Friends, Happy Easter.
This year's contribution grew out of a passing comment from a minister about video proof of the resurrection. I trust you'll find it worth reading.
Setting: Easter morning, shortly after sunrise, an empty tomb on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Two men are having a conversation, one has a video camera.
Tommy: (Obviously out of breath) Man, I can't believe I missed it. I overslept. Got here as fast I could. Did you get it?
Pete: You better believe it. It was … I don't know how to describe it. Thank God, I don't have to. (patting his camera) It's all right here on tape on this little camera of mine.
Tommy: Yeah, that's great. But, I mean, you saw him, right? He really came out of there.
Pete: He is alive as you and me and that's a fact.
Tommy: I'm telling you I can't wait to show this to those pious prudes and get right up in there face with it. What are they gonna say? Hm? How are they gonna justify what they did then? Those bastards will have to do some fast talking then, eh, Pete?
Pete: You better believe it. (Pause) You know, Tommy …
Pete: I'm thinkin' maybe we ought to show it to his guys first – you know, John, Matt – his followers. Can you imagine all the whooping and carrying on they'll do once they see he's alive again. I'm telling you it will be party time in old Jerusalem for sure.
Tommy: Yeah, what was I thinkin'. We'll go and try and find some of them and invite them to the studio to see what you've got there. Of course it might be a bit tough – a lot of them went underground, trying to keep a low profile from "you-know-who".
Pete: Can't say I blame them. But once they see this – well, it will be a different story, to be sure.
Tommy: Yeah. (Long pause) You know, Pete, maybe we should watch it first before we show it to anybody else. Mind you, I'm not sayin' you didn't do your job but I think I'd feel better if we previewed it first just in case …
Pete: Just in case what … in case I didn't get it?
Tommy: No, I didn't mean that exactly. It just that …
Pete: Well what did you mean?
Tommy: Look, Pete, someone doesn't come back from the dead everyday. This is 'way beyond anything we've ever dealt with before and maybe … maybe there might be more going on with this than we realize.
Pete: Wait a moment. Do my ears deceive me? Are you talking about supernatural stuff? You, of all people. Mister "show me the proof" Tommy. You're going to start talking about – dare I say it, miracles
Tommy: Okay, okay, it's not my usual way of dealing with things but … well, this feels different. I'm just saying, what's the harm in our looking at the footage first before we bring anyone else to see it – just to be safe.
Pete: Man, I never would have believed it. Okay, we'll watch it first. To tell you the truth I'm anxious to see it and who knows how long it might be before we could find some of his guys.
Tommy: Hey, I think I hear somebody running, let's skidaddle. See you back at the studio.
(Back at the studio. The lights are off, the tape is rolling …)
Pete: See, there's the stone, rolled away from the entrance. I mean, it just moved away by itself. When I saw that … wait a minute here it comes, see that bright light. Now it's … (Silence)
Pete: What happened? Where is He? This is the moment I saw him come out. Where the hell is he? He supposed to be there. He was there, I saw him. I swear I saw him come out. I…
Tommy: (Stands up, turns on the light) I don't doubt that you believe you saw him come out. Hell, for all I know, maybe he did. But there's no proof. It's not on the tape. You may have seen it but I didn't'.
Pete: What are you implying?
Tommy: I'm not implying anything. I'm stating a fact, pure and simple. We have no proof, other than your word, that you saw Jesus alive again. Now that might be good enough for me, but not for anyone else. As your pal, I'd believe you because I know you don't lie. But for you to claim that you saw a dead man alive again – well, it's just too preposterous for anyone else to believe.
Pete: (Shakes his head) But I saw him. Dammit, I know I saw him walk out of that tomb.
Tommy: I'm sorry, my friend. I don't what else to say. This could have been the biggest scoop since that water and wine thing down in Cana but … well, we can't make up the facts.
Pete: So what do we do now?
Tommy: Well, what can we do. Just chalk it up to … bad timing, I guess.
Pete: (Long pause, the Pete stands up and heads for the door)
Tommy: Where you goin'?
Pete: You may call me a crazy man but as you say you didn't see what I saw. But I did see it. I'm going to go find some of this guys and tell 'em what I saw.
Tommy: Do you really think it will do any good?
Pete: A man who says he'll rise from the dead and then does it? Yeah, I definitely think it will do a world of good.
Tommy: Well if you're determined to tell your tale then I best go along and try and keep you out of trouble.
Pete: Me? Trouble? Just because I claim to have seen Jesus alive again, how could I get into trouble over that? (Laughs and they both exit)
George Gagliardi, Easter 2011