THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE BODY OF JESUS OF NAZARETHO
Part III – VERDICTS
All stand. I’ve reached my verdict. Given the part of the Judge in this case, I have heard the witnesses, Joseph, Mary and Thomas, and the pleadings of The Prosecution and the Defense, and after long nights of deliberation by myself, longing to reach a just verdict which establishes the truth about the disappearance of the body Jesus of Nazareth, also known as Jesus Christ, and knowing that that there could be many just verdicts in this matter, I am ordering the one that is my own. It is as follows. First, the body of Jesus has been abducted by unknown individuals and spirits, delivered to a place forever unknown, and has been resurrected for eternal life on earth and in heaven. Second, if the individuals and spirits referred to above are apprehended, they shall be punish with full arm of the law, crucified and elevated to the stature of saints and angels. All witnesses, the Prosecution and the Defense shall be free from any guilt, except from the guilt of being partial. He who doubts this verdict shall be plagued by doubt in his faith and faith in his doubt, until the end of the world. Day seven in the year one.
The Voice of Pontius Pilate: We must talk.
The Judge: Hail to you Pontius Pilate, the Emperor’s Procurator! Are you satisfied with the verdict?
The Voice: What do you think?
The Judge: I think that you ought to be satisfied – this was the fairest verdict I have ever reached. The only one possible in a case such as this.
The Voice: Tell me, my friend, do you know why I gave you the part and the power of the Judge?
The Judge: Because you wanted me to find the truth.
The Voice: Which truth?
The Judge: The truth!
The Voice: Not just “the truth”. The truth which the Empire needs. Your verdict, dear friend, reflected your own truth, which was not the Empire’s truth. You see, simple people can have their truths; the Empire employees, never. They are part of the Empire, and, therefore, the Empire’s truth must be their truth.
The Judge: You should’ve told me that.
The Voice: You should known that. The Empire needed the truth that establishes its eternity. The truth which says that no one and nothing is higher than the Empire. Instead of condemning Jesus for his disregard of the Empire, you as a Judge…
The Judge: Wait a minute…I didn’t know that Jesus himself was supposed to be on trial. By the way, my friend, didn’t you wash your hands clean by proclaiming that He was innocent?
The Voice: I did. I was sure that other would get their hands bloody.
The Judge: And if you hadn’t been so sure?
The Voice: Then I wouldn’t have had any choice. I would’ve kept his blood on my hands, so the Empire could see it and appreciate it. You, however, were given a choice: Jesus or the Empire, the law or the miracle. The Empire always gives the people a choice. It just punishes the wrong one.
The Judge: I made the only choice possible after considering the witnesses’ testimony.
The Voice: I heard their testimony. The Defense and the Prosecution were right about the witnesses.
The Judge: Those were the only witnesses who knew…
The Voice: Those were the only witnesses who believed.
The Judge: Both the Defense and the Prosecution were strongly against me, personally. Yes, they were right, but they limited their understanding to the law of reason.
The Voice: This not the time for rhetoric. You have made more important things to do.
The Judge: What I have to do?
The Voice: To bear the burden of proving your innocence. Or, at least, stop incriminating yourself.
The Judge: You mean, confess sincerely that I have ordered the wrong verdict. How can I do that? I just couldn’t rule the resurrection didn’t occur, because it might have. Nor could I proclaim that the resurrection did occur, because it might not have. I realized that in order to reach the truth, I had to unite these two alternatives in a complete and irrefutable oneness.
The Voice: In order to exist in the Empire, you had to have chosen one alternative.
The Judge: Even if I had chosen the miracle?
The Voice: Even then. The Empire would recognize and punish you as a respected enemy. This way you could’ve become a part of the Empire again.
The Judge: Oh, that would’ve been beautiful.
The Voice: However, you’ve issued your verdict and you’ve lost the privilege to live in the Empire. There is nothing beyond the Empire. Ergo, you’ve lost the privilege to live anywhere.
The Judge: I knew it… I knew it…
The Voice: You do not exist anymore, and because the Crucified is the reason for your non-existence, I grant you, as last comfort, a death like His.
The Judge: You will crucify e… So what? I have been crucified for centuries, hanging between “yes” and “no”, between the law and the miracle. Finally, thanks to this case, I have discovered the truth. And I have become whole, and sound. Yes, I was lonely. Desperately lonely. But complete. I have found peace of mind. Because I have found my truth. I don’t really care whether this truth is the Empire’s truth, or not. You cannot crucify me now, when my soul has its truth. I won’t feel the pain. No one an make me suffer, nothing an bring me joy, or death, or life.
The Voice: What a pity. You are dead.
The Judge: I want to ask you something. Please, tell me the truth, in the name of our lost friendship. When you made me the Judge in this case, did you know that I would order a verdict for which I had to be punished?
The Voice: I did. I and doubted it.
The Judge: Well, do you think that wen they drive the nails into my palms it will hurt a lot?
The Voice: I hope it hurts. A lot.