Download a PDF of The Joy of the Resurrection.
(We open with two friends sharing in the joy of the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals making their improbable run to the playoffs. This modern day story then slowly becomes interwoven with the Biblical account of the resurrection. Pure joy should exude from this entire play.)
*Cub fans feel free to substitute this sports analogy as you see fit.
Eric: (on phone) Well, we’re officially in. I can’t believe it! We were 10 games back with a month left in the season. How did this happen? (pause to listen, Jenny enters wearing PJs and carrying a small laundry basket) I know, and without Wainwright all year.
Jenny: (cutting him off) Who are you talking to?
Jenny: Oh, tell him I say, “Hi.”
Eric: Jenny says, “Hi.” (pause) Scott says, “Hi,” back. (slight pause) So yeah, we’ll see. (Eric begins walking off stage as he finishes his line.) I think we have a shot against Philly though.
(Mary Magdalene, Mary, Salome, and Joanna sneak in. Jenny continues folding her laundry. Feel free to use less women if necessary.)
Joanna: Psst! (Jenny turns) Come on!
Jenny: Where are we going? (She starts to follow.)
Salome: To the tomb.
Jenny: I have to tell my husband. (trying to turn back)
Mary: There’s no time. Come on.
Jenny: How are you going to roll the stone away?
Mary: (stops) I hadn’t thought of that. How are we going to roll the stone away?
Mary M: Maybe someone will be there.
Joanna: Who would be there at this time of night? (pause to correct) Excuse memorning?
Mary M: I don’t knowI was just(Two men in white appear before them, and the women immediately fall to their knees.)
Angel 1: Why do you look for the living among the dead?
Angel 2: He is not here; he has risen!
Angel 1: Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee?
Angel 2: The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified, and on the third day be raised again. (The angels disappear, and the women begin running immediately to tell the disciples.)
Salome: We have to tell the disciples!!! (Excitement is in the air as the women run off stage. Eric and Scott are sitting at the edge of their seat watching the Cardinals game as the women run by. Jenny stops to tell them the news.)
Jenny: (out of breath) Oh, hi Scott!
Scott: (short glance, but an enthusiastic response) Hi Jenny!
Eric: One second, they’re about to do it! (pause, then both stand, cheer, and high five each other)
Scott: Complete game shut out for Carpenter. Wow!
Jenny: (anxious) Honey!
Eric: Bring it on, Milwaukee!
Jenny: (overjoyed) Jesus has risen! I went with the women to the tomband the stoneI mean, angels were there. They told us. You know, about what Jesus said. And it’s true! (John and Peter run by heading toward the tomb. Eric and Scott take off after them. John stops, Peter runs past him straight into the tomb. Eric and Scott stop next to John.)
Peter: (Yelling from offstage) It’s true! He’s gone! (steps out with a sense of wonder and possibly worry) Where could he be?
John: I don’t know.
Eric: My wife said there were angels!
Scott: (huge smile) Rally Angels!
Eric: (turns) Huh?
Scott: (overjoyed) Never mind! (The men run off as Mary Magdalene runs on. She falls to her knees just outside the tomb and begins sobbing.)
Jesus: (slowly approaches) Woman, why are you crying?
Mary M: (crying) They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him.
Jesus: Who is it you’re looking for?
Mary M: Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.
Jesus: (pauses and places a hand on her shoulder) Mary.
Mary M: (slowly looks up, pauses, and wipes away tears) TEACHER!
Jesus: Go. Tell the disciples, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father.”
Mary M: (turns to run) PETER! (Jesus exits.)
(Peter, John or Cleopas, Eric, and Scott walk to Emmaus. Eric and Scott have either head phones or phone updates of the Milwaukee/St. Louis game 6. Peter and Cleopas should be somewhat downtrodden.)
Scott: One inning away from the World Series!
Eric: This has been like a dream. The team was dead. Ten and a half games out, and now we’re so close.
Jesus: (approaching) What are you discussing?
Cleopas: Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have happened?
Jesus: What things?
Peter: About Jesus of Nazareth!
Cleopas: He was a prophet. He did miracles. (slight pause) Our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him.
Peter: We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.
Cleopas: And it’s the third day since this all took place.
Peter: Some of our women went to his tomb early this morning but didn’t find the body.
Eric: They said they saw angels. (arriving at house)
Jesus: Didn’t the prophets say the Messiah would have to suffer these things before he entered into his Father’s glory?
Scott: Please join us for dinner. It’s getting dark.
Eric: And you can see the rest of the game with us. (They sit around the TV. Jenny enters with a plate of bread and butter.)
Scott: Just in time. One out to go. (Jesus takes the bread and breaks it. Peter and Cleopas finally recognize Jesus.)
Scott: (Scott and Eric jump into the air.) We’re going to the World Series. (While they high five or chest bump, Jesus disappears.)
Cleopas: Where did he go?
Peter: Jesus has risen! We have to tell the others! (They all exit shouting, “He has risen!” “World Series Baby!” and other shouts of joy. Jenny stays behind, and the women file into the scene with her.)
Mary: The guys better hurry up or they’re going to miss the final outs. (We begin to hear the following dialogue.) Never mind here they come. (They all begin to enter along with “other disciples.”)
Eric: Again, we were down for the count. One out away from losing the
World SeriesTwice! But, here we are in Game 7.
Scott: (Grins) And only moments away. How sweet victory feels!
Peter: I’m telling you, we saw Jesus in Emmaus. He explained the words of the prophets, just as the angels told the women.
Scott: Okay, everyone stand up for the final out! Here we go!
Mary M: He spoke to me in the garden too! Jesus is alive!
Jesus: (He appears.) Peace be with you.
Eric: Yeah!!! World Series Champs!!! (The room erupts into cheers and hugs. Finally the focus is entirely on Jesus. The women dance off stage first. The men soon follow with Jesus leaving Scott and Eric alone.)
Scott: I have to call my family. They are not going to believe this!
Eric: Yeah, they’re probably as excited as we are.
Scott: Not as excited as they’re going to be when they hear about Jesus. Talk about a come back!! (walking off)