JAMES, BROTHER OF JESUSThe tomb IS empty! It IS true! The news was brought to our home earlier today and mom is so thrilled but the rest of us don't really know what to think. You see, I am James, the brother of Jesus. Our family has been together since Jesus' death on Friday. There have been so many things to talk about, so many feelings we have. This crucifixion has been really difficult for all of us but especially me because I was closest in age to Jesus. I have been trying to be the brave big brother but it hasn't been easy. You see, I have a lot of questions about who Jesus really is. But let me read you a letter I've written to him. There are so many things I want to say to him.
Dear Jesus, My brother,
The news came to us earlier today that your grave was found empty this morning. Some are saying that there's been a resurrection; that you have come back to life. Several of the women even claim they've seen you. They also seem to think they've talked to you and some angels. I really don't know what to think. I wish I were able to sort this out in my head and know for certain whether or not you really are the Messiah you claimed to be. I was so positive until this morning that I had the truth about you and now I am completely confused.
Have you wondered why none of your brothers and sisters believed you really were God in the flesh? Let me try to explain. As soon as I was old enough to understand things, I realized that there was something different about you. You were always so perfect - so in control- so almost inhuman and yet you were also ordinary but in a way I can't really explain and I never could understand. We were such close buddies when we were little - we used to chase each other around everywhere but I always had the feeling I could never be as good or as religious as you were. So I decided I would get recognition for being different from you - looking different and acting different and believing differently. Those avenues for expressing my individuality brought me some recognition but often left me feeling somewhat unfulfilled. It was as though I accomplished notable things but found they lacked satisfaction even though their achievement required much courage and resolve on my part.
When you told us you were God and man, and we heard the story of your birth and the early years of your life from mom and dad, none of that really made any sense. To me you were just another of my brothers - how could you be the Messiah? We knew you were just like any other human being except for the things you claimed about yourself. And that's really why I decided you must actually be crazy, mentally unstable. For your own good, I felt you should be restrained. When the Messiah came, he would set up an earthly kingdom. You weren't working on that. In fact you were an embarrassment to the rest of your family. You were associating frequently with scum, riff-raff, low-life. Your ideas were provincial and weird. We valued education, proper affiliations, community esteem and all you brought our way was disgrace. We even heard that you terrorized employees at the temple. When you rebuked our attempt to calmly and quietly get you some counseling, I decided the only thing I could do was distance myself from you and your fruitcake ideas.
When I heard of your death on Friday, I wasn't surprised. It was just a matter of time. We tried to prevent that from happening but people just can't put up forever with such a bizarre character as you have been. I wish it could have been different for us. You were really a cool big brother to me. I really looked up to you but I just couldn't swallow your philosophies. But you know, since this morning, I've really started thinking again. You told people, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." I always thought you were referring to stone and brick but maybe you were talking about your body as a temple. I heard that at the moment you died on the cross, that the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom to open the way into the holy of holies. If it tore from top to bottom, that was supernatural because that curtain is 40 cubits or 72 feet high. How could anyone get up that high to tear it from the top down? But I wonder where the logic is in all this? I know you. I just can't believe you could be God. But this I have decided. I will attempt to learn the truth. I want to see you again so I can find out for myself, if you really have come back to life. If I am convinced that you really were dead and now live, I will change my mind. I will devote my life to serving you as the worthy sacrificial lamb. I will repent and give you my allegiance.
Your brother in the flesh and in the Spirit,
(Remove costume and continue speaking.) I, too, have a letter I've written to Jesus.
I can relate to some of the experiences of James, Jesus' brother. I, too, have an older brother. It was sometimes difficult to maintain my own identity as I followed his footsteps through life. I haven't, however, experienced the same degree of doubt about you as did your brother. I am so grateful that you did appear to him so that he could resolve his dilemma and follow through with his promise to serve you faithfully. He wrote another letter which I've read many times. It has reminded me that trials are to be considered pure joy because they produce perseverance. It also has clued me in that my faith is really nothing if it's not accompanied by good works. I do want to thank you for giving me a brother, a sister, a strong family. I am not always worthy of your love but Easter reminds me that you considered me worthy to die for - a truth I can hardly fathom. Thank you. I give you my allegiance and desire to always be, your faithful friend and follower.
©Linda Groves Worden
To learn more about the original purpose for writing these monologues, see the blog posted on
March 5, 2013.