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The story of Christ’s Crucifixion as told by the cross on which he hung and died.

Script by Vickie A. Puffer

“This script is made available through a special arrangement with Dramashare. If you are looking for free scripts for VBS, summer camps, youth meetings, mime, Children’s sermons, puppetry, clowning, human video, choral reading, interpretive movement, or a sermon starter, then DramaShare is one of the best Drama Ministry resources I have ever found. It is the world’s most visited Christian drama ministry web site. Purchase an annual membership to DramaShare ministry at the link http://dramashare.org/item.php?id=2959 to get free access to over 1,500 royalty free scripts on-line.” -Ken 

Monologue
Copyright 1998 Vickie A. Puffer Published by DramaShare®

Isn’t it amazing the variety of ways God speaks to us? Of course there are the obvious—like listening to the minister, reading the Bible, or singing hymns. But on those occasions that we allow ourselves to fully open up to Him, He’s there in the form of children laughing, a beautiful sunrise, a quiet moment with your dog, or even in a dream.

God touched me in a very special way a few months ago and He made it very clear that He expected more from me than to just tuck it away somewhere in the back of my mind. I was to write about it—to share what he brought to me. “But I’m no writer,” I rationalized, “I can’t do justice to such an awesome experience.” But that’s exactly what He expected. I procrastinated, but he persisted. Then I got distracted, but then He showed me how I was putting worldly things ahead of Him. That’s all it took. I started writing.

A young lady in our church performed an interpretive dance during the worship service one Sunday morning. I’ve always loved dancing and it was fascinating to watch her move with the music. Although I was mesmerized at the time, right now I’m at a loss to recall the details.

I do recall the look on her face. She was radiant, blissful as she offered her gift to the Father. I’ve had that feeling myself and rejoiced with her in it. But the one thing I remember with absolute clarity is the moment that she paused with her arms stretched out to either side. And in that simple pose I saw a cross, not in the traditional form of wooden beams, but in human form—a human cross, like me. I am the cross. In a flash of clarity I realized that it wasn’t the nails in his hands and feet that caused Jesus’ pain and suffering, it was me. He didn’t die as a result of being tortured upon a plank of wood, he gave his life to save me from the torment of my own sinfulness. He put himself between me and eternal damnation.

You still don’t quite understand, do you? It’s okay, I knew this would be tough to explain. Instead of trying to tell this story by starting at the end, maybe it will help if we go back to the beginning. Crosses, as we have come to know them, are made from trees, so let’s start with that in mind. Let’s start out as a tree.

As a tiny seed I was fortunate to fall onto the fertile ground of a garden where the rich soil made it easy to take root. I learned much through conversing with the other trees and plants that lived there. They explained what would happen when I got older—how we trees would eventually be taken down and hacked into firewood to be burned up or, at best, made into a piece of wretched furniture. What a miserable fate!

From time to time a procession would pass by offering glimpses of the most magnificent treasures and beautifully dressed people. Now that was more like it—definitely the life for me—and so it became my fervent desire to be part of one of those splendid households. I would be a lavishly carved banquet table, or a gilded chariot, or even the bearer of royalty…a throne for a King!

I was fiercely dedicated to this quest—constantly preening my leaves, working on my branches so they would be straight and unbreakable, and honing my trunk to be healthy and strong. This work was all consuming so, unlike the other trees, I had no time for frivolities like swaying in the breeze or playing drop-a-leaf-on-someone’s-head. Such behavior could have broken a branch!

All the hard work was worth it, though, because I was stunning. Even the other trees had to admit it was so. People would gather around me, resting in my luscious shade, gazing up at me with such adoration. I was the envy of the garden. Why, even the thorn bushes that grew on a nearby hill agreed that I was destined for greatness!
The peacefulness of the garden was disturbed one day by a large crowd lining the street nearby. They were waving palm branches and shouting joyously. Convinced that it was a royal procession, I fluffed up my leaves and put on my best showing. It was somewhat bewildering—not to mention disappointing—when all that appeared was a rather dusty man riding a small donkey.

