The play was on. We were full-swing in performances, all ten of them, and I had a routine.
In the pre-show activities, while everyone was bustling around getting ready, I sat by myself, near the main cast of "Blues" and "Reds", but not with Jesus, the Marys & the three. I usually sat with my Bible, reading the gospel recollections over and over and over and over. I was determined to really live my part in the auditorium. There was no way anybody could mistake me for a "Blue", and I was going to be sure of it.
Every performance, it got a little easier. I became less believing, and more convinced that Man wasn't my Messiah. The resurrection scene became more and more surreal, angels with raising wings, the white lights beaming on the stage. I was able to associate better with the scribe's loud accusation in the crucifixion scene,
"Oh yeah. You're supposed to save the world! If You really are the Messiah, come on down and save Yourself!" (not scripted, but added that season)
Perhaps my favorite character was the soldier after Jesus was dead. The storms came, and this one young soldier cowered by the cross. When the thunder ceased, it always was that as Jesus dropped His head in defeated death, the crown of thorns would fall off. That young soldier was the last to stand up. Facing the cross looking up at Him, he'd pick up that crown, look at it, look back at Jesus, and walk away looking like he'd lost his best chance into heaven. He wasn't faking, he wasn't pretending - he was reacting how I did in the background.
Looking back, I have wrestled for years with what it all meant to me. I see myself in Peter - It's easier to say you believe, and deny when put "on the spot". I see myself in Sam & the soldiers - It's a whole lot easier to agree with the crowds and crucify my faith just because public opinion says so. Still, I see myself in the angels - silently watching in the distance all through the events. Watching Him, watching the followers, watching the crowds.