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THE LAST PASSOVER

NIGHT

BY

W. H. T. GAIRDNER

LONDON
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING
CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE

NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN CO.

1921

MAY 1922
OXFORE

AUTHOR'S NOTE PROBABLY the time has not come in England-possibly it will never come-when any Bible play or scene in which the figure of our Lord appears shall be acted. The object of this scene, therefore, is first to stimulate the imagination, and next to inform the mind, by exhibiting, in an easily intelligible form, a careful harmony of the Gospel narratives, together with the order of the Passover ritual in the time of Christ. It may thus be possible to grasp, not dryly and archæologically, but vitally and dramatically, how the new Sacrament was grafted on to the old rite. For this EDERSHEIM, with his unique combination of complete informedness, archæological exactitude, poetic warmth, and deep spiritual sympathy, has been followed. The scene is simply the dramatisation of some pages of the great Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah," by the scholar to whom both Jewish and Christian records were books unsealed.

N.B.-This little book is intended for study and devotional reading. The acting rights are vested in the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, which as at present advised does not intend to grant permission for dramatic representations.

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THE SCENE IN THE UPPER ROOM ON

GOOD-FRIDAY EVE An upper room in Jerusalem, furnished and arranged

ready as for reception. A low table is in the middle with cushions arranged round three sides of it. It is early in the afternoon. Enter the master of the

house escorting PETER and JOHN. MASTER OF THE HOUSE. Behold the guest-chamber where the Master may eat the Passover with His disciples.

PETER.“ The Master !” Is He thy Master, too ?

MASTER OF THE HOUSE. I have heard and received His teaching. Did I not surely know that He would honour this house to-night? Behold my best room. For Him and for you it has been prepared. Here make ready your Passover.

JOHN. From the moment when we saw thee meeting us bearing the pitcher of water, all has happened as He said. It is passing strange.

(Helped by the master of the house and his young

son, MARK, they make ready the table, placing cups, platters, unleavened bread, bitter herbs. The divans (cushions placed on the floor itself) are arranged round the table as in the diagram. * A special cup is placed before the divan marked X, thus denoting it as the place of the Leader.)

* After Edersheim, ii., p. 494.

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JOHN. Make haste that we may away to the Temple to have our lamb slain. When we bring it, thou,' father of Mark, art to have it roasted for us against our coming with the Master in the evening.

PETER. Who will sit in the chief place on His left this night? I know Judas will claim it, as treasurer; but it is mine by right: on me will He build His Church

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JOHN (in an undertone). Canst thou drink of the cup that He shall drink of, and be baptised with the baptism wherewith He shall be baptised ?

[They go out. A few hours later. Sunset. There enters CHRIST, leading

the twelve disciples. He goes to the place of the

Ruler of the Feastand waits. And then arises among them a strife who is the greatest, and who, in

consequence, shall take the chief room." JUDAS (going quickly to the place on the left of CHRISTUS). Ye made me your treasurer; the Keeper of the Purse

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THE LAST PASSOVER NIGHT

5 will be the Grand Vizier in the New Kingdom, as in every kingdom! I take this place. PETER. Master, didst Thou not Thyself appoint me leader?

JAMES. Most true; and my brother and I were alone with thee when the Master healed Jairus's daughter, and when on Tuesday He told us about the end of the world on the Mount of Olives. We therefore come second and third.

ANDREW. Nay, I was with you then, and must at least be fourth to-night.

CHRISTUS (silencing them by a gesture, and looking round). The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so! But he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief as he that doth serve. For whether is greater-he that sitteth at meat, or he that serv.eth ? is not he that sitteth at meat ? But I am among you as he that serveth. (They are manifestly moved to shame. He continues:) Nay, let not your hearts be troubled ! Ye are they which have continued with Me in My temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto Me; that ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

(The fire has died out of the faces of all except

JUDAS. PETER rushes round to the other side

of the table and takes the lowest place.) PETER (to himself). I begin with shame to take the lowest room!

(They all take places indiscriminately save that

JUDAS holds to the chief place as before. CHRISTUS reclines on the divan at His place on His left elbow ; with His right hand He signs to John to occupy the place on His right.)

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