For last year’s Good Friday service, College Park had a series of monologues imagining that minor characters from the Gospels were witnessing Jesus’ crucifixion. Each of them had an encounter with Jesus that changed their life; each encounter is connected to an aspect of Jesus’ suffering and death. They’re more or less answering the question, “Why are you here?” I was able to write three of those monologues, and I’d like to share them here!
The second is of the boy who handed over his loaves and fish for Jesus to feed the multitude.
When I met him, I looked at his hands. My parents said he healed people by touching them. That he had power in his hands. When we went to hear him speak, that’s what I wanted to see – his hands. We took all the food we had to sell: just a few barley loaves and two fish, but we needed the money.
I offered it to Andrew when he came looking for food. But he didn’t just buy it from me; he took me right to Jesus! They wanted to buy what we had. Our loaves and fish. Jesus asked me to give him what I had, and I put it all in his hands.
He didn’t really look like a miracle-worker; just a normal person. I don’t know what I expected. But he took the bread in his hands and prayed over it, and then … He kept breaking it.
He broke off more and more bread from our loaves. He tore pieces off and gave them to his disciples, and they never ran out! Long after all the food should have been gone, Jesus filled basket after basket with bread and fish. Just our bread and our fish! He took the little food we had in his hands, and it was enough to feed thousands of people.
We went to Jerusalem for the Passover, and Jesus came there too. We didn’t make it in time to see him come in on the donkey, but I heard about it. I wish I’d been there! It sounded amazing. Jerusalem still buzzed with news of what Jesus was saying and doing.
But this morning, the news was different. People said Jesus had been arrested. He was on trial, even going before Pilate. I wanted to see what happened to him, so we followed the crowds down to where he was supposed to be.
We got there just in time to see him walking up the hill with his cross. I wouldn’t have recognized him: he was so beaten and bloody. He couldn’t even carry the cross; they had to get someone to help him. He seemed so … so broken. We followed the crowd to the hill. And then…
I can’t …
They nailed him to the cross. They stretched out his hands and they nailed them down to the wood. When they raised the cross so it was standing, that was all I could look at. His hands had made our bread feed thousands of people. They’d healed blindness and leprosy. And those people took them and nailed them to the cross.
I’m here because Jesus took five loaves of bread in his hands and fed thousands of people. He had power in his hands, and I don’t understand why they were broken on the cross.