Announcer gives the introduction:
Footprints – whether perceived by the eye or by the mind, seem to beckon one to follow. Many a trail have been set ablaze by footprints of great people on sands of time for those that seek to follow on the high roads of virtue, service and courage. And as long as there are seekers, history will bring them to recall. The living will look up to them for inspiration and motivation. Yet! …… let us not forget that both the leaders and their followers may lead or follow as far as their respective graves. Such is the limitation of human leadership. We know that though our life on earth is short, the journey of life itself is not. The soul, after it is liberated from its grave-ward gravitating robe of flesh, moves on. Therefore, the truly wise among mankind seek the One who may lead them beyond. Even people who find it rather convenient to deny the very existence of the soul for reasons best known to them can neither deny nor hide the yearnings of it.
(At the start of the fifth sentence, the curtain is raised to show men and women entering the stage from either sides up in the front and walking towards the back of the stage down the center aisle where a black cloth with a slit along its middle is hung as a doorway marked Death. A choir is seen seated in front of the stage (preferably in the orchestra pit if one is available) playing a soft solemn tune. An empty bench is seen at the front of the stage on its l.h.s. From the l.h.s a family of four comprising father, mother, son and daughter is seen to enter. Ordinary people, with the exception that both parents are armed with what looks like swords, for they are not as long as the real ones, hanging on their side. They move to the front and stop to watch the proceedings with rapt attention. The curtain falls behind them. The music stops. And a conversation ensues between the family….)
Son: Could someone actually lead us beyond our graves?
Daughter: How is this possible? And how can we be sure of it?
Father: Well, that is just what the Good News is all about.
Daughter: The Good News? You mean the story of Jesus Christ?
Mother: Yes, does not His Word say “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”
Father: And, “Surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Mother: End of the age. That is until timelessness, or eternity as we call it. Which means He will not abandon us to our graves but lead us beyond. Yes, as it is written, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with Me…”
Children (together): But how is this possible?
Father: It is evident that you have not understood it fully yet. And little wonder!
Mother: Why don’t we sit down over there (pointing to the bench) and unravel the truth from His Word?
(The family move towards the bench and seat themselves. As they do so, the parents unsheathe their swords. The swords are shining white with ‘Word Of God’ inscribed on them in bold letters. All of them turn their attention to the swords which can be opened like a book.)
Mother: Always remember, when doubts and fear assail, turn to His Word and prayerfully let the Holy Spirit guide you into all truth.
[(A brief pause and then..) the announcer : Ladies and gentlemen, we are happy to present before you the Gospel in a never before light. Half-truths are more dangerous than lies. And it is time the complete truth was revealed so that everyone can judge for themselves. It is a shame that two thousand years since the mantle of Gospel fell on the churches people continue to live in darkness and in bondage. Because, men have thwarted the very purpose of the Gospel by putting their selfish interests before it. As a result God’s name has been dishonored among the unbelievers, and salvation is nowhere a reality to far too many. But not anymore. We sincerely hope and pray that it is not too late to open the eyes of the blind, feed the hungry and set the captives free. And above all to liberate the most terribly and relentlessly oppressed of them all, the women. We wish to reiterate the liberating message of the Gospel to one and all so that the lost faith in God is restored, and men are truly reconciled to Him. What better way to do so than by celebrating the indelible and therefore the surpassing footprints of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ which continue to beckon all who might listen, (at this a loud Voice is heard saying “Come, follow Me.”)]
( At this the choir sings twice the following line of the chorus “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”.)
(As the music fades) Announcer: We take the liberty of retracing with you the very footprints of Jesus Christ to the beginning of time. And as we do so, here’s presenting before you the Gospel like it was never told before…….towards the greater end-time harvest.
(And all is silent once again. The family picks up where they had left off but by way of the enactment which unfolds on the stage…)
Scene 2 Act 1
[The scene is a depiction of Eden. Enter man and woman clothed in long robes of subtle skin color (let light shine on their faces) walking the cool and shady paths of Eden.]
