For our Easter service this week I wrote a piece of speculative fiction. I am writing into the tradition of Jesus Christ Superstar and Real Live Preacher‘s Dramatized Versions and mean absolutely no disrespect.
Mark 16 (New International Version)
1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6″Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”
8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
It’s been a week. No, ten days. Remind me again why I did this? I could have stayed a nice, quiet carpenter, son of a carpenter. But no, I was curious. I didn’t believe what my people believed. So I had to go stir the pot, make trouble, tell people what I was thinking. I never thought it would come to that, much less this. You know that sinking feeling you get in your belly when you realize something is not going to be easy or simple? I should have paid attention. Crucifixion ought to be forbidden. There is nothing that can justify that much pain.
And now, odd as it seems, I’m back. It’s been good to see everyone again. I didn’t miss them–how could I? I was dead. But they missed me, and it’s pretty incredible to see them so happy. On the other hand, I have to wonder what happens now. The shock has worn off, the joy is softer, and it’s mostly like I was never gone. Now I go places and it’s heal this, save me from that, cast out the other thing. They seem to have lost all their independence, forgotten everything I taught them before I died. They expect me to be their leader like before, but it’s just not the same. I was dead. Dead–gone, vanished, not of this world. It changed me. The whole week changed me. I let people kiss me but I don’t really like it. I’m nervous around guards and spears and people in general, and this ability to vanish and reappear whenever and wherever I need to is still new. I feel different. I feel separate. I’m not the person I once was. I miss it–just eating and talking and joking as if it’s all going to be okay. It could end at any moment. What if your next sentence is your last? Now I’m a walking miracle. People don’t treat me like a regular person anymore. I have to reconnect all over again. It’s hard. And it’s lonely. I have to have answers, I have to be perfect. I can’t be their friend like before. We’re not the same anymore. They weren’t there with me; they don’t know. they can’t know. I don’t want them to ever go through anything like it. But I’ve changed. Things are never going to be the same, and I can’t explain that.
Do I have a choice about this?
Never mind, we already had that conversation. I just miss having friends. You’d think being a god would make things easy.