Put on “St John” costume.
John: -Hello. My name is John,
and I was known as “the disciple Jesus loved.”1
-So I'm in charge of the funeral for Jesus today.
-Have you ever been to a funeral?
-What do you know about funerals?
[a worship service to say goodbye
to someone who died]
-Well, it's time to start the funeral....
we have gathered this morning to thank God
for the life and work of our teacher,
Jesus of Nazareth.
-All of us
feel the loss, the heartache, the disappointment.
-We gather together in great pain
because just a week ago
we heard the crowds cheering,
waving palm branches.
-That was only seven days ago,
and yet it seems so far away,
almost in another reality.
-None of us thought it would end like this.
-But now he’s gone.
-It’s hard to believe that such a good person
could die such a horrible, suffering,
-You know, for a moment,
when I heard him forgiving the people who had
strung him up like that –
for a moment I thought something miraculous
was going to happen –
surely when someone had so much goodness
and beauty in [him]
that [he] could forgive such cruelty –
well, it didn’t happen.
-He died. He is dead.
-As so we are gathered here
to remember this great man, Jesus of Nazareth,
who meant so much to us. ...
Mary Magdalene bursts through the door, breathless
Mary: -Wait, John. Stop the funeral!
John: -Mary, don’t come barging-in like this.
-We have gathered together
to say goodbye to our friend.
Mary: -John, you don’t understand.
-We don’t need to have a funeral anymore.
-Jesus isn’t dead!
-We went to the tomb this morning
and he wasn’t there!
John: -I was afraid this would happen.
-People are ready to believe almost anything
when they are in grief,
and now I suppose because some grave robbers
came and took his body,
all kinds of wild stories are starting up.
-All we want to do
is give him a decent funeral, Mary.
-Can’t you contain your fantasies
just till we’ve done that?
Mary: John, you aren’t listening to me.
-It’s not just that his body has gone.
-We saw him.
-We talked to him.
-He said to tell you
that he’d be coming to see you too.
John: I don’t understand.
Mary: -I don’t understand either, John.
-Nobody understands, but that doesn’t matter.
-Jesus is alive.
-The funeral is over!
-Jesus is alive!
shout to God with loud songs of joy.
For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome,
a great king over all the earth.”2
1Ralph Milton: Easter Dialogue. excerpts