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HOW DID ABORTION RIGHTS COME TO THIS?  — Carol Hanisch charts how the right to an abortion began to erode shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision; Uber vs. the Cabbies: Ben Terrall reports on the threats posed by private car services; Remembering August 1914: Binoy Kampmark on the enduring legacy of World War I; Medical Marijuana: a Personal Odyssey: Doug Valentine goes in search of medicinal pot and a good vaporizer; Nostalgia for Socialism: Lee Ballinger surveys the longing in eastern Europe for the material guarantees of socialism. PLUS: Paul Krassner on his Six Dumbest Decisions; Kristin Kolb on the Cancer Ward; Jeffrey St. Clair on the Making of the First Un-War; Chris Floyd on the Children of Lies and Mike Whitney on why the war on ISIS is really a war on Syria.
A Screenplay

The Gospel of Judas

by MICHAEL DICKINSON

“The execution of a scapegoat in Roman-occupied Palestine results in the birth of a false faith that will conquer the Western World.”

FADE IN.

INT. A SEALED ROCK TOMB – NIGHT.
Flickering oil lamps stand at each corner of a raised slab on which lies a wrapped corpse. A large flat stone covers the entrance to the tomb.
Suddenly the corpse on the slab begins to move. It opens the winding sheet in which it is covered and reveals a body with its limbs wrapped in bandages. The face is covered with cloth.
The corpse sits up.

EXT. LAZARUS’S GARDEN – NIGHT.
A light is approaching, weaving among the olive trees, slowly coming towards us. As it approaches we see that it comes from a lantern carried by somebody, but we cannot see whom.

There is a rock cliff at the end of the garden. A faint light shines from a cave-tomb, the entrance exposed by the displaced cover-stone.

INT. A SEALED ROCK TOMB – NIGHT.
The corpse gets up from the slab and stumbles to the stone at the entrance to the cave. It fumbles against it in a feeble effort to push the stone away.

CORPSE
Help! Is there anybody there? Let me out! I’m still alive! Judas! Save me! Judas!

EXT. LAZARUS’ GARDEN – NIGHT.
Outside the tomb at the end of the garden, the person who has been carrying the lantern places it on the ground and we enter the tomb through the gap left by the stone into the lit interior.

INT. THE SEALED ROCK TOMB – NIGHT.
The bandaged corpse lies on the floor of the tomb, desperately pawing the stone cover.

CORPSE
Judas!  Can you hear me?  Don’t leave me here!  Judas!

INT. LAZARUS’S TOMB. – NIGHT.
JUDAS opens his eyes suddenly with a cry, sweating, and sits up with a start, awake from the nightmare. He is lying on a slab in a rock tomb very similar to the one in his dream.
A flickering oil lamp illuminates the cave.
At the end of the slab near his feet is a pile of papyrus parchments, a writing reed and an ink block.
A woman, MARTHA, is standing in the entrance to the cave. She is troubled and excited, her eyes shining.

MARTHA
Judas! They’re back!

JUDAS
(confused)
What? Who?

MARTHA
Peter and the others! They stopped here on their way to Jerusalem this afternoon. They say the same thing that Mary did. That the Master rose from the dead! They were so unafraid! So eager to be spreading the news in the city.

JUDAS
Peter? He was here?

MARTHA
They say the Master suddenly appeared to them while they were fishing in Galilee. He had the wounds in his hands…

JUDAS
(excited)
The Master? They spoke to him? What did he tell them? What did he say?

MARTHA
We didn’t believe Mary when she said she’d seen him. We thought she’d gone mad. How can he be alive? It’s not possible. We watched him die!

JUDAS
Is the Master with them? Is he back in Jerusalem?

MARTHA
He said he’d join them later. That he was going away for a while. They must continue to baptize and win new converts until he is with us again. They saw the wounds in his hands! How can it be? How could he possibly be alive?

JUDAS
Did you tell Peter that I was here?

MARTHA
Do you think that everyone is a traitor like you? No. You’re safe. My dirty little secret! Like everyone they think you’re dead. That you hanged yourself in remorse for what you did. Would to God that you had!  I’m sorry.. Forgiveness isn’t easy.

JUDAS
Is there anything to forgive? You heard what they said! They’ve seen him! The Master is alive!

MARTHA
No thanks to you! So there… I’ve told you. I thought you should know. It changes nothing between us. I will bring you food and keep you hidden here until you decide to leave, but don’t expect me to speak to you or treat you like a friend. Because.. it shames me to say it.. you are an enemy.. and for what you did.. impossible to love!
She turns to leave.

JUDAS
No! Martha! Wait. Don’t go.

MARTHA turns back and looks at him.

JUDAS (CONT’D)
I want to talk to him. To Peter. I want to see him. To speak to him.

MARTHA
Are you mad? I told you, they think you’re dead. Leave it that way. Slink off and never come back. You could never join the brothers again. You’re finished! You’re… evil!

JUDAS
Please Martha! I beg you! I must speak to Peter! There’s something I must tell him. Ask him to come and see you, and then tell him where I am. I need a few private words with him. Just to clear something up. After I’ve spoken to him I’ll leave – I promise! I’ll go away and you’ll never see me again! I swear! Please Martha. Please call Peter for me?

MARTHA
You’ll really go after you’ve seen him? Oh God, to be free of you! Very well. I’ll send a servant up to Jerusalem tomorrow and invite Peter here for the evening.

JUDAS
Tell him it’s urgent. And make sure that he comes alone. None of the brothers must know of his visit.

MARTHA
All right. And you’ll leave as soon as you’ve talked to him?

JUDAS
I promise. I won’t burden you any longer.

MARTHA
Oh, how clean I’ll feel when you’re gone!

She notices the parchment leaves on the slab.

MARTHA (CONT’D)
(curious)
That parchment and ink you asked for.. What have you been writing?

JUDAS
Nothing. Just something to keep my mind occupied. Psalms and pieces of the Torah I memorized in my youth.

MARTHA
May I look?

MARTHA reaches out for the papers but JUDAS snatches them away and clutches them to his breast.

JUDAS
It’s nothing! You wouldn’t be interested. My handwriting is terrible and my spelling is worse! Sometimes I’ve mixed up the lines so it’s difficult to understand. You can’t read it. It’s personal.

MARTHA
(coldly)
Just as you wish. I won’t insist if you consider it unsuitable for my eyes. So. Peter will be told.

MARTHA squeezes out of the tomb backwards, her eyes on JUDAS.

JUDAS watches her go then stretches up his arms ecstatically.

JUDAS’ VOICE
He did it! He showed himself to them! And they believe! They believe he has risen! The mission has begun again!

JUDAS lies back on the slab, grinning to himself.

JUDAS’ VOICE (CONT’D)
Peter leads them. He preaches the resurrection. And yet he knows the truth! What faith! What loyalty! To preach a lie for the Master’s sake! And yet he doesn’t know all – why I did what I did. He must be puzzled.  That’s why I must see him. Let the others believe me the traitor, that’s my lot, and I must be remembered that way throughout history – but let me just share the secret with Peter, let me confess all to him and die uncursed by at least one good man. He wouldn’t reveal it to anyone else, I am sure of that! Yes, Peter must know. My story is all written down here for him to read. And after he has read it we will destroy it, so no one else but he and I will know the truth.

JUDAS shuffles the pages, sorting them out, searching for information.

JUDAS’ VOICE (CONT’D)
If Martha had read this! Her hatred would melt like snow in the desert! She would love me again! But she must never know. Only Peter. Only Peter. Where to start? My childhood is of no interest to him. The death of my parents. My adoption by my uncle in Bethany. My friendship with Lazarus, Martha and Mary, perhaps. My burning resentment towards the Roman occupation. But this. This is important. The day I learned of John the Baptist. Perhaps it all began that day.

EXT. A STREET IN BETHANY – DAY.
From above, we are watching a gang of little boys playing “Romans and Zealots” in the dusty sun-soaked street, fighting with wooden sticks and palm-leaf shields. Villagers ignore them as they go about their business; women pass by carrying pitchers of water on their heads from the well, an old man drives a donkey laden with cut rushes.
The boys stop fighting and surround one who is raised on the shoulders of the others.

BOYS
(shouting, chanting)
Judas! Judas! Judas!

JUDAS and LAZARUS are watching the scene from the flat roof of LAZARUS’ house. Lazarus claps Judas on the shoulder and they smile at each other.

LAZARUS
Zealots versus Romans! That takes me back! Nothing changes much, does it? Remember how you wouldn’t play unless you got to be Judas the Galilean!

JUDAS
It was a matter of principle. Judas the Galilean was my grandfather’s hero. They named me after him.

BOY
(rallying his men)
Our only duty is to God! We are free! Only through discontent, only through action can the Messiah, the promised liberator, be found!

The boys cheer and begin fighting with renewed vigour, but gradually several of them are overpowered and taken prisoner.

LAZARUS
But it always ends the same. The Romans win the battle and Judas and his men get the cross. You can’t change history.

The conquering boys line their victims up against the wall and pretend to crucify their outstretched hands. The boys wail and twist and ‘die’. They hang there.

The tramp of marching feet is heard. A troop of Roman soldiers is passing through the village on their way to Jerusalem. The boys stop their game and stare. A mother comes out from her house doorway and drags a small child from their path. A man turns his head and spits on the ground.

Some of the Roman soldiers begin to whistle and make comments as they pass the house looking up to the roof. The handsome CAPTAIN blows a kiss. Lazarus turns and sees that his sister MARY is leaning on the parapet smiling down at the passing troop, her hair uncovered.

LAZARUS
(angry)
Mary! Have you no shame? Don’t show yourself to them! Come here!

Mary pouts and comes to him reluctantly.

LAZARUS (CONT’D)
Cover your hair, for God’s sake! You’re shameless! That captain who waved at you – have you seen him before?

MARY
He was at the well one morning when I went for water. He wanted a drink and I gave him one.

LAZARUS
Have nothing to do with them. I’ve warned you before. They are our enemies, not our friends.

MARY
You sell oil to them.

LAZARUS
That’s different. It’s business. Besides he’s a heathen man and you’re an unmarried Jewish girl. Try to behave like one!

Mary tosses her hair defiantly and leaves them, passing MARTHA who has appeared on the rooftop with a tray bearing a flagon of wine and cups.

LAZARUS
(filling cups for himself and Judas)
Can’t you do something with her, Martha? She doesn’t listen to me.

MARTHA
Have a little patience. She’s still young, and she’s only just realized how attractive she is to men. She’ll soon learn how to behave.

LAZARUS
Sit with us for a while. Surely you two lovebirds have things to discuss, with your wedding day fast approaching?

MARTHA
I’m busy with supper. Besides, we have more than enough time to talk about such things. It’s nearly a year away!

LAZARUS
It’ll be here before you know it! Ah, I’m so pleased with the match! My best friend and my sister! Childhood sweethearts united in married bliss!

MARTHA
Oh come now! You could never call us sweethearts!

JACOB, one of Lazarus’s workers appears on the roof and approaches the group.

LAZARUS
Hallo, Jacob! What brings you up here? No trouble with the oil press I hope?

JACOB
No, sir. I wanted to ask a favour of you, sir. Isaac and me were wondering if we might take the day off tomorrow to go to Bethabara and have a look at this man everybody’s talking about – that John the Baptist.

LAZARUS
The Baptist, eh? You’ve heard about this fellow, haven’t you Judas? What do you think?

JUDAS
I must admit I’m curious. The wildest stories are going around. Some people say he’s Elijah come again to deliver the people and announce the Day of Vengeance!

JACOB
There’s some as think he might be the Messiah!

LAZARUS
All right Jacob. I’m sure we can get along without you and Isaac for a day. But I shall expect a full report when you get back; so be sure you keep your eyes and ears open.

JUDAS
I’ve a mind to come along with you, Jacob. After all, it isn’t every day you get the chance to have a look at a potential Messiah in the flesh!

EXT. THE ROAD TO BETHABARA – DAY.
JUDAS, JACOB and his friend are walking along the road on their pilgrimage to see JOHN THE BAPTIST.

