In this seventh soliloquy from the dramatic production I wrote around the song “Were You There When They Crucified the Lord?” Paul, enchained by the Romans, is reminiscing about that day.
Action: Paul comes out on Set A in the dark with a Roman Guard during the last few lines of Crucifixion music.
Props/Costumes: A softened version of a Pharisees outfit complete with a tallit over his shoulders, chained from his wrist to the Roman Guard.
Lights: Up on Set A
Sound: Live on Set A.
Seventh Soliloquy Paul, Set A
“Was I there when they crucified the Lord? Well, of course I was in Jerusalem. I am a Pharisee of Pharisees. Where else would I have been during the High Holy Days? But I wasn’t there with that hysterical crowd or mixed up with any of the political wrangling going on. I was spending the Passover with my teacher and mentor, Gamaliel. We were studying the Mishna and performing the ceremonial activities required for the Passover. All I knew about Jesus, at that time, was that Caiaphas and Ananias seemed to be developing an almost obsessive paranoia about Him and His little rag-tag band of followers. My teacher, Gamaliel, was of a different mind. He tended to feel that the best thing to do with heretics and rebels was to ignore them. In time, the frenzy dies out and false prophets are forgotten. On the other hand, we Jews seem to be always corrupted by the world around us. Always missing the mark in our need to live for God with purity and truth. Someone has to stand up for and defend the righteous demands of the Law. By education and training I was caught between those two opposing ideas: Detached scholastic intellectualism on the one hand and zealous passion to serve God with purity, and require it of others, on the other hand. Being young, I eventually embraced the zealous activism that opposed Christ’s followers when that movement became stronger and stronger with each passing year instead of fading away as Gamaliel had predicted it would. It was at that time, in the years AFTER his crucifixion, when I was in hot pursuit of the followers of The Way, that Jesus came to me from beyond and revealed to me the Truth. It was there, that day, on the road to Damascus, that I came face-to-face with the living God. The most amazing thing is that while I had to ask Him who He was, He already knew who I was. He already knew ME. He had always known me. Now, I look back at the events of that most important Passover in history, and I realize that while I had my nose buried in my manuscripts and scrolls looking for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He was just outside the city gates hanging on a cross. . . FOR ME! There is not a shadow of doubt in my mind that while He was hanging there on the cross, I was on His mind.”
Kill sound and lights on Set A.
Roman Guard moves to Set B
Lights and Sound up on Set B