A person standing near suddenly grabbed my lowest branch and began climbing. Several of my smaller limbs were broken and many leaves fell—apparently all because this person wanted a better look at the man on the donkey. I was outraged! What was he thinking?! Didn’t he know that it would take a long time for me to repair such damage?
When the rider approached, the man sitting on my branch shouted to him, calling him “Jesus.” He then climbed down and, after a brief exchange, they went away with the wildly cheering crowd. Whoever that Jesus was, he certainly wasn’t worth the damage done to my branches!

Over the next several days I heard a lot about this Jesus person. The people were in awe of Him—proclaiming him a great teacher and even calling him The Messiah, whatever that meant. Wherever he went there was a crowd—especially children. I liked it when they sat in the shade under my branches and I listened intently to his lessons.

He told the people all about God, his Father in Heaven, and how God had created all things. He shared with them how much God loved them. He also talked a lot about forgiveness of a terrible thing called sin.

Apparently, it was considered a sin whenever you did something that went against God’s will. And unforgiven sin would cause you great misery, and you’d spend your eternity in a frightening, evil place called Hell. This talk about sin made the people pretty uncomfortable and I assumed it was probably because they had done lots of it.
I also heard that Jesus performed miracles. Now I’d never, ever heard of any person doing the things that Jesus was said to do, so I found this hard to believe, until I witnessed it for myself.

A man who had been blind since birth had no family to look after him, so every day he would sit in my shade, begging food or coins from passersby. But they were poor, too, and the pathetic man was barely able to take care of himself. It was terribly embarrassing to have him hanging around because he was dirty, his clothes were ragged, and he didn’t smell very good. Despite my best efforts, whenever he was there the people tended to avoid coming near me.

Jesus and these men he called “disciples” noticed the blind man and one of the disciples asked Jesus what sin he or his family had done for him to deserve such a fate. Jesus replied that the man’s blindness was not the result of anyone’s sin. Then he made a dab of clay from dirt and spit, touched the blind man’s eyes with it, and told him to wash it off in a nearby pool. Jesus left, but when the blind man came back, he could see! This definitely was a miracle!

Although it seemed that everyone loved Jesus and wanted to be close to him, there were a few who criticized him, calling him a blasphemer and saying that the miracles he performed were just tricks he used to confuse people. Their talk had a dark, ominous tone and it frightened me. Once, I even saw one of Jesus’ disciples talking with these people. His name was Judas and he seemed quite torn about what was being discussed, but in the end, he took a small pouch from one of the men and ran away into the night.

Late one night, several figures entered the garden and although I couldn’t see their faces, I recognized one voice: Jesus. He seemed deeply troubled and asked the others to stay awake with him while he prayed—talked with his Father—but they fell asleep, leaving Him all alone in the darkness. And he did pray. All the pain and torment of his heart came pouring out like nothing ever witnessed in my quiet little sanctuary. He cried out until his voice was hoarse. His body tensed to the point that I thought his muscles would surely burst. And it was blood, rather than sweat, that gushed from his pores. Surely no one in the history of all the world would ever, ever know such anguish.

The light from a row of torches broke through the darkness as soldiers and a small crowd burst through the garden gate. There was some shouting and a brief scuffle. Then the oddest thing happened: Judas, the disciple, stepped up to Jesus and kissed him on the cheek. The soldiers grabbed Jesus and then took him away. It seemed that Judas had used the kiss to identify Jesus to the soldiers. But why? I tried to make sense of it all, but everything had happened so fast and I just couldn’t comprehend what it all meant.

I’d all but forgotten the incident when, some time later, several official-looking people gathered around me. I assumed they were there to enjoy my shade and admire my beauty, but this time there was something odd about the way they looked at me, whispering and nodding to one another. It made me very uncomfortable even though I felt certain their comments were positive.