JUDAS’ VOICE
My words were flippant and my interest seemed superficial, but my manner was a cover for a fierce idealism that I had inherited from my grandfather. I was not content to grudgingly accept the occupation of our country like Lazarus and my other friends and family. Everywhere I could see the poverty and subjection of my people while the conquerors lived off the fat of the land and my heart burned with an impotent rage. There had to be something we could do to gain our freedom. A focus was needed – a catalyst – a charismatic leader – and I wondered if John might be the one. I listened eagerly on the way to folk we met returning from seeing the Baptist.

There follows a series of talking heads – ordinary people giving their opinion of John the Baptist.

FARMER
It was about time the prophets came out from hiding! He doesn’t beat about the bush, this John! You should hear the things he says about Herod!

WIFE
He baptized us. He said our sins have been washed away! I feel reborn and can’t wait for the coming kingdom he talks about!

MAN
He preaches against property. Everything is to be shared. There’ll be no more poverty!

GIRL
He’s angry and fierce, but I liked him.

BOY
He’s an inspiration!

MAN
He’s a lunatic! Possessed by a demon!

THIRD
What good are words and water?  It’s action we need!

FOURTH
He’s signing his own death warrant with the things he’s preaching. It won’t be long before the authorities step in and put a stop to him.

EXT. BETHABARA – THE JORDAN RIVER BANK – DAY.

JUDAS’ VOICE
When we got to the River Jordan it was like a circus.

The riverside is covered with chattering crowds of people, rich society folk conspicuous among the poor. Sellers of sweets and souvenirs hawk their wares. A queue of people is lined up waiting to be baptized.
We see JOHN THE BAPTIST waist deep in the river ducking a peasant woman. She emerges from the water and wades to the shore, her arms raised singing ecstatically.

BAPTIST
(calling out)
Repent and be baptized. Prepare yourself for the kingdom with your sins washed from your souls!

A group of Pharisees have gathered in a group on the bank.

BAPTIST
(pointing at them)
Pharisee vipers! Do you come to mock? The axe has been laid to the root of the tree. All trees that do not yield good fruit will be hewn down and cast into the fire! And your fruit is rotten!

PHARISEE
What right have you to speak to us in such a manner? Who do you think you are? Do you believe that you are the Messiah?

BAPTIST
(after a pause)
No. I am not the Messiah.

PHARISEE
Elijah, then! Is that who you claim to be?

BAPTIST
No, I am not Elijah.

PHARISEE
But you do claim to be a prophet, do you not?

BAPTIST
No. I don’t make that claim either.

PHARISEE
Then how would you describe yourself? Who are you? Tell us simply, for we are to deliver a report on you, and we’d like it in your own words.

BAPTIST
(bellowing)
I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness “Make straight the way of the Lord” as prophesied by Isiah!

PHARISEE
So, if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor even a prophet what gives you the authority to baptize and claim to forgive people’s sins?

BAPTIST
I baptize with water. But one is coming whose very sandals I am not worthy to untie. And that man will baptize not with water, but with fire!

A sudden wind whips up out of nowhere, swirling dust in the air and causing people to cover their noses and mouths for protection, hugging their flying garments.

PHARISEE
(calling out)
We have heard enough! And you shall be hearing more from us, I can promise you that!

The party of Pharisees departs.

The sky has grown suddenly yellow with cloud, as though a dust storm is on its way.

A half-naked man of striking appearance wades out into the water to John, who grasps his elbows and stares fixedly into his eyes. Their lips are moving but we cannot hear their words. The crowd, irritated at first by the scorching wind, begins to notice the intensity of the moment between the two men and turn their attention towards them.
Suddenly the Baptist raises his hands to the man’s shoulders and pushes him under the water, holding him down as though drowning him. At the same instant the wind drops and the sky clears. The threatened storm has passed.
As the man emerges from the water gasping for breath a bird breaks into song in a tree on the other side of the river.
There is a smattering of applause from the crowd as the man staggers out of the water.
As the man passes Judas their eyes meet and Judas is stricken.

JUDAS’ VOICE
It was as though he had pierced my soul and laid bare my most secret thoughts. I was stunned. I would never be the same again.

Judas, recovering from the trance-like state the man’s glance has left him in, looks round and realizes that he has lost him. He follows frantically through the crowd asking people if they saw which way the man went. They shrug or point, but always in contrary directions, so Judas is left bewildered, standing alone in the middle of the crowd.

EXT. THE COURTYARD OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.
JUDAS’ VOICE
In my absence a crisis had occurred in Lazarus’s household.

Mary is standing at the entranceway to the house, her hair uncovered. Outside the squadron of Roman soldiers is marching past. The captain has stopped at the door and is drinking wine from the flagon Mary has brought him. They smile and flirt with each other with their eyes.
Lazarus, coming from the garden has observed the scene and watches unnoticed. The captain kisses Mary’s hands in thanks for the wine and she laughingly withdraws them. The captain salutes and joins his men, while Mary watches and waves from the doorway.
Lazarus, irate, approaches and drags Mary into the house.
LAZARUS
(slapping her)
What have I told you about consorting with them! Standing there like a common strumpet! You bring shame upon our house!

MARY
(flaring)
Oh, enough! Enough! Why was I born a woman? We are treated no better than slaves! It’s not fair I tell you! I can’t stand it any more! I won’t!

LAZARUS
(slapping her again)
How dare you answer me back! What devil has got inside you? If I catch you talking again to that Roman I’ll.. I’ll kill you!

MARY
(suddenly coldly calm)
You won’t catch me again.

She turns and stalks away down the corridor. Lazarus watches her go.

EXT. THE STREET OUTSIDE LAZARUS’ HOUSE – NIGHT.
The midnight street is deserted. Mary emerges from the house doorway with a small bundle of possessions. She takes a few steps outside, hesitates for a second and looks back, then removes the scarf from her hair, throws it to the ground and walks determinedly away.

INT. THE LIVING ROOM OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.
Martha sits weeping, clutching Mary’s discarded headscarf. Lazarus paces the floor, furious. Their old father, SIMON, rocks backwards and forwards, hugging himself in grief.

MARTHA
What will she do? Where can she have gone?

LAZARUS
Need you ask? She’s gone after that troop of Roman dogs! Joined the pack of traitorous bitches that straggle after them! Don’t worry, she’ll be well looked after her! She’ll get more looking after than she knows what to do with!

SIMON
Thank God her mother is not alive to witness this day of shame! A curse on her! She is not one of us! Do you hear? She is not of this family! Never mention her name to me again!

MARTHA
What have we done to deserve this? Could any greater calamity befall us?

EXT. THE STREET OUTSIDE LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.
JUDAS’ VOICE
It seemed it could, for only a few weeks later symptoms of leprosy were detected in their father, Simon, and he was sent away to end his days in a leper colony, leaving Lazarus to take over the management of the olive-press.
Simon, mounted on a donkey bids farewell to Lazarus and a weeping Martha before being led away by a servant. Neighbours wave a sad goodbye.

EXT. THE JORDAN RIVER BANK – DAY.
JUDAS’ VOICE
And at the same time on the banks of the Jordan, John found the Pharisees true to their word.
A troop of palace guards pushes through the crowd at the riverside. Two of them wade out into the water and seize John the Baptist roughly by his arms.

GUARD
(calling from the bank)
John the Baptist! I am placing you under arrest on the charge of treason!

ONLOOKER
Treason? What did he do to deserve that?

GUARD
He spoke against Herod’s marriage and called his wife a whore! Bring him!

The guards drag John from the water and march him away, leaving the crowd on the banks in a state of confusion and panic.

EXT. THE ROOF OF JUDAS’ HOUSE – DAY.
JUDAS’ VOICE
As for me, impotent hatred of the Roman occupation continued to dominate my thoughts, and at the same time the memory of the man I had seen John baptize at Bethabara haunted me. I couldn’t understand why he had made such an impression on me. I became angry with myself and tried to force him from my mind.

Judas is lying on a couch on his roof daydreaming. He stands up and paces about. Suddenly he strides downstairs to the vineyard at the back of the house. Servants are trampling grapes for wine in a huge vat. They greet their master cheerfully and laugh as he washes off his feet and joins them with the trampling. But their laughter fades away and they become silent and uncomfortable as Judas treads furiously with a grim pre-occupied face.

EXT. THE COURTYARD OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – NIGHT.
JUDAS’ VOICE
Then one evening as I was sitting to supper with my aunt and cousins..

The family sit eating cross-legged around bread, wine and bowls of food laid out on a low table. Lazarus enters.

AUNT
Lazarus! Have you eaten? Sit down and join us.

LAZARUS
No, thanks. I’ve come to borrow your nephew. Judas, come!

AUNT
Surely it can wait? Let him finish his supper first.

LAZARUS
No, it can’t wait! Come Judas; forget your stomach for a few minutes!

JUDAS
(rising)
What is it?

LAZARUS
(taking his arm)
No questions! Just come with me, and you’ll see!

Lazarus almost drags Judas out of the courtyard. The aunt shakes her head and shrugs before returning to serving food to her family.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – NIGHT.
Lazarus and Judas emerge onto the roof from the stairwell. In front of them reclining on cushions with their backs towards them are a group of twelve men. Martha is silently moving among them filling their cups with wine. All are listening to the man in the middle who is speaking quietly. Suddenly we see a girl lying on the floor in front of him, leaning on her elbow and gazing rapturously up at him. It is Mary.
Judas turns to Lazarus in questioning amazement. Lazarus laughs and gestures to Martha who comes to join them, beaming.
JUDAS
She’s back?

LAZARUS
With her ‘Saviour’! He brought her. He and his men.

MARTHA
She’s changed. She’s like a child. It’s incredible! After all she’s been through..

JUDAS’ VOICE
Martha related what had happened to Mary.
After her Roman captain had finished with her she had fallen into the hands of a rich Jewish pimp and become one of his high-class prostitutes. Given her own house in the village of Magdala she had built up a regular clientele among the elite, but she was despised by the villagers, particularly the Pharisees, and one day their anger had grown to a head.

INT. MARY’S BEDROOM IN MAGDALA – DAY.
Mary is making love to a customer in her bedroom. Suddenly there is the angry noise of shouting in her house; the bedroom door bursts open and a group of Pharisees barge in. They grab hold of Mary and pull her from the bed. Her customer cowers in fear but the Pharisees are not interested in him. It is Mary they have come for. They allow her time to throw on a robe then drag her out of the house by her hair. She fights and scratches to no avail.

EXT. A STREET OF MAGDALA – DAY.
The men parade Mary through the streets. Women and children stand and jeer on doorsteps.

EXT. THE VILLAGE SQUARE OF MAGDALA – DAY.
They come to a square where a group of men are sitting in the shade of a wall. The Pharisees dump Mary in front of them. She keeps her head down, her hair covering her face.

PHARISEE
(shouting)
This woman is an adulteress, a prostitute caught in the very act of fornication! Is it not right that she should be stoned to death in accordance with the laws of Moses?

The Pharisees wait for a reply but there is silence. Mary shudders and sobs with indignation and fear. The silence continues. She looks through the curtain of her hair and sees a man’s finger writing something in the dust. Eventually the silence is broken:
VOICE
He that is without sin among you – let him cast the first stone at her.

There is a murmur among the men and they look at each other expectantly, but gradually they drop their eyes and one by one they shuffle away, some uttering angry oaths and shaking their fists at the man.
Eventually they are all gone and Mary looks up. We do not see the man’s face.

VOICE
Is there anyone here who condemns you?

MARY
(quietly)
No.

VOICE
Then I do not condemn you either. Go, and sin no more.

The man and his companions rise and walk slowly away down one of the alleys that lead from the square.
Mary is suddenly on her feet and running after them. She throws herself at her saviour’s feet.

MARY
You saved my life! I’ll be good from now on! I promise! But take me away from here, Master, please! Take me home! I want to go home!

The man reaches down and raises Mary to her feet. We see Mary’s face register wonder and adoration as she looks into the man’s eyes.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – NIGHT.
LAZARUS
And they brought her all the way back to us, two days walk!  I’ve forgiven Mary. It would be impossible not to after listening to the message of the Master, as they call him! Martha and I have both become disciples. You have to meet him! I’ve already told him about you.

