The second installment in the “Back in Time” series:
Here’s the full script as written, though it may have been modified in performance or in editing:
Ishmael: Martha, I just heard what happened to that rabbi, Jesus — the one that your brother Peter went to Jerusalem with so they could celebrate Passover there.
Martha: Those terrible Romans! I can’t believe that they put Jesus to death. For no reason at all, as near as I can tell.
Ishmael: They say that the Romans are trying to claim that Jesus’s death is the fault of us Jews. Which is crazy talk, because Jesus was Jewish just like us. But they say this is all a plot by the Romans to tighten their grip on our country, Judea.
Martha: If you say so. All I know is that I’m worried about my brother Peter. When Jesus got arrested by the Romans, Peter was with him. Then the Romans questioned him, and to save his life Peter had said he didn’t really know Jesus.
Ismael: I’m sure it made Peter feel bad to say that, but in my opinion your brother did the right thing. Those Romans are mean and cold-hearted. That’s why I was hoping Jesus was going to lead people in a rebellion against the Romans.
Martha: Well, there’s no chance of that now. The Romans made sure of that, by putting Jesus to death three days ago.
Ishmael: But they say that Jesus didn’t really die. I mean, he died, but then they say he came back to life!
Martha: Where did you hear that?
Ishmael: Everyone in the marketplace is talking about it! Two women went to find his body after the sabbath was over — because of course you can’t bury someone on the sabbath — and Jesus’s body was gone! So he must have risen from the dead!
Martha: Don’t believe everything you hear in the marketplace. Here’s what probably happened. After Jesus was arrested, his followers hid out wherever they could, to escape from the Romans. Someone else buried Jesus, and wasn’t able to tell everyone.
Ishmael: But I heard it from a friend who knew someone who had a friend who was there! And that person actually talked with Jesus after he died! So it must be true!
Martha: Well, some people want Jesus to be alive to help us rebel against the Romans. Some people want Jesus to be alive so he can keep preaching. But I think what Jesus was just teaching to follow the sh’ma: love our God with all our hearts, and then what it says in Leviticus, love our neighbors as ourselves.
Ishmael: But they say that Jesus walked on water! And they say that Jesus turned water into wine! So he must have risen from the dead.
Martha: What I like to remember about Jesus is that he was kind to everyone, even people who were poor, or sick, or who followed a different religion. I don’t really care whether he rose from the dead, but I do want to try to be as good a person as he was.
British police box image: CC BY SA 2.0 Immanuel Burton