An Easter drama By Bob Grinsell
The cast from the TV program CSI examine the evidence of the crucifixion.
CSI 1 - CSI T-shirt or windbreaker with CSI logo
CSI 2 - CSI T-shirt or windbreaker with CSI logo
CSI 3 - CSI T-shirt or windbreaker with CSI logo
Scribe - traditional Hebrew robe
Guard - Roman legionnaire outfit or black "Security" T-shirt with police belt.
Crowd - witnesses, bystanders, etc. (Optional)
Crucifixion scene - Area cordoned off with police tape, possibly police light
flashing in background. Spotlight shining up on cross.
Lab - test tubes, microscope, other lab equipment (optional - lab coats for agents).
Meeting room / interrogation room - table, several chairs.
We used two versions of the CSI theme song: "Who Are You" by the Who: CSI long (31 seconds) which opens and closes the play. CSI short (11 seconds) is used for transition between scenes. CSI short is just the "who are you, who, who" section of the song. It can be found on a number of internet fan sites.
The goal of this drama was to provide some of the evidence about the life and death of Jesus Christ, including prophesies, miracles and His message. It addresses some of the arguments against Him and theories trying to explain away His resurrection. The CSI theme was used to capture people's attention and take advantage of the cultural familiarity of the show, to make people open to the message. I believe all creativity ultimately comes from God, and this is an effort to recapture some of that creativity and refocus it back on our Lord. You are free to make modifications as needed to fit the stage, setup, time limits, etc. of your particular situation. If you have specific questions, comments, requests, etc. that you would like to address with me, you may contact me at email@example.com. Put "CSI Jerusalem" in the subject line, so I'll recognize it. We used this on Easter Sunday, as part of the sermon. Ideally, some sort of lesson, altar call, more detailed explanation of the salvation message should accompany this drama. May it be a blessing, however you use it, and may it serve God's purposes.
Scene 1 - Crucifixion scene
CSI Long plays
CSI agents 1, 2 & 3 are on scene; collecting evidence, taking pictures, making notes, talking to bystanders, etc. CSI Leader enters from side, approaches scene.
CSI Leader: Good morning everyone.
CSI agents: Hey boss, hi chief.
CSI Leader: Glad to see you got on this so quickly. What's the situation here?
CSI 1: It looks like an apparent death by crucifixion.
CSI Leader: Crucifixion? What's the big deal? That happens all the time now.
CSI 1: Yes, but this guy might have been innocent.
CSI Leader: Innocent? How did that happen?
CSI 2 : We don't know, but we're hoping the evidence will show us.
CSI Leader : Okay, what do we know so far?
CSI 3: Well, there are reports of a suspicious arrest, a speedy trial, very quick sentencing, extensive torture and an execution carried out almost immediately.
CSI Leader: All right, that's good work, but we are going to need to gather a lot more evidence. (Points to each CSI in turn). You (CSI 1), go back to the scene of the arrest. See what you can find, then get it back to the lab for analysis.
CSI 1: I'm on it.
CSI 1: leaves the scene, moves to background, then eventually to Lab.
CSI Leader :You (CSI 2), gather all the evidence you can from here. I want a complete diagnostic done; see what it tells us about Him.
CSI 2: I done here, so I'll get to the lab and will do it first thing.
CSI Leader: Great, thank you.
CSI 2 packs up lab case, samples, etc. Leaves, moves to Location 1, begins lab work.
CSI Leader: You (CSI 3), research his background, talk to people who knew Him. I suggest you start by talking to the scribes.
CSI 3: The scribes? Why them?
CSI Leader: They write down everything.
CSI 3: Yeah, but is it accurate?
CSI Leader: Accurate? The Hebrew scribes are renown for the accuracy of their work. They maintain detailed and stringent disciplines for copying a manuscript. Not even a single word can be written from memory; each must be copied from the original, letter by letter. Manuscripts over a 1,000 years apart have been tested for accuracy and have been found to be virtually identical.
CSI 3: Okay, I guess they are accurate. I'll do some research, see what the books tell me about this guy.
CSI Leader :One last question. What was this guy's name?
CSI 3: (checks notes) Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth.
CSI 3 moves to Location 2 off stage right, eventually will approach the scribe, sitting at a desk reviewing scrolls.
CSI Leader looks up at cross on wall. Pauses, thinking.
CSI Leader: Jesus. Who are you, Jesus?
CSI Leader moves inside crime scene tape looks, around, possibly makes notes in notebook.
Scene 2 - Interviewing guard
CSI Leader approaches guard standing at edge of crime tape.
Leader: Excuse me, I need to talk to you.
Guard: (a little nervous) Yeah? Well fine, what about?
