Guard Of Honor
Who actually witnessed Jesus' resurrection? Several people saw Jesus after he had risen, but who saw him rise from the dead? It was the Roman soldiers assigned to guard his tomb, who "trembled and became like dead men" (Matt. 28:4).
When they reported to the chief priests what they had seen, the chief priests "gave a large sum of money to the soldiers and said 'Tell people his disciples came by night and stole him away while you were asleep'" (Matt. 28:11-14)
But suppose among those guards there was a crusty old veteran who would not accept a bribe: a guard of honor.
Gladius is a much-decorated warrior who "did not fight his way through four Roman campaigns to become a paid liar". He has faced death hundreds of times, and therefore has little trouble speaking his mind.
And he has witnessed the Resurrection.
What will happen to him? How will he survive becoming a feared enemy of the chief priests, and of their friend, his own commanding officer, Pontius Pilate? How will he reconcile what he witnessed at the tomb with what he has seen all too much of on the battlefield, the finality of death?
How he accomplishes this is the story of "Guard Of Honor".
"Guard Of Honor" is an Easter cantata for SATB Choir and Keyboard. The choir sings all the music, while Readers (or costumed Actors) act out the story. Running time: 35 minutes.