A reading/dialogue for two readers.1 represents Jesus, the other is a narrator.
1. I’m back!
2. It was 33 A.D. and heaven was the scene of the greatest welcome home party of all time. The trumpets blew, the angels sang, the seraphim danced and the Father wept with joy. Jesus had returned. Eagerly the multitude gathered in the banquet hall to hear the news.
1. It wasn’t too simple down there. They’re not easily impressed, I’m afraid. The miracles helped – especially feeding 5000, now that got very good revues. And you should have seen Martha’s face when Lazarus stepped towards her, out of the tomb.
2. Myriads of angelic faces pressed in around the Son of God, waiting on his every word, anxious not to miss a single sentence.
1. My favourite moments? Well, that thief’s expression when I told him about paradise. Now that was a picture! And seeing Peter again – after those dreadful moments in the courtyard. And Thomas, when his finger got stuck in my wrist! It’s hard to be doubtful about resurrection with your knuckle jammed into the Saviour’s arm! I loved too seeing hope dawning in the eyes of the lost and the hurting and the rejected. And the children, they were wonderful. Buzzing with energy and questions, and so straightforward, so irrepressible. But the best moment was the dawn at the tomb, waking to the sounds of the new day, hearing Mary’s footsteps in the garden and seeing that stone peel away from the rock to let in the sunlight.
2. Had the plan succeeded? Jesus’ face grew suddenly grave. His fingers went to the scars on his forehead.
1. Yes. It succeeded. Though it was agony. The nails, and the thorns, and the beating, they were bad enough, but it was the separation – the isolation – that’s what tore my heart in two. It was the loss of my friends, my family… my father. Yes… that was the greatest pain – and the ultimate triumph too, of course.
2. One of the angels raised his head in the silence and spoke. Would he do such a thing again – endure the agonies that were really not his own? Suffer the torture that belonged to other victims? Now the Son of God smiled.
1. It doesn’t matter. I will never need to live it again. That execution stands for all time, for all people. For all creation. I’ll never need to die again – because it really is finished.
2. The Father and the Son embraced each other in front of the multitude in heaven, and both of them wept openly. Tears of welcome, tears of hope, tears of resurrection… and reunion.