A Play About God’s Love
(adapted from “Sharing the Easter Faith With Children” by Carolyn C. Brown, p. 102)
Running Time: Approx. 10 minutes
Characters: (in order of appearance): 8 roles, minimum (3 boys, 3 girls, 2 either gender—angel & narrator). Could be adapted for up to 15 children or more by including Jesus’ friends. Also consider splitting the narrator part for more roles.
Narrator (adult or older child who can read well)
Jesus’ friends (optional—if there are not enough children, Peter, John, Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Salome can do this. If you need roles for additional children, you can use as many as practical here).
Mary the Mother of Jesus (no lines, some action)
Mary Magdalene (a few lines—could be read by narrator, if needed, lots of action)
Salome (no lines, little action)
Angel (One line, little action)
Peter (No lines, some action)
John (No lines, some action)
Jesus (a few lines—could be read by narrator, if needed, some action)
A picture of the crucifixion
A large “body” pillow or other object to represent Jesus
A large cross in the background
Several white sheets
Small boxes or bags for “spices”
Plants/flowers to show it is a garden (optional)
“Garden” music to set the scene (optional)
Setting: A “cave” with a large (but moveable) rock. The narrator is standing off to the side. The area could be decorated with flowers to indicate a garden scene. “Garden noise” music could play in the background.
Narrator: Today, we are going to tell you a story from the Bible. It starts out very sad and ends up very, very happy. It begins on a Friday. There were some people who did not like Jesus. They were really angry with him—so angry that they decided to kill him by hanging him on a cross. This is what it looked like:
(Hold up a picture of the crucifixion, or have someone walk it up and down the aisle of the church).
It was a very sad day. Jesus’ friends took his body off the cross, wrapped it gently in a big white sheet, and laid it in a cave tomb. A big rock was rolled across the door so no one could get in.
(Jesus’ friends enter and do the actions as narrated. A large “body pillow” might be used for “Jesus” here. Have it already wrapped in a white sheet, and have the friends wrap it again and place it in the tomb. Then the friends exit and scatter around the sanctuary until the end).
(Narrator should move away from the tomb to distract the audience while a stage hand moves the rock away from the opening of the tomb, and moves the “body” out, leaving a sheet folded up in its place.)
On Sunday morning, three women went to the tomb. Their names were Mary, the Mother of Jesus; Mary Magdalene; and Salome (Sal-O-may).
(Women enter as their names are read and go to the tomb. They could carry small bags or boxes with “spices” in them.)
The women wanted to wash Jesus’ body and leave good smelling spices near him so it wouldn’t smell bad. They were very surprised when they arrived! (Narrator moves back towards the tomb) The stone was rolled back! The tomb was open! (Women look inside). Jesus’ body was gone! All that was there was the sheet they had wrapped around his body…and an angel!
(Enter angel. Stand by rock.)
[NOTE: If the narrator reads the lines, they should say, “The angel said…” or “Jesus said…” before the lines. This set-up assumes that the characters will be saying their own lines.]
Angel: Why are you looking for Jesus in a tomb for dead people? He is not here! He is risen from the dead! He is alive!
Narrator: The women ran to find Jesus’ friends, Peter and John.
(Women run to a corner where Peter and John are waiting. All five characters run back to the tomb together…but John gets there first and looks in. He comes out, shaking his head. Peter then looks into the tomb, and shakes his head. The 5 characters stand together pretending to talk and scratch their heads in confusion).
Peter and John ran to the tomb to look in, but John got there first. When they saw that Jesus was not there, they were confused. The rock was too big for anyone to move. They could not understand. So they went back home to try to figure out what was going on. They were scared.
(Peter, John, Mary the Mother of Jesus, and Salome all exit. Mary Magdalene sits down with her head in her hands/lap, pretending to cry. Jesus enters, and stands behind Mary.)
Mary Magdalene sat down and cried. She cried and cried and cried, because Jesus was her friend and teacher. She loved him very much. Now he was gone, and she didn’t know what to do. She was so sad that she didn’t look up when someone spoke to her:
Jesus: Woman, why are you crying?
Mary Magdalene: (Crying into hands—look up and away from Jesus when speaking) Because Jesus is dead, and I don’t understand. I don’t know where his body is!
(Mary looks up and at Jesus in disbelief).
Mary Magdalene: (wide eyes) Jesus?!?!?
Jesus: Yes. I am Jesus. I am alive. I was dead, but I am now alive. I have risen. Now go tell Peter and John and everyone else about me.
(Jesus exits off to the side, as Mary runs down the aisle and around the church telling all the children, friends, Mary the Mother of Jesus, Salome, Peter, and John about Jesus.)
Mary Magdalene: (to each person, or a pre-selected group, depending on group size) [NAME], Jesus is alive! I saw him!
[NAME] Jesus is risen!
[NAME] I saw Jesus! He is alive!, etc.
(As each child is told, they join the crowd, and follow Mary Magdalene around as she continues to tell others about Jesus. Everyone begins to shout and say variations of “Jesus is alive! I saw him!” Or, “Jesus is risen!” Or, “Alleluia!” Eventually, all of the characters exit, and the narrator is left alone on stage).
[Optional: During this time, one or more children—or even a choir—can begin to sing together, “Allelu, Allelu, Alleuia! Praise ye the Lord! Allelu, Allelu, Alleuia! Praise ye the Lord! Praise ye the Lord! Alleluia! Praise ye the Lord! Alleluia! Praise ye the Lord! Alleluia! Praise ye the Lord!]
Narrator: Everyone was very exited by the news that Mary Magdalene shared with them! For many days, no one could talk of anything else. It was a miracle! Jesus was dead, but God made him alive again. God is more powerful than anything—even death. And God loves us very much. That’s why God brought Jesus back to life again. It was a wonderful surprise that Sunday morning. And God has more good surprises for our lives too, because God loves us very much.
[The End. Cast can re-enter for bows.]