Saturday, April 7, 2012

Good news for Barabbas

Updated 4/8/2012

MODERATOR: Reporting here on the arrest of unorthodox rabbi Jesus of Nazareth, who was picked up by legionnaires after a brief struggle outside Jerusalem in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he and his followers were sleeping off the effects of yesterday's Passover seder, very early this morning. With me is our Caesarea bureau chief Rex Tremenda, and legal correspondent Gloria Tibi, and Rex? Can you fill us in on the latest developments?
Gethsemane. From Israel Travel & Tours.

REX: Well, Steve, we have a report on the one soldier who was injured—he lost part of [jump]
an ear—and he's going to be fine. None of the followers were taken into custody, the authorities are not regarding them as dangerous—one official who asked us not to use his name said they were quote a bunch of tax collectors and prostitutes unquote. If you'll pardon my Vulgar Latin.

MODERATOR: Heh-heh! And the rabbi himself?

REX: Rabbi Jesus is at the headquarters of the Hebrews' high priest, Caiaphas, as we speak.

MODERATOR: Now, Gloria, we understand he's being put on trial there, for blasphemy. What does he need to do this morning?

GLORIA: Well, I think he needs to tack a little to the center. He's been taking a very populist tone ever since he got to Jerusalem last week, creating a brouhaha in the Temple with the money-changers, and telling people they need to give all their property to the poor, and so forth, and there are a lot of people in this town who don't take very kindly to that.

MODERATOR: But he's a very skilled debater?

GLORIA: And that's another thing, you know, he has a very confident delivery, and he knows all these cute backwoods stories, and he knows the law itself backwards and forwards. But the fact is that he is maybe just a little too clever? Some of those Pharisees feel disrespected, and again, that's not the way people do things here.

REX: Gloria, I'm hearing on the street that he may try an insanity defense.

GLORIA: That's an awfully hard thing to prove, though. On the other hand he's said to be first-rate at casting out demons.

MODERATOR: And then if he's convicted?

GLORIA: Well, it's a death penalty case, so the sentence will be carried out by the imperial authorities. Which means he does have that one appeal, with the procurator's office.

MODERATOR: That's procurator Pontius Pilate?

GLORIA: Exactly. But what I'm hearing is he's not that comfortable messing around in the intricacies of Hebrew law; he'd just as soon wash his hands of the whole thing...

Interior of the Holy Sepulchre, from John Stoddard's Lectures (1897-98), via Chest of Books.
 STEVE: We're following the breaking story of Jesus of Nazareth, the unorthodox rabbi from Galilee, who was crucified last Friday on blasphemy charges, whose tomb now appears to have been broken into, because the rabbi's body has disappeared. The tomb had been placed under heavy guard on fears that something like this would happen, so that's a bit of a blot on procurator Pontius Pilate, isn't it, Gloria?

GLORIA: Oh, yes, Steve, it's deeply embarrassing. What's really interesting, though, is Jesus's numbers, which are going through the ceiling! It looks as if he might be poised for a comeback...

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