Male: Well that’s it. That’s the tour of the world at our disposal if you please! Did you enjoy?
Female: Oh, yes! Very much. Thank you. Everything is so good, so beautiful. I see the glory of the Lord everywhere.
Male: My pleasure! You know, I was rather lonesome before you came along. I could not find a perfect companion in any other creatures the Lord introduced me to. None of them shared with me His likeness and His image. Only you do.
Female: (smiling) That’s right. Yes I can see that only we are endowed to reflect His triune Personality in our perfect and glorious trinity of body, soul and spirit of life.
Male: (taking her hands in his) And this special bond, the divine oneness I enjoy with you is the oneness of God Himself.
Female: It is wonderful to be different and superior.……almost like God Himself. All these beautiful creatures. Makes one feel so protective and responsible for them. Donning His image makes us feel so close to Him even though we may not enter His abode in heaven. It definitely helps us to rule over everything in our dominion. And He does come over and let us enjoy His fellowship, doesn’t He. What more could we ask for?
Male: Yes, almost…because He has revealed that we are created just a little lower than the heavenly beings but are nevertheless crowned with glory and honor and made rulers over the works of His hands, everything having been subjected under our feet.
Female: What is more, even though you got to name everything that God brought before you, it was He who gave us our name – Adam or the Man. What a special name it is! It means so much to me. It reminds me who I am.
Male: Oh yes! Special name for special purpose. But you know what? I prefer to call you “woman” – as it reminds me of how you were brought forth from my own body, flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones. So “woman” you shall be henceforth. (The female appears thoughtful as she ponders over it. And the male continues..) Which reminds me and brings us to the matter of great importance. (Immediately she stops musing and she turns to him with rapt attention.) There’s one more thing you should know. Remember I told you we may eat of the fruit of all trees in the garden?
Female: Yes I do. What of it?
Male: Well, there’s one we may not eat of.
Female: Which one?
Male: You see the tree over there…the one in the middle…God has warned that we ought not to eat of its fruit. So don’t eat it, don’t even touch it, or you will die.
Female: I see. (Letting out a deep sigh she continues..) Oh dear you know so much. Haven’t I a lot of catching up to do?
(Sound of heavy footsteps is heard)
Male: (laughs..and then) You will, in no time. There’s the footsteps of God. Come, let’s go and meet Him. (Holding hands and laughing, they race toward the sound. And the curtain falls. Music of worship begins and slowly fades…)
Scene 2 Act 2
Announcer: But alas! the happy state of affairs was not to be. For the serpent had overheard their conversation and realized the woman was quite ignorant of the actual Commandment. He deceives her into believing that the fruit won’t kill her but would in fact make her as knowledgeable as God. Here’s how it transpires…....
(The scene is the garden of Eden. The man is shown to be sleeping under a tree, whilst the woman is shown to be sitting beside him and looking about. As usual the light continues to shine on their faces. Suddenly the serpent’s head (which looks more like a dragon’s head) thrusts out of the bushes before her…)
Serpent: Greetings, mighty one!
Female: Oh hello serpent.
Serpent: Just thought I will drop by and have a chat with you.
Female: Why not? ( She then moves to make room for the serpent to sit beside her.) Come on over and sit down here beside me and let us talk. I could really do with some company as you can see (pointing to the male) he is sleeping.
Serpent: (Sitting down beside her and whispering aloud.) Oh do let him sleep. And lets be careful lest we should disturb him. (Affecting discretion it leans towards her.) You know, I am a bit curious. Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’
Female: We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’
Serpent: You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
Female: Really? I did not know that. You mean I will become wise? Oh how I long to be wise.
Serpent: Yes…..Come on! I will show you if I am not right. (Both get up and walk over to the tree which was close by.)
Female: It looks so good, so delectable…..But I am not sure. I feel afraid.
