by Lloyd Perrin, Pastor of the Milton Seventh-day Adventist Church
Milton Church’s evangelistic strategy for 2018 involved two components: a spring and fall emphasis on reaping series. We started in the spring with “Three Great Weekends to Easter”. Each week prior to the weekend’s drama event a full-page newspaper advertisement was published. I would play a one-man drama series of two characters who played significant parts in the Easter drama.
On the weekend of March 16, I played Pilate and then on the weekend of March 23, I played Judas. These two one-man plays were to be a build-up to the final Easter weekend drama on March 30, where I would play the part of Jesus along with a full cast of actors as we portrayed the Last Supper that Jesus would spend with His disciples.
Countless hours were spent getting ready for these dramas. I have played dramas around the world, but somehow these dramas touched me in a way I have never been moved.
If a speaker wants to affect a change in his audience the change must first begin within the speaker. As I wrote the script for Pontius Pilate, I found myself understanding him, his dilemma and his struggle in a new way. Pilate caved into the pressures around him, he made a decision that compromised his personal values of being a fair and impartial judge. He made a huge mess of his life.
In my study of Pilate, I discovered that he may have become a Christian. His heart may have been changed after his encounter with Jesus. It gives us all hope. No matter what kind of mess we make of our life when we accept Christ into our life, there is hope.
It may seem strange to play a character like Judas for a community drama. Yet, I found as I stepped into his life, this man, so full of contradictions, could deeply move us. Judas chose to be close to Christ. He desired to be His disciple, but he couldn’t let go of the pull of the world, his desire for prestige, honor and wealth. He wanted to be with Jesus, but on his own terms. He thought he knew better what was best for Jesus.
These two men, a coward and a betrayer, reveal how God’s purposes move forward despite man’s attempt at trying to control and orchestrate events according to his own will.
The portrayal of Judas was particularly emotionally draining for me. I was so looking forward to my next weekend where I would play the part of Jesus.
Friday, March 30, the morning of the day I was to play the part of Jesus I woke up with the play on my mind. That was when my life took a decided turn. The medical event that I experienced took me on a journey that has literally changed my life. My one thought, as I lay on a gurney in the ER, was… the play must go on!