Holy Week story with props. Can be split into sections with songs between for family service, school play or family fun day.
(Narrator is human, others can be human or puppets – two puppeteers needed)
Narrator – reporter glasses, wobble board sound effect
Props for audience to wave: Palm leaves, party plates, nails (large), stones
I suggest these are in small baskets distributed through the audience
Narr: Hi Andy, you look a bit confused. What’s the matter?
Andy: Well, it’s coming up to Easter, right?
Andy: And we’re getting all excited about the chocolate and the eggs and the cute little chicks and everything, right?
Andy: And we have time off school and we get to have chocolate for breakfast and everything, right?
Narr: Right. What’s the problem?
Andy: Well, what’s it all about? And what’s with the warm annoyed rabbits?
Narr: Warm annoyed rabbits?
Andy: Yeah, the hot cross buns! Why do we eat hot cross buns?
Narr: Oh! (Laughs) Well it just so happens that there’s a TV program about to start which will tell us all about it. It’s called Time Travel TV. Would you like to watch it with me?
Andy: Yes please. And can the boys and girls watch too?
Narr: Certainly. (To audience) We have some props around so that you can join in. We have palm leaves, party plates, nails and stones. When you hear one of these mentioned in the story, you can pick it up and wave it. So listen out for the words.
Narr: Let’s turn on the telly and get ready to watch Time Travel TV. When we travel through time we will all go a bit wobbly, like this. (Wobble) So get ready to travel through time with me.
(Narrator turns around and puts on reporter glasses)
Narr: (Wobble) Good afternoon viewers and welcome to this edition of Time Travel TV. The year is 33 ad. Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar is on the throne. The place is Jerusalem, and there are huge crowds waiting to see a famous celebrity.
We cross to our roving reporter, Rosy Parker. Rosy, what’s that I can see in the background? Are they waving flags?
Rosy: Sort of. They’ve got palm leaves from the trees and they are waving them in the air. Some people have made a red carpet from their cloaks as well.
Narr: So who is the celebrity, Rosy? I hear he is royalty.
Rosy: It’s a bit confusing, actually. The crowds are calling him a king, but he is actually a carpenter who has been teaching people about God. His name is Jesus of Nazareth.
Oh, I see his procession coming into view. The crowds are waving their palm leaves … he’s just coming round the corner … Oh! That’s weird.
He’s not in a fancy car, or a carriage. He’s riding on a donkey and he doesn’t even have a crown.
He doesn’t look like any king I have seen.
Back to you in the studio
Narr: Thank you Rosy Parker, reporting to us from Palm Sunday.
Now we will travel forward in time a few days, to the Thursday just before Easter. (Wobble) It is a big party day in Jerusalem and we can talk to Mr Ian Keeper, who owns a room that he rents out for parties.
Narr: Good afternoon, Mr Keeper. I understand that there is party going on right now?
Ian: Yes there is. It’s the Passover, see. That’s the biggest party time of the year. We’ve got out all the best party plates.
Narr: And who is at this party?
Ian: Ah well. I’m glad you asked that. It’s only that celebrity who came in to town last Sunday riding on a donkey. I was there, with my palm branch, singing and waving, and now – here he is, with his friends, in my room! I’m so proud!
Narr: They must be having a fun time
Ian: I’m not sure about fun. They seem a bit sad, actually. Not that I was listening at the door or anything, but Jesus kept saying he was going to die, and then he was going to come back to life again. But that’s clearly daft.
Narr: Thank you, Mr Ian Keeper, for telling us all about The Last Supper. I’ll let you go so that you can wash up all the party plates now.
Narr: Now we will travel forward in time just one day, to Friday, and our reporter, Rosy Parker is in the town square. (Wobble)
Narr: Rosy, it looks like there’s a riot going on. Is it the crowd with the palm leaves again?
Rosy: The mood has changed a lot since last Sunday, when the crowd were calling Jesus their king. Now they are shouting for him to be killed. The Romans have arrested him and put him on trial for his life.
Narr: But why? What has he done wrong?
Rosy: Nothing at all! Even the judge at his trial, Governor P. Pilate, stated ‘I find nothing wrong with this man’. Yet he has been sentenced to death anyway. And it is a particularly nasty death. It involves nails and big crosses made of wood.
Narr: How dreadful. Has Jesus tried to escape this punishment?
Rosy: No, it is very strange. It’s almost as though Jesus is content to die. It’s like he expected it.
Narr: Strange indeed. Thank you Rosy.
Narr: Time Travelling another day further on brings us to Saturday. (Wobble) It is a very sad day, and we can speak now to Joe, a local landowner and friend of Jesus.
Narr: Joe, can you tell us what happened on Good Friday?
Joe: Oh, it was terrible. Jesus died on that awful cross and afterwards we buried him in a cave. We rolled a huge stone across the front of the cave and now he’s there. Dead.
And to make it worse, there are Roman soldiers guarding the grave as well.
Narr: Why are they doing that?
Joe: They heard what Jesus said about dying and then coming back to life on the third day, so they have put guards there to make sure it doesn’t happen! But that’s daft. Dead people don’t come back to life, do they?
Narr: No, that’s true. It is a very sad day. (Mary enters) Oh, hello Mary
Mary: Yes, a very sad day. I’m going to the grave tomorrow morning to put some spices on Jesus’ body.
Narr: That’s kind. Perhaps I’ll see you there on our next time travel.
(Joe and Mary exit)
Narr: Well. What a sad story. That was the first Good Friday. It doesn’t sound very good, does it?
But this is not the end of the story.
Let’s time travel just one more day – to the very first Easter morning. (Wobble)
Mary: Quick! Quick everyone! You’ll never guess what just happened!
Narr: Slow down Mary. What just happened?
Mary: Ooooh! You’ll never guess! You’ll never guess!
Narr: OK, so I’ll never guess – you’re going to have to tell me then.
Mary: I’ve seen him!
Narr: You’ve seen him?
Mary: Yes, I’ve seen him!
Mary: Ooooh! You’ll never guess! You’ll never guess!
Narr: OK, we’ve been through that before. Just tell me.
Mary: Jesus! I’ve seen Jesus. He’s alive. He’s really alive! He’s really really really really really …
Narr: OK, I’ve got it. But what do you mean, you’ve seen him?
Mary: I went to the grave to put some spices on Jesus’ body early this morning, but when I got there the huge stone was rolled away! And there was an angel sat on top of it who told me that Jesus was alive!
Mary: And then I ran off to tell everyone what I had seen, and I bumped into someone on my way. And guess who it was – You’ll never guess! Come on, try to guess, you’ll never guess!
Narr: Was it …
Mary: It was Jesus! And he talked to me and told me to go tell everyone, so I’m going to tell everyone – they’ll never guess! They’ll never guess!
Narr: Well, that is a happy ending to the story. Jesus did come back to life, just like he said.
That’s all from Time Travel TV for today. Thanks for watching.
(Andy enters. Narrator turns around and removes reporter glasses)
Andy: Wow! So that’s what Easter is all about! I’m really glad you put that program on. So is that why we eat hot cross buns at Easter?
Narr: That’s right, Andy. The cross reminds us of when Jesus died. He never did anything wrong, but when he died, he paid the price for all the wrong that I do, and that you do, that we all do. And that means that we can be friends with God. And that is very Good News!
Andy: Yay! So it really was a Good Friday after all!