The Case for Christ

By Susan Irvine

Summary

Is Jesus a blatant liar, a mad man or was he telling the truth?  The jury must decide but there are those who regard it as an open and shut case, without even considering the evidence.

Characters

8 Members of a jury. (You can use 4 non speaking parts to bring number to 12, we just used 8)

Script

(Members of the jury are gathered at front of stage. Some are sitting, some lounging against the back of the chairs, some standing.)

Susan:  OK, weíve elected our foreman, what do we do now?

Martyn: I guess we wait until they take us into the Courtroom. I hope itís not going to be a long drawn-out case.

Greg:   Donít sweat it, we wonít be here that long - itís an open and shut case.

Lesley:  Maybe to you, but some of your fellow jurors may not be so sure.

Greg:   Only the stupid ones.

Susan:   Donít you think we should listen to the evidence before we make up our minds? The 12 of us have to take this responsibility very seriously. We need to listen to both sides to figure out whether this man was speaking the truth to us or whether heís nothing more than a fake. And our decision has to be unanimous.
 
Greg:   Sure, no problem. All in favour of voting the guy to be a looney raise your hands.

(Three other hands go up, five others look around to see what the others are doing, three cross their arms and look disapproving and one little old lady saysÖ)

Old Lady:  Iím sorry Ė what was that dear Ė all in favour of ballooning raise your hands?

John:  No Ė (leaning over old lady and loudly emphasising the words) the guy is a complete and utter looney.

Old lady:  (glancing at Greg, who looks thunderous) Well, Iím sure youíre right dear, but itís not a very nice thing to say to his face is it? We should all really try to get along, just as that nice young man said  Ė love your neighbour as you would love yourself. Such good advice.

Anna:   Yes, excellent advice, and not the kind of thing a looney would say.

Old lady:  Ballooning today dear?  No, I donít think so.

Greg:   Itís precisely the sort of thing a loonÖ.(pauses, looks at old woman and decides to change wording) a mentally unstable individual with delusions of grandeur would say.

Lesley:  What do you mean Ďdelusions of grandeurí Ė this guy Jesus had nothing but the clothes on his back?

Greg:   Well what else would you call it, when heís going round proclaiming that heís the Son of God. Come off it, he was flesh and blood, same as you and me.

Martyn:  Yeah, then he had the gall to say that the only way to get to God was through Him Ė thatís downright arrogant.

Hippy:  Right on brother Ė how can there be only one way to God, and what is God anyway? Isnít he that inner voice; the God within; arenít we all a God unto ourselves, you know what Iím saying?

Old lady:  Praying? Yes dear, I think you probably should.

Susan: Look, weíre basing our judgment on preconceived ideas. Weíre being narrow-minded.

Greg:  I think he was the narrow-minded one Ė a narrow-minded bigot Ė you know all that stuff about sin and right and wrong. Whoís he to tell me what I can and canít do. As long as youíre not hurting anyone, you should be able to do just as you please.

Anna:   Mind you, bigots donít usually go around seeking to reach out to the poor, oppressed and social outcasts.

(Uncomfortable silence)

John:  Well I think he was just a premeditated liar. He probably couldnít help himself Ė the lies just got bigger and bigger the more people he fooled. Nothing more than a charlatan Ė the first cult leader really.

Greg:   Look, whatever the reason, one thing is clear Ė the guyís a complete fake.

Old lady:  Donít you think, dear, that we should listen to the evidence from both sides before we reach a decision?

Greg:   (in an undertone) Thereís not much point in your case Ė you canít hear a thing, you silly old bat.

Old lady:  Smell a rat, dear? Yes, Iím afraid I do (waving knitting needle at him) Ė and although itís not deaf itís as blind as a bat.

(Lights out)
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© Susan Irvine (Dunedin City Baptist) October 2000
All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. Our drama group can be contacted at the following address: Caradii@xtra.co.nz