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TOMB     6'2m0f Jesus' burial method demands resurrection

JOSEPH -- (enters, crosses)

CAIAPHAS -- (follows hurriedly, shouts) Joseph. Joseph of
Arimathea.

JOSEPH -- (stops, turns) Caiaphas! (bows) The honorable high
priest.

CAIAPHAS -- Don't you honorable high priest me!

JOSEPH -- Excuse me?

CAIAPHAS -- You tricked me!

JOSEPH -- I'm sorry, but I have no idea what you're talking
about.

CAIAPHAS -- Don't you play innocent with me! You know very well
that what you did made it impossible for us to deny the
resurrection of Jesus!

JOSEPH -- You're going to try to DENY the resurrection?!

CAIAPHAS -- Well, of course we're going to deny the
resurrection! If Jesus raised from the dead, we would have to
admit that we executed the true messiah.

JOSEPH -- Well, maybe Jesus WAS...

CAIAPHAS -- But now we have to change our story because we found
out that YOU claimed his body.

JOSEPH -- You gave me permission to claim the body. You thought
it was a good idea.

CAIAPHAS -- You took advantage of me.

JOSEPH -- I took advantage of you?!

CAIAPHAS -- Yes! By merely claiming the body as a member of the
Sanhedrin, you made it look like WE were in charge of the body. 

JOSEPH -- Well, I wasn't really claiming the body as a
representative of the Sanhedrin....

CAIAPHAS -- You buried the body under false pretenses.

JOSEPH -- Jesus was dead. We bury dead people. How is that a
pretense?

CAIAPHAS -- Don't stone wall me! You pretended that the reason
you wanted to bury Jesus was merely that your new tomb was
near the site of the crucifixion.

JOSEPH -- That's what I said because that was the truth. It was
YOU who was in a hurry to get the bodies down from the crosses
before sundown. Remember?

CAIAPHAS -- Don't lay this off on me! All I said was that the
passover sabbath started after sunset and that we should bury 
the bodies as quickly as possible.

JOSEPH -- What better way to make a fast burial than to use a
tomb near the crosses? My family tomb was the closest tomb to
Golgotha. I don't see anything sinister about having the closest
tomb to the crucifixions.

CAIAPHAS -- Because of you, we wouldn't be able to claim that
the women who discovered the empty tomb went to the wrong tomb.

JOSEPH -- The wrong tomb?!

CAIAPHAS -- ...we had this tidy little story all made up how the 
women got lost in the predawn darkness. But how can we say 
that when the tomb is directly below the cross on Golgotha? 

JOSEPH -- Well, I suppose you can't, but..

CAIAPHAS -- And there's another thing. Why did you go to all the 
trouble and expense of wrapping the body with linen and spices?

JOSEPH -- Because that's how we bury people in my family.

CAIAPHAS -- Don't hand me that! One of the spices you used was
myrrh!

JOSEPH -- That's right. But what does that....

CAIAPHAS -- Myrrh is the burial spice of kings, not of Nazarene
carpenters.

JOSEPH -- Well, the sign on the cross said "King of the Jews".

CAIAPHAS -- (fumes) Stop saying that! I told Governor Pilate 
that the sign should say that Jesus PRETENDED to be king of the 
Jews.

JOSEPH -- I don't see what burial spices have to do with the
resurrection, anyway.

CAIAPHAS -- The ALLEGED resurrection! You knew very well that if
you wrapped the body in strips of linen and a hundred pounds
of spices that Jesus couldn't breathe.

JOSEPH -- Of course he couldn't breathe! He was dead!

CAIAPHAS -- (looks both ways, whispers) Not so loud!

JOSEPH -- You're not really claiming that he was still alive
when we buried him, are you?

CAIAPHAS -- That's what we were claiming... until we found out
that you wrapped the body.

JOSEPH -- No way anybody will believe that.

CAIAPHAS -- Not now! Thanks to you!

JOSEPH -- That's ridiculous! The Roman centurion stabbed Jesus
in the heart with a spear before we took him off the cross.
According to Roman law, if Jesus was alive when we took him
down from the cross, the centurion would get the death penalty.

CAIAPHAS -- We were going to have the centurion executed, but
now we can't even do that, because you wrapped the body.

JOSEPH -- You weren't going to have an innocent man killed just
to save face, were you?!

CAIAPHAS -- He's a gentile. What's one gentile more or less?! 
And don't change the subject! It was you're idea to bury Jesus 
in a tomb instead of in Gehenna with the others.

JOSEPH -- As I recall, it was you who suggested that it would be
a good idea to bury Jesus in a tomb with a large stone cover so
that his disciples couldn't easily steal the body.

CAIAPHAS -- That's just what you wanted me to think. You played
me like a harp!

JOSEPH -- I what?!

CAIAPHAS -- You knew that we wouldn't be able to claim that
a victim of crucifixion and stabbing would have the strength
to roll away a one-ton cover stone by himself. Thanks to you, 
the only explanation we have against the resurrection is that 
his disciples stole the body.

JOSEPH -- Well, actually, nobody will believe that story either.

CAIAPHAS -- And why not?!

JOSEPH -- You requested Governor Pilate to post an armed guard
outside of the tomb, remember?

CAIAPHAS -- Oh, yeah...

JOSEPH -- (frames hands) I can see the headlines now: unarmed
Galilean fishermen overpower well-armed Roman soldiers ...

CAIAPHAS -- ...We'll say that the guards fell asleep.

JOSEPH -- That won't work either.

CAIAPHAS -- Why not?

JOSEPH -- Roman Guards who fall asleep on duty get the death
penalty. You'll have to explain why the soldiers are still
alive.

CAIAPHAS -- See?! I knew it! You engineered this whole thing!

JOSEPH -- I never engineered anything!

CAIAPHAS -- (exiting backward pointing at Joseph) You made it
impossible to deny that Jesus rose from the dead!

JOSEPH -- (shouts, exiting backward) I had nothing to do with
it! (to self) But it sure looks like somebody planned it pretty
well.
2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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