Lazarus takes Judas’ hand and leads him forward to the group. The man stops speaking and all heads turn in Judas’ direction. Judas’ eyes and the man’s meet. It is the same man he saw John baptize in the River Jordan!
JESUS rises and kisses Judas in greeting, then holds him at arm length and looks at him, smiling.

JESUS
So this is Judas! Lazarus speaks highly of you.

JUDAS
(in wonder)
Master..

JUDAS’ VOICE
He sat me at his left and I listened to his message. He spoke of revolt, but his weapon was love. Evil must be conquered by good. He spoke of the Kingdom of God established on earth. No more poverty. No more wars. No more strife. It was a revelation.

We see Jesus from different angles as he speaks. No sound.

JUDAS’ VOICE (CONT’D)
I learned the names of his followers.

We see each disciple as he is named. They listen to Jesus while they recline, eating and drinking.

JUDAS’ VOICE (CONT’D)
There was you Peter – he gave you that name. The brothers James and John. John seemed to be his favourite.

We notice Jesus stroking John’s hair as he speaks.

JUDAS’ VOICE (CONT’D)
Andrew. Philip. Bartholomew. Matthew.Thomas. Another James. And Simon – a Canaanite. Eleven disciples altogether. And I had to be the twelfth.  I had to be.

The number has diminished as the disciples have left the group to find places on the roof to lie down and sleep. Eventually the only ones left are Jesus, Judas and Mary.

JUDAS
Let me come with you on your mission. I believe in you.

JESUS
There is a place left for one more man. But ours is a tough life. We’re not welcomed everywhere we go and we can’t always rely on our daily bread.

JUDAS
That doesn’t matter. I’m prepared to endure anything for your sake.

Jesus looks at Judas searchingly.

JESUS
All right. I chose all the others but you have chosen me, and I believe that you will be very useful to me in the future. I accept your offer. Now, get some rest. We leave early in the morning.

Mary grasps Jesus’ hand pleadingly as he rises. He gently extricates it and goes over to share the cover of a cloak with John, who is lying nearby.
Judas, smiling triumphantly, rises and goes downstairs, leaving Mary alone, her head lowered, beside the dying lamp.

EXT. THE GATE OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.
Jesus and the disciples are ready for departure. Judas is saying farewell to his relatives and friends.

LAZARUS
(laughing)
Take our blessings, Judas! Wish I were going with you! Conquer the country quickly! We’re counting on you!

MARTHA
(kissing him on the cheek)
You’ve made the right decision. The Master’s mission should come before our marriage. We can wait to become man and wife when the Kingdom is established!

JUDAS’ VOICE
And we really believed that it would be, and soon. If we had all fallen so quickly under the Master’s spell, how many others would not do likewise? And it was with a heart filled with hope and pride that I set off that day to take my part in the great challenge of awakening the people to the prospect of the Kingdom..

Judas turns on the crest of a hill and looks back at the tiny figures watching and waving outside Lazarus’ house in the village of Bethany.
He raises his hand in farewell, then hurries to catch up with the group of ambling men, his new brothers.

EXT. A GATHERING OF LISTENERS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE. – DAY.
JUDAS’ VOICE
I was the last disciple to join the Master and I found that his name had already spread about the country. People were curious to see if he was a worthy substitute for the Baptist, or even the possible Messiah that everyone was waiting for.

A large crowd is listening to Jesus. Some of the disciples are baptizing converts in a nearby stream, others stand guard.

JESUS
(addressing the crowd)
Nobody tears a piece from a new cloak to make an old one; otherwise, not only will he make a hole in the new one, but the piece that came from it will fail to match the old. And no one puts new wine into old skins; or the new wine will burst the skins and run out, and the skins will be lost. No; we must pour new wine into fresh skins.

HECKLER
The old wine suits me!

JESUS
And it looks like you’ve drained a skinful!

The crowd laughs. A group of Pharisees step forward.

PHARISEE
If you are a true prophet, as they claim, show us a sign from Heaven.

JESUS
You hypocrites! You can tell the weather by looking at the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times! It’s a Godless generation that asks for miracles, like children at a circus!

Jesus steps down, and his disciples gather round to protect him.

Jesus and his men sit down to eat, John beside Jesus. He dips a piece of bread in sauce and puts it into John’s open mouth. The Pharisees, who are watching, take exception to this.

PHARISEE
Why do you transgress the tradition of the elders? Don’t you wash your hands before you eat bread?

JESUS
Alas for you Pharisees, hypocrites that clean the outside of the bowl, while the inside is full of lust and greed! Blind Pharisee, clean first the inside of the cup and bowl, in order that the outside may be clean as well!

PHARISEE
You will live to regret this insolence!

The Pharisees leave.
An entourage of servants approaches accompanying a richly dressed young man. A parasol held by a slave shades him.

SERVANT
My master would like to make a contribution to the cause.

JESUS
All donations are gratefully accepted. Judas! That’s your job. Put weight in the purse!

Judas takes money from the servant and puts it in the communal purse.

SERVANT
And my master would have a word with you.

JESUS
Let him speak.

RICH MAN
Good Master…

JESUS
Why do you call me good? No one is good but God.

RICH MAN
I wished to ask you.. What must I do to be sure of a place in Heaven?

JESUS
Follow the Commandments.

RICH MAN
Is it really as simple as that? I do keep the Commandments. I always have.

JESUS
Congratulations! You are one of the few.
(pause)
If you really want to be perfect – renounce your wealth. Sell all you have and give the money to the poor. Then come and follow me.

The rich young man lowers his eyes sadly and walks away, followed by his entourage.

JESUS
You see how difficult it is for a rich man to enter Heaven? In fact it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the wealthy to enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

The men laugh and resume their lunch. Judas gazes after the rich young man for a second, then looks at Jesus. He counts the money that has been collected.

EXT. A VILLAGE SQUARE – DAY.
JUDAS’ VOICE
The master had scoffed at the Pharisees for asking him to perform a miracle and he was right. The true miracle was a changed heart and an acceptance of the coming Kingdom. But nevertheless, there were tales abroad of other preachers who cast out demons and performed wonders which were very popular with the common people. So when the Master sent us out on our own individual preaching tours later, I didn’t disabuse those who had heard fantastic stories about him.

A line of people is queuing at an animal-watering trough. Judas is baptizing them.

MAN
Is it really true that your Master can make the blind see and the deaf hear?

JUDAS
That’s right.

He pours water over the man’s head.

JUDAS
Your sins are forgiven. Next!

The man goes away talking excitedly to others who come to listen. They run and tell others. Judas watches and smiles to himself.
JUDAS’ VOICE
As long as his name was on as many lips as possible, and the idea of the great coming Kingdom was being spread, I was content.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE GATES OF JERICHO – DAY.
JUDAS’ VOICE
Jericho was the last stop on my itinerary, and it being a bustling market town I found it hard to attract attention in the square. So instead I preached to the beggars at the city gate.
Judas squats before a group of beggars, most of them disabled in some way – blind, crippled and deformed.
Traders and townspeople come and go through the gateway with their merchandise and animals.

JUDAS
… And that is how it will be! A life without hunger or poverty, where no man will be homeless or friendless, a world without kings, tyrants or taxes, the wealth shared equally by the people, and where the only law is love!

The beggars applaud and voice their approval.

BEGGAR
It sounds like a dream!

JUDAS
Perhaps it does, but it can all be possible if you will only banish sin from your hearts, love your fellow man and accept the master as your leader.

BARTIMAEUS
I’d like to see this Master of yours.

The man who speaks, BARTIMAEUS, is an old blind beggar, his eyeballs completely opaque.

JUDAS
In fact I am returning to my Master now, and he will be visiting your city within a very short time. I hope that you bear all that I have told you in mind and give him a warm welcome when he arrives. And so farewell! Thank you for listening!

Judas gets up and leaves the beggars. One or two of them smile and shrug and then resume their calling for alms.

EXT. THE ROAD TO CAPERNAUM – DAY.
Judas is walking along the road from Jericho to Capernaum on his way back to join Jesus and the brothers. He is passing an orchard of fig trees and sees a pool of water in the middle of it. He enters the orchard to slake his thirst.

EXT. IN THE ORCHARD OF FIG TREES. – DAY.
Judas fills his canteen from the pool and drinks. He is tired and decides to lie down for a while and rest in the shade of a tree. He closes his eyes.

THE SOUND OF RUSTLING LEAVES AND SNAPPING TWIGS rouses Judas and he looks to see where the sound is coming from.

He sees BARTIMAEUS, the blind beggar he spoke to at the gate of Jericho, walking towards the pool, trailing his stick in the dried leaves. The eyes that seemed blind before are now clear and his sight is good, but he cannot see Judas, hidden as he is by the trunk of a tree.

Bartimaeus sits down by the pool and opens a dirty cloth. He counts the money in it then takes off his robe and wades out into the pond to wash.

Judas creeps out while his back is turned, takes his robe and money and returns to his hiding place.
Bartimaeus finishes his wash and returns to the bank. Seeing his clothes and money gone, he looks around in terror.

BARTIMAEUS
Is there anyone there?

Judas is silent. Bartimaeus calls more loudly.

BARTIMAEUS
Please! Whoever you are! Give me back my clothes!

Judas emerges from hiding with the robe and money.

JUDAS
Are you in some kind of trouble?

Bartimaeus quickly assumes his sightless stare.

BARTIMAEUS
Ah, kind sir! Would you please help an old blind man? Someone has stolen my clothes; miserable rags though they be!

JUDAS
You can stop the pretence. You’re as blind as I am! How dare you take advantage of people’s sympathy! You’re nothing but a worthless cheat! I’ve a good mind to expose you to the authorities!

BARTIMAEUS
Don’t do that, please sir! I can explain.
Won’t you give me back my clothes?

Judas hands Bartimaeus his clothes and tells Judas his story while he is dressing.

BARTIMAEUS
It’s not my fault I am the way I am. My parents were both beggars, and my mother did some whoring on the side. She drank herself to death, she did. My dad showed me how to be blind when I was a baby. I’ve always done it. It’s my living. I don’t know nothing else. You won’t tell anyone, will you sir? You’re a good man. You understand.

JUDAS
What’s your name?

BARTIMAEUS
Bartimaeus, sir. ‘Blind Bartimaeus’, they call me.

JUDAS
All right, Bartimaeus. I’ll keep your secret. You can go on with your dishonesty. But there’s something I want you to do for me in exchange.

BARTIMAEUS
Anything, sir. What is it?

JUDAS
You heard what I was telling you all about my Master?

BARTIMAEUS
Oh yes, sir. Very impressive sir!

JUDAS
From now on you will spread the news about my Master from your place at the gate. Tell of all the marvelous things he has done and will do if people will only accept him and welcome the Kingdom of God. Preach the message tirelessly. You can exaggerate.
I will be back in Jericho when you least expect it. And if I find that you have not been fulfilling my order I will denounce you straight away and you will probably be stoned to death! Do you understand?

BARTIMAEUS
Oh yes sir! “Prepare the way of the Lord!” “Repent for the Kingdom is at hand!”

JUDAS
Very good. Now come back into the water with me, and this time we shall wash your sins away.

Judas takes his arm and they wade out into the pond.
Judas baptizes Bartimaeus.

EXT. THE COURTYARD OF A HOUSE IN CAPERNAUM – DAY.
JUDAS’ VOICE
A few days later we had all assembled together again in Capernaum..

The brothers are gathered around Jesus, laughing and talking.
Thaddaeus and Simon the Canaanite enter and are greeted with hugs and applause.

JESUS
Welcome Thaddaeus and Simon! Now we are complete! The flock is safely gathered!

PETER
How did it go brothers? Did you win many new converts?

SIMON
The poor were all ears, and I baptized many. But the rich didn’t want to know. And as for Pharisees! They made me feel like dirt!

There are murmurs of agreement and recognition from the men.

JESUS
It was to be expected. The Pharisees are jealous and suspicious of my teaching, and the rich consider me a threat. But the poor outnumber them both!  You have all done well, my brothers! Drink and rest tonight, for tomorrow we will set out to retrace your steps and reap the harvest you’ve sown!

