Reliving the Day After Jesus Died
This is a fictionalized account of Pilate ordering Jesus' tomb to be sealed. Scene: Pilates palace.
Why do these wretched Jews come to me again? Didn’t I do as they asked and kill an innocent man? I enter and face them. “What do you want now?”
A glance exchanges between them. They bow their heads to me – a tiny bob to my authority over them, but their proud, haughty spirits mock me. I feel it. These Jewish priests believe they are better than anyone else and no length of subjugation changes their minds. I detest them. From the look of them, they aren’t here to thank me.
“Prefect, sir, we remember while he was still alive—”
“He? You mean Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews?”
Pure hatred radiates from them. Well, the feeling is mutual, I can’t stand them either.
Caiphais, the speaker, nods. “that deceiver said, ‘after three days I will rise again’”.
A curse escapes my mouth. The hair raises on the back of my neck as he continues speaking. “So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
I can’t refuse. Neither of us admits that it is far more likely that he will rise than that the disciples will break with Jesus’ teaching and lie. Either way, it would be bad for both of us. Will this never end?
I call in a Centurion. “Take a guard. Go make the tomb as secure as you know how. Put my seal of authority on it. Post guards around the clock.”
He obeys and follows the priests as they file out. They never stop to thank me. I pace a bit and then go to wash my hands.