Ruth and Esther Theater
Monday, July 22, 2019
Featuring the Creative Works of Dennis L. Dunn

 

What Will You Do With Jesus Christ?

Pilate  

But, what should I do with one who is called the King of the Jews? 
-- Pilate                  

To Hear the Author's rendition of this Click Here

(please open in a separate tab so you can follow the text)

They woke me in the middle of the night.  I was already awake.  For the cries of the crowd had pierced my window and roused me from a fitful night's sleep.

I was prepared for something like this.

It was Passover. The time the Jews celebrate their deliverance from Egypt. A time fraught with danger for Rome. For in the depths of their hearts the Jews want deliverance -- again. The threat of riot and rebellion hangs like a stench over the air every year.

I dressed quickly. I was briefed.  The Rabbi, Jesus, had been arrested.  A week earlier the crowds had cheered his entrance into the city.  Now, goaded on by their leaders, they wanted his head. And they wanted me to delivered it to them -- on a silver platter . . like Herod.

I am not inclined to be manipulated.

Now, I have listened to hundreds of cases. Seen the accused quiver before the power and authority of Rome . . power which I hold in the palm of my hand.

But everything about this case was different. The prisoner -- facing death -- was serene.  The charges . . bogus.  The rulers’ contempt . . dripping.

I addressed them: "What charges do you bring?"  They replied: "If this man were not a sinner, we wouldn't have brought him before you."  They had nothing to charge him with!  Preposterous.

I knew why they brought him before me.  He had dared to challenge their authority, their reverence, their position.  This man was on trial for petty jealousy.

I stared at him.  Bruised.  Beaten.  Confidence oozing form every pore.  We both knew the likely outcome. .  Yet, why was I the one trembling?

They finally brought the charges:

Misleading the people. .

Starts riots. .

Claims to be a king.

If they wanted me to kill all those who misled the people, I'd have to clear out half the universities . . and 90% of the Sanhedrin . . . them.

As to starting a riot . . . them.

He's a preacher, why didn't they charge him with talking too long? . .   But he wasn't talking.

That left one last charge: "Says he's a king."

       Are you the king of the Jews?
-- Pilate                   

I begged him with my eyes to challenge these charges.  We both knew they were bogus.  He stood mute.  In frustration, I cried out: "Don't you hear the charges they bring! Answer them! Are you the king of the Jews?"

A smile creased his lips.  "It is as you say. . For my kingdom is not of this world."

Our legends tell of the gods coming down among men.  Could this man be one of them?

A letter was handed to me from my wife: "I've suffered much in a dream. Have nothing to do with that righteous man!"

I had to get out of this case.  Anyway I could.  I sent him to Herod. . . Herod sent him back.

I appealed to the crowd. "I find no guilt in this man!"

Their cries started slowly and then built: "Crucify! Crucify!"

I tried compromise. I offered to have him beaten.

Their leaders shot back: "If you release him you are no friend of Caesar. For he made himself out to be the Son of God!"

I cringed.  He is a God among the men!

The shouts became a roar. "Crucify! Crucify!"

I tried one last gambit.  I held a notorious murderer: Barabas.  I would let them choose between the murderer and the Rabbi.  Surely, they would choose the preacher. . . He can't preach that badly!

But they cried out for Barabas.

     Who should I release?  
     Barrabas?
     Or the King of the Jews?
 -- Pilate                  

"But . . but what should I do with Jesus Christ?"

The cry rang out through the courtyard . . and into the city . . and into history: "Crucify! Crucify!"

(Sigh)

There are currents of history -- ordained by the gods -- that cannot be overcome.  I was drawn into the whirlpool of destiny, unable to escape . . unable to escape making a decision that I knew, even then, I would regret.

I called for a basin of water.  I ordered his judgment. "I wash my hands of this man's blood.  See to it yourselves."

So, I condemned one righteous man!  So what?  I avoided a riot!  I kept the peace.  I listened to my subjects!

The crowds were given the choice between the righteous and a murderer! And they choose the murderer.  It was their choice.

But isn't that a choice that all men face?  Between following our passions or this Rabbi– this teacher – this Jesus, who is called Christ.  The King of the Jews.