EXT. A HILLSIDE OUTSIDE A VILLAGE. – DAY.
Jesus is preaching to a crowd of curious onlookers.

JUDAS’ VOICE
And when we retraced the steps of our individual preaching journeys we did indeed find that the Master’s fame had grown and many more came to hear him speak.

JESUS
And anyone who listens to these sayings of mine and does not act accordingly will be like the foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew. They stormed against the house; it fell; and what a fall it had!

The audience applauds at the end of his speech.
Several people have brought disabled members of their family along with them and they bring them forward to Jesus. He places his hand on their heads in benediction, but the miraculous results that they are expecting do not manifest themselves. One couple Supporting their spastic son let go of him after Jesus has touched him, but he falls and they have to lift him and help him away.

Another man who has brought his blind brother forward passes his hand back and forwards before his eyes after Jesus has touched him but he is still blind. The man is disappointed and he looks at Judas.

JUDAS’ VOICE
The Master’s message was popular and his fame was spreading slowly, but I couldn’t help feeling that, although he rejected sensationalism, just one little miracle wouldn’t go amiss.

EXT. ON THE ROAD TO JERICHO. – DAY.
Jesus and the disciples are marching along the road on the way to Jericho.

JUDAS’ VOICE
And so it was, as we were nearing Jericho, an idea came to me suddenly. If a miracle was needed, then I could provide it!

Judas pushes his way to the front.

JUDAS
Let me hurry on ahead and see about lodgings for the night. There’s a very reasonable inn I know.

He hurries on ahead of the group, almost at a run, towards the gates of Jericho.

EXT. THE GATES OF JERICHO. – DAY.
The beggars are at their positions at the gate calling out for alms from the passers-by. One or two recognize Judas and call greeting to him but he ignores them and heads straight for Bartimaeus. He crouches beside him and grasps his arm.

JUDAS
It’s me, Bartimaeus. I told you I would be back.

BARTIMAEUS
I’ve done as you ordered. Every day I talk of your Master and his blessed Kingdom. Ask the others if you don’t believe me. They call me ‘Blind Bartimaeus the Prophet’ nowadays!

JUDAS
Be quiet and listen!

He whispers into Bartimaeus’ ear. The old man is shocked and stammers out a protest but Judas silences him.

JUDAS
You have no choice in the matter. If you refuse, I will expose you here and now. Do you understand?

BARTIMAEUS
(dully)
Yes sir.

JUDAS
Then do as I say. And make sure you get it right. Listen again.

Again Judas whispers instructions to Bartimaeus and he nods his head.
Judas takes money form the purse and thrusts it into Bartimaeus’ hand, claps him on the shoulder, then gets up and hurries back to join Jesus and the approaching disciples.

EXT. ON THE ROAD TO JERICHO. LATER. – DAY.
Judas joins the disciples and falls into step. Gradually he manages to position himself next to Jesus, and walks along side him.

JUDAS
Master, at the gate of Jericho there is a crowd of crippled beggars. One of them, an old blind man, is going to call out to you and ask to be cured. You need only touch his eyes. That will be enough. Please do it.

Without breaking his stride, Jesus turns and looks searchingly at Judas.

JUDAS
Just his eyes. All you need do is touch them. That’s all. You will do it?

Jesus turns away without comment and they continue walking.
The city gates come into sight and some of the people coming and going within them stop to stare at the approaching men.

EXT. AT THE GATES OF JERICHO – LATER. – DAY.
Jesus and the disciples are approaching the entrance. People step aside to let them pass, some curious.

BARTIMAEUS
Son of David!  Have mercy on me!

Jesus stops and the men stop with him. Bartimaeus stretches out his arms imploringly.

BARTIMAEUS
Have mercy on me – Son of David!

Jesus looks around.

JESUS
Who is it that calls? Bring him forward!

Judas hurries over and leads Bartimaeus to Jesus.

JESUS
What is it you want with me old man?

BARTIMAEUS
I want you to make me see.

Jesus kneels down and spits in the dust of the road. He mixes the mud into a paste with his fingers, then stands up and smears it on Bartimaeus’ eyelids.

JESUS
Go and wash your eyes with water.

Judas leads Bartimaeus to a watering trough nearby. He dips his hands in the water and puts them to his eyes. Almost immediately his eyes become normal and he begins to walk about touching people and things and staring into faces with wonder.

BARTIMAEUS
I can see! I can see!

The onlookers are amazed. Stunned into silence at first, they soon find their tongues and an excited babble arises.
Other beggars, blind or crippled, shuffle forward pleading to be cured too. They in turn are pushed aside by healthier specimens, eager for miracles for themselves.

GIRL
Make me beautiful!

MAN
Make me rich!

THIRD
Give me back my hair!

FOURTH
Make me young again!

Some grasp at Jesus’ clothing, fighting off those behind them. The situation seems to be on the point of getting out of hand.
Jesus throws an exasperated glance at Judas and manages to break free. He retreats in haste from the unentered city, the disciples warding off with blows those who try to follow. Judas smiles triumphantly.

JUDAS’ VOICE
My miracle had succeeded. Thanks to me the Master would become far more famous than he had ever been before!

EXT. THE TERRACE OF A HOUSE IN SAMARIA – NIGHT.
Judas sits with THE SAMARITAN WOMAN under the hanging vine of her terrace, sharing a flagon of wine.

JUDAS’ VOICE
After the success of Bartimaeus’ “cure” I kept my eyes peeled for the opportunity of topping it with an even greater ‘miracle’. At the house of a woman in Samaria who gave us lodging after talking to the Master at a well, I found it after the others had bedded down for the night..

The sound of snoring comes from the doorway next to which they are sitting. The woman waves her hand in its direction.

SAMARITAN WOMAN
I’ve had several husbands in my life, and married to none of them. This one probably won’t be the last either! My heart is too big to share with only one man!

She fills Judas’ cup.

SAMARITAN WOMAN (CONT’D)
You? Don’t you miss the comfort of a woman traveling and preaching all the time?

JUDAS
I don’t think about it. My life has become totally devoted to the Master and his mission. But there is a girl waiting for me.. We plan to marry when the Kingdom has been established.

SAMARITAN WOMAN
You’re right to concentrate on your Master. An extraordinary man! He will do great things for all of us..
(pause)
Your girl.. Does she please you? Have you had her?

JUDAS
We’re waiting for the wedding night. She’s very.. respectable..

SAMARITAN WOMAN
(laughing)
A virgin! Frigid, maybe? Would you like something to thaw her out? I could give you something to ensure a very hot bridal bed!

JUDAS
What do you mean?

The Samaritan woman winks. She picks up the lamp and gestures for Judas to follow her. She leads him to a door, which she unlatches and they go inside.

INT. THE SAMARITAN WOMAN’S LABORATORY. – NIGHT.
The room is lined with shelves of bottles, jars and tubes of various coloured liquids. The woman takes down a bottle of amber liquid and holds it to the light.

SAMARITAN WOMAN
Just a drop of this in your wife’s wine at the wedding feast will be enough to melt all inhibitions. You’ll have the wildest night of your life. She won’t be able to get enough of you!..
Or perhaps this would be more to your requirements?

She indicates a bright blue liquid.

SAMARITAN WOMAN
An unflagging erection guaranteed! All night long!

JUDAS
All these coloured liquids! Where are they from?

SAMARITAN WOMAN
The people in the village call me a witch. I’m not, of course. It’s just the remedies I learned how to make from my grandmother. Something for everybody! This one can help you make a child and this prevent one. This makes a man’s seed fruitful, this a woman’s womb barren…

JUDAS
Are they all concerned with sex and procreation?

SAMARITAN WOMAN
By no means! Here is my baldness cure! This one suppresses appetite. This induces a death-like coma. This alleviates headaches, stomachaches, and cramps.. This cures the rabies…

Judas points to a bottle.

JUDAS
That one again. What did you say it was for?

SAMARITAN WOMAN
This?

She takes down the bottle.

SAMARITAN WOMAN
The sleep of death.  A draft of this sends you into coma for three days, without heartbeat pulse or breath, so that all believe you to be dead. But on the third day you awaken with nothing more than a slight headache.

JUDAS
How can you be sure it works?

SAMARITAN WOMAN
All my potions work!  There’s a girl in a neighboring village who could tell you about it. She came to me for help when her parents wouldn’t let her marry her lover and were preparing her marriage to a man old enough to be her father. On the eve of the wedding she drank of this and all believed her dead. They buried her, and in the night her lover came and stole her body away to his own village. There she recovered and they wed. Three children now and another on the way! Oh yes! One of my triumphs that one!

JUDAS
I’ll take it.

SAMARITAN
This? But I thought you wanted something to spice up your nuptials!

JUDAS
That’s the one I want. I can pay.

SAMARITAN
It’s a gift. A strange choice, but whatever you wish. Be careful with it.

She pours an amount into a small vial and hands it to Judas.

SAMARITAN
Now, I think I’ll join that husband of mine and put a stop to his snoring! Unless you’re interested in a little practice for your marriage?

JUDAS
Thank you. Perhaps another time.

SAMARITAN
Yes. Save your strength for your Master’s service!

She takes the lamp and they leave the room.

EXT. THE TERRACE OF THE SAMARITAN WOMAN’S HOUSE – NIGHT.
The woman leaves Judas and goes into the house. Judas stands holding the phial, examining the contents.
JUDAS
(v.o.)
And then the vague idea that had been forming was complete, and I knew that I had something in my hand that could rock Judea and spread the Master’s name through the streets of Jerusalem and the portals of the very Temple itself! I set off without hesitation on the moonlit path to Bethany.

Judas slips the phial inside his tunic, and protecting it with his hand, walks determinedly out along the moonlit road.

EXT. APPROACHING BETHANY – DAY.
It is early in the morning. The sun has just risen. Judas approaches his hometown of Bethany. He has been walking all night but still has a determined step.
We recognize the house of Lazarus. Judas enters the main gateway, which is open.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS HOUSE – DAY.
Lazarus, Martha and Mary are eating breakfast – bread, honey, olives and cheese. They are very surprised to see Judas as he emerges from the stairwell onto the roof.
LAZARUS
(getting up and embracing him)
Judas! What are you doing here? Why didn’t you let us know you were coming?

MARTHA
You look tired. Sit down and eat.

Judas sits down with them and helps himself to food. Martha pours a cup of milk for him, which he drinks thirstily.
LAZARUS
So how long are you here for? Don’t keep us in suspense! We’re dying to hear what you’ve been up to!

JUDAS
I’m only here for a very short visit. I have to get back as soon as possible.

He takes the phial out of his tunic and holds it in front of him. The others look at it curiously.
JUDAS
I’ve come to ask you a favour. Listen…

TIME LAPSE
The sun has risen to show that some time has past. Judas has stopped speaking. Lazarus and Martha are wide-eyed, excited by what they have heard. Mary holds the phial and is examining it.
JUDAS
It’s up to you. The decision is yours.

MARY
What does the Master think of this plan?

JUDAS
I haven’t told him yet. I didn’t have time. The idea came and I thought to act quickly. It will be a surprise for him. A gift!

MARTHA
Does the Master really need this kind of sensationalism?

JUDAS
It’s bound to be effective. Just imagine how much more quickly his fame will spread from this one act!

LAZARUS
You’re right. I’ll do it! Are you with me sisters?

MARTHA
Yes.. But won’t it be a terrible ordeal for you?

LAZARUS
For me? On the contrary, I’ll just be having a good long sleep. You two will have the hardest part with all the weeping and wailing you’ll have to endure!

They all laugh and embrace, united in conspiracy.

JUDAS
I must go! I’ll be back with the Master in three days. Keep to the instructions and everything should go fine!

After farewell embraces Judas departs down the stairwell.

EXT. A DISTANCE FROM BETHANY – DAY.
Judas turns on a hill and looks back to Bethany. We can see the tiny figures of Lazarus and his sisters waving from their rooftop. Judas smiles and waves back, then continues on his way.