Serpent: Of course there’s nothing to be afraid of. See (reaching out and touching the cluster of the fruit with its hand) I touched it and nothing happened. Surely, you can see that I did not die!
Female: You are right. My husband had told me if I touched it I would die. Let me see (reaches out cautiously and caresses the fruits)…….mmm…I guess you are right. Oh how I long to be wise…I shall surely eat some. (She then takes some and starts to munch on it, and as she does so, she calls out to her husband with her mouth full of the juicy fruits…) Dear! Quick, come on over and see what I have got for you. (Unnoticed by them, the serpent quickly takes to its heels.)
Male: (opens his eyes, quickly gets up and goes towards her) Hey, what is it?
Female: (munching on and offering some to him) Here eat this. See I touched these fruits and nothing happened. And they taste so good.
Male: (quickly takes the fruits from her outstretched hands and gulps them down) Oh no, I think I am choking! (Clutches his throat. Suddenly the light goes out from their faces. Their halo like garb disappears. And they don’t like what they see. They look at each other in horror and realize what had happened. She tries in vain to point towards the serpent. But the serpent was nowhere to be seen, and both of them run for cover, behind a tree, full of fear and shame. The curtain falls.)
Announcer: The man and woman discover to their horror that just as God had forewarned, spiritual death had come upon them instantly. And they lose their glorious likeness to holy God. They realize they are naked. Quickly they make themselves coverings made of leaves. And then they hear the all-too-familiar footsteps of God. Horrified and ashamed at what had become of them, they hide when they hear the only footsteps they had been called to follow. And when God confronts them with their guilt, they realize that it was too late to do anything! They realize that the leafy garment with which they had quickly covered themselves would not hold much longer. And as they struggle with their newfound dilemma, they could do no more than but listen helplessly as God reveals the full implication of the misfortune they had brought down upon themselves, the serpent’s included….
Scene 2, Act 3
(Sound of footsteps again. At this the curtain rises to reveal some shrubbery behind which the man and woman are found to be cowering having reappeared in leafy apparels and blackened faces. There is also a third figure in a serpent’s costume standing on all four legs partly concealed from view. The sound of (God’s) footsteps comes to a halt. A brief pause, and then…)
The Voice of God (a loud Voice but soft on the ear): Where are you?
The male: I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.
The Voice of God: Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?
The male: The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.
The Voice of God (addressing the woman): What is this you have done?
The female: The serpent deceived me, and I ate.
(At this the serpent walks out to the center-stage and lifts its head towards the Voice)
The Voice: Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.
(Upon hearing which the serpent drops its legs and falls flat on its belly.)
The Voice: Woman… (the woman walks forward and full of fear and shame lifts her face to the direction of the Voice).. I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband here (pointing towards the male), and he will rule over you. (At this she flees to hide behind the male.)
The Voice: And you. (at this the male walks forward, as much in fear and shame as the female who continues to cower behind him and moves toward center-stage)…..Was it not to you that I entrusted the commandment? Was it not your duty to take care that My commandment was taught and obeyed exactly as I had given them to you. So that all that is bequeathed to yourselves may enjoy the harmony of My Holiness with you? Do you now blame Me for your own folly. Did I not warn you of the consequences? Do you not realize it is not I who brought this upon you but your own folly. You see, you were unfaithful to Me all along. First by not keeping My words. You did not even pass on the commandment accurately to the female who was meant to be your equal partner, to shoulder your huge dominion with you. You brought about her fall, and then by listening to her you yourself ended up eating from the tree about which I commanded ‘you must not eat of it’. Therefore, ‘Cursed is the ground because of you. Through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken, for dust you are and to dust you will return.’ (At this the male sits down, head bowed, hands raised to his head and his fists tightly clenched with the female cowering behind him.)
