Monday Rewrite: The Living Messiah

A garden full of tombs. A soldier stands on guard outside one. Caiaphas, a high priest, walks up to him.

Caiaphas: I wish to register a complaint.

Soldier: Oh that’s more than my job’s worth, you’ll have to go through the proper channels.

Caiaphas: Never mind that. I wish to complain about this criminal that you crucified only three days ago.

Soldier: Oh yes, the, uh, the chap  from Nazareth. What’s the problem?

Caiaphas: I’ll tell you what the problem is, mate. He’s not here, that’s the problem!

Soldier: Oh yes he is… he’s resting in peace.

Caiaphas: Look, matey, I know an empty tomb when I see one… and I’m looking at one right now!

Soldier: No no he’s definitely dead, he’s… er… he’s resting in peace! In there. Remarkable man, the carpenter from Nazareth, did miracles and everything. Made lovely wine!

Caiaphas: The wine don’t enter into it, mate. He’s gawne!

Soldier: Oh no he’s not, he’s stone dead.

Caiaphas: You’ll be stone dead in a minute!

Soldier: Now, now, there’s no need for that…

Caiaphas: All right then, if he’s resting in peace, let’s see if we can wake him up! (shouting at the tomb) Hello, in there! How’s about a bite of breakfast?

Soldier: He won’t be getting up for breakfast, sir.

Caiaphas: No! Because it appears he’s already got up for some breakfast. Hours ago! When you were obviously fast asleep.

Soldier: Oooh I wasn’t!!

Caiaphas: Yes, you were!

Soldier: I never sleep on the job…

Caiaphas: Really? All right then. Let’s try a wake-up call. (yells at the tomb) Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o’clock alarm call!

(silence)

Caiaphas: Now that’s what I call an empty tomb.

Soldier: No, no… it’s nice and full.

Caiaphas: Full! Full?!? Now look, mate, I’ve had enough of this. That tomb is definitely empty, and when I sealed it not half a week ago, you assured me that nothing was getting in or out of there. Living or dead. And now look. Wide open. Stone just rolled away. Easy as that! VOOM!! No doubt by that carpenter.

Soldier: Voom? Voom!? Sir, a stone that heavy wouldn’t voom if you put four million volts through it.

Caiaphas. So how d’you explain the small matter of that great big hole in the doorway then?

Soldier: Well, I… er… I dunno… maybe someone made a window… probably got a bit stuffy… needed some fresh air.

Caiaphas: NEEDED SOME FRESH AIR!?!?!? Who? That man who endured a flogging and crucifixion and should therefore be flat out and needing no fresh air whatsoever?

Soldier: He was a remarkable man, sir. Made lovely wine! Nice bread too!

Caiaphas: The bread’s got nothing to do with it. He should be in there, and yet he’s up and strolling about somewhere!

Soldier: He’s not strolling sir! Absolutely not! He’s passed on! This carpenter is no more! He has ceased to be! He’s expired and gone to meet his maker! Bereft of life, he rests in peace! You had him nailed to a cross and now he’s  pushing up the daisies! His metabolic processes are now history! He’s kicked the bucket, he’s shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible!!… THIS – IS AN EX-CARPENTER!

(pause)

Caiaphas: Right. I see. Just one question then. Who’s that chap over there? The one looking remarkably like he’s just walked out of that tomb.

(Caiaphas points off stage)

Soldier: Him?

Caiaphas: Yes him. The one rather reminiscent of a living, breathing, resurrected Messiah.

Soldier: Oh well… that’s er… that’s the gardener, isn’t it?

Caiaphas: Oh I see! It’s the gardener, is it?! Well, I took the liberty of examining that ‘gardener’ when I got here earlier, and I discovered the only reason that he’s in this garden in the first place was that when somebody wasn’t looking he came back to life and walked out of that there tomb!

(pause)

Soldier: I got another tomb over there. That’s very nice and it’s still full up with a body sir.

Caiaphas: (sighs) Go away.

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