Leader: You're part of the crucifixion team, right?
Guard: Yeah, I was. I mean I am. I mean, I used to be.
Leader: What do you mean, used to be?
Guard: After today, I don't think I can do this anymore.
Leader: Why? What happened?
Guard: Look, I've done plenty of crucifixions. But this time, I don't know…
Leader: Okay, let's go back to the beginning. How did this start?
Guard: They brought in this prisoner, Jesus. They told us he was some Jewish leader and we were supposed to scourge him. We beat him, we slapped him, we drove a crown of thorns into his head. We flogged him to within an inch of his life!
Leader: A lot of screaming? Is that what set you off?
Guard: That's the weird part. Screaming I'm used to. This guy; though he was harshly treated, he submitted and didn't even open his mouth. He was silent, like a lamb to the slaughter! How could he do that?
Leader: Sounds like he had something in him more powerful than your torture. Guard Yeah, well, he had something alright. So, finally, we led him out for the crucifixion.
Leader: How did that go?
Guard: So he was exhausted, beaten and bloody. Then we make him carry this huge wooden beam up the hill to Golgotha. He almost didn't make it. When we get there, we drive large metal spikes through his wrists, nailing him right to the cross. Then he's lifted up into the air and another spike is driven through his feet, anchoring him to the cross.
Leader: So all his weight is focused onto the nails in his wrists and feet. And his arms are completely outstretched on either side of him.
Guard: Right. This causes massive muscle spasms to run through his arms, forcing his chest cavity to constrict. The victim is hanging there, slowly suffocating as the oxygen is squeezed out of his lungs. He can't draw breath because of the muscle spasms.
Leader: So, to be able to breath, he has to get the pressure off his arms.
Guard: Right, and the only way to do that is to put all his weight on the nail in his feet and lift himself up; sending shooting pain and muscle spasms up through his legs. He can only take a few minutes of that before his legs buckle, dropping him back down on his arms, starting the whole cycle all over again.
Leader: And this can go on for hours?
Guard: Yeah. He'd hang as long as he could, and then push himself up to gasp a few breaths, and, and…
Leader: And what?
Guard : He'd say stuff!
Leader: He'd talk?! Hanging there like that? In that much pain? What did he say?
Guard: (pause) He said, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Guard and Leader stare at each other, then up at cross.
Leader: Who are you?
Scene 3 - Crime lab scene
CSI 2 is working in lab, looking in a microscope, holding up test tubes, using other equipment. CSI 1 comes in with other evidence, begins working. After a short time…
CSI 1: Ah man, this is getting frustrating!
CSI 2 :What's the problem?
CSI 1: It's these samples I collected from the garden, where Jesus was arrested. It appears to be blood. No, it's sweat, no wait, it's blood.
CSI 2: Well, which is it?
CSI 1: It appears to be both.
CSI 2: Both?
CSI 1: Yeah, it's sweat, mingled with blood.
CSI 2: So His sweat fell like drops of blood. What else have you found?
CSI 1: There were definite signs of a large mob over there. There was some kind of skirmish. I found more blood, and the imprint of an ear in the dirt.
CSI 2: An imprint? Where's the ear?
CSI 1: I dunno. Couldn't find it.
CSI 2: What, did someone just put it back?
CSI 1: Can't say.
CSI 2 : Okay, so there was a struggle. That means Jesus was probably abducted or dragged away against His will.
CSI 1: No, from the look of the tracks I found, it appears he went willingly.
CSI 2: Willingly? A mob comes for him in the middle of the night, he's sweating blood from fear, and yet he goes willingly?
CSI 1: Yeah, kind of like a lamb to the slaughter. (pause while they consider this) What about you? Have you finished testing the blood from the crime scene yet?
CSI 2: Well, I'm trying, but it's not going well.
CSI 1: What's the problem?
CSI 2: Well, it's weird. Every time I try to put something into the container to test it, it gets purified.
CSI 1: Purified?
CSI 2: Yeah, it seems whatever comes in contact with the blood of Jesus gets washed clean.
CSI 1: Wow.
CSIs 1 and 2 look up at cross.
CSI 2: Who are you?
Scene 4 - Interrogation scene
CSI 3 approaches scribe, who is sitting at table, reviewing various scrolls.
CSI 3: Excuse me, I'm with CSI Jerusalem. I need to talk to you.
Scribe: (Yiddish accent) So sit, take a load off. We'll talk, we'll chat. It's sunny, let's share!
CSI 3: Right, okay. I'm investigating the recent crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. Scribe Ah, Him. The One.
CSI 3: The one? What do you mean, the one?
Scribe: The one who did it!
CSI 3: Did what?