The Voice: Here, rise up both of you and pick up those robes of skin I have made for you (the two rise and move their eyes about and together spot the said garments lying folded on a stone). Since you no longer bear My holy image and likeness, I give this to you so that you may live even though as beasts. What is done cannot be undone. And you will not live here any longer, lest you eat of the fruit of the tree of life and live in your shameful nakedness forever. You will live on the earth below until you see My salvation unfold. For I am God, the True and Faithful One. I Myself will provide The Way for you and restore you to live with Me forever. If you are careful and watch yourselves, henceforth, I Myself will restore to you all that you have lost and in addition bring you into My kingdom to live with Me for ever where you will have nothing to fear and nothing to deceive you or hurt you ever again. Therefore, take heed, lest your own folly multiply your curses and you be perished forever.
(They pick up their robes and leave; but this time the male is seen dragging the female behind him. Curtain falls. A melancholic tune begins to play….)
Announcer: One would think the first couple would come to their senses at last! Unfortunately, it was not to be. You see, the male, blinded by his fury and the sense of loss, fails to acknowledge his fault. Instead he turns his ire on the hapless female, totally disregardful of all God’s revelations, warnings and exhortations. And the female on her part, now abetted by her own curse, totally and willingly subjects herself to his oppressive and incompetent dominion.
(The curtain rises. The scene has changed to a barren land. Enter male and female, now clothed in the garb of animal skin, looking miserably about them.)
Male to the female: (full of anger and dominance) Look, what you have brought upon us! And did you hear that? You will no longer rule the world with me but will be subjected to me…….
Female (bowing down humbly): Yes, my lord! Whatever you say. Your word is my command.
Male (unmoved, he continues): …therefore, I shall henceforth call you Eve. You shall bear my offspring, so that we may look forward to our salvation in my seed!
Eve: Yes, my Lord. (they exit)
Scene 4, Act 1
(Adam and Eve are found seated inside a tent. The look of joy is on their faces as they look at their firstborn that Eve is seen to be holding in her arm. There’s a soft lullaby playing in the background.)
Eve: Oh! God! I thought I will die. Giving birth was so painful. But praise and thanks be to God! For with His help, I have brought forth a man. (Smiling at Adam) How happy you are today, my lord.
Adam: Oh yes. Our troubles will soon be over.
Eve: What do you mean?
Adam: Don’t you see? Did you not hear what the Lord said! This is your offspring who will crush the head of the evil one and set us free from all our hardship and misery.
Eve (looking intently at the baby): Are you sure? The child looks just like you. He is your spitting image.
Adam: What do you mean, he is my spitting image! Of course, he will look like me. What else did you expect?
Eve (looking very thoughtful): …..I guess you are right. Only I thought if he is going to be like you how will he better that which you yourself cannot. If only he looked like what we used to…perhaps then… (Music stops. And Adam cuts in mid-sentence.)
Adam: Of course, I am right. I should know. And never mind what you think. You will do good by keeping your thoughts to yourselves. What I say goes. Remember, it was you who felt the need for wisdom and went about looking for it. And for all your troubles, you remain a foolish thing. Not to mention, the misery you brought upon everything else. So, stop your wisecracking and make sure my son is well taken care of.
Eve: Oh! I am so sorry. There I go upsetting you again. Please don’t be angry. I almost forget the last time we were so happy together. (At this Adam gives her one dirty look and leaves in a huff.)
Eve ( looking at her baby intently and drawing a deep sigh, speaks aloud): I wish he’d at least look like we did back in Eden. What can this poor mite possibly do? I will be grateful if he can at least learn to fear God. (curtain falls).
Scene 4, Act 2
Announcer: Of course they soon realize their hope in their son was in vain. Not just their own sons but all the sons that followed down the generations…. For the son that was born to them, instead of bringing forth salvation, ends up murdering his own younger sibling. Consequently, just as God had warned, his curses multiply and he is farther estranged from the presence of God. Yet the fact that they were not prepared to give up this hope in the sons of man’s seeds becomes obvious as they persist in their waywardness. For instance, let us follow them down a few generations to this couple in particular.
