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I wrote these little vignettes many years back, as an assignment for a drama group I was in.  We were preparing for Good Friday and were to approach the Cross as some of the more obscure characters mentioned in the Gospel accounts. Our backs were to the audience as we faced the Crucifixion together.  I hope you will find some value in them as we, today, approach Good Friday as well.

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“This is the Man who encouraged me that day when I had given up all hope and put my very last coin into the offering. My life has certainly been much better, for some reason, since then.  They say He has blasphemed.  Well, I’ve been going to temple all my life.  I’ve been devoted to God all my life, and I sure never heard Him say anything of the sort.  He’s only spoken of loving your neighbor and helping those who are hurting or poor or sick.  These Pharisees could use a little of that compassion, if you ask me.  This is a terrible thing that is happening here today.  He said I gave everying I had, but I really didn’t.  I gave the last of my money, but He’s the one who is really giving everything.

“Is that His mother over there?  (pointing to Mary).  I must go and speak with her.  I know the pain of losing someone you love.”

~ The widow who gave her last coin

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“He seemed to be able to see everything.  He even found me, a man of small stature, sitting in a tree trying to get a better glimpse of Him.  My height — or lack of it — had always been an asset to me. As a tax-gatherer, one who was not welcome in the sight of many, I could slip quickly into a crowd and escape unniticed.  But I did not escape Jesus’ glance.

“Now He’s gone.  How could it be that He who sees all didn’t see this coming?  He healed blind Bartimaeus.  Was He Himslef blind to this?”

~ Zaccheus

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“He told me I had to be born again.  I didn’t understand at first, but He said He spoke of spiritual things.  I had been a teacher of the Jews, but He spoke of new things.  He said He must be ‘lifted up,’ that whoever believes in Him may have everlasting life.  Again, I don’t understand.  How can any good come of this tragedy?  I once protested the unfairness of His trial before the Sanhedrin, and they let Him go.  This time, I can’t help Him.”

~ Nicodemus

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“I am accustomed to watching the signs in the sky.  This practice led my colleagues and me to Bethlehem to see the baby born King of the Jews, some 30 years ago.

“Again, today, I have seen signs in the sky.  At noon, all  became dark until 3:00, when this one called King of the Jews cried out to His God and died.  There was even an earthquake and rocks were splititng.  What does this all mean?

“Being a seeker of signs, I have turned to the ancient writings of Jeremiah and Isaiah for answers:  These are the signs which are to accomplany the Messiah!  Can it be that He who hung on that thief’s cross today is indeed the Son of God?”

~ One of the Maggi

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“As a member of the Council, I have to guard my asociations.  Jesus’ words intrigued me, and I would follow him when I could, if I felt I could remain unnoticed.  I did not want to bring shame to my fellow citizens of Arimathea by publicly ascribing to the teachings of one deemed blasphemous by the Jewish leaders.

“I’m ashamed now of my secrecy.  Jesus displayed such courage on that cross, a punishment so undeserved.  How can I ever redeem what I’ve done?  Perhaps Pilate will grant me His body, that I might at least give Him a proper burial.”

~ Joseph of Arimathea

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“I’ve heard His voice many times.  He used to come to my sisters’ house for dinner, and I loved to hear Him teach us the holy Scriptures.  Then one day I heard His voice in a new way — very powerful, and with authority.  ”Come forth!”  It was as if I had been in a deep, deep sleep for days, yet I was dressed in burial clothes.  The voice was unmistakable, and what could I do but heed His command?

“Now He’s gone.  He’s wrapped in burial clothes and lying in His tomb.  And yet I know there will be One to call forth His Name, too.  Not even death can silence Him.  Death means nothing to Him.  I will hear His voice again.  But how long must I wait?”

~ Lazarus

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