The Un-Passionate Christ . . . What If?

Easter Drama for Older Teens and Adults

Focus: What if Jesus came to earth out of selfish ambition, rather than to die in our place?

The actors pantomime their parts while the Narrator speaks slowly. (Optional: Allow Jesus to speak his lines rather than the Narrator. However, the last line should be spoken by Jesus). 

Jesus moves from one scene to the next with the actors remaining "frozen" until it is their scene. You may want to darken the room and use a spot light to focus on each scene while it's being acted out. 

Characters: Narrator, Jesus, Bartimaeus the blind beggar, Disciples, a few Townspeople, Woman caught in adultery, Pharisees, Judas, Roman Guards.

Set Up: On your stage or chancel area set up five vignettes of the following Bible stories:

Scene One: Jesus and Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-51), 
Scene Two: Jesus with his disciples (Mark 6:32-33), 
Scene Three: Woman caught in adultery (John 8:3-6),
Scene Four: Jesus arrested (Luke 22:47-50)
Scene Five: Crucifixion scene. (At the back of the stage area drape a thin curtain or large white sheet with back lighting to create a silhouette of the crucifixion. Matthew 27:32-44; Mark 15:21-39; Luke 23:26-46; John 19:28-37.)
Scene Six: Resurrection (John 20) - set up behind stage curtain.

Scene One: Jesus and Bartimaeus 
(Adapted from Mark 10:46-51)

Narrator: What if Jesus hadn't come to earth to seek and to save the lost? What if he didn't come to die in our place? What would be our fate? Maybe it would look like this:

(Spot light focuses on scene one.)

Narrator: As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man named Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. 

The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."

Jesus: (optional to speak this part or narrator reads) "You want to see?" Why should I heal you? You're just a beggar and I really don't have time for you! Leave me alone."

Narrator: So Jesus left and went on his way. 

(Jesus proceeds to next scene)

(Spot light dims and focuses on the next scene.)

Scene Two: Jesus With His Disciples 
(Adapted from Mark 6:32-33)

Narrator: The disciples gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, Jesus said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."

So they went away by themselves to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 

Then the disciples said, "The people have come all this way to be taught by you. And now it is very late and they have nothing to eat."

Jesus: (optional to speak this part or narrator reads) "I'm tired. I don't feel like teaching today. Go home and feed yourselves!"

Narrator: So the crowds left hungry and tired. 

(Jesus proceeds to next scene)

(Spot light dims and focuses on the next scene.)

Scene Three: Woman Caught in Adultery 
(Adapted from John 8:3-6)

Narrator: The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 

Jesus: (optional to speak this part or narrator reads) (Jesus stands up) "I say, 'She's an adulterer...stone her!' " 
(Jesus proceeds to next scene, back to the disciples)

(Spot light dims and focuses on the next scene.)

Scene Four: Jesus Arrested 
(Adapted from Luke 22:47-50)

Narrator: While Jesus was speaking to his disciples a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"

When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?" And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

Jesus: (optional to speak this part or narrator reads) They have no power over me. I have no intention of dying!

(Spot light dims and focuses on the narrator.)

Narrator: This gives us a glimpse of what it would be like had Jesus come to earth out of selfish ambition. But the Bible tells us Jesus came to earth to seek and to save those who are lost. He performed miracles to fulfill the Scriptures concerning himself. He healed and taught people because of his love and compassion for them. And he forgave our sins by going to the cross to die in our place. He took the punishment we deserve for sinning against Holy God.

Scene Five: Crucifixion 
(Matthew 27:32-44; Mark 15:21-39; Luke 23:26-46; John 19:28-37)

(Bring up the lights behind the curtain of the crucifixion scene. Roman Guards lead Jesus to the cross and nail him to it. Hit a hammer against a hard surface to make the sound of the nails being driven into Jesus' hands and feet. As the crucifixion is depicted, narrator continues.)

Narrator: Jesus did not come to earth out of selfish ambition. He came because he loves us, which is why the Bible tells us he went to the cross for the joy that was set before him (Hebrews 12:2).

The prophet Isaiah wrote, "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows . . . he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. . . . For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors" (adapted from Isaiah 53).

(Lights turn off crucifixion scene. Remove cross. Jesus puts on a white robe and is standing behind the curtain for the last scene.)

Narrator: Praise God, this is not the end of the story! The Bible says, if there is no resurrection of the dead . . . our faith is futile; we are still in our sins. And those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man (adapted from 1 Corinthians 15:12-20).

Jesus bore our sin and rose from the grave so we can live eternally with God in heaven!

Scene Six: Resurrection 
(John 20)

(Raise curtain with Jesus facing the congregation with open arms. )

Jesus: "Follow Me." 

(Play Hallelujah Chorus or choir sings it.)

The End.

Copyright 2005 Sarah A. Keith

"Our church put on a production of The Un-passionate Christ. It was a blessed wonderful success . . . we used it as an evangelistic tool; three people came to Christ that Saturday evening. Again thank God, thank you, and thank you for this play. Have an anointed day. Evelyn."

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