(Another couple with a baby in the woman’s arms are now shown seated inside the tent.)
Lamech: My dear, could this be the one? Sons after sons have been born. All of them died just like our forefather Adam. Abel, the good son murdered. Cain, the bad one banished and separated from his own. Seth brought fresh hope, but he too died just like everybody else. Of course, Enoch didn’t, for God took him up. Good for him, though I must add he failed to do anything for the rest of us.
Lamech’s wife: Oh Lamech, don’t look so sad. I couldn’t bear to see that look on your face. Let us not lose hope. Look at the child…..doesn’t he look special?
Lamech (turns his attention to the child): By God, you are right. What a comfort it is to see. Let us call him Noah. For, he surely will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed. (curtain falls)
(The family of four who were watching all these unfold now rise from the bench and walk toward center-stage.)
Father: But, for all their hopes, Noah died too. Likewise every son who continued to come after him. But men simply fail to understand….. so they’d go on putting their trust in their sons.
Mother: They fail to turn to God and trust in His irrefutable Word. Sadly, even Abraham who though having received God’s promise of a son in his old-age, ends up having a son by Sarah’s maid Hagar concluding that Sarah will remain barren. For even though God tried to teach men to turn to God for His deliverance, His salvation, none would learn or fully understand. However God’s Word is infallible. All of It will come to pass in His time. Just as His Word that promised Abraham a son through his wife Sarah did so that they may learn that nothing was impossible with God.
Son: Now, I am beginning to see what you mean.
Daughter: Oh yes. But, what’s the point? Men remain blinded. They fail to see that God would bring the desired salvation through the Offspring of the woman and not by the seed of man, just as it was promised at the very beginning.
Father: Yes, like you have rightly said, men remain blinded and they fail to understand even though it is written here, (reads aloud) “No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for Him – the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough that he should live on forever and not see decay.”
Mother: And, here it is again, (reads aloud) “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save.” And yet another (reads aloud) “Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?”
Father: We must understand, while all men will inherit and pass on the Adamic curse of sin, death and damnation, the women will only be victimized by it and they will only pass on Eve’s curse of manly dominance and vain desires to their daughters.
Mother: That is why God showed Abraham that the sacrifice of Isaac could not be, but that He Himself would provide the sacrificial Lamb. But in the whole house of Israel, we see that only a few had awakened spiritually and understood it enough to put their faith in the promised Messiah and await its fulfillment.
Son: But, how about the women? Do they understand? At least they cannot deny that they hadn’t heard God’s Promise reiterated and passed on through Sarah.
Mother: Oh they did! That is, only the wise among them. Look, what the Word (picking up her sword and randomly sifting through its pages) testifies about women like Tamar, Hannah, Zelophehad’s daughters, Rahab, Abigail, Esther, Jephthah’s daughter, Naomi, Ruth and many others. They rose above their curses and lived exemplary lives, until the wisdom they imparted had evolved into its fullness and found perfected in the humble and God-fearing virgin called Mary. Oh, here she is (spotting the page in the sword in her hand).
Father: Let us sit down and re-discover all that ensues here..
(As they return to sit on the bench, the curtain rises to reveal Mary and before her the angel of God. Soft music…)
(The scene is a room showing a young woman busy with some work, like sowing or grinding flour. Suddenly a big light is shown to flood the room and what appears to be an angel appears before her.)
Angel Gabriel: Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.
Mary: (looking troubled) Who are you? And what does this mean?
Angel: Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.
Mary: How will this be, since I am a virgin?
Angel: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.
Mary: I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.
