Easter has always been my favorite holiday. In my view, it is the most important event in history, and as the Scriptures tell us, “…if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:14) Not surprisingly, the church I attend tries to make the Easter service as special as possible, so once again, I was asked to write a short drama that blended the Easter message with the sermon. This year was a challenge, because the sermon was about dealing with disappointment. At first, I wasn’t sure how to blend disappointment with the Easter message. Nevertheless, after a lot of prayer, I came up with something that many in the congregation thought was powerful. I hope you find it meaningful.
I think this drama needs to have some strong performances. The first merchant needs to be able to realistically portray someone who is very skeptical of the idea that Christ rose from the dead but at the same time appreciates the joy in the boy who brings the news of the resurrection. The second merchant needs to go from depressed to angry, in a slow fashion that builds to a crescendo when he says, “Jesus might be risen from the dead, but he hasn’t done anything for us!” While it is natural for the boy to get angry at the two merchants, he cannot. He must be filled with joy the entire time. The song must be there at the end, to bring home the point of the drama, and because of the nature of the song, you need a powerful soprano.
As is the case with all my dramas, feel free to use this in any way you think will edify the Body of Christ. If possible, I would like a credit, but that’s not nearly as important as using it to build up the church!
(The play starts with an empty stage. Two men (merchants) in New Testament garb enter from one side. One is very obviously depressed. The other is concerned. Once they hit center stage, the first merchant stops the second one and says his first line.)
First merchant: If you want to sell anything today, you are going to have to lighten the mood. Before we open our shop, you need to figure out a way to put this all behind you.
Second merchant: I know. I know. I am just so depressed. I have never been this disappointed in my entire life.
First merchant: Hey, I understand disappointment. I had high hopes for him, too. Remember, I was there when he told that lame man to pick up his mat and walk, and he did.
Second merchant: And there was the guy who was blind from birth. He made that man see!
First merchant: And word on the road is that he even raised a boy from the dead!
Second merchant: With all that power, I thought it would be nothing for him to defeat Rome and lead God’s people to a point where we could finally govern ourselves again.
First merchant: (Becoming nostalgic) Do you remember when he gave that talk on the mountain? He said the meek shall inherit the earth. Now that was some powerful stuff!
Second merchant: I looked around and saw all those people listening to him. He had them eating out of the palm of his hand. If he had just given the word, we would have risen up right then and vanquished Rome forever! Now look where we are.
(A boy, preferably high school age, in New Testament garb comes running in. He should reach the two merchants just as the line above is finished.)
Boy: (Incredibly happy and excited) Hey you two, have you heard the news?
Both merchants, not necessarily together: What news?
Boy: Jesus of Nazareth is not dead. He is alive!
(The second merchant rolls his eyes and turns away. The first one starts to chuckle as he says his line.)
First merchant: Look, kid. I know there has been a lot of emotion over the past few days, but get a grip on yourself. Jesus was crucified by the Romans, and if there is one thing the Romans are really good at, it’s killing people. Jesus is dead. Get over it.
Boy: (stays happy) No. You don’t understand. The disciples told me. Two women went to His tomb, and they found it empty. A man told them that Jesus wasn’t there because He has risen from the dead!
First merchant: Let me get this straight. You’re taking the word of two women? Look, they were obviously very upset. They miss Jesus a lot. I am sure they saw something, but it was probably just something they wanted to see.
Second merchant: (Acting like he is considering it, but he is not) Wait a minute. Let’s give the boy the benefit of the doubt.
First merchant: What? Are you kidding?
Second merchant: No. I’m not. Let’s say he’s right. Let’s say that, beyond all possibilities, the women are telling the truth. Jesus really is alive again. (looks straight at the boy and turns mean) Here’s my question: (loud, emphasizing both words bitterly) SO WHAT?
Boy: (confused) So what? It means Jesus has power over death itself! That’s what.
Second merchant: (sarcastic) Well, good for him. But that’s not what we need, is it? We don’t need someone with power over death. We need someone with power over Rome, and if Jesus demonstrated anything, it’s that he has no power over Rome.
Boy: (still confused) I don’t understand. Did you two ever listen to His teachings?
First merchant: (no longer amused) Oh yes. I listened, and I heard two things. First, I would be able to eat my fill. Second, we would be set free.
Second merchant: (starts the build to anger) Did either of those things happen? No. Right now, we are going to our stupid shop, where we will sell a paltry number of goods and then give most of the money we make to our Roman oppressors. With whatever is left, we will once again have to figure out how to feed our families. Jesus might be risen from the dead, but he hasn’t done anything for us!
Boy: (happy, not angry) Well, if you two aren’t interested in my news, I am going to find someone else who is.
(The boy runs off with the same happiness and energy with which he ran on.
Second merchant: (looking at the boy, going back to depressed) Some people will believe anything!
First merchant: (thoughtful) I guess so. But there’s one thing for sure.
Second merchant: What’s that?
First merchant: (emphasizing the “He”) He isn’t disappointed.
(They walk off, and a singer in modern dress sings Unshakable Kingdom)