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COVER-UP 9'3m0f The great resurrection cover-up
(scene: bare stage)

SAM ---- (Enters, smiling, strolls, hands behind back)

HARRY -- (Enters, smiles broadly) Sammy! I hear congratulations 
are in order. (offers hand)

SAM ---- (shakes hands) So, you heard, huh?

HARRY -- Hey, when the man who claims to be the messiah is 
crucified, who doesn't here about it? You and the other members 
of the Sanhedrin ought to be very proud of yourselves, Sam.

SAM ---- Was I right or was I right?

HARRY -- What can I say? You called it. "Mark my words," you 
said,  "if he is the messiah, Jesus will call down his 
angels to take him down from the cross."

SAM ---- (looks around, giggles) Anybody seen any angels lately? 
(giggles)

HARRY -- (laughs) Sammy, you are a stitch. (looks over shoulder) 
Oh, temple services are starting. (turns, speaks over shoulder) 
Be sure and pass my compliments on to the boys in the Sanhedrin, 
huh? (waves) 

SAM ---- Will do, Harry. See, ya! (resumes)

HARRY -- (laughs) Seen any angels lately. (laughs, exits)

MANNY -- (enters, serious) There you are, Boss. I'm glad I found 
you.

SAM ---- Manny! I suppose you want to congratulate me, too?

MANNY -- Well, not exactly.

SAM ---- What do you mean?

MANNY -- (looks both ways) Boss, we got a problem here. Jesus' 
body is missing.

SAM ---- Manny, have you been drinking?

MANNY -- You know I don't drink. He said that the body is gone 
and I believe him.

SAM ---- Who said? Manny, that's absolutely ridiculous. We 
posted guards on the entrance to the tomb. Even if someone could 
roll away the big cover stone, the guards wouldn't have let him 
take the body.

MANNY -- It was a guard who reported the body missing.

SAM ---- Those were our best soldiers. Who could overpower them?

MANNY -- Two angels.

SAM ---- (head snaps quickly to see if Harry heard, looks up to 
heaven, clasps hands in prayer) That thing I said about angels, 
it was just a joke, not a request.

MANNY -- Who are you talking to?

SAM ---- You wouldn't understand. Tell me what happened.

MANNY -- The guard said there was an earthquake and the angels 
rolled away the stone that covered the entrance to the tomb. 

SAM ---- You're sure that's what he said? The Angels rolled away 
the stone?

MANNY -- Then disappeared, right in front of him.

SAM ---- Oh, boy. 

MANNY -- What do we do now?

SAM ---- You mean before or after I eat crow.

MANNY -- I know, you hate to eat crow.

SAM ---- (spits) ptooy. No, sir, there is no way I'm eating crow 
on this one.

MANNY -- Well, what do we do?

SAM ---- Manny, we've got to put a positive spin on this. We 
have the Christians on the run. They are completely disbursed. 
(paces, three times he returns to Manny, raises finger in 
delight, then withdraws it) Naw.

MANNY -- (makes crow call) Caw, caw, caw.

SAM ---- I'm thinking. I'm thinking. (snaps fingers) I've got 
it! We'll say the guards fell asleep or something and that the 
body was stolen. (motions him away) You fill in the details.

MANNY -- Right. (turns to leave)

SAM ---- Manny, if it gets out that we don't know where the body 
is, we're in big trouble.

MANNY -- Some of us are, anyway. Caw, caw, caw.

SAM ---- Manny, does the word TITHE mean anything to you? If 
they find out the body is missing, they could believe Jesus' 
prediction that he would raise from the dead. My income will 
take a nose dive. And if MY income goes down...( points at 
Manny, turns away)

MANNY -- ....I'll get right on it, boss. (exits)

HARRY -- (enters) Sam, I'm glad you're still here.

SAM ---- (pastes on a phony smilea) Harry! I thought you went 
to the temple. I suppose you want to buy me lunch?

HARRY -- Is it true what I heard, Sam?

SAM ---- What did you hear?

HARRY -- Something about a resurrection.

SAM ---- (sly) Resurrection? (shakes head) I don't think I...
How did you hear about a resurrection, Harry?

HARRY -- From some Christians.

SAM ---- Christians? That's impossible. We scared them all out 
of Jerusalem.

HARRY -- Apparently, some of them stayed behind to take care of 
the body. The said they saw him.

SAM ---- (excited) They saw him? (false calm) Saw who, Harry?

HARRY -- Jesus. 

SAM ---- Jesus? 

HARRY -- They said he's alive.

SAM ---- Alive.

MANNY -- (from off stage) Caw, caw, caw.

HARRY -- (looks around) What was that?

