Man of Sorrows The Last Supper

  • Cast Number: 8
  • Run-time: 25 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Luke 22:7-38
This is a program for Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. It plays out the "Last Supper" as it happened on that Thursday evening. The text is the account of the Last Supper as recorded by John, with a couple of excerpts from the Synoptic Gospels. There are a number of different ways this can be presented. The simplest would be a Readers' Theatre. Or it can be done as a play. The readers will memorize their parts and act out the story, such as the washing of the feet. As the scripture is spoken, every now and then there will be a musical interlude. The hymn "Man of Sorrows, What a Name" will look towards the sacrifice of the cross. The music can be sung by a choir or by the congregation.

This is a simple program for people who are unable to hold rehearsals for a major production. The program is built on scripture reading and the traditional hymn, Man of Sorrows by Philip B. Bliss. It may be done as is, or special musical and/or dramatic numbers may be added where I've indicated. I will suggest hymns as examples of mood and message, but you may replace them with hymns that would suit your congregation better. My suggestions of music are the songs we used at my church when we did this, based on the abilities, preferences and repertoires of our singers.

Because ours is a small rural church, we had the readers sitting in the body of the congregation. They stood and read their scriptures from where they sat. If you have a platform that will accommodate several people, you could have them seated there. This would be good if you have to use a microphone. One of the things that could detract from this program would be a constant flow of people up and down from the pews. The less of that kind of rustle the better.

A note about Bible translations: I am adapting the text of the KJV for this script so that I do not violate the copyrights of any of the modern translations. However, while I love the poetry of the KJV and respect it as an accurate translation, I do not like to use it for a program such as this, because, as a communicator, I like to use the language of the people.

Several of our more recent translators have taken great pains to make sure that their translations read aloud well, as well as maintaining an integrity to the text. Read through several translations and paraphrases to find what will work best for you. You might even want to use different versions for different passages! While I tend to use the New Living Translation the most, I also recommend the New Century Version, the Contemporary English Version and Eugene Peterson's The Message. Somebody will have to take the time to make a new script from this, using the version(s) of your choice, but if they use one of the many excellent Bible software programs available, it shouldn't take long!

I will give the scriptures and how they line up with the hymn. With the first scripture portion, I will show how it can be scripted as an example.

The program can be made longer by adding the entire upper room discourse found in John 14-17 and more music.

Man of Sorrows, vs. 1--congregation

"Man of Sorrows", what a name For the Son of God who cameRuined sinners to reclaim! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

John 13:1-11 - The foot washing.

Sample of script:

NARRATOR: Before the feast of the Passover Jesus knew that his hour had come when he should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He rose from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel which he wore. Then he came to Simon Peter: and Peter said to him,

PETER: Lord, do you wash my feet?

JESUS: You don't know yet what I do; but you will later on.

PETER: You will never wash my feet.

JESUS: If I do not wash you, you can have no part with me.

PETER: Lord, don't wash my feet only, but my hands and my head also.

JESUS: He that is washed needs only to wash his feet, for he is clean: and you are clean, but not all of you are clean.

NARRATOR: For he knew who should betray him; therefore he said, You are not all clean.

Man of Sorrows, verse 2

Bearing shame and scoffing rude, In my place condemned He stood;

Sealed my pardon with His blood; Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Matt 26:20-25 - When Jesus tells the disciples one of them will betray him.

NARRATOR: Now when evening had come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they ate, he said,

JESUS: Verily I say to you, that one of you shall betray me.

NARRATOR: And they were exceeding sorrowful.

DISCIPLES: Lord, is it I?

JESUS: The one who dips his hand with me in the dish is the one who shall betray me. The Son of man goes as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it would be better for that man if he had not been born.

NARRATOR: Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said,

JUDAS: Master, is it I?

JESUS: You have said.

John 13:23-30 - When John asks who will be the betrayer.

NARRATOR: Now leaning on Jesus' bosom was one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spoke. He lying on Jesus' breast said to him,

JOHN: Lord, who is it?

JESUS: He is the one to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it.

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