Announcer: Dear friends, the child to be born of the virgin is Jesus, the Promised One, the Son of God and the offspring of the woman – the perfect and the holy Lamb of God who will offer Himself to die for the remission of our sins. He is the Son of Man, having been born of the woman whom He had never stopped calling ‘Man’ because it is the name He had given her. He is the One, conceived of the Holy Spirit, and therefore born without sin or the Adamic curse of death and damnation. Just as it is written of Him, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” He offers Himself to die even though He did not deserve to, but in order that He becomes the peace offering for the ransom of mankind. Yes, He bore our sins and Himself became the costly price by offering His own Holy and Precious Blood for our ransom. Just as He testifies – (the Voice), “The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.”
(Announcer continues): Yes, no one on earth had any authority over Him. Not even the mother who gave Him birth. Listen to Him reminding her. For, of all the people surely she shouldn’t forget who He is and from where He had come.
(The scene is the inside of the temple courts where Jesus is shown to be conferring with the teachers of the Law. All His listeners including the teachers had the look of awe and amazement. Enter Mary and Joseph looking very worried.)
Mary: Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.
Jesus: Why were you searching for Me? Don’t you know I had to be in My Father’s house?
(This time the scene is the wedding of Cana. Jesus and His disciples along with Mary are shown to be talking in hushed tones. Servants of the household are shown hurrying about with various dishes. Note that Jesus’ face is always shown turned away from the audience so that only His symbolic profile is evident. The Voice is substituted whenever He speaks in first person except in Scene 6 where He is only a boy.)
Mary: Son, they have no more wine.
Jesus: Dear woman, why do you involve Me? My time has not yet come.
(Jesus is shown with His disciples surrounded by a crowd of people who had come to Him to be healed and listen to Him speak.)
Voices raised together from the crowd: Your mother and brothers are outside looking for You.
Jesus: (pointing to the circle of people around Him) Here are My mother and My brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother. (Music to the tune of ‘Our Father in heaven’……)
Scene 9, Act 1
(Jesus is shown to be walking along a path. He stops to call out. Music plays softly to the tune “I have decided to follow Jesus”….it grows and fades throughout the acts of scene 9 to fit in the conversations or Jesus’ words)
Voice: Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (And two are seen to join Him. He calls out again.)
Voice: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (He walks a few steps and seems to notice a few people hesitating and stops.)
Voice: Do not worry saying what shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we wear. For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
(At this, the four on the bench and few others are shown to rise up and join Him.)
Jesus then turns to address the crowd, (Voice, now louder): If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. (Further): I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
(Here a few children are seen to enter and one of His followers tries to drive them away.)
Disciple: Go away! Why are you all here? Go away!
Jesus: Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. (And He places His hands on them and blesses them. Children are shown to be clamoring for His attention, to be embraced by Him, touched by Him and even carried by Him. All the while the choir joins in with the song, “Can your hero walk on water?…” And then the curtain falls.)
Scene 9, Act 2
(Jesus re-enters with the crowd following after Him. He has the long staff of a shepherd in His Hand. He turns to His followers and says…)
Voice: I am the Good Shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know Me. My sheep follow Me because they know My voice. They will never follow a stranger; in fact they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. From now on I shall also gather My sheep that are not of this pen and there shall only be One Shepherd and One Flock. (All follow Him out of the stage.)
Scene 9, Act 3
(Once again Jesus enters the stage. There is a crowd following Him. He stops before an imaginary fork on the path where two gates are seen. One on either side. The small and narrow one on the r.h.s and the other, the large and glittery one on the l.h.s.; each leading to the two different exits of the stage.)
Voice: Enter though the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(At this some are seen to open the large gate and enter it from where loud music, singing and laughter can be heard. Let the sounds be heard as long as the gate remains open. Shut the gate and the sounds, as the others who remain with Jesus, follow Him and squeeze their way through the narrow gateway and exit out to the right of the stage.)
Scene 9, Act 4
(Jesus is seen bearing the cross and a crown of thorns is upon His head. Turning to the crowd following Him in various states of emotion, He addresses them.)
