Conversations on the way to the Cross 7: The Precaution

The chief priests approach Pilate 

“But the man’s dead, dammit!  What possible trouble can he cause now?”

“Undoubtedly he is dead, sir.  Your judgement was most… satisfactory.  But we are concerned…”

“He’s dead, he’s buried, and that’s not enough?  What do you want from me?”

“Well you see, Mr Governor, this impostor had the bad manners to predict that he would come back to life, three days after he was killed.  Which, naturally enough, is impossible – ”

“Although there were those rumours about that man Lazarus… ”

“Nothing but superstition, Nicodemus!  As I say, the thing is impossible.  But I wouldn’t put it past some of his friends to decide that it would be a nice publicity stunt.  All it takes is for the body to disappear, a few rumours to start…”

“…and we go from dead charismatic rabbi to immortal Messiah.  Not a good idea, I’m sure you’ll agree, Mr Governor.”

“You’ll be wanting a guard for the tomb, then.”

“Precisely, sir.  Just for a few days, you understand, until the danger has passed.”

“And his friends?  Are they likely to mount an attack?”

“They are under observation, but their leader’s death seems to have knocked the spirit out of them.  I think the presence of an armed guard will provide sufficient deterrence.”

“Right then.  See to it that the miracle-worker stays in his tomb. You know what to do.

“And I don’t want to hear one more word about Jesus of Nazareth!”

Matthew 27:62-66

Martha White