(A one act play
involving the gardener who took care of the gardens in which the
body of Jesus was buried and the Voice of God whose voice rings
throughout the sanctuary. The
play is the eighth drama in a Lenten Series called, THE VOICE OF
GOD, available through
Grace Lutheran Church and this website (under dramas);
yet this play stands on its own, without the other dramas.
..... The mood of
God’s voice is cheerful and elated.
God is immensely pleased with what he did earlier that day.
The mood of the gardener is happily excited because of seeing
the empty tomb, the grave clothes, and the faith of the disciples.
He has been convinced of the resurrection. He is carrying a shovel (symbolic of the
gardener/gravedigger) that he leans on until the very end of the
play. It is a prop to be used creatively. ..... A video of this
drama is available if wanted.)
O God, what a surprise! What
a wonderful joke! Did
you blow them away!
You liked what I did?
Like it? I loved it!
It was mind boggling! They
didn’t know what to think!
My truth is surprising. What
I prepare is so good and so wonderful, no mind
can comprehend it.
I loved it!
So did I! (with a smile
in his voice)
I had the best seat in the house, front and center.
I mean, being the gardener and caretaker of the cemetery and
all. Digging out the
graves from the
the limestone wall right
over there. Planting
the flower beds. Raking
I got to see everything,
the whole show!
You had a special view.
You better believe it. ....
It started on Friday, late Friday afternoon, about five or
six o’clock, to be
specific. I saw Joseph
of Arimathea, Mr. Megabucks from the Jerusalem Bank ....and
Nicodemus, Mr. Senator from the Sanhedrin; they, of all people, were
carrying the body of Jesus up
the hill from Golgotha to my cemetery.
I couldn’t believe it!
The two of them, of all people.
put the body into that grave right over there, the grave that I had
dug last week.
It was a big vault, big enough for two bodies.
Five or six mourners could stand inside of it at one time to
grieve. They placed the
body there, on that
niche to the right. And
then, they stood there silently for a moment, and
then bowed, as if before a king.
Jesus, my Son, is king. King
over life and king over death.
No grave shall containnnnnn him! (The gardener responds
positively to God’s voice, nodding,
agreeing, because the gardener
“knows.”) For I am the God of life and living.
I am the God of eternal thanksgiving, and
I raised my Son from the
gardener listens very carefully to this poem. As God repeats it in
later speeches, the gardener will be learning it.)
I know. I know. I know that you did.
After what I saw
today, I know
it. ..... Very early this morning, I heard sounds at daybreak, at
the first hint
of dawn. As you know,
God, I live in the little cottage here at the cemetery.
I’m a light sleeper. I
looked out....and it was the women I had seen here on Friday.
They had been watching as we put the body into the vault.
I watched one lady as she
approached the grave. She
shrieked: “Who rolled
the gravestone away!!!”
I was shocked! She
was right! The gravestone had been rolled away during the night.
What happened? I
watched her as she went into
the grave vault. She
was there, only for a short while, and when she came out, her face
was shining as the sun. She shouted at the top of her
“He is not here!!!”
And off she and the other women ran, down
the hill towards the city wall of Jerusalem.
To tell the disciples the good news....the message of my angels.
That I am the God of life and living.
I am the God of eternal thanksgiving, and I raised my Son
from the dead.
I didn’t know what to do. Before
I knew what happened, I heard footsteps, running.
Two of his disciples came running up
the hill from the city. First,
a younger man....a dark
beard...he came puffing up real fast.
He approached the
grave here, but he didn’t dare go in.
He was afraid. Shaking
in his sandals, he was. A
moment later, the second disciple arrived.
A big burly man...gray
beard...he looked like an old fisherman.
He came right up to the
grave and boldly walked right in.
No fear in his old heart.
The young man quickly followed.
They were in there for what seemed
like an eternity. And
then...when they came out...their
faces were shining like they had seen the sun.
They were laughing, smiling, and slapping each other’s
back. It was
like they were hilariously
drunk on some new kind of wine. And off they ran down
that hill, back to Jerusalem.
To tell the world the good news,
the message of my angels.....that I am the God of life and
living. I am the God of
eternal thanksgiving, and I raised my Son from the dead!
(The gardener is now repeating the words of God’s rhyme
with God, in a joyful whisper.)
But before you knew it, the Jewish guards came running from over
there. They had been
sleeping nearby, camping out. And then all hell broke loose.
They were squabbling with
each other, swearing at each other.
“Who rolled the stone away?”
“Where’s the body?”
“O my God, the linens and napkin are here.
“The disciples must have come and stolen the body.”
“We will get killed for this.”
“Who will tell the chief priest?”
“Not me!” “You
do it.” .....In a moment, the Jewish priests came puffing up
that hill from Golgotha, dressed in black, looking like a flock of
crows squawking at each
other. “You soldiers will die for allowing
them to steal the body.”
Those poor blind Jewish leaders...Blind to eternity.
Blind to immortality. Blind to eternal spring.
I, the Lord God,
turn ...brown seeds into beautiful
Cocoons into butterflies.
And dead bodies into eternal glory.
Yes! .....It has been a
madhouse here all day, God. Everybody has come to the cemetery.
Would you imagine? The
scholars from the uppity University of Jerusalem arrived.
Scientists. Astronomers. Well educated men. They
came to examine the evidence. They
carefully touched the walls to make sure
that there was no other route of
escape. They made me come
in, to prove that
no escape door. Then,
they took the linen cloth and carefully stretched it out and closely
examined the blood stains. Their
minds were perplexed and puzzled and they finally concluded:
has stolen the body or
something very strange has
happened here today.”
What human mind can fathom the intelligence of God? What human mind
can comprehend the universe? What
human mind can understand life itself?
God, who created all of
life, can raise one man from the dead...if I so chose!
God, I know that you created life itself, and I know that you raised
Jesus from the
how about me?
.... a poor
Jewish gardener? My
wife? My family?
The bodies here in my cemetery?
Will we live again?
What did you see today, Gardener?
What I saw was gloriously wonderful!
I saw the empty tomb. The
grave clothes folded neatly
in the grave. The faith
and faces of the disciples. ... And
I also saw the daffodils
blooming in my garden.....and a cluster of butterflies flutter past
me. They were
beautiful. ... Today, I
felt the deep hope of eternity spring forth
within me, like
a flower blossoming forth into full bloom.
My friend, you will never die.
Your eyes are open and you have seen eternal
Your heart is open and you know eternal love.
Your ears are open and you have heard my eternal song.
O God, how I love your song.
Sing it to me again.
I want the whole world
to know that...I am the God of life and living, I am the God of
eternal thanksgiving, and I raised my Son from the dead!
(The gardener is repeating the words with elation as God
I will tell.
I will tell the whole
world. I will run to
tell the whole
shouts these lines as he is running from the chancel to the rear of
the sanctuary. He now
spins and triumphantly shouts to the congregation and world.)
He is risen!
Your Son is risen indeed! ... For ours
is a God of life and living. Ours
is a God of eternal thanksgiving.
And he raised his
Son from the dead!
(The organist hits the keys for the beginning of a triumphant
grows out of the time when Pastor Markquart visited the Garden Tomb
which is located immediately above a cliff with eye sockets in it
the cliff look like a skull of Golgotha.
This area is right outside the wall
the Garden Tomb is a burial vault carved out of the
to be the burial place of Jesus. Thus, it is easy to visualize
people running up to the Garden Tomb from the city and back down