SAM ---- (motions Manny away, pushes Harry to exit) Nothing. 
Listen, Harry, don't believe a thing that you hear from those 
Christians. Remember, they were the ones who came up with the 
story Jesus about feeding 5000 people with 5 small loaves of 
bread and two small fish.

HARRY -- (stops) Yeah, I was there that day. How did he do that?

SAM ---- (pushes) It's a parlor trick, Harry. Hey, let's do 
lunch real soon. I'll show you how he pulled it off. 

HARRY -- Yeah, okay. (exits)

MANNY -- (Enters) Caw, caw, Caw. Are you hungry, boss?

SAM ---- Very funny. What did you do about the resurrection 
story, Manny?

MANNY -- I told Jake Goldman's wife that the guards fell asleep 
and the body was stolen by the Christians. It'll be all over 
town by dinner.

SAM ---- Good. Now go after the loudmouth Christians who are 
telling everybody that they saw Jesus alive. There is no way 
they saw him alive. I saw the soldier drive a spear into his 
heart.

HARRY -- (enters) Sam, you wouldn't believe what I just heard.

SAM ---- (whispers to Manny) Go, go!

MANNY -- (backing out exit) What do I do if I find some 
Christians?

SAM ---- I don't care. Throw them in jail if you have to. Just 
get them out of circulation. (shakes finger at Manny)

HARRY -- What's that about circulation?

SAM ---- (turns with hand still outstretched) Oh, ah, it's just 
a medical problem... in my hand... here in my hand. So, you said 
you heard something, Harry, old boy? (pats him on the back)

HARRY -- Yeah, I was just over in the temple courts (points to 
exit) and a guy named Stephen is telling everybody that over 500 
people have seen Jesus since the resurrection. Isn't that 
something?

SAM ---- Another parlor trick, Harry, my boy. Another parlor 
trick. Smoke and mirrors. 500 people, you say?

MANNY -- (from offstage) Caw, caw, caw.

SAM ---- (motions Manny away, pushes Harry to exit) Boy, do we 
have a lot to talk about over lunch, huh, Harry? Tomorrow, 
maybe. I'll buy. See ya.

HARRY -- (exits reluctantly)

SAM ---- (motions Manny in) Manny, we've got a problem. 

MANNY -- (enters) I know, I heard. Over 500 people saw Jesus 
after he raised from the dead.

SAM ---- Allegedly. Manny, get hold of Saul of Tarsus and have 
him throw the witnesses in jail. And tell him he can start with 
a guy named Stephen. He's out in the temple courts right now, 
spouting off. Maybe suggest that they stone him to death. Make 
an example out of him. (pushes him toward`exit)

MANNY -- Will do. (turns) Oh, boss?  (slithers to exit) 

SAM ---- Huh?

MANNY -- (points to Harry) Your lunch date is here. Bye, bye.
(exits)

HARRY -- (enters) Sam, can I talk to you?

SAM ---- Harry, I thought you were supposed to be in temple.

HARRY -- Do you know a guy named Peter?

SAM ---- Yeah, the guy who denied Jesus three times? (points to 
exit) 

HARRY -- Well, he's over in the temple courts right now saying....

SAM ---- (pushes him to exit) Say no more, Harry. Can you 
believe a thing he says after what he did to his best friend?

HARRY -- But... (exits)

SAM ---- (back away, shouts to exit) I swear, I'll buy you lunch 
as soon as I clear up all this....(fans the air) Oh, what's the 
use. (motions Manny in)

MANNY -- (enters) Would you like it fried, broiled, or baked?

SAM ---- What?

MANNY -- Your crow.

SAM ---- I'm not laughing. Manny, I've got more work for you. 
Grab that apostle Peter and put him in Jail. (pushes him to 
exit)

MANNY -- (turns) One what charge?

SAM ---- (fans at the air) I don't know. Make something up. 
(turns, turns back) Wait.

MANNY -- (enters) What.

SAM ---- Be sure you put him in chains. Oh, and chain him to two 
guards and put two guards at the door jail cell. If the angels 
can roll back the stone, they can spring Peter from jail. 
(pushes him to exit) Go, go!

MANNY -- (exits)

HARRY -- (enters) Sam, you're not going to believe this.

SAM ---- (pushes him toward exit) Listen, buddy, I'm up to my 
elbows here. Can I....

HARRY -- You know Saul. Saul of Tarsus? 

SAM ---- Of course, I just sent him to nab people who were... 

HARRY -- ...he's preaching the resurrection. (points to exit)

SAM ---- Harry, I'm not in the mood for jokes.

HARRY -- I'm not joking, Sam. He's in the temple courts right 
now. I heard it with my own ears.