We may follow the gods of this world or Him.  The man whose Kingdom is not of this world.

I made my choice.  I choose to keep living for Rome and my pleasures.

(Consider pointing to the crowd at some point.)

Now, Make Yours!

What will you do with Jesus Christ?

Matthew 27:11-16; Matthew 27:21-23.

Luke 23:3-4; Luke 23:13-18; Luke 23:20-21

Song Performance Suggestions:

The songs moves quickly – churning like a steam engine.

Consider adjusting the Choir and Jewish Leader parts depending upon the strength of the choir. "He saved others He cannot save Himself" would be nice as Women only to create an eerie feel and/or vary with Jewish Leaders doing it a few times, as that was part of their refrain.

Ideally, a hammer is used with an Iron Bar to take over for the Bells to give a sound similar to that of the crucifixion hammering. That's from M. 159 forward, perhaps with both playing to start.. But the Iron Bar sound can be done on the first beat of many portions where the "bells" are called for.

Consider having a back-drop where someone does the hammering and/or a video of the hammering take place on an overhead video (some will use films such as The Passion of the Christ for this with the blows replayed with the music).

For large churches consider getting a large choir (or the congregation) to join for the Crucify! Crucify! and He Saved Others! portions to give the feel of a crowd of rioters chanting.

What Will You Do With Jesus Christ?
(Pilate)
 
(Please open in a separate tab so you can follow lyrics)
 
  PDF File with Orchestration (vocals, piano, & strings)  (click on the left to retrieve)
WorOW  PPDFasdf;ljasdfal;sd
Chorus:    (10-12 second intro)
What'cha gonna do with do with Jesus Christ?
God's anointed sacrifice?
Call Him your Master, Call Him your friend,
Death is where this all will end! 
   (bells)
What'cha gonna do with Jesus Christ?
Make the guiltless pay the price?
Pilate:
      What charges can you bring?
Jewish Leaders:
      He said that he was a king!   (bells)
Pilate
      What should I do with Jesus Christ?
       I've tried to release Him,
       not once but twice. . .
       Beaten and tried before the throne –
      standing mute all alone ..... 
       Is it true you are a King?
      Hear the charges that they bring!     
Chorus:
What'cha gonna do with Jesus Christ?
God's anointed Sacrifice,
Call him guilty
Call him a fraud
Call him your King
Or, call him God!
   (bells) 
 
Pilate:
      I find no guilt in this man!
     From his blood I wash my hands!
Jewish Leaders:
      The cross is where this all must end!
      If you are Caesar's friend!
 
Chorus
What'cha gonna do with Jesus Christ?
Pilate:     For the peace, should He be sacrificed?
Chorus
      Crucify, Crucify,                         
      Crucify and let him die!                    
Pilate:
      The time has come for you to choose!
       Is it Barabas or The King of the Jews?
Jewish Leaders:
     Let His blood be on our heads!
     We only want to see Him dead!
Chorus:
   Crucify -- Crucify --
   Crucify and let him -- die!
 
Pilate: 
      What crime has he done?
Jewish Leaders:
     He said that He was God's Son!
Chorus:
Crucify -- Crucify --              
Crucify and let him -- die!
 
Pilate's Wife:
      Have nothing to do with that righteous man!
Pilate:
      From his blood I wash my hands!
Chorus:
Crucify -- crucify
Crucify and let him -- die!
Pilate:
      I wash my hands
 
Chorus:
He saved others,   He cannot save Himself!       
He saved others, He cannot save Himself!   
Crucify -- Crucify --              
Crucify and let him DIE . .
      He saved others, He cannot save Himself!
Crucify -- Crucify --  
Crucify and let him die!
           He saved others, He cannot save himself!
Crucify -- Crucify --              
Crucify and let him -- die!
                 Ding . . Ding . . . Ding . . Ding.   (Iron Bar/Bells)
Crucify -- Crucify -- 
Crucify and let him . . .
             He saved others, He cannot same Himself!
Crucify -- Crucify -- 
Crucify and let him . . .  (bells)
Crucify and let him . . .
Crucify and let him DIE!    (Pilate joins loudly on last “Die”)
          (bells)

         (Ding . . Ding . . . Ding . . Ding)              (Iron Bar/Bells)