Gethsemane

Gethsemane – Lyrics and Music by John McDermott

Logline

Nadi and Chloe lived in Nazareth 2,000 years ago. They witnessed their friend being crucified by the Romans, then three days later their friend came back to life; their friend’s name was Jesus. 

The tone

Gethsemane has a wide selection of new, fresh, and contemporary music with rock, acoustic and classical themes.

100-word Summary

Nadi (27) is a friend of Jesus (33) and is his boss in Nazareth.  During Passover in Jerusalem in 33AD, Levi (30), Nadi’s older brother, and Nadi plan to attack and kill Pontius Pilate but Chloe (25), the love of Nadi’s life, bumps into Nadi moments before they are to strike.  Nadi must choose whether to fight with his brother or join Chloe; he joins Chloe and walks away from Levi.  In the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus is being arrested, Nadi realises his friend Jesus is the Messiah. 

This is the Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus seen through Nadi and Chloe’s eyes.

Synopsis

Nazareth, Israel, 70AD.  Nadi, 63, sits around a campfire with his wife Chloe, 60. They sing “Fly down on me” as they reflect on events from 30 years ago. Adam, 30, their son introduces Nadi and Chloe to Mark who is writing his gospel. They tell Mark their version of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Nazareth, Israel, and it is a normal day as Jesus and Nadi work completing orders  Joyfully Nadi and Jesus sing “Simply Pray” to remind Nadi there is more to life than work and money.   Jesus dances with Chloe who Nadi has feelings for.  Later that night Nadi sings “Part your heavens” as he prays to God to send his warrior Messiah.  Jesus, Nadi, Chloe, Joseph, (Chloe’s dad), Ethan and Rachel (Nadi’s parents) prepare for their Passover meal. Ethan sings “Come to me” while enjoying a traditional meal together. 

Roman Guards (“The Romans”) barge into their house and threaten to kill Nadi’s parents if they do not reveal the location of their son Levi who is accused of stealing from a tax collector.  Nadi and Chloe stand in the aftermath attack and wonder what to do.

While on a walk, Nadi meets Levi, his troublesome brother. Levi asks Nadi to join him in the uprising in Jerusalem. He will train Nadi to be a mighty warrior. Nadi sings “Praise Him” as he promises to continue to trust in God and sing Hallelujah. Nadi decides to ride with Levi to Jerusalem to pray to God in the Temple to send his warrior Messiah. But they must leave right away, no time for good-byes.

With hope for their new future, Levi sings the upbeat “Heading north” as the ride away from Nazareth, ready to taste their new freedom.  During the night Nadi goes for a walk and bumps into Centurion Mike who was attacked his mum that night. Nadi narrowly escapes and Centurion Mike shouts to Nadi that if he ever tries to return home, he will kill anyone who knows him. Nadi is now on the run. Nadi learns how to fight, and they plan their attack on the Romans.

Chloe learns that Nadi has left with his brother. She sings a beautiful ballad “Sometimes”  as she contemplates her new future without Nadi. Jesus invites Chloe to join in him as he starts his new journey. Chloe agrees and they start their journey together. Chloe sings “Keep my secret” to Jesus, as she tells him how she loves Nadi. Jesus reassures her they will see each other again soon. 

“Miracles” is a montage of scenes covering 18 months showing Jesus being baptized by John, Jesus healing a blind man, feeding the 5,000 and raising a child from her death bed.

We drop back in on Nadi who is much stronger and is becoming a great warrior. Another 18 months pass and NADI trains (“This is our calling”) and with full of hope, Nadi and Levi leave enter Jerusalem during Passover.  Nadi sings “What a life” as they march into Jerusalem to prepare for their attack on Pontius Pilate.    

Fearfully, Nadi lies in wait to attack Pontius Pilate when he bumps into Chloe.  It is a tearful reunion and Chloe sits with Nadi as he waits for Levi.  Jesus then joins them and Nadi cannot believe it.”   Chloe sings “Shiny stars” as she proclaims her love for Nadi and pleads for him to leave Levi and join her and Jesus.  Nadi is confused, why are people wanting to listen to Jesus? 

As the time to attack quickly approaches, Nadi reflects on what he is about to do and sings “No-one ever questions.” Nadi watches Chloe shopping when a Roman Guard bumps into her and she falls to the ground. The guard laughs at her and pushes her back to the ground. Nadi jumps out of his hiding place and saves Chloe. His cover is blown and Nadi has no option but to stand with Chloe and Jesus and watch Levi and the other zealots attack Pontius Pilate. Levi fails in his attempt to kill Pontius Pilate and he is arrested and taken away to be crucified.

Several months later and Nadi and Chloe get married and sing their epic ballad “I fell in love today.”   They dance their “Wedding dance” as the lights fades for the end of Act One.

Act Two, in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus and Chloe take Nadi for a walk where Jesus sings the rock ballad “I will come” as he starts to have hesitations about what is going to happen to him, he will take his place without war and with God’s guidance. 

