Believing Without Seeing

This post is, of course, inspired mostly by the annual celebration of Easter, the day that Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ. A small part of it was probably, on a subconscious level, influenced by the ABC freshman drama “Resurrection,” which is either based on or tangentially related to a really confusing number of TV serials and movies, all related to the phenomenon of people returning from the dead.
But mostly it’s me just doing what I do most and best… dwelling on the most trivial and arcane portion of a really important topic, mostly just because I can, and seeing where it leads me creatively.
So without further ado, I give you a brief two-scene play that attempts to partially answer the question, “what might the resurrection have looked like if it happened in our time?”

 

FADE IN:

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX WALKWAY – MORNING

Jesus walks up to an apartment door and knocks. A CLOSE-UP reveals a dirty rag landing next to his bare feet.

INT. APARTMENT ENTRYWAY

JOANNA, wife of Simon Peter, heads to the door. Looking through the peephole, she sees the face of a vaguely familiar man she knows. She stares at him for a moment.

 

JOANNA

Can I help you?

JESUS

Yes, I’m sure you can.

JOANNA

Okay well… I’m sorry, do I know you from somewhere?

JESUS

Joanna, it’s ME.

JOANNA

How do you know my name?

Jesus sighs, flashing an annoyed side-eye.

JESUS

You’ve heard the stories. You know what I’ve done and what I can do. The son of man came eating, drinking, and y’know… knowing people’s names and stuff.

JOANNA

Whatever dude.

Joanna slams the peephole closed.

 

Off screen, another male voice is mumbling inside the apartment.

RANDOM DUDE (O.S.)

Who’s at the door?

JOANNA (O.S.)

Another sicko claiming to be Jesus.

JESUS

(craning his neck to hear through the door)

Is that Thomas? Tell him to come see me sometime.

Joanna WHIPS the peephole back open.

JOANNA

You know what, that’s not funny. The man DIED just a few days ago, I was THERE. I SAW it happen. You don’t just forget that.

And how’d you know Thomas was here, anyway? Have you been stalking me? I swear I will call the cops right now.

JESUS

(looking skyward)

Please, not again.

Jesus pauses.

JESUS

You wanna know how I know these things about you? The same way he revealed my true identity to your husband, Simon Peter.

JOANNA

You know my Simon?

JESUS

I’ve known him for years. Well, really much longer. And I know why he’s not here, and Thomas is.

JOANNA

You know where he went? He left this morning without telling me where he was going.

JESUS

He left this morning looking for ME. He heard that I wasn’t where they left me, and he left to go find out why. And Thomas stayed behind because he didn’t believe it. He still doesn’t, actually.

 

A beat.

 

JOANNA

But I was there. I know what I saw.

JESUS

You also saw a YouTube video from someone who put a GoPro camera on a vertical support beam in some Golgothan tavern, whacked it a few times with a hammer, and then advertised it with the headline, “You Won’t Believe What It Looks Like To Be Crucified!”

Joanna stares ahead, blankly.

THOMAS (O.S.)

Hey. If that’s him, I wanna see him.

JOANNA

Thomas says he wants to see you now.

JESUS

Yeah, right now’s not good for me.

JOANNA

I would believe you if I could see you. I mean, the rest of you. I’m gonna open the door—

JESUS

(sharply)

NO.

That’s not a good idea right now.

JOANNA

Why the hell not? You come to my door, you tell me all these things I can’t even begin to process, and then when I’m trying to just… I don’t know WRAP MY MIND AROUND IT, you tell me–

JESUS

You’re asking the wrong question.

Do you have a copy of the Scriptures handy?

JOANNA

(taken aback)

Yeah.

JESUS

Go ahead and read me Genesis 3:10, would you?

Joanna pauses to look it up on her phone.

JOANNA

“He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’”

JESUS

Mmm-hmm.

 

A beat.

 

JOANNA

Oh.

JESUS

Yeahhhh… about that.

JOANNA

So you’re not—

JESUS

In believing, sometimes it’s better not to see.

JOANNA

Well, yeah.

 

They both just stand there, matching gaze and saying nothing.

JOANNA

If you didn’t want me to see you, why did you come all this way?

JESUS

Finally… the right question.

 

A WEEK LATER

INT. TOWNHOUSE – DAY

Simon Peter, Joanna, Thomas and several others are sitting in a room, huddled together and whispering.

THOMAS

Do you think they’re still looking for us?

JOANNA

If I was a centurion agent, and I’d gotten word that someone came back from something like that, I’d be tearing up the city trying to find out how.

Are you sure the door is locked?

Thomas nods.

THOMAS

(to Simon)

Dude, someone in my friend feed just posted a picture of this guy walking around and talking with people, and they say it looks like Jesus.

JOANNA

Do you have it on your phone?

THOMAS

(pulling it out)

It’s crazy, I was wondering–

SIMON

Oh, what kind of phone is that?

JOANNA

(to Simon Peter)

Focus.

(to Thomas)

Show me.

A figure appears in the corner of the room.

VOICE

If you want the real high def version, I’m right here.

The voice belongs to Jesus, striding toward the middle of the room.

THOMAS

(visibly shaken)

I … don’t believe it.

Jesus calmly walks over to him, and extends his hands, showing him the wounds.

JESUS

And now?

Thomas nods, gingerly.

JESUS

You believe because you’ve seen me. But those who have believed without seeing me?

Jesus grins and nods at Joanna.

JESUS

They’re better off in the long run.

 

A beat.

SIMON

(pointing at Jesus)

Wait, is that my shirt?!

 

 

BLACK OUT:

THE END

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