EXT. THE SAMARITAN WOMAN’S COURTYARD – DAY.
The Samaritan woman is plucking a chicken. Judas is pacing, distraught.
JUDAS
Gone? But where have they gone?

SAMARITAN
(shrugging)
They went off after breakfast. They asked me where you were, but I couldn’t tell them. I think they thought you’d deserted.

JUDAS
This is terrible! I must find them! Please, think again! Are you sure they didn’t say where they were going?

SAMARITAN
Come to think of it, I did hear one of them mention going to a wedding at Cana.

JUDAS
Cana? Right. Thank you very much!

Judas starts walking.
SAMARITAN
(calling after him)
Why don’t you stay the night and have some supper! It’ll be dark soon and Cana’s miles away.

Judas waves his hand without turning back as he strides as fast as he can in spite of his tiredness.

INT. A ROOM IN LAZARUS’ HOUSE – NIGHT.
Lazarus is lying on his bed. Martha and Mary stand beside him. There is tenseness about them. Lazarus unseals the phial.
LAZARUS
I’ll drink it now. Wait until the morning before you discover I’m dead.

MARTHA
I hope we’re doing the right thing.

LAZARUS
Don’t worry.

MARY
I’ll take the phial when you’ve finished.

Lazarus tosses back the liquid in a gulp, then waits for the effects.

LAZARUS
It doesn’t work! I don’t feel a thing!

He suddenly slumps unconscious.

EXT. APPROACHING THE VILLAGE OF CANA – NIGHT.
Judas descends a stony hill towards the village of Cana in the dark. The houses are silent and dark apart from one which is brightly lit and from which comes the sound of music and laughter. Judas heads towards it.

EXT. THE COURTYARD OF THE WEDDING PARTY – NIGHT.
The courtyard and garden of the house are lit with many lanterns and filled with chattering guests. Servants pass among them with trays of sweetmeats and flagons of wine.
Judas enters.
In one area of the courtyard a group of men are making music with flutes, bells and drums and a circle of clapping onlookers surround a dancing couple. Judas makes his way to the group.
We recognize some of the disciples among the clapping men. Judas waves to Peter and he nods back.
Suddenly we notice that the man in the centre of the ring is Jesus, and he is dancing with a woman. They circle one another with outstretched arms, fingers clicking, bodies swaying to the drumbeat, the woman somewhat clumsily, Jesus confidently and gracefully. They smile lovingly at each other as they dance.
Judas looks shocked and jealous.

Jesus and the woman end their dance and leave the circle to great applause. Their places are taken by James and John, who change the pace of the music by whooping and whirling and stamping their feet.
Judas watches Jesus as he takes a couple of goblets of wine, gives one to the woman, and sits closely beside her on some steps.  Judas approaches them.
JESUS
Aha! The return of the Prodigal!

JUDAS
Master, I’m sorry. There was something I had to do.

JESUS
(laughing)
Don’t worry about it. Have a drink.

He holds out his cup and Judas takes it and drinks gratefully. Jesus indicates the woman by his side.
JESUS
This is my mother.

Judas returns the cup to Jesus, seizes the Mother’s hand, kisses it and presses it to his forehead reverently. She pulls it gently away and smiles at him. We read a private sorrow in her eyes, which her smile cannot disguise.
JUDAS
Master, there’s something very serious that I must talk to you about.

JESUS
Not now, Judas! We’re at a party! It’s time for fun!

He gets to his feet and takes Judas by the arm.

JESUS
Come on. Let’s see what you’re made of!

He leads Judas back to the circle and pulls him into it, where they begin dancing in the center, to the delight of the onlookers. Judas dances stiffly and awkwardly, a forced smile on his lips. He is uncomfortable.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.
The sun is just rising, painting the sky with pink and gold. All is silent. Suddenly we hear SCREAMS in the house below. Mary suddenly appears in the stairwell and runs to the parapet. She screams into the street.
Neighbours woken by the noise appear in their doorways in various stages of undress.
WOMAN
(calling)
Whatever’s the matter, Mary?

MARY
It’s Lazarus! My brother! He’s dead!

EXT. THE COURTYARD OF THE WEDDING PARTY – DAY.
Day is dawning over Cana. One or two people still sit drinking and talking quietly. Others have left or are leaving. Those who remain have bedded down in the house or in various parts of the garden.
Jesus and his mother have found a place under a palm tree in the middle of the garden.
Judas, seated on a step is waiting for his chance to speak to Jesus.
Eventually, confident that most of the guests are fast asleep, he approaches Jesus, crouches by his side and gently shakes his shoulder. Jesus opens one bleary eye.
JESUS
(sleepily)
Hmm? What is it?

JUDAS
It’s Lazarus, Master. He’s very ill. He wants to see you.

JESUS
Who’s Lazarus?
JUDAS
You remember, Master. Lazarus of Bethany. The brother of the harlot, Mary. We met at his house.

JESUS
Mmm.. Ill, is he? We might call on him after the party. There’s still two more nights left. Leave me.

He closes his eyes and turns over. Judas shakes him more urgently. Jesus looks around angrily.
JESUS
What the – ?
Judas looks around quickly to see that no one is listening, then whispers his story into Jesus’ ear. Jesus sits bolt upright, wide-awake.
JESUS
You WHAT?

A few bodies nearby react to his cry by moving in their sleep, but no-one wakes up. Judas gestures to Jesus to follow him, and they move further away to the gateway of the courtyard where nobody can hear them.
JESUS
How dare you do such a thing without consulting me? What are you trying to make of me? A circus conjuror? I want people to respond to the message of the Kingdom. We don’t need these cheap wonders!

JUDAS
Forgive me, Master. We only meant to help spread your message to a wider audience. But Master, you must come and rescue Lazarus! We depend on you! I beg you!

JESUS
Very well. We will go to Bethany and wake up Lazarus. But you must promise never again to do anything without consulting me first, no matter how much you believe it might further the cause.

JUDAS
I promise. It was foolish of me.

Jesus puts his hands on Judas’ shoulders.
JESUS
And there’s something else I want you to promise me. If at any time in the future I ask you to do something for me, you will carry out my instructions whether you agree with them or not. Do you promise that?

JUDAS
Anything Master. I swear.

Jesus laughs and hugs him.
JESUS
Go then, and tell Lazarus’ sisters that we accept the invitation and will be there to rouse their sleeping brother.

Jesus walks back into the courtyard. Judas watches him go, then turns and sets off on the road back to Bethany.

EXT. OUTSIDE LAZARUS’ HOUSE. BETHANY – DAY.
We see Judas approaching Bethany again, his steps slower and more laborious, due to fatigue. He enters the gateway of Judas’ house.

EXT. THE COURTYARD OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE. – DAY.
Menfolk from the village are grouped about the courtyard. Some are muttering prayers. Others are openly weeping. From inside the house comes the SOUND OF WOMEN KEENING. Judas enters the house.

INT. THE MAIN LIVING ROOM OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE. – DAY.
The room is filled with mourning women garbed in black, rocking backwards and forwards and crooning laments. They are grouped around Martha and Mary, who are huddled together in the center of the room, their headscarves pulled over their faces.
Judas kneels before them and lifts Martha’s headscarf. Their eyes meet. Hers are wet and filled with sorrow, but she closes them in relief when she sees him.
MARTHA
(whispering)
What have we done?
Judas nods at her reassuringly. She covers her face again. Judas gets up and leaves the room.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE. – DAY.
Judas emerges from the stairwell onto the roof and walks to the parapet.
Looking down across the garden we can see the wall of the cliff and the covering stone over the entrance to the cave in which Lazarus is entombed.
THE SOUND OF THE WEEPING WOMEN AND THE SOFT CHANTING OF THE MEN can be heard. Judas scans the hill in the distance from where he has come and where Jesus and the disciples will first be seen when they arrive. Then he sinks onto the floor in exhaustion and closes his eyes.

INT. INSIDE LAZARUS’ TOMB. – NIGHT.
Lazarus is lying on the slab in the tomb, which is lit by the flame of a small oil lamp. He wakes up and slowly pulls away the winding sheets that wrap his body. He sits up and tries to breathe but the air is stifling. He gasps for breath. He staggers to his feet and collapses at the entrance where the stone is firmly in place. He pounds weakly against it.
LAZARUS
(calling)
Jesus? Are you there, Jesus? Let me out! I’m alive. Can anyone hear me? Judas! Judas! It’s me! Lazarus! Help me, Judas!

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE. – NIGHT.
Judas suddenly sits bolt upright with a scream of terror, sweating profusely. He looks around himself and realizes that he has been having a nightmare. He lies down again and stares up at the black starry sky, his eyes wide and worried.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.
It is morning. Judas stands at the parapet scanning the horizon. Martha appears with a cup of milk, which Judas takes and drinks.
MARTHA
I didn’t realize how painful all this would be. The sorrow we have caused our friends through this dishonesty!

JUDAS
It will all be worth it, when he comes. You’ll see.

MARTHA
But what if he doesn’t come? What would we do then? How would we explain ourselves?

JUDAS
Don’t imagine such things! Of course he’ll come! Trust me.

Martha takes the empty cup and leaves Judas alone on the roof. He watches her go. We see the effect of her doubts in his eyes.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – EARLY EVENING – DAY.
The shadows have lengthened. The sun is nearing the horizon. Judas stands at the parapet, staring into the distance. Mary appears with a cup of wine and some bread. She stands beside Judas but he does not turn around.
MARY
Eat. Drink. Keep your strength up.

Judas takes the cup and drinks without taking his eyes from the horizon.
MARY
I didn’t realize how popular Lazarus was. There’s even an important client come down from Jerusalem to offer his condolences. He’s a member of the Sanhedrin.

JUDAS
It’s late. They should be here by now. Where are they?

MARY
(pointing)
Look!

In the distance, on the crest of a hill we see a group of tiny figures appearing and making their way down the hillside, raising the dust.
JUDAS
It’s them! He’s here! He’s here!

MARY
Did you doubt him?

JUDAS
But maybe they’re too early! What if Lazarus hasn’t yet come out of his coma? They mustn’t get here too soon. We must delay them for a short time!

Mary turns and runs down the stairs, followed by Judas.

EXT. THE ROAD TO BETHANY. – DAY.
The sun is sinking fast now, staining the sky with a magnificent red sunset. We follow Mary’s running figure, her black mourning garb flapping and fluttering in the twilight.  Judas runs behind.
Jesus and the disciples come into sight and stop as Mary throws herself on the ground before them.
We stay with Judas and arrive in time to hear the final words of Mary’s address.
MARY
Yes, Lord. I do believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God! Wait here I pray you! I must prepare your arrival!

Mary gets to her feet and runs back towards the village. Judas comes forward and nods to Jesus in greeting.
JOHN
What’s she making us wait here for? We’re nearly there!

JAMES
Yeah, it’s stupid! I’m starving!

PETER
Stop your whining, you miserable cubs! She’s gone to prepare us a fitting welcome.

Jesus squats down to wait, and the disciples follow suit. We see that Jesus has brought his mother with him. She crouches beside him and begins to lovingly comb his hair. Suddenly her eyes meet those of Judas and the smile fades from her face. He turns away, disturbed.

TIME PASSES.

It is dark now and we see lights approaching. As they get closer we see that they are flaming torches carried by the guests at Lazarus’ funeral. Martha is leading them. When she arrives, she falls weeping at Jesus’ feet.
MARTHA
Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died!

JESUS
My friend Lazarus is not dead. He has merely fallen asleep. I intend to wake him. Where have you laid him? Come; let us go there.

Martha rises and leads the way back to the house in Bethany, the crowd following with the torches lighting their way.

EXT. THE GARDEN OF LAZARUS. – NIGHT.
The murmuring crowd follows Martha and Jesus through the trees to the tomb at the end of the garden, a cave with a large round stone covering the entrance, where they stop. The light from the torches flickers against the walls of the cliff.
JESUS
Remove the stone.

MARTHA
Master, there will be a stink! He has been dead for days!

JESUS
Do it, Peter.

PETER puts his shoulder to the stone and rolls it aside. The black entrance gapes.
JESUS
Father, I act for the sake of these people standing around me, so that they may believe that thou sent me here. Lazarus! Come out!