Judas brings the guards to arrest Jesus.  Judas sings the rock anthem “Time” as he betrays Jesus with a kiss on the cheek.  All the disciples panic and start to fight back before all running away and deserting Jesus. 

Chloe tells Nadi that she is pregnant. Nadi must get her and their child to safety as soon as possible.

Nadi decides to attack the Romans to try to free Jesus but during a struggle with a Roman Guard he runs away naked leaving behind his linen cloth (“Jesus reveals himself.”)  It is at this moment that Nadi sees the spirit of the Lord descend on Jesus and realises Jesus is in fact their Messiah. 

Amongst the confusion of Jesus’s arrest, Nadi and Chloe sing “Call my name” as they proclaim that Jesus is their Messiah who has come to bring peace to the world.

The Roman guards sing “Man of our times” as they mock Jesus before taking him away to be crucified. 

The next morning Nadi is allowed in to see Levi in jail.  They sing “Swear with me” as they contemplate life and the choices they have both made.  Jesus is brought into the cell badly beaten and now Levi is shown that Jesus is his Messiah. 

He asks Jesus to remember him as he walks into his kingdom.  Nadi has mixed emotions, his brother is going to die, but he is saved as he now believes in Jesus.  Jesus is going to come down from the cross and destroy the Roman Empire. 

With the weight of the world on his shoulders, Jesus carries his cross to Golgotha. Jesus sings “Time (– reprise)” as he completes the Stations of the Cross.

“The Crucifixion” is when Jesus his nailed to the cross.  Crucified beside Jesus on the cross is Levi, the penitent thief, and Gesmas.  Ethan and Rachel have rushed to Jerusalem to see Levi who convinces them that Jesus is the Messiah.  Levi now suffers a heart attack. Levi dies.  Nadi comforts his parents and Chloe but reassures them that Jesus is going to come down from the cross and bring Levi back to lifeHowever, after Jesus painfully suffers on the cross, “Jesus dies.” 

Chloe sings “Waiting for you” as she takes in the awful and harrowing scene; is this still Jesus’ grand plan? 

Three days later Nadi and Chloe return to Nazareth. A stranger approaches them. They talk about the events of the last three days. Nadi reflects on his life and the decisions that have led him to this exact moment and sings “God has a plan.” Jesus reveals himself to Nadi and Chloe.

Nazareth, 70AD. Nadi and Chloe sing “The Last Supper” as they finish telling Mark their story. Overflowing with joy, they crowd who have also heard the story sing “Been Believing” at the top of their voices.  Nadi takes his last breath and dies a happy man. A younger Nadi sings “Hallelujah” and so our story ends.

Characters - summary

Nadi – 27, worked with Jesus in the carpentry workshop in Nazareth.  He is Jesus’ best friend and the Naked Disciple mentioned in Mark’s Gospel (Mark 14:51-52.)  

 

Chloe – 26, is the daughter of Joseph of Arimathea and a free spirit who follows Jesus.

 

Jesus – 33, the Messiah according to some Jews and Gentiles at the time.

 

Levi – 31, is the penitent thief who died beside Jesus on the cross.  He is also Nadi's brother. 

 

Background

I have told the Passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus from the perspective of someone close to Jesus in a way that hasn’t been done before.  Nadi has no idea Jesus is the Messiah until the spirit of the Lord descends on Nadi while Jesus is being arrested by the Roman Guards in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

The libretto contains Hebrew words and lines from the Psalms and the Old Testament, words Nadi and Jesus would have said in their daily lives.  There are also contemporary references in both the music and words. 

Themes

The musical explores the relationships of Nadi with Chloe his childhood love, his older brother Levi, his parents Ethan and Rachel, Jesus and his disciples.  The main theme is family and social interactions in this historical account of events that happened in Israel in 33AD.  Although there is death and suffering, there is more love and compassion. 

Potential Audience

Although “Nadi and Chloe” deals with Jewish and Christian religious themes, it will appeal to anyone who loves a good story, regardless of religion, sex, creed, or age. 

“The Chosen” by Dallas Jenkins is a new TV streaming show that has attracted millions of viewers online and Christian music like Hillsong United, Hillsong Worship, Skillet or Karl Jobe, have hundreds of millions of views on YouTube.

 

Chosen – Season One trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1-FoFj8Jbo

Chosen – Season Two trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tZ7cg4D_z8&t=58s

I Surrender – Hillsong United - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7jXASBWwwI

What a beautiful name – Hillsong Worship - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQWFzMvCfLE

Holy Spirit – Karl Jobe - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPPMSfCdUng

Whispers in the Dark – Skillet - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B58OBfM-8A4&list=PLPcy1koaVSJRKAOUoeMSIMm8cb6FBIQlQ&index=19

Scores

All the music is available with lyrics, piano and guitar chords.

1.9 Last supper