DEADLINE 5'1m*f RT: Triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience.)

CAIAPHAS -- (enters wearing ornate robe, headress, and sandals,
crosses to podium) I am Caiaphas the chief priest of the Temple
here in Jerusalem. The reason I called this press conference is
to explain the deadline that passed yesterday.

As many of you know, the Prophet Daniel predicted that a savior
-- whom we Jews call the messiah -- would arrive here in
Jerusalem after sixty-nine weeks of years. Yesterday, the first
day of the feast of unleavened bread, marked the end of that
period. Many of us were expecting the messiah to ride into
Jerusalem and save us from the oppression of the Romans. But no
messiah showed up.

As a result, the members of the Sanhedrin are divided about the
meaning of the no-show. Some of them are saying that it means
that God's word and God's deadlines can no longer be trusted. I
have a different view of the matter. I think that God didn't
send a savior to save us because he sees that we Jews no longer
need a savior. I think that the Lord God is so pleased with us
and the way we keep the laws of Moses -- especially the keeping
of the sabbath -- that our future in Heaven is secure without a

REPORTER -- Rabbi, aren't you forgetting about Jesus and what
the newspapers are calling "Palm Sunday"?

CAIAPHAS -- "Palm Sunday" is one of those cute little labels you
press people like to assign to a non-event to sell newspapers.

REPORTER -- Rabbi, the NON-EVENT that happened yesterday was
attended by thousands of people. They were shoulder to shoulder
and three or four people deep all along the route of the
triumphal entry all the way from the Mount of Olives, across the
Kidron Valley, into the city and all the way up to the temple.
They laid palm branches at the feet of Jesus and even laid their
own garments in his path.

CAIAPHAS -- All that shows is that Jesus has a good publicist.

REPORTER -- But Jesus claimed to be the messiah spoken of by the
prophet Daniel.

CAIAPHAS -- He can CLAIM all he wants to. The man is obviously a

REPORTER -- Jesus was born in Bethlehem as prophesied. He rode
into Jerusalem on a donkey colt as prophesied on the exact day
that was prophesied. He performed miracles to validate his
authenticity. How can you say that he is a fraud?

CAIAPHAS -- The prime measure of a Jew is how well he keeps the
sabbath. This man Jesus violated the sabbath repeatedly.

REPORTER -- How did Jesus violate the sabbath?

CAIAPHAS -- More often than not Jesus would heal people on the
sabbath. He sometimes even healed people in the synagogue on the

REPORTER -- Are you saying that healing people on the sabbath is
a violation of the sabbath?

CAIAPHAS -- That's what I'm saying.

REPORTER -- Can you quote the Holy Scriptures that prohibit the
healing of people on the sabbath?

CAIAPHAS -- Yes... No. Not specifically. But the word sabbath
means "rest". Healing is not resting.

REPORTER -- Jesus is quoted as asking whether you and other
religious leaders would authorize a farmer to rescue one of his
animals if it fell into a well on the sabbath. How would you

CAIAPHAS -- Well, of course the farmer should rescue his animal
on the sabbath! That's one of the exceptions to the rule!

REPORTER -- Isn't the healing of a human being more important
than the rescuing of an animal?

CAIAPHAS -- Don't lecture me! I'm the chief priest of the Temple
of God!

REPORTER -- Jesus claimed to be the Lord of the Sabbath....

CAIAPHAS -- I know. We tried to stone him to death for it. But
he slipped out of our grasp.

REPORTER -- If Jesus IS the Lord of the Sabbath, isn't he exempt
from the law of the sabbath, since he is the fulfillment of the

CAIAPHAS -- (shakes finger) I'm not going to dignify that
question with an answer. Jesus only healed those people on the
sabbath to irritate us religious leaders. He takes great
pleasure in embarrassing us. That's how you know he's a fraud!
If he was REALLY our long awaited messiah, the first thing he
would have done in his ministry is to seek our approval and our
advice. Instead, he ridiculed us. He and his cousin -- the one
they call John The Baptist -- called us religious leaders a
brood of vipers! How dare he!

REPORTER -- So, your rejection of Jesus is because of personal
insults to you?

CAIAPHAS -- You're twisting my words! Jesus is a fraud!

REPORTER -- Then, how do you explain his miracles?

CAIAPHAS -- Most of us in the Sanhedrin attribute the miracles
of Jesus to demons.

REPORTER -- What kind of proof would be enough to persuade you
that Jesus is really the messiah of God?

CAIAPHAS -- There is nothing he could do to persuade me. He's no
savior. And as I said, we don't really need a savior anyway. We
keep the law.

REPORTER -- What if you keep all the laws, but break just one
law once? Isn't the standard for getting into Heaven absolute
perfection? Aren't you doomed if you break just one law without
a savior?

CAIAPHAS -- Absolute perfection? Gee, nobody's perfect. I don't
know. I'll have to look that up.

REPORTER -- Jesus is quoted as having said about you that you
don't know the scriptures. Isn't that the real reason you oppose

CAIAPHAS -- I'm not going to stand here and take these
accusations! This press conference is over! (exiting) You press
people should be ashamed!

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