After a brief pause, Lazarus slowly emerges from the cave wrapped in grave-clothes, his face covered.
The reaction of the crowd is various. Some scream, others flee in terror. A woman faints, a few get down on their knees praising God. Most are simply awe-struck.
Jesus goes forward and embraces Lazarus, removes the cloth from his face, and presents him to his sisters, who kiss him frantically and hysterically.
The crowd erupts with joy. Jesus is lifted shoulder high and carried back through the garden towards the house to great applause and cheers.
A conspiratorial glance passes between Jesus and Judas.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – NIGHT.
Downstairs in the courtyard there is singing and dancing and jubilation, but a more select crowd has gathered on the roof. Jesus sits in the centre of a rapt group of listeners in earnest conversation with an impressive bearded man dressed in costly robes. Some of the disciples stand around acting as bodyguards. A slightly drunken trio from downstairs appears in the stairwell.
MAN
We want to see the miracle-worker! Where is he?

PETER
(standing guard)
He’s busy. Sorry. No more visitors.

Mary appears by Judas’ side.
MARY
Come and see Judas. He’s asking for you.

JUDAS
Who’s that man talking to the Master? The important looking one?

MARY
He’s the one I mentioned. He’s from Jerusalem. His name’s Joseph of Arimathea.

Judas follows Mary into the house.

INT. A ROOM IN LAZARUS’ HOUSE – NIGHT.
Lazarus is sitting up in bed, looking very weak. Martha is feeding him soup with a spoon. The SOUND OF MUSIC AND CELEBRATING filters in from the party outside. Judas and Mary enter. Judas goes and embraces Lazarus.
JUDAS
Well done, Lazarus! You’re a champion! Just think of all the converts we’ll gain thanks to you!

LAZARUS
I wouldn’t go through it again if I’d known what it was going to be like. I’ve been to hell and back. You can’t imagine, Judas..
I’ve learned the value of life. And I’m going to squeeze every drop out of it before it’s time for my real death. Just watch me, Judas! I’m a changed man! I’m born again!

Lazarus begins to cry, his body shaking. Judas holds Lazarus to him, while sharing an alarmed glance over his shoulder with the sisters.

JUDAS
We love you, Lazarus. Rest. Peace.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.
The floor is carpeted with the sleeping bodies of the disciples. Suddenly the peace is disturbed by SOMEBODY SHOUTING in the street outside. The brothers rouse themselves and go to look over the parapet. There is a man below, a MESSENGER, who calls up to them.
MESSENGER
(shouting)
Jesus of Nazareth! Jesus of Nazareth!

JESUS
Who wants him? Why do you call to wake the dead?

MESSENGER
I bring news from Joseph of Arimathea! A band of Temple police are on their way down from Jerusalem to arrest Jesus and bring him in for questioning. The Sanhedrin fears the reputation he is gaining and wants to put a stop to him. My master warns you to flee now while you can!

Jesus turns to the disciples.
JESUS
You heard the man, brothers! It’s time we were on the road again. It’s a good thing we travel light!

The disciples hurriedly gather up whatever meager possessions they own. Mary and Martha hand around loaves of bread for a hurried breakfast, along with skins of wine for the journey. Jesus kisses his mother tenderly.
JESUS
(to Martha)
Take good care of my mother. We’ll be back again when the heat’s died down. Destination Samaria, brothers!

Jesus and the disciples leave the house and set off in the direction of the hills. Martha, Mary and the mother watch them go from the rooftop, waving tearfully.

EXT. A HILLSIDE IN EPHRAIM – DAY.
JUDAS
(v.o.)
After a sojourn in Perea and Ephraim, where the Master preached some of his most inspiring sermons, he made an announcement that caused great excitement amongst us…

Jesus is finishing a sermon to a small group of followers. The disciples stand around, arms crossed, in the role of bodyguards.
JESUS
For I say unto you, that unto everyone which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him!  But those my enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me!

The small crowd cheers as Jesus steps down from the rock he has been standing on. He gestures for the disciples to come to him. They gather round.
JESUS
Gather round brothers, and listen. The time has come for the ultimate test. Passover is nearly upon us, and I have decided that we will spend it in Jerusalem!

The disciples mutter excitedly amongst each other.
JOHN
At last! Please, Master, will you let James and me sit on either side of you in judgement of the sinners when you are made king?

JESUS
(angrily)
Have you not learned from me yet that those who exalt themselves shall be humbled and those who are humble shall be exalted?
(pause)
Come now; let’s be on our way to Bethany. We’ll stay there for a few days and plan my entrance into Jerusalem.

He sets off, and the disciples follow, talking excitedly to each other.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – NIGHT.
Jesus and the disciples are seated around eating supper and drinking wine. Martha passes around the food and flagon. All are in high spirits, excited by the idea of the entrance into Jerusalem the next day.
MARTHA
(to Judas)
It’s a shame Lazarus isn’t here. You must call on him while you’re in Jerusalem.

JUDAS
I can’t believe that he went and got married while we were away! Talk about fast work!

MARTHA
He was quite a celebrity after his resurrection. He had several offers. This rich widow was his choice. He’s taken over her spice business.

JUDAS
Well, he said he was going to seize his chances.
.
PETER
(to Jesus)
Oh no master! Not a donkey! That’s no way to enter the city! You should be astride a fiery stallion! That would be more fitting!

JESUS
The horse is a symbol of war. I come in peace. Besides, it is written in Zechariah: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O. daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.” The scriptures must be fulfilled.

JUDAS
Which one do you intend to ride, Master? The ass or the foal? Or if the scriptures are to be fulfilled – perhaps both at the same time?

Jesus and the disciples laugh and continue talking. Mary comes onto the roof and approaches Judas.

MARY
There is a man downstairs who wishes to see the Master.

JUDAS
You know that we have forbidden all visitors. Tell him to go away.

MARY
I did, but he won’t. He says he knows you.

Judas gets up and goes down the stairwell.

EXT. THE COURTYARD OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – NIGHT.
A man is standing in the courtyard with his back to us. As Judas reaches the bottom step the visitor turns around and we see that it is Blind Bartimaeus, the beggar who was ‘cured’ of blindness. Both Judas and Bartimaeus are surprised.

BARTIMAEUS
You! I didn’t want to speak to you. It’s your master I want.

JUDAS
He’s busy. What do you want? I can pass on a message.

BARTIMAEUS
Oh, really? Well, you might ask him if he’d be so kind as to perform another one of his miracles and make me blind again?

JUDAS
(sternly)
What do you mean?

BARTIMAEUS
I’ve lost my livelihood, thanks to him. I’m ruined. The Pharisees had me thrown out of the synagogue and threatened to punish me for blasphemy for saying your master was the Messiah and had performed a miracle.
But worse than that, no one will give me any money any more now I’m not blind. They say I should get a job instead of sponging off others. It’s all your fault! I want money! And you’d better give me some or I might just be tempted to tell everyone that it wasn’t a miracle and that your master is a fake!

JUDAS
That wouldn’t be very clever, would it, Bartimaeus? You’d be exposing the fact that you were never blind in the first place, and had spent your whole life cheating people. I think you might expect a branding at the least. At the worst, death.

BARTIMAEUS
I hadn’t thought of that.
(whining)
I’m hungry! I need money!

Judas opens his purse,counts out some coins and gives them to Bartimaeus. He peers at them and fingers them greedily.

BARTIMAEUS
This isn’t enough! I want more!

JUDAS
It’s all we can spare. We’re going up to Jerusalem for Passover tomorrow. The Kingdom we talked about may be nearer than you think!

BARTIMAEUS
(derisively)
It had better come quickly, or I might be forced to have a sudden relapse and become blind again. That wouldn’t look very good for your master, now, would it? Miracles are meant to last!

Judas escorts Bartimaeus to the gateway.

JUDAS
Be on your way. And don’t bother seeking us out again, because that’s the last money you’re going to get!

Bartimaeus shuffles off down the street, turns for a moment and brandishes an obscene gesture, before continuing on his way. With a sigh of disgusted relief, Judas heads back up the stairs to the roof.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – NIGHT.
The disciples have bedded down for the night on the roof. Jesus sits on the parapet gazing up at the stars. He signals to Judas. He goes to him.
JESUS
I’ve ordered an early night for everyone. We have a big day tomorrow.  I feel like a walk before I retire. Take a stroll with me.

He takes Judas’ arm and they go towards the stairwell.

EXT. THE GARDEN OF LAZARUS – NIGHT.
The moon is shining bright. Jesus and Judas walk among the trees in the garden in silence.  Jesus stops and leans back against an olive tree, staring up at the sky.
JESUS
Do you remember the promise you gave me to do anything I asked, whether you agreed with it or not?

JUDAS
Yes.

JESUS
And you will keep your word?

JUDAS
Of course, Master. Whatever you wish.

JESUS
(after a pause)
When we get to Jerusalem I want you to go to the Temple priests and offer to hand me over to them.

JUDAS
I’m sorry? I don’t understand.

JESUS
I want you to betray me to the Temple priests.

JUDAS
That’s crazy! The Temple priests hate you! You’re a threat to their authority. They want you out of the way. Why should you want me to do such a thing?

Jesus puts a hand on Judas’ shoulder.
JESUS
Trust me.  I’ve thought the whole thing out. The Sanhedrin are out to get me, it’s true, but they wouldn’t dare to have me arrested while I’m surrounded by followers in Jerusalem for fear of sparking off a riot. But they’d jump at the chance to seize me in some unguarded moment. Then, once I was in their hands, what real charge could they bring against me? I’m not a criminal. All I preach is love.

JUDAS
They don’t see it that way! They –

JESUS
I haven’t finished. Don’t worry about my safety. We will be in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. And don’t you know about the concession that the Roman jurisdisdiction has granted to the Jewish people on that day? A prisoner of popular choice must be released to them. And who else would that prisoner be but myself? The people will demand my reprieve and they cannot be refused by law. Think how many more will hear of my cause and rush to join us! It’s perfect!

JUDAS
But what if they abused and humiliated you while you were in their custody? I beg you to think it over!

JUDAS
My mind is made up. You will pay a visit to the Temple tomorrow and bargain with the High Priests for a price for my betrayal.
And you must tell no one else of this plan. It’s between you and me only. Do you understand?

JUDAS
Yes Master.  The others will believe that I’m a real traitor. They’ll hate me.

JESUS
Only for a short while. After my release I’ll put them wise and they will be full of admiration for your courage. I have to have my betrayer, Judas, and I chose you for the cunning initiative you have shown in your previous endeavors. Keep your promise.

Jesus kisses Judas on the cheek and walks slowly away back to the house. Judas stares after him, then gazes up at the moon, his face full of anguish.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.
It is morning. The men are eating breakfast. They are quiet, the thought of the coming entry into Jerusalem hanging over them. They share occasional short glances, but often turn to look at Jesus, who eats unconcernedly, occasionally feeding a morsel to John by his side. Mary comes from the stairwell and whispers to Judas. He rises and goes with her to the stairs.

JUDAS
(angrily)
Don’t you understand, Mary? No one is supposed to know we’re here, yet you’re allowing open house to all callers!

MARY
This one is different. There’s something about him.

EXT. THE COURTYARD OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.
Mary and Judas come down the stairs into the courtyard. A man is standing there dressed in rags, his hair and beard long and unkempt. He turns to Judas with a smile. He looks exhausted.
JUDAS
Who are you? What do you want?

DARIUS
I’ve done it.

JUDAS
You’ve done it? I don’t understand. What have you done?

DARIUS
I’ve done what the Master told me to do. I’ve sold all my possessions and given the money to the poor. And I’ve come to follow him. I’ve been searching for so long. Do you not remember me?

EXT. FLASHBACK TO A PLACE BY A RIVER IN THE COUNTRY – DAY.
We are back at a gathering in the country after a sermon by Jesus. DARIUS, then dressed richly and finely is talking to Jesus.

DARIUS
What must I do to ensure a place in Heaven?

JESUS
Follow the Commandments.

DARIUS
I always have.

JESUS
Then one thing remains. Renounce your wealth, sell all you have, give the money to the poor, then come and follow me.

