CAIAPHAS: (Angry) How many guards were there?
LEMUEL: There were sixteen, sir. Just like you requested.
CAIAPHAS: So, if there were 16 guards how did his "followers" manage to take him from his tomb.
LEMUEL: They came in the night and ... (Pause and changes subjects) Sir, if I might be so bold as to say, the guards indicate that something very unnatural occurred at the tomb and that the man Jesus rose from the dead.
CAIAPHAS: (Upset) Lemuel, if I can't get you to tell our little story like you mean it, how can we expect the guards to do the same.
LEMUEL: I guess I was just too excited about the possibilities.
CAIAPHAS: (Abrupt) Well I'm not, so stop it.
LEMUEL: Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.
CAIAPHAS: (Not as harsh) We're not here to discuss possibilities, we're here to get our story straight. Do you understand?
LEMUEL: Yes, sir. You're very clear on that point.
CAIAPHAS: So, tell me what happened. Like we discussed.
LEMUEL: (Tries to remember all the details - tries too hard to be convincing
and it sounds as if he's reciting a memorized script) Uh, let's see - oh,
yes! Jesus died this past Friday and was buried in the tomb of Joseph of
Arimathia. Roman authorities were concerned that someone from his religious
order might come to confiscate the body (Pause thinking) uh, so that others
might believe a lie.
CAIAPHAS: I guess that will have to do, Lemuel.
LEMUEL: (Eager for the praise he is receiving) Thank you sir. I do try so hard to...
CAIAPHAS: (Interrupts and said as a statement) There's more.
LEMUEL: Oh, yes sir. For reasons unknown, the guards were sleeping and the disciples saw their opportunity and rolled the tomb stone away and took the body of Jesus.
CAIAPHAS: (Pleased) Yes, Yes, you've got it.
LEMUEL: There are a few things that I'm not sure I understand.
CAIAPHAS: (Frustrated) This is the story we must tell. What's not to understand, Lemuel?
LEMUEL: Well, according to Roman law, the soldiers charged with guarding the tomb would not have all been sleeping at the same time. I believe a death sentence comes with that particular - oversight.
CAIAPHAS: Do you have a point?
LEMUEL: Why would they say that they were sleeping? It doesn't seem beneficial to self-preservation.
CAIAPHAS: (Chuckles) In this particular case, Lemuel, the Roman government and the Jewish Sanhedrin are of the same mind. Jesus should just go away. Besides a little bribe money will make men say anything we want.
LEMUEL: (Shocked) Oh, I...It's just that I...Well, I didn't know.
CAIAPHAS: Let me be very clear. Lemuel. You can't tell anyone else about this bit of "news". It stays right here - in this room. (Pause) You had another (distastefully said) question?
LEMUEL: If the disciples stole the body of Jesus, why would they remove his grave clothes and leave them there. It certainly seems that this would be something they would have waited to do until they were very far away from the tomb.
CAIAPHAS: (Looks troubled then says softly) They didn't.
LEMUEL: I'm sorry, what did you say Caiaphas?
CAIAPHAS: (Reluctantly spills the truth) The disciples didn't take his grave clothes and they didn't steal his body.
LEMUEL: Why must we say that they did? Moses warned against such falsehood. I am confused.
CAIAPHAS: (Softens and gets a far away look) You weren't there, the night Judas betrayed him. His followers fled like sheep. Only Peter and John were seen prior to his death. (With finality) His disciples went into hiding.
LEMUEL: Hiding? If that's true then they wouldn't have had enough courage to try and steal Jesus' body while his tomb was secured by sixteen Roman soldiers.
CAIAPHAS: We paid Judas to betray him and we paid the soldiers to tell a story we devised.
LEMUEL: Yet, I am asked to tell this same story that bears the hallmark of falsehood? Caiaphas, if Jesus was not taken by his disciples and the guards are unwilling to say what actually happen, how can we know the truth?
CAIAPHAS: (Said with some guilt) I'm not sure I want to know, Lemuel.
(Joseph enters determined to talk to Caiaphas)
CAIAPHAS: Joseph of Arimathia, good to see you, my friend.
JOSEPH: (Excited) Have you heard?
CAIAPHAS: (Distracted) Heard what?
JOSEPH: He was the Messiah.
CAIAPHAS: (Looks up, startled) What are you saying Joseph? You let a misguided religious zealot use your tomb, his disciples steal the body and you would commit the sin of blasphemy by saying that He was the Messiah? You must be careful what you say, my friend. These are dangerous times in which we live.
JOSEPH: (Very Excited) But I have seen the tomb - my tomb - His tomb. His grave clothes are lying as if they were a shell. The clothes were not unwrapped - He simply vanished - resurrected from the dead.
CAIAPHAS: (Chuckles nervously) Be careful Joseph, the guards say the disciples stole his body.
(LEMUEL appears to be ready to speak, but a look from Caiaphas convinces him to be quiet)
JOSEPH: (Doesn't notice "the look") If this is so, then why did the risen Messiah, Jesus the Christ, appear to three women and His disciples. There is word even now that dozens, no, hundreds of people have seen Him - alive.
LEMUEL: Could this be true, Caiaphas?
CAIAPHAS: (very uncomfortable) You are confusing me. I...there...He had to die. Didn't he? (Pause, then a panicked look crossed his face) He could not be the Son of God. Could he? (Another pause then Caiaphas looks up, emotional) My God, what have I done?
(Lemuel and Joseph turn and slowly leave Caiaphas center stage. As the narration progresses, the actor playing Caiaphas should remove piece by piece the costume he is wearing to reveal a modern day man who begins to see what an incredible thing was done for him by Jesus, on the cross.)
NARRATOR 1: (Off stage) You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life.
NARRATOR 2: (Off stage) But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
NARRATOR 1: I came that they might have life
NARRATOR 2: Abundant life.
NARRATOR 1: This is the work of God...
NARRATOR 2: Believe in Him whom He sent.
NARRATOR 1: I am the way the truth and the life...
NARRATOR 2: No one comes to the Father, except through Me.
NARRATOR 1: God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world...
NARRATOR: But that the world through Him might be saved.
JESUS: (Emotional) Father, forgive them, they don't know what they are doing. (Pause) It is finished.
Copyright 2002 by Glenn A. Hascall and CMI Publishing
If you use this script would you please be so kind as to let us know? glenn.hascall<a>gmail.com