Voice: If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. (Moving on a little ahead, He adds…)
Voice: All men will hate you because of Me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved..…..Do not fear. Only remember, it is enough for the student to be like his Teacher, and the servant like his Master……(addressing a few weeping women at His side….) Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’
(Loud shouts of “Crucify Him” is heard as all of them exit. Music..)
Announcer: Let us now follow the blood-stained footprints of Jesus with Mary Magdalene. For just as it was prophesied, yet unknown to everybody else including His disciples, He died and rose again on the third day. And while the disciples were overwhelmed with fear and go into hiding, the women decide to take things into their hands.
(The scene is before the open tomb where Jesus was buried. A woman is shown to walk towards it and finding the stone rolled away and the tomb open, she fears the worst and begins to weep bitterly. Suddenly she stops and peers inside. She was surprised to find two angels seated one at the head of the stone where Jesus’ body had laid and the other at the foot. ….)
Angels: Woman, why are you crying?
Mary Magdalene: They have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they have put Him. (Then she turns around to see someone standing behind her.)
Voice: Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?
Mary (thinking he was the gardener): Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have put Him and I will get Him.
Voice: Mary! (at this Mary looks up to Him and cries out..)
Mary: Rabboni! (and she falls at His feet and clings to Him.)
Jesus: Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to My brothers and tell them, I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God. (Mary worships Him, and full of joy and excitement leaves to do just as He had told her to.)
(Jesus is shown standing on a raised platform facing a large crowd.)
Voice: This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His Name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. Now, do not be afraid. I will not leave you as orphans. But, I will return to My Father and He will send the Holy Spirit to be with you. He will empower you and guide you. He will make known to you the secrets of God. He will remind you of all that I have taught you. So that by your obedience of them you will remain spotless, without stain or blemish, or any wrinkle. But radiant and fully ready, clothed in My righteousness to enter the kingdom of God. See I have showed you the way. So be prepared and watch out! until I return to take you up with Me……….For, in My Father’s house are many rooms; and I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. Do not be deceived, I and no other will come. In the same manner as you will see Me go now……………. Meantime, receive My Spirit and by His help feel free to call on Me always. For I will be seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for you continually. Do not let anyone deceive you. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. There is no other Mediator for you who has overcome death and lives to intercede on your behalf. You may ask for anything in My Name, and My Father will grant it to you so that He may be glorified in Me and I in Him. And you will do greater things than these. Therefore be of good cheer! (Enact Jesus’ ascension.)
Two Angels: Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven. (all exit and the curtain remains open)
Announcer: Dear friends, life on earth is short but the journey of life we know is rather long. It will only end with the home-coming of the children of God into His eternal abode – the kingdom of God where the dwelling of men will be with God Himself. They will be His people and He will be their God. And the glory of God and of the Lamb will light up the new heaven and the new earth so that there will be no need of the sun or the moon. There will no longer be the old order of things. He will wipe every tear from your eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.
Now that you have come to learn of the only One worthy to be followed, follow Him and follow His footprints. His is the perfect example, and you needn’t look anywhere else. Follow Him in the Spirit of Oneness, for that was His earnest prayer for us. As it is written, there is only One God, therefore make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is One Body and One Spirit – just as you were called to One Hope when you were called – One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God and Father of all. One the Resurrection of the righteous, One the Way, the Life and the Truth; One the baptism of Spirit and One the Spiritual Gifts thereof; One the Shepherd and One the Flock, One the High Priest and One the Mediator, One the Bridegroom and One the Bride and finally, One the Dress-code for all – the fine garment of righteousness, no less.
(Ensure this is read slowly and with great clarity. And as it concludes, let all participants enter in identical clothing of white; heads also covered with a white scarf or cloth – both men and women; and each bearing a candle. At the end all will raise the candles and hold it aloft so that they look like one big light. The choir will sing a solemn hymn or song and conclude. The song should be an exceptional choice, like “Turn your eyes upon Jesus”.)