Darius lowers his eyes and walks away sadly.

JESUS
You see how difficult it is for a rich man to enter Heaven? It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into the kingdom of God.

EXT. THE COURTYARD OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.

JUDAS
(amazed)
Yes. I remember you.

DARIUS
I’ve been searching for so long. Have I found him at last? Is he here?

Without a word, Judas takes Darius by the arm and leads him up the stairs to the roof.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.
All eyes turn to Judas and Darius as they enter from the stairwell. Darius breaks from Judas and kneels before Jesus, taking his hand and kissing it.

DARIUS
Master! At last!

JUDAS
Here’s a visitor I couldn’t bring myself to turn away. A camel has passed through the eye of the needle!

DARIUS
I spent many days in troubled contemplation before deciding to follow your advice. But then I cast all doubt aside. I freed my slaves, sold all my possessions and property and distributed the money to the poor. My father cursed me for a fool and disowned me, but I don’t care. I am richer now with nothing. I am yours now to command, Master. Say you will accept me?

JESUS
What’s your name?

DARIUS
Darius, Master.

JESUS
Welcome, Darius.

Jesus, smiling, embraces Darius warmly then turns to the disciples.

JESUS
Observe closely brothers! You are witnessing a real miracle! Here is a true believer that has sacrificed more than any of us to gain eternal life! Here is one who has humbled himself and is worthy of exaltation! Take him and wash and anoint him and dress him in fine raiment and restore him to me in glory!

EXT. THE COURTYARD OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.
We watch the transformation of Darius. The disciples strip him of the beggar’s rags and pour water over him from jars while he washes himself.

His body covered with toweling, his ragged beard is trimmed and tidied, and Jesus’ mother combs out his matted locks and anoints his hair with oil.
Finally Martha presents him with one of Lazarus’ clean garments and the disciples dress him in it.

EXT. THE ROOF OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.
Clean and smart, Darius is presented to Jesus, who embraces and kisses him, and seats him at his right. Martha brings food for him. The others sit and drink wine.
John frowns jealously as Jesus feeds Darius with his own hand, smiling at him lovingly.
Suddenly Mary appears from the stairwell and approaches Jesus. Standing behind him, she breaks open a small flask of perfume and pours it over his head. John pushes her aside roughly.
JOHN
What do you think you’re doing?

JUDAS
(angrily)
That perfume is expensive, Mary! If it’s your idea of a Passover present you’d have done better to sell it and given us the money!

JAMES
Yeah! What a waste!

JESUS
Leave her alone. It was a beautiful gesture. And she has fulfilled another one of the prophecies in the scriptures. Isn’t the expected Messiah also to be known as ‘the Anointed One’?

JOHN
Yes, but not by a whore!

PETER
She’s made you smell like one, too!

Philip appears in the stairwell.
PHILIP
The donkeys are here!

JESUS
The time has come.

Jesus gets up and the disciples follow suit. He kisses his mother, who clings to him, crying.
MOTHER
Don’t go! I’m afraid! Stay with us here for Passover!

Jesus gently removes her grip and hands her to Martha and Mary, who comfort her.

JESUS
Take good care of her until my return. A happy Passover to you all!

Jesus descends the stairs and the disciples follow. The women go to the parapet to watch the departure from there.

EXT. THE STREET OUTSIDE LAZARUS’ HOUSE – DAY.
A crowd of villagers is waiting outside with the donkey and her foal, some waving palm branches. They cheer and applaud when Jesus and the disciples appear.
JESUS
Thomas, Simon, go on ahead of us to the gates of Jerusalem to announce our arrival. If any of us get separated in the city, seek out the house of Joseph of Arimathea. We’re meeting there tonight for our Passover Supper.

PETER
Couldn’t any better donkeys than these be found? They’ll make you look ridiculous!

Jesus strokes the muzzle of the she-ass.

JESUS
They will suffice.

He puts an arm around Darius.
JESUS
Darius will ride beside me on the colt. He is still exhausted after his long search for me, and Jerusalem is over two miles away.

JOHN
(indignantly)
What!

He bites his lip, furious, after a warning look from Jesus.

DARIUS
Oh no Master! I am not worthy of such an honour!

JESUS
You are worthy of far more. In fact, it would be better if you rode the she-ass and I took the colt.

DARIUS
The colt will be fine.

Darius mounts the colt.
A villager spreads his cloak over the back of the she-ass and Jesus takes his seat on it. He points forward and the little procession starts off.
A small crowd of folk from Bethany march alongside, singing and chanting. Some throw their cloaks under the hooves of Jesus’ beast and retrieve them after they have been trodden on, hugging them as precious souvenirs.
The foal, alarmed by the shouting, keeps close to its mother, so that Jesus and Darius ride abreast. Their faces are calm and resolute and they share an occasional smile of deep friendship.

EXT. THE CREST OF A HILL – JERUSALEM IN SIGHT – DAY.
Climbing up a small hill, Jerusalem is suddenly in sight. Jesus halts his donkey as soon as he sees it, and the disciples and followers suddenly stop their chanting and singing and stare at the city in silence.
Towers, roofs and turrets protrude from the thick protective walls, surrounding the prominent golden dome of the temple, which glitters in the sunlight.
A stream of the tiny figures of tradesmen and pilgrims can be seen entering the gates, the faint SOUND OF CALLS, CHANTS AND CHATTER can be heard, humming in the distance.
The disciples stand staring, open-mouthed.  Suddenly they notice with astonishment that Jesus is weeping. He gazes ahead, tears rolling unchecked from his eyes.
JESUS
They will never accept me!  This is Jerusalem – the city which murders the prophets and stones the messengers sent to her! All its inhabitants are blind, and the whole city will be destroyed because of their refusal to accept the true word of God!

The disciples gather round protesting, trying to comfort him.

PETER
You will be recognized! You are the Chosen One!

PHILIP
Others may have suffered in the past, but God will protect you!

JAMES
This is the city where you will be enthroned, and from which you will rule in righteousness and justice!

DARIUS
You need fear no harm.

Jesus wipes his eyes with his sleeve and spurs his donkey onward with his heels down the hill towards Jerusalem, Darius on the foal beside him. The little group resume their chanting and palm-waving around them as they go.
Judas stands for a few moments watching them, an expression of dread on his face.

EXT. THE GATEWAY INTO JERUSALEM – DAY.
A small group of followers has gathered to welcome Jesus and the disciples with cheers, but they are far outnumbered by pilgrims and traders coming and going about their business who seem puzzled and irritated by the obstruction they are causing.
The disciples manage to create a lane for Jesus and Darius to progress on their donkeys, and march on either side of them waving their palm-leaves and chanting hosannas, forcing people to step aside as they pass through the gates.
A curious man approaches Judas.
MAN
What’s going on?

JUDAS
The Messiah has come! The King of Righteousness who is to deliver our country!

MAN
(cynically)
Not another one!

JUDAS
What do you mean?

MAN
That makes the third Messiah I’ve seen arrive today! Jerusalem is crawling with them! May the best man win!

BOY
Which one is the Messiah?

With Jesus and Darius riding side by side we can understand the boy’s confusion.

INT. THE SQUARE BEFORE THE TEMPLE – DAY.
The party arrives at the huge square before the temple. It is crowded and noisy, with moneychangers, food and drink vendors, and men selling sheep, goats, cattle and birds for sacrifice. Here and there are Zealots, Essenes, Pharisees and general rabble-rousers preaching loudly to anyone who will stop to listen to them.
Towering over it all is the temple, with its stairs and terraces of marble leading up to the upper level and the temple proper.
Jesus and Darius dismount.
JESUS
This is it, brothers. Stick close to me and try not to get lost. If you do, we all meet tonight at the house of Joseph of Arimathea.
As for you, Judas – you know what you have to do!

With a knowing wink at Judas, Jesus steps down into the crowded square, followed by the disciples.
Judas watches them go, then stares up at the temple, rather awe-struck. He walks towards it.

INT. INSIDE THE TEMPLE – DAY.
The interior of the temple is dark and gloomy. The smoke of incense hangs in the air. THE SOUND OF CHANTING LEVITES, AND THE BELLOW AND SCREAM OF ANIMALS BEING LED TO SACRIFICE, echoes through the cloisters.
From a distance we watch Judas approach an ACOLYTE who is idly leaning against a pillar. They share a few words, then the acolyte gestures to Judas and he follows him towards a side archway.

INT. A CORRIDOR OF THE TEMPLE – DAY.
A long empty marble corridor. The priest and Judas come into view from around a corner and walk down towards an ornate door. The priest opens it and ushers Judas inside. He enters nervously.

INT. THE CHAMBER OF THE HIGH PRIESTS – DAY.
Judas and the priest enter a spacious chamber hung with gold and crimson drapes. A group of HIGH PRIESTS are sitting together counting piles of gold and silver coins which pilgrims have exchanged for the sacred temple shekel. The High Priests are laughing boisterously at a joke, but stop and look up warily at the interruption.
ACOLYTE
(obsequiously)
I bring one who may have news to our advantage.

The High Priests stare at Judas. They are fat and haughty.

JUDAS
(stammering slightly)
I am willing to betray a man in whom I believe you might have some interest.

With a bored air one High Priest reaches for a sheaf of parchment and dips a reed in ink.
PRIEST1
His name?

JUDAS
Jesus of Nazareth.

There is a muttering among the priests, some expressing ignorance of the name, others nodding their heads. We hear the word “Galilee” mentioned, and the ignorant ones give murmurs of recognition.

PRIEST1
What are the charges that could be brought against him?

JUDAS
(gropingly)
He preaches liberation. Revolution against Roman rule. Universal love and brotherhood.

The priest writes, then looks up.

PRIEST1
Do you consider such charges worthy of his arrest?

Judas racks his brain.
JUDAS
Many people call him the Messiah. And he doesn’t deny it.

The priest writes with a satisfied flourish and looks up with a smile.

PRIEST1
Your name and abode?

JUDAS
I’m not prepared to give either until I have the reward.

The High Priests share knowing looks.

PRIEST1
And neither will money pass from our hands until he is in ours, I’m afraid. Too many have disappeared without handing over the goods after being paid in the past that we’ve had to make that rule.

JUDAS
How much can I expect?

PRIEST1
You will receive thirty pieces of silver.

JUDAS
Thirty pieces of silver! That’s a pittance for a man like the Master!

The High Priest shrugs.

PRIEST1
Take it or leave it. It’s the fixed fee for betrayals, and we’re not prepared to increase it for special cases.

JUDAS
Well.. I’ll have to think about it.

PRIEST1
You know where to find us.

Judas turns and leaves. The Acolyte shows him out.

EXT. A STREET IN THE UPPER CITY – DAY.
Judas is walking through a street in the upper part of the city. He stops a man and asks directions. The man points further up the hill. Judas heads in that direction.

EXT. THE ENTRANCE TO THE HOUSE OF JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA – DAY.
Judas enters a grand gateway and marvels at the size and beauty of the house of Joseph of Arimathea. He approaches and enters but reappears accompanied by a servant who points to the stable in the yard, indicating some stairs which lead to a room above it. Judas climbs the stairs and pushes open the wooden door.

INT. THE ROOM ABOVE THE STABLE – DAY.
A large room for storing tools, some of which are in heaps against the walls. A space has been cleared in the centre of the room for a long low table upon which sit platters and goblets ready for the Passover supper.
The only person in the room is Darius, who stands gazing out of a small grilled window. He turns when Judas comes in and greets him with a smile.

JUDAS
Where are the others?

DARIUS
The Master gave them permission to do a bit of sightseeing. You missed a bit of excitement this afternoon. The Master lost his temper with the temple moneychangers and kicked over some of their tables. We got chased by a crowd.

JUDAS
Where is he?

DARIUS
On the roof praying. He wants to see you.

Darius points to a ladder at the back of the room, which leads to an entrance up onto the roof. Judas goes to it and climbs.

EXT. THE ROOF OF THE STABLE – DAY.
The sun is going down, painting the sky red and pink. The golden dome of the Temple shines in the last rays.
Jesus kneels in the middle of the roof, his eyes closed, his lips moving. Suddenly he opens his eyes and looks at Judas. He stands up.  Judas goes to him and they embrace briefly.
JESUS
(jokingly)
Well? How much did you get for me?