SAM ---- (pushes him out exit) Listen, Harry, have you ever 
heard of celebrity impersonators. It's all make-up and costumes. 
Go, see for yourself. Look for glue. (points to own chin) Right 
along the edge of the beard. Go. Take a look.

HARRY -- (exits)

SAM ---- (sighs, slaps hands on thighs, looks up to heaven) It 
was the angel joke, wasn't it. Would it help if I said I was 
sorry?

MANNY -- (enters) Sorry about what, boss?

SAM ---- (pushes him to exit) Oh, I'm glad you're back. 
Get over to the temple and arrest Saul of Tarsus.

MANNY -- He's on our side.

SAM ---- Not anymore.

MANNY -- You're kidding.

SAM ---- No, I'm not kidding. Find him and have him arrested. 

MANNY -- ...but...(exits)

SAM ---- Just do it! (shouts) Oh, and put him in stocks and put 
guards on his cell door too. (shouts) Hurry. (turns, mumbles) 
This is getting out of control.

HARRY -- (enters) Talk about bizarre events. Peter is in the 
temple courts now.

SAM ---- Peter? I just had him thrown in jail. How could you....

HARRY -- He apparently escaped.

SAM ---- He escaped?! That's impossible!

HARRY -- Apparently, an angel of the Lord....

SAM ---- (looks up) That's very funny, Lord, very funny.

HARRY -- Why are you talking to the sky? (looks up)

SAM ---- You wouldn't understand.

HARRY -- Anyway, apparently, his hand cuffs just FELL off, by 
themselves.

SAM ---- Of course, (looks up) with angels, anything is 
possible. Wait a minute. He had armed guards too, right? 

HARRY -- The guards fell asleep. 

SAM ---- Harry, that was OUR story.

HARRY -- You know, Sam, I'm beginning to believe this stuff 
about the resurrection.

SAM ---- (pulls him to exit) Harry, I know that there's SOME 
evidence for the resurrection, but...

HARRY -- No, Sam, there's a LOT of evide....

SAM ---- Okay, so there's a lot of evidence, Harry, but it's all 
a big hoax. Don't believe a word of it.... And stay away from 
the temple for a while, huh? The Christians seem to be 
overrunning the place.

HARRY -- (exits)

MANNY -- (enters, whispers) Pssst.

SAM ---- Manny. If this isn't good news, I don't want to hear 
it.

MANNY -- Well, it's good news AND bad news? 

SAM ---- Manny, I'm not sure I want to....

MANNY -- It's about Paul.

SAM ---- Paul, who's Paul?

MANNY -- Saul of Tarsus. He changed his name.

SAM ---- Manny, tell me he's still in jail!

MANNY -- He's not. An earthquake... 

SAM ---- Are you sure you're not talking about the resurrection?

MANNY -- This is a different earthquake. The stocks just fell 
off his feet and the doors just opened by themselves.

SAM ---- (looks up) I really am sorry about the angel joke. (to 
Manny) Okay, so, how is that GOOD news?

MANNY -- He's stopped preaching to the Jews in the temples and synanon. 

SAM ---- How wonderful! Hallelujah!

MANNY -- More good news.

SAM ---- Now that's more like it! (looks up, whispers) Thank you.

MANNY -- Peter stopped preaching to the Jews, too.

SAM ---- Alright!

MANNY -- Now, the bad news. 

SAM ---- You already told me the bad news.

MANNY -- Both of them are now preaching to the gentiles because 
every Jew in Jerusalem now knows about the resurrection.

SAM ---- (pulls him to exit) Find them, have them arrested and 
stoned to death. They can't talk from the grave. Go! Go!

HARRY -- (enters, points to Manny) Haven't I seen him before?

SAM ---- Harry, I really don't have time to....

HARRY -- I want to buy you lunch. (puts arm around Sam, walks 
him to exit)

SAM ---- Well, finally, a little good news for a change.

HARRY -- Yes, I was just talking to Peter and Paul. And they 
told me to tell YOU about the gospel of Jesus. Sam, did you know 
that Jesus really IS the messiah and he really did raise from 
the dead? (exits)

SAM ---- (pulls back) Listen, Harry, I... I just remembered I 
have a stop to make before lunch. (points) I'll catch up with 
you later.

MANNY -- (enters) Boss, you're just the man I want to see. 

SAM ---- Manny, if you don't have some good news, you're in big 
trouble. 

MANNY -- (pulls Sam to exit) Funny you should say that. I was 
just talking to Peter and Paul. And they told me to tell YOU 
about the good news of Jesus Christ. Sam, did you know that 
Jesus really IS the messiah and he really did raise from the 
dead? Let me tell you about eternal life. (both exit)


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