
the Messiah, the long awaiting king of the Jews was coming to the city. He would spend only week there, his last week
on earth. The people wanted to give their king a parade. They ripped branches off the palm trees and ran out to
the city gates to see their king, Jesus. The chief priest and elders didn't like all the people paying so much attention
to this Jesus. But the people didn't listen to them. They only ran out singing: "Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!"
Prepare Ye the Way
Jesus wasn't in the city long before the chief priests and elders knew they had to find a way to get rid of him.
You see, they where in charge of the church in Jerusalem and people were looking to Jesus as King of their church. They
felt that Jesus was after their job. So they planned to take him to court by getting their friends to lie about him.
They would say that he broke their laws.
The chief priest and elder brought Jesus before Pilate. Pilate was the judge of the whole land in Jerusalem.
Many people came and told lies about Jesus. But Jesus didn't answer them. Jesus knew he was innocent. Pilate
asked Jesus, "Don't you hear what they are saying about you?" Jesus remained silent. Pilate continued, "Are you
the king of the Jews?" Jesus looked at Pilate and said, "As you say." Pilate knew that Jesus wasn't guilty.
Pilate figured that the Priest and Elders were just jealous of Jesus and wanted to teach him a lesson. "They probably
wanted him to leave the city," he thought. So he remembered that it was festival week. They had an old custom
that allowed the judge to free one prisoner if the people approved it. Pilate thought, "I'll grab the worst, meanest
prisoner in jail. I'll offer the people Jesus or the bad prisoner. Surely they'll take Jesus. Pilate
grabbed Barabbas, the meanest criminal in jail. He even killed people.
Because it's festival week," Pilate said to the crowd, " I am releasing one prisoner to you. Today, you have a choice,
Jesus or Barabbas." Pilate just knew they would let Jesus go free. He said,
"Which one do you want me to set free?"
"Barabbas! Give us Barabbas!"
Pilate was surprise. He asked the crowd, "Then what am I to do with Jesus, the so-called king of the Jews?"
"Nail him to the cross! Crucify him!"
Pilate knew that crucifixion would mean death to Jesus. And he didn't do anything wrong for such an awful way to
die. Pilate shouted back, "Why, what crime did Jesus commit?"
"Crucify him, Crucify him, Crucify him!"
Pilate couldn't get a straight answer out of the crowd. He was afraid they'd break out into a riot so he called for
a bowl of water. He dipped his hands into the bowl and said, "Okay, but I wash my hands of this whole matter.
It is you, you people out there, you are sending this Jesus to the cross--not me."
Pilate released Barabbas to the crowd. He had his soldiers take Jesus to their jail until they had
time to get his cross ready.
The soldiers ripped the clothes off Jesus. They all laughed at him and took turns hitting him. One soldier
got the bright idea to dress Jesus up to look like the king of the Jews. They placed an robe about his shoulders and
laughed. One soldier found a stick and placed it in his hands as a king's ruling scepter. Jesus just hung his
head down. He was very sad.
Then another soldier looked around for a king's crown. He saw some sticker bushes nearby and pulled a few
strands ou. He rolled them up into a crown and stuck it on Jesus' head. He pushed it down hard until the
thorns went into his skin and he began to bleed. They all laughed very hard.
They even bowed down on their knees laughing at this funny looking king. They said, "All hail the king, the
king of the Jews."
When they tired of making a fool of Jesus they got up. One soldier took the robe off Jesus. Another quickly
grabbed the stick out of his hand and he beat him again. They all laughed again. The soldiers put Jesus' clothes back
on him and took him out of the jail. They gave him his cross to carry all the way to the top of the hill called, Golgotha.
Jesus was so beaten and tired he couldn't believe that they wanted him to carry that heavy mean looking cross. "To the
top, king of the jews," one soldier shouted as they all pointed to Golgotha.
They kicked him as he started the long climb.
When Jesus fell for the third time, the soldiers were afraid he would die before they got to the top. So they picked
a strong man in the crowd. His name was Simon. They force him to carry the cross for Jesus. And Simon did
it; He was too scared of all the soldiers to say no. Besides, he felt sorry for Jesus. He looked into Jesus'
eyes and carried his cross to the top of the hill.
When they reach the top of Golgotha the soldiers laid Jesus upon the cross. Jesus couldn't believe his eyes when
he saw a soldier get out long nails and a hammer. But he was too tired to pull away. The soldier hammered
a nail into Jesus' right hand.
Then he nailed his other hand into the splinter wood of the cross.
Next he nailed his feet to the cross.
Another soldier nailed a sign to the top of the cross and laughed.
They lifted the cross and dropped it into a small hole so it would stand firm.
The soldiers sat around waiting for Jesus to die. They even rolled dice for his clothes. They left him nothing,
not even his last piece of clothing.
Jesus cried out,
"My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
This call to God scared the Elder who quickly grabbed a sponge. He dipped it in a bucket of old cheap wine and raised
it up on a stick to offer Jesus a drink. But the chief priest stopped him and said, "Wait. He's calling on God to help
him. Let's see if God will do it." Once again Jesus cried out and began to give up his spirit.
There was a terrible wind storm when Jesus died, and the earth trembled. One soldier even said, "Clearly, this was
the Son of God."
Some friends took Jesus off the cross and carried him off to their tomb to be buried.
What a week for Jesus it was to be. "Today's the day." the people of Jerusalem shouted. Jesus the great prophet,
the messiah, the long awaiting king of the Jews was coming to the city. He wouldspend only one week there--only one
week. And what a week for Jesus!