JUDAS
They offered thirty pieces of silver, to be paid on delivery.

JESUS
(angrily)
What an insult! That’s the standard price for a slave!

JUDAS
I know, Master. I knew you wouldn’t agree to be sold for so little. We will abandon the scheme.

JESUS
Oh no we won’t. The money is not important. We will continue with the plan, and you will hand me over to them tonight!

Judas drops to his knees.
JUDAS
No, Master! I beg you! They are vicious and cruel! I could never forgive myself for delivering you into their clutches!

Jesus raises Judas to his feet.

JESUS
Courage, Judas. It will not be for long. Keep the Passover Amnesty in mind! Can’t you imagine how those hypocrites will squirm when I am freed by the will of the people and carried away as their leader?

JUDAS
But, Master – !

JESUS
Enough, Judas! Remember your promise!
Now listen. You will share the Passover supper with us tonight so there will be no questions about your absence from the others. At one point in the meal I will give you a signal to leave and return to the temple. When I dip a piece of bread in the sauce and hand it to you, get up immediately and go.
Tonight we will be sleeping in the Garden of Gesthemane, just outside the city walls. You will lead the Temple police and find us there. I will be a little distant from the others in the company of Peter, James and John. Darius, too. So that there will be no mistake who they should arrest, tell them it is the one you approach and kiss in greeting. They will seize me, and after that – we shall see what happens!

JUDAS
Please, Master! Don’t make me do this!

JESUS
(ignoring him)
Identify me thus.

Jesus kisses Judas.
JESUS
Now leave me. I want to pray.

Jesus kneels down and closes his eyes. Realizing there is nothing he can say to change his mind, Judas sadly goes to the ladder and descends.

INT. THE ROOM ABOVE THE STABLE – DAY.
Darius is kneeling in prayer. Judas comes down the ladder and slumps dejected onto a bench, his face in his hands. Darius gets up and goes to him.
DARIUS
What is it Judas? What’s the matter?

JUDAS
Nothing. I can’t tell you. I can’t tell anyone.

DARIUS
A problem shared is half resolved. Does it concern the Master?

JUDAS
He told me to tell no one.

Darius puts an arm around Judas.

DARIUS
I can keep a secret, Judas. You can confide in me.

JUDAS
(after a pause)
He wants me to betray him to the Temple Priests. He believes that he’ll be freed as the people’s choice for the Passover Amnesty.

DARIUS
I don’t understand. How?

JUDAS
I am to lead the Temple police to the Garden of Gesthemane where you will all be spending the night. They will arrest the one I identify as the Master with a kiss.

DARIUS
It’s mad! They’ll kill him! Once they get hold of him they won’t let him go, even if the whole of Jerusalem clamored for his release! It’s suicide! The mission will be over in an instant!

JUDAS
I agree. But what can I do? He has ordered it.

Darius heads for the ladder.

DARIUS
I’ll speak to him.

Judas runs to him and holds him back.

JUDAS
It’s no good! I’ve put forward all arguments, but he’s determined. And I promised to tell nobody. He would be furious with me – expel me from the group!

Darius sits for a while and thinks.

DARIUS
I can think of only one way to save him.

JUDAS
How? Tell me!

DARIUS
You must hand over a substitute in place of the Master. Myself.

JUDAS
(shocked)
You – ?

DARIUS
The police will arrest the man you kiss. The High Priests do not know the Master by sight, only description, and mine answers that of his. Therefore you must kiss me instead of the Master. I will be taken and he will remain free.

JUDAS
It might just work. But are you willing to go through what they might inflict upon you?

DARIUS
Every blow struck against me would be one the Master was spared from. I have given up everything for him, and he must be alive and free to continue spreading the message of the Kingdom. Besides, does he not say that no love is greater than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend?

We hear the SOUND OF THE DISCIPLES APPROACHING OUTSIDE, SINGING PSALMS DISCORDANTLY.

JUDAS
All right. We’ll do it. But while you are in their hands you must remain absolutely silent, not a word to betray the Master or yourself, no matter how you are provoked. There are no real criminal charges that can be brought against the Master, and there’s still the chance that you may be released at the Amnesty if the crowd believe you are he.

DARIUS
I put myself in God’s hands.

Judas embraces Darius lovingly as the door swings open and the disciples stagger into the room, filling it with song.

INT. THE ROOM ABOVE THE STABLE – NIGHT.
JUDAS
(v.o.)
That night was the last time we were all together. Joseph of Arimathea sent apologies that he could not entertain us in his own house, but being a member of the Sanhedrin it was impossible for him to be seen with the Master.

Jesus, stripped to the waist, washes the feet of the bewildered disciples.
JUDAS
(v.o.)
How embarrassed we were when the Master insisted on washing our feet. He told us it was a lesson in humility.

Jesus breaks bread and passes it round, holds up a cup of wine and passes it round.
JUDAS
(v.o.)
And we didn’t understand when he called the bread his body and the wine his blood, and bade us eat and drink him.
And only I understood when he announced that one of us was going to betray him.

The disciples react in horror, protesting their allegiance.

PETER
Which of us would betray you, Master? Who would do such a thing?

JESUS
It is the one I will give this sop to after I have dipped it in the dish.

He breaks off a piece of bread, dips it in the sauce and hands it deliberately across the table to Judas. Judas takes it with a trembling hand, his eyes downcast. The disciples are silent.

JESUS
(sharply)
Go now, and be quick about your business!

Judas stumbles to his feet and goes quickly out into the night, the bread still clutched in his hand.

INT. A CORRIDOR IN THE TEMPLE – NIGHT.
Judas and a High Priest emerge from a room and Judas follows him down a long corridor lit by torches.

EXT. COURTYARD OF THE TEMPLE POLICE – NIGHT.
A yard lit by lanterns and torches. Off-duty Temple policemen are relaxing, chatting, playing dice games, drinking.  The High Priest enters the yard, followed by Judas.
PRIEST2
Look alive, gentlemen! You have an arrest to make!

There is a general reluctant groaning, and none get to their feet.

POLICE1
It’s late and we’re tired. Can’t it wait until tomorrow?

PRIEST2
No, it can’t! This man is a trouble-causer. He assaulted several moneychangers in the square today. The Chief Priest Caiaphas wishes to interview him personally. You are to convey the man directly to his house after the arrest.

There is still little response from the police. Some even continue to throw dice.

PRIEST2
(shouting)
At once! Or I will report you all to your superior officer!

The policemen get up and fetch swords and staves, take burning torches and lanterns from the walls and shuffle sullenly into rank.

PRIEST2
That’s more like it! Follow this man. He will lead you to the criminal. You are to arrest the man who he will kiss! Any questions? No! Now, get about it!

Judas leads the troop of policemen out of the courtyard.

EXT. A STREET IN JERUSALEM – NIGHT.
Judas leads the troop of policemen through the empty streets, the tramp of their feet echoing off the buildings. A gate in the city wall is opened to them and they march out through it.

EXT. THE GARDEN OF GESTHEMANE – NIGHT.
The gnarled branches of the trees, illuminated by the flaming torches, cast moving shadows on the ground as the troop marches through the garden. They come to a clearing
Jesus is standing on a small hillock with Peter and Darius on either side of him.
James and John, their faces wild with terror, are pleading with Jesus to flee, but he ignores them. Eventually they give up and run away frantically to save themselves.
With a raised hand, Judas halts the troop of police. Jesus waits expectantly to be identified. Peter holds an unsheathed sword. Darius’ face is blank. Judas steps forward.
JUDAS
Greetings, Master!

He kisses Darius.

The Temple police surround them. Darius is pulled roughly from Judas’ embrace and his wrists are shackled with chains.
JUDAS
Leave the others! We have the one we came for!

The police march off with Darius. Judas follows for a distance before stopping and looking back at Jesus, who stands with a look of shocked astonishment on his face. Peter looks at him questioningly.
Judas turns and hurries to catch up with the police and their prisoner.

EXT. THE COURTYARD BEFORE THE MANSION OF CAIAPHAS – NIGHT.
The police are warming themselves around a charcoal fire. Darius stands with his wrists bound. Judas keeps his distance from the policemen. A couple of servant maids bring hot spiced wine for them. One policeman tries to embrace a maid.
POLICE2
I’ll show you a quicker way to warm me up!

The girl laughs and pushes him away.

POLICE2
What are we doing standing here?

POLICE1
We’re waiting for the Sanhedrin to arrive for the trial.

POLICE3
They won’t be in a very good mood, to be summoned from their sleep at this hour of the morning!

POLICE2
Sleep? What’s that?  This fellow must think himself very important for disrupting ours!

The others agree in surly voices. The policeman goes up to Darius very closely.

POLICE2
Come on. Let’s hear an apology. Say, “I’m sorry”.

Darius is silent. The policeman spits in his face. The others laugh. Another policeman approaches and ties a strip of dirty cloth around Darius’ eyes.

POLICE3
They say this fellow fancies himself as a prophet and knows all kinds of things that we don’t.

He spins Darius around and slaps his face.

POLICE3
Come on, prophet! Tell us who struck you?

The other policemen, laughing uproariously, form a circle around Darius and begin pushing and spinning and hitting him. Judas rushes forward.

JUDAS
Stop it! Leave him alone!

POLICE2
(snarling)
Shut up and mind your own business or you’ll get some of the same. You’re just as much to blame for making us miss our kip!

Judas backs away and the policemen continue beating up Darius, his silent passivity seeming to increase their fury. Eventually he falls, and after one or two kicks, the men return to the fire. One picks Darius up to his feet and removes the blindfold. He wipes Darius’ bloody nose and mouth with it.
Suddenly we see Peter standing at a distance gesturing to Judas. Judas goes to him.

PETER
What’s going on, Judas?

JUDAS
I’ll explain later. We shouldn’t be seen together.

PETER
The Master has gone back to the room where we had supper. He wants to see you there immediately.

Peter furtively moves to the group around the fire to warm himself. One of the policemen recognizes him.

POLICE1
I’ve seen you before. Aren’t you one of this guy’s followers?

PETER
What, me? This loser? No, I’ve nothing to do with him!

The doors of the mansion are thrown open and a High Priest comes out.

PRIEST1
The assembly is ready to receive the prisoner!

Darius, flanked by two guards, is escorted into the hall.  Judas goes to the door and the priest hands him a pouch of money.

PRIEST1
There’s your thirty pieces of silver. Count it now if you think you’re being cheated. Otherwise our business is finished.

JUDAS
May I stay and watch for a while?

The priest looks around and then ushers Judas in surreptitiously.

INT. THE GREAT HALL OF CAIAPHAS’ MANSION – NIGHT.
Darius stands in the center of the hall. High Priests of the Sanhedrin are seated in a ring around the room, yawning and peevish from having been called from their beds.
Judas finds a place behind them, half-hidden by a pillar where he can see and hear the proceedings.
JUDAS
(v.o.)
The witnesses they had got together were unconvincing and contradicted each other, and at first I had the hope that they might have to release Darius for lack of evidence.

We see a succession of witnesses giving their testimony.

WITNESS1
He said he was the Messiah. He wants people to worship him.

WITNESS2
He drinks. He doesn’t respect the Sabbath. He’s a bad influence.

WITNESS3
He said that the Temple should be destroyed.

There is a ripple of angry muttering from the priests.

PRIEST2
Were you there personally when he said these things?

WITNESS1
I wasn’t, no. But my friend was.

WITNESS2
Everybody knows. It’s common knowledge.

WITNESS3
I’ve never actually met him. But just look at him! You can tell he’s a troublemaker!

The witnesses dismissed, the Chief High Priest Caiaphas stands up. A portly figure with a massive beard, he struts around Darius, glaring at him.

CAIAPHAS
Why do you not speak? Have you nothing to say to all these accusations?

Darius is silent, his eyes lowered.

CAIAPHAS
Answer me this one question. Are you Christ? The Son of God?

Slowly Darius raises his head and looks Caiaphas in the eye.

DARIUS