The next thing I knew I had been cut down and was being transported to a carpenter’s shop. This was it! My moment of truth had come! For my entire life I had dedicated every effort to being the best. Surely these people would see that I should be reborn into something worthy of such perfection! Oh, please, let it be a throne for a King!
My new shape was unfamiliar—not part of a throne or a chariot, not even a simple table, but something I’d never seen before. Just a long, straight pole with a shorter pole joined across it. And my texture had been left rough and full of splinters. Surely this had to be a mistake. I reasoned that this couldn’t possibly be the final product and that someone would be along any minute to finish up.

As I bemoaned my fate, the doors opened and three soldiers dragged me outside. Nearby, in the dust, knelt a small figure that looked to be a man. It was obvious that he’d been severely beaten. One soldier yanked him to his feet as the other two hoisted me up onto his shoulder. When they let go, he staggered and fell. They could not possibly expect this one pitiful creature to carry what had taken three of them! But they did.

The beaten man was ordered to his feet, and once again I was placed on his shoulder. He staggered forward, dragging me through crowd-lined streets. He was so bent and lame that he could manage only a few steps before we would fall again. After what seemed like hours with little progress, one of the soldiers grabbed a bystander from the crowd and ordered him to carry me. He did so, but only in fear for his life. The beaten man followed close behind.

Progress was slow and the crowd was yelling angrily at the beaten man, although I couldn’t make out what they were saying. Soon we came to a hill and I saw at the top two wooden shapes that looked much like me. There was something attached to each of these shapes and, as we got closer, I could see that each shape had a man attached to it. I wracked my brain to remember if I’d ever heard the people talk about such a thing. Some vague recollection nagged at me and, as we climbed, I was hit with the cold, hard realization of what I had become: a cross. An instrument of torture. A method of execution.

How could this have happened to me? I had worked so hard—invested every ounce of my energy into achieving my goals. I had been so certain of my future, but those hopes and dreams had been smashed beyond all comprehension.

Tossed to the ground, I listened in stunned disbelief while the soldiers dealt with the beaten man, yelling and cursing at him, spitting on him. They gambled for his only possession, a robe, and when they took it away I could see just how savagely he had been treated. His hair was matted with sweat and blood. His legs, face, and arms were black with bruises. And his back was covered with thick red stripes of raw, torn flesh. He must be the vilest sort of criminal to deserve such punishment. I was just about to look away from the sickening sight when—to my horror—I realized who the man was. It was Jesus!

My mind was reeling. What is wrong with these stupid people? Even I know that Jesus is no criminal! What could he possibly have done that would merit such heinous torture? He had always been so gentle, so kind, so filled with love and forgiveness. Why would they turn on him like this?

There were more soldiers now—and the angry crowd that had followed us through the town pressed in so tightly that there was no air to breathe. Jesus was stretched out over me and one of the soldiers yanked his arm over my crossbeam. Then he took a long metal spike and, with three sharp hammer blows, drove it through Jesus’ hand. Of course, I couldn’t feel a thing, but Jesus cried out as his entire body reacted to what must have been unbearable pain. The process was repeated with the other hand and his feet—and with each strike of the hammer I could feel the jolting of his body.

Once this deed was done, the crowd was ordered to step back while lengths of rope were tied to each end of my crossbeam. With three strong men lifting and four on the ropes, we were set upright and secured. As we rose up, gravity took hold of Jesus’ body, pulling on him as if trying to tear him down, and once again he was wracked with searing pain.

He could scarcely breathe as my splinters dug deep into the raw flesh of his back. For a moment I forgot my own lamenting as I desperately tried to hold him up, but my timbers would not move. I had worked hard to make them rigid and inflexible—perfect for my needs, or so I had thought. But now, for the first time in my life, I truly understood the meaning of sin. It wasn’t something that only applied to others. It described how I had lived my entire life—primping and preening, focusing only on my wants and my needs. I had been prideful, vain, selfish, and now my sinfulness prevented me from offering even the slightest bit of relief for this innocent, suffering person.

