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EMMAUS   7'3m0f They didn't recognize the risen Christ

CLEOPAS -- (enters from audience rear, dejected, moves toward 
corner of stage)

FRED -- (follows) Cleopas, where are you going?

CLEOPAS -- I'm going back home to Emmaus.

FRED -- You can't just leave.

CLEOPAS -- Why not? Jesus is dead. The body disappeared. What's 
left to stay in Jerusalem for?

FRED -- Well, all the others are still in Jerusalem. You don't 
want to make it look like you don't have faith.

CLEOPAS -- (laughs) Why not? I don't have faith. Our only hope 
to overthrow the Romans just died.

JESUS -- (with two black eyes, bruises, scars, bloody wounds on 
his face, no beard, follows) What are you discussing together as 
you walk along?

FRED -- (turns) Cleopas, who is that?

CLEOPAS -- (turns) I don't know. I've never seen him before.

FRED -- (hides behind Cleopas) Maybe he's a robber. Look at his 
face. You can tell he's a mean one.

CLEOPAS -- He's obviously not as mean as the guy who beat him 
up. He looks harmless enough to me.

FRED -- Well, don't answer him. He'll probably want to walk all 
the way to Emmaus with us.

CLEOPAS -- (to Jesus) Welcome, friend. We're walking to Emmaus. 
Would you like to join us?

FRED -- (peeking around Cleopas) Now you did it, Cleopas. You 
might as well hand him your money pouch. We're as good as 
robbed.

CLEOPAS -- Hush now!

JESUS -- I didn't interrupt anything, did I?

CLEOPAS -- No.
FRED -- Yes.

JESUS -- If you'd rather I walk alone I...

CLEOPAS -- No, no. Not at all. My friend is not thinking very 
clearly, since the death of our friend Jesus. Come. Join us.
(to Fred) Don't you say a word about his face.

FRED -- Alright. 

JESUS -- (approaching) Who is this person, Jesus, that you spoke 
of?

FRED -- We knew you weren't from around here. You're not even a 
Jew. Us Jews aren't supposed to associate with you gentiles.

CLEOPAS -- Hush now! If Jesus associated with Samaritans, Romans 
and woman in public, we certainly can! (to Jesus) I'm sorry for 
my friend's rudeness.

(they begin strolling across stage)

JESUS -- It's alright. How did you know that I was not a Jew?

FRED -- You're not wearing a beard. Jewish men are not allowed 
to shave off their beards.

JESUS -- I see.

(they reach the corner of the stage, cross slowly)

CLEOPAS -- That's not the only reason we knew you were not a 
Jew. Every Jew in Israel knows about Jesus of Nazareth. He 
performed miracles all through out the land of Israel. Everybody 
thought he was God incarnate.

FRED -- Everybody, except the Pharisees and teacher of the Law. 
They insisted that he was a phony, even though he performed 
miracles that only God could do.

JESUS -- What about you? Do you believe he was God incarnate?

CLEOPAS -- I did, until they handed him over to the Romans to be 
tortured and killed. If he was God incarnate, he could have 
stopped them. But it was like he just gave up.

FRED -- It was almost like he wanted to die.

JESUS -- Maybe he DID want to die.

FRED -- Don't be ridiculous.

JESUS -- This is the passover season for the Jews, isn't it?

FRED -- Big deal, the outsider knows about Jewish customs.

CLEOPAS -- Hush now! Don't be rude! (to Jesus) Why do you speak 
of Passover when we were talking about the death of our friend 
Jesus?

JESUS -- Isn't there a ritual in the passover regarding death 
and blood?

CLEOPAS -- Yes, the wine of the passover symbolizes the blood of 
the lamb that was slain to save the Jews from the angel of death 
in Egypt.

JESUS -- And the bread?

CLEOPAS -- You know, it's funny you should mention that. Until 
just three days ago the bread without leavening in the passover 
was merely a reminder that the Jews were in a hurry to leave 
Egypt. But at his last meal with his apostles, Jesus said that 
the wine was a symbol of his own blood and the bread was a 
symbol of his own body.

FRED -- Speaking of bread and wine, I'm starved.

CLEOPAS -- (sighs) You!

(they stop near far exit)

JESUS -- (turns with back to exit) No, it's alright. I brought 
some bread. (pulls out a small loaf from shoulder bag, breaks it 
in two, raises halves to God) Father, we thank you for this 
food. Amen. (hands them each a peace)

FRED -- Thanks! (bites)

CLEOPAS -- Jesus used to give thanks that way. 

JESUS -- Tell me more about Jesus. Would you recognize him if 
you saw him?

FRED -- Not very likely. He's dead! Daaah!

CLEOPAS -- Hush now!

JESUS -- Yes, but if he was God incarnate, he would have raised 
from the dead, after dying for the sins of his people, no?

FRED -- (laughs) Yeah, right.

CLEOPAS -- What are you driving at? Are you saying that Jesus 
didn't come to drive the Romans for Israel, but to die?

JESUS -- Did he ever mention driving the Romans from Israel?

FRED -- I don't know. (to Cleopas) Did he?

CLEOPAS -- No. He never even implied it. We all just thought...
Now that you mention it, I was so sure that he came to drive 
away the Romans that I failed to notice...

FRED -- Notice what?

CLEOPAS -- I can't tell you the number of times Jesus said that 
he himself was the fulfillment of prophecies, prophecies like 
Isaiah: "We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has 
turned to his own way. And the Lord has laid on HIM the iniquity 
of us all."

FRED -- (laughs) Don't tell me God came to earth just to die.

JESUS -- How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe 
all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to 
suffer these things and then enter his glory?

FRED -- What do you know about it? You're not a Jew.

JESUS -- How do you know I'm not a Jew?

FRED -- You said so.

JESUS -- No, I didn't.

FRED -- If you're a Jew, how is it that you have no beard?

JESUS -- When Roman guards want to humiliate a Jew, they pluck 
out his beard before they crucify him.

FRED -- (backs away) Cleopas, can I see you over here for a 
minute?

CLEOPAS -- (backs away, not taking his eyes off Jesus)

FRED -- Cleopas, are you thinking what I'm thinking?

(Cleopas and Fred huddle with backs to Jesus, Jesus exits 
quietly)

CLEOPAS -- Could it be we have be that we have been in the 
presence of our Lord and we didn't even know it? We've been such 
fools!

FRED -- Who you calling a fool?

CLEOPAS -- (turns) Jesus, my Lord...

FRED -- (turns) He's gone! 

CLEOPAS -- (turns crosses back quickly) Come. Quickly!

FRED -- Where are you going? He didn't go that way.

CLEOPAS -- (not stopping) Come. We must tell the others. Mary 
Magdalene wasn't seeing things as we supposed. Jesus rose from 
the Dead! Our Lord lives! Jesus is alive! (exits through 
audience)

FRED -- (follows running) Wait for me! You know, I knew all 
along who he was. He didn't fool me for a minute. (exits through 
audience)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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