Summary: A first person account of the final week of Jesus from the entrance into Jerusalem through the crucifixion as told by a follower of Jesus.
(Simon comes out through door at back of sanctuary. Sort of stumbling about as though he has just awakened. Walks to the front and drinks some water then turns and is startled.)
Oh My! I’m sorry I didn’t realize anyone had come in. A thousand pardons for my rudeness but I had fallen asleep in the back room there and didn’t hear you. You know, I just can’t stay awake like those younger folks can. Why, Peter, James and John - I don’t suppose you know them do you? Well, anyway they and the others stayed up all night long in the room just above us here. I gave them comfort as long as I could but then my age got the better of me and I came down for a nap. I must have slept longer than I planned. It has been a very long week and yesterday was absolutely the worst day of my life – I guess I just reached the end of my rope and had to get some rest.
But excuse me, where are my manners. My name is Simon Barcephas. Yes, Simon son of Cephas. And you, sir? What’s that? Luke, you say? You’re looking for the owner here to see if there’s a room available? I’m afraid I don’t know where she is – probably went to temple with her son Mark. Pardon me – did I know this Jesus of Nazareth who was executed yesterday? Well of course I did! He’s the reason I’m here. I guess I’m the oldest of the lot that has been traveling with Jesus from city to city throughout the countryside. Oh the things I’ve seen! You wouldn’t believe the half of them if I told you.
No, I wasn’t with him from the beginning. That honor goes to the twelve or rather eleven now, I suppose. Those young men that were called by Jesus at the very beginning of his ministry. They were fishermen, farmers, tradesmen and, now I know you’re not going to believe me – but one of them was a tax collector! No, No. I’m not lying about that – it’s true. Once a tax collector and now is or rather was a disciple of Jesus.
I heard about Jesus and all the wonderful stories being told about him over two years ago but it was only last year that I decided to leave everything and follow him wherever he might take me.
Oh yes, I knew that I was probably too old to be traipsing across the countryside but I tell you once you heard him; once he looked into your eyes. Why it was like he knew your every thought….and with him I felt there was nothing that I couldn’t do.
What about me you ask? What life did I leave behind? Well, I had a wonderful wife – Sarah – a strong and loving woman if God ever made one – and two sons. I was fairly successful and had a nice – not great mind you – but enough – of an estate to take care of me and my family. But my sons got into a squabble after the younger left and returned several months later destitute and almost dead from starvation but thankfully he was alive. What a celebration we had! But then the fighting started between my sons. I think the fighting broke their mother’s heart for it was not long after that she came down with a sickness that she never recovered from. My whole world had come apart. It was soon after that I heard Jesus tell someone that if they truly wanted to follow him, they needed to go and give away everything and then come and follow him. Well I made up my mind right then and there. I told my sons that the place was theirs to do with as they please and I left and that’s how I wound up following the Nazarene.
What do I think now? Now that he’s been executed like a common criminal? I …..I don’t know what to think. In my heart I felt he really was the Messiah – not like all those imposters that have come along in the past. I mean you had to hear him – be there with him! There was just something different about him. I’ve lived a long time and I’ve never seen nor heard anyone like him.
But he’s dead you say? Just like all the others? I just don’t know. I did hear him talking to the twelve that he would soon be taken but he would come back on the third day. Maybe this is what he was talking about. Oh yes, you may scoff but what if he does come back? Tomorrow will be the third day so I’ve decided to wait here to see what might happen. I just feel like something good is about to happen. Will you wait with me? I really don’t want to be alone right now and there’s so much sadness and confusion with everyone. Yes, I have enough food to share. There was a big meal upstairs on Thursday night to celebrate the beginning of the Passover and all the leftovers were stored down here. So come let us share this bread – bread left from the last supper that we had with Jesus - and I’ll tell you what it was like this week.