Scribe: Hit the grand slam! Ran the table! Cleared the deck! Fulfilled the prophesies!
CSI 3: Okay, so there are a few prophesies that might be interpreted to be about Jesus.
Scribe: A few? There are over 60 specific major prophesies clearly fulfilled by Jesus, with ramifications for over 270 additional prophesies. On the day of His crucifixion alone, he fulfilled 29 separate prophesies! He was the Son of God!
CSI 3: Okay, so maybe he fulfilled a lot of prophesies. But couldn't any number of historic figures have done the same thing, if you look at the prophesies differently? How unlikely it is for Jesus to have done it?
Scribe: Do you like swimming?
CSI 3: What?
Scribe: Swimming. I've got this great big swimming pool in my backyard. Wonderful exercise.
CSI 3: What does that have to do with anything?
Scribe: Well, let's say that I take a coin and put a big red X on it, and throw it into my swimming pool. Then, I completely fill the swimming pool with more coins. All the way to the top.
CSI 3: Okay, I'm following.
Scribe: Then, I jump in, blindfolded, and swim around and I grab one coin out of that swimming pool. And when I get out and take off my blindfold, shazam! It's the coin with the big red X on it. How likely would that be?
CSI 3: I'd say that's almost impossible.
Scribe: Well, that's about the likelihood of one guy fulfilling just EIGHT of the major prophesies. Eight! And Jesus fulfilled not just 8, but all of them!
CSI 3: Okay, so He was the one. He was a, a, a great teacher, a gifted rabbi. He had a lot of wonderful ideas. But that doesn't make him God.
Scribe: Ah, but you see. Jesus doesn't give you that option, that "he was a good teacher" bit. Because Jesus didn't say, "I'm a good teacher, I have great ideas." Jesus said, "I am God's Son." So, you basically have three options. You can say he was a liar, and if that's the case, He can't exactly be a "nice teacher," can he? You could say He was crazy, and then, again, you can't cop out with the "nice teachings" line. Or, you can believe. You can believe Jesus is who He said He was. The Son of Man and the Son of God.
CSI 3: looks up at the cross.
CSI 3: Who are you, Jesus?
Scene 5 - Closing scene
Scribe leaves, other CSI agents gather in room.
CSI Leader: This has been an investigation unlike any we've ever had. Let's review what we've found. [To CSI 3] What did your interviews produce?
CSI 3: Jesus appears to have been a person like no other. The impact of an encounter with Jesus is life changing. I've talked to people who were born blind, and now they see. Deaf who now hear. Crippled who now walk.
CSI 1: People who were condemned are set free; and told, "go and sin no more."
CSI 2: It seems His healings were as much for the soul as for the body. He healed physical illnesses, and He restored broken hearts. He fed the multitudes with bread, and He became the bread of life.
CSI Leader: Okay, we have some pretty amazing and compelling evidence about Jesus. Prophesies fulfilled. Physical and spiritual healings. His very blood washing away sin. However, since this is CSI, I think we need to go do the autopsy if we're going to find out any more about this Jesus.
CSI 1: Um, unfortunately, we can't.
CSI Leader: We can't? Why not?
CSI 1: Well, the body's gone.
CSI Leader: Gone! How could it be gone?
CSI 2: Well, the guards say no one came near the tomb. But He's still gone.
CSI 3: Didn't you talk to one of the guards?
CSI Leader: Yeah, I talked to one who was at the crucifixion.
CSI 3: And what did he say?
CSI Leader: Well, after everything that he saw happen, he looked up at Jesus on the cross and said, "truly this was the Son of God."
Long pause as everyone considers this statement.
CSI 1: Maybe he's right. Maybe it's time we go beyond the evidence. We've got the facts in our heads, but what about our hearts? What are our hearts telling us?
CSI 3: That it's time we accept Jesus for what He truly was, our Lord and Savior.
CSI 2: The Son of God, come to earth, to save us.
CSI Leader: This evidence has to spread. And for that to happen, we're going to need a lot more agents.
CSI 3: Does that mean more spin-offs?
CSI Leader: You bet.
CSI 1: CSI Ephesus
CSI 2: CSI Galatia
CSI 3: Maybe even CSI Rome.
CSI 1: Hey, what about CSI Tarsus?
CSI Leader: Tarsus? Well, only if we can get a good agent from there. But no matter where we are, people have to know about this. They have to hear this evidence.
CSI 3: And once they hear the evidence, they can make this decision for themselves too. Because it's the most important decision they'll ever make.
CSI Leader: You will have to decide for yourselves, who is Jesus?
© Copyright Bob Grinsell, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced,
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without written permission of the author.
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit 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. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org