CHARACTERS (In order of their appearance) NARRATOR ANNAS CAIAPHAS JESUS APOSTLES WOMAN OF BETHANY A DISCIPLE JUDAS JAMES JOHN PETER.

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1 Agony in the garden (A Lenten pageant play) By David Schmidt CHARACTERS (In order of their appearance) ANNAS CAIAPHAS APOSTLES WOMAN OF BETHANY A DISCIPLE JUDAS JAMES JOHN PETER An ANGEL HIGH PRIESTS SLAVE CHEIF PRIESTS, SCRIBES, ELDERS Page 1

2 This is the beginning of the story of Jesus death and resurrection- It takes us from the last supper he shared with his disciples to the agony of the garden and finally to his betrayal and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. The feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread were to be observed in two - days time. (CAIAPHAS and ANNAS enter) Therefore the Chief Priests and Scribes began to look for a way to arrest Jesus. ANNAS We must find some way to trick and kill this Jesus. CAIAPHAS Yes, we do, but it cannot be during the festival or the people may riot. (ANNAS, CAIAPHAS exit) ( and his DISCIPLES enter carrying a table and several chairs. They set the table and chairs down and sit down around ) Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany reclining at table in the house of Simon the leper with his disciples when a woman carrying an alabaster jar of perfume made from aromatic nard entered the room. (A WOMAN enters with a stone jar. She crosses to and proceeds to pour its contents over his head) Opening the jar she proceeded to pour the perfume over his head. Some were saying to themselves indignantly: Page 2

3 DISCIPLE What is the point of this extravagant waste of perfume?! It could have been sold for over three hundred silver pieces and the gold given to the poor. They were infuriated with her. But Jesus said to them: Let her alone. Why do you criticize her? She has done me a kindness. The poor you will always have with you and you can be generous to them whenever you wish, but you will not always have me. She has done what she could. By perfuming my body she is anticipating its preparation for burial. (, along with his disciples exit leaving the table where it is. JUDAS then enters with CAIAPHAS and ANNAS.) Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests to hand Jesus over to them. JUDAS What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you? CAIAPHAS We are prepared to pay you thirty pieces of silver for his arrest. Page 3

4 From that point on Judas looked for an opportune way to hand Jesus over. (As JUDAS, CAIAPHAS and ANNAS exit, with JOHN and JAMES enter) On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the paschal lamb John said to him: JOHN Where do you wish us to go to prepare the Passover Supper for you? Go into the city and you will come upon a man carrying a water jug, follow him. Whatever house he enters say to the owner the Teacher asks, where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? Then he will show you an upstairs room, spacious, furnished and all in order. That is the place you are to get ready for us (, JAMES and JOHN exit). The Disciples went off. When they reached the city they found it just as Jesus had told them and they prepared the Passover Supper. As it grew dark Jesus arrived with the rest of the twelve. (The twelve enter with and gather around the table) They reclined at table, and in the course of the meal Jesus said: I give you my word, one of you is about to betray me. Yes, one who is eating with me. Page 4

5 PETER Surely not I. JOHN Nor I, Teacher. JAMES Surely not I. JUDAS Surely it is not I, Rabbi? It is you who have said it. (JUDAS rises and exits). The Son of Man is going the way the Scripture tells him. Still, accursed be the man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would have been better for him if he had never been born. During the meal he took bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them. Take this, this is my body. Likewise he took a cup, gave thanks and passed it to them and they all drank from it. Page 5

6 This is my blood, the blood of the covenant to be poured out on behalf of many. I solemnly assure you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the reign of God.(They exit). ( with the twelve enter and move to center stage) After singing songs of praise they walked to the Mount of Olives, there Jesus said to them: Your faith in me shall be shaken for it says in Scripture: I will strike the shepherd and the flock will disperse PETER Even though all are shaken in faith it will not be the way with me. I give you my assurance, Peter, that this night, before the cock crows three times you will have denied me three times. PETER Even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you. APOSTLES (Ad-libs) No I would never.. I would lay down my life for you I will stick by you, Rabbi!... etc. Page 6

7 ( and the TWELVE take a short walk through the audience. Eventually arriving stage right) They went then to a place called Gethsemane. Sit down here while I pray. (All but PETER, JAMES and JOHN sit on the ground). At the same time he took along with him Peter, James and John ( leads them to stage left). Then he began to be filled with fear and distress. He said to them. My heart is filled with sorrow to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake ( leaves them and moves to center stage going down on his knees. Meanwhile all of the Twelve fall asleep). He advanced a little and fell to the ground praying that if it were possible this hour might pass him by. Page 7 Father, you have the power to do all things. Take this cup away from me. But let it be as you would have it, not as I. (He gets up and crosses to where PETER, JAMES and JOHN are sleeping). Asleep, Simon? (PETER, JAMES and JOHN wake up at his voice) You could not stay awake for even an hour? Be on your

8 guard and pray that you may not be put to the test. The spirit is willing, but the nature is not. Going back again he began to pray in the same words (Once again PETER, JAMES and JOHN fall asleep and once more kneels down center stage). Father, you have the power to do all things. Take this cup away from me. But let it be as you would have it, not as I. Once more he returned to his disciples and found them asleep. They could not keep their eyes open. He left them again, withdrew somewhat and began to pray a third time. My Father, if this cannot pass me by without drinking it, your will be done. At that moment an Angel appeared from heaven to strengthen him. Page 8 ANGEL Hail, Son of Man, the Father has sent me to give you comfort in this, your weakest hour. He has heard your prayers and would, if he could, take the cup

9 away from you. But he cannot, we must finish what we have started. The prophecy must be fulfilled. But know this he will do what he has promised to do. The Son of Man will rise again. In his anguish he prayed with all the greater intensity and his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. Then he rose from prayer and came to his disciples. Once again he found them asleep upon his return. Still sleeping? Still taking your ease? It will have to do. The hour is on us. You will see that the Son of Man is to be handed over to the clutches of evil men. Rouse yourselves and come along. (PETER, JAMES and JOHN come awake, rise to their feet, and cross to where the remaining APOSTLES lay sleeping. They too awaken at approach) See! My betrayer is near. (A large group of people with swords and clubs led by JUDAS enter from the audience. JUDAS stops center stage to speak to one of those with him.) Even while Jesus was speaking, Judas, one of the twelve made his appearance accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs; these people had been sent by the Chief Priests, the Scribes, and the Elders. Judas, the betrayer, arranged a signal with them: JUDAS The man I shall embrace is the one; arrest him and lead him away, taking every precaution. (He crosses to and kisses him). Page 9

10 Judas, must you betray me with a kiss? With that they laid hands on him and arrested him. One of the bystanders with Jesus drew a sword and struck the High Priests slave, cutting off his ear (One of those with JUDAS is struck by one of Jesus followers). Enough! (He reaches out and touches the slave s ear). Then Jesus reached out, touched the slave s ear and healed it. But to those who had come out against him, the Chief Priest s, the Chiefs of the temple guard and the ancients- Jesus said: Am I a criminal that you come out after me armed with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple you never raised a hand against me. But this is your hour the triumph of darkness. With his arrest the disciples deserted him and fled. (Here have all take a moment of silence after is led away) Page 10

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