The crowd surged around my base, much like they had done in the garden—but in their eyes I no longer saw adoration and appreciation—just hatred. They continued to jeer and curse Jesus but he didn’t seem to hear. He was speaking softly—praying to his Father in Heaven that I had heard him talk about so often.

A man on one of the other crosses confessed to Jesus that he was a thief and asked for forgiveness. He wanted Jesus to remember him once he was in Heaven. Then Jesus said the most remarkable thing: “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Paradise!? How could he possibly be thinking of paradise? This place was as far from paradise as one could get. Even the sound of its name—Golgotha—sounded cold and evil. Oh, how I longed for the safety of my garden.

Someone from the crowd seized a spear and thrust it into Jesus’ side. He made no sound but his head rocked back and it was only then that I noticed the thorns. Taken from the hill near the garden, lengths of them had been woven into a sort of headpiece—a crown of thorns—and placed firmly—painfully—on Jesus’ head.

With the crowd urging him on, a man tacked a piece of paper above Jesus’ head and read it aloud: “This is Jesus. King of the Jews.” And as they laughed and mocked him, my destiny was fulfilled: I was a bearer of royalty. I bore the King of the Jews. Blood mixed with sweat trickled down the length of me, mingling with sap that I shed as though it were tears. I wept not for me, but for the one who did not deserve this.

Why was this happening? This man had the ability to perform miracles—I had seen him—so why didn’t he save himself now? He could take the nails away and there would be nothing to hold him there. Why did he stay? What held him? Oh, how I wanted to help him, but my sinfulness had created a vast chasm that I could not reach across.

There was a moan from Jesus—all had been quiet for such a long while—but suddenly it was as if every vile and evil thing of the earth had seized him. The sins of all the people had come upon him and were trying to tear him apart. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” was his cry as his body convulsed violently.

Finally the convulsions stopped and he managed to whisper: “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.” And there, at last, was the answer. Jesus was The Messiah—the Son of God—the only one capable of perfect, unconditional, all-forgiving love. The nails had no power to hold him there. Love is what bound him to me. With that belief anchored firmly in my heart, I prayed to the Heavenly Father, confessing my sins of selfishness, vanity, and pride, and humbly asking for his forgiveness. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”

Now gasping for each breath, Jesus spoke again, “It is finished.” And with those words my sin was banished and I was reborn. No longer would I be a cross—rigid and inflexible, an instrument of pain and torment. My timbers yielded with new-found freedom and at last I could reach out to offer him comfort. He had given his all for me, and I now gave to him all that was mine to give. I gave him my heart.

The crowd had fallen silent and all that could be heard was his quiet breathing. It was as if we were all alone in that dark, unholy place. His body was so frail, broken under the burden of sin he alone had carried. Dark, red blood flowed out of the wounds from which I had been spared. One last time, Jesus spoke: “Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit.” And as I held him in my arms, Jesus died.

I looked out at the people. A few wept openly, as I did. Most looked away. But no one would leave that place unchanged by what they had witnessed there. One by one they went away, disappearing into the night. Finally, only a handful remained—Jesus’ friends and his mother. They came forward and took him from me—gently, carefully—and carried his body away.

A few days passed before I heard the rest of the story: Jesus had overcome death! He had risen from the grave and now walked triumphantly among the people! But his time here was short because he would soon ascend to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God. I had to see him one last time! I found him with the disciples on a road just outside the city. He smiled when he saw me and I wanted to ask him to remember me, but I couldn’t get the words out. He whispered to me, “I will be with you always, even to the end of time.” And I believe he will.

I am the cross—imperfect, undeserving—living by my own selfish choices. But because of the sacrifice Jesus made in my place on that blood-soaked hill, and because I believe in the grace of an all-powerful God, the cross—my sin—no longer has power over me. I am forgiven. I am reborn. I am a new creation in Christ.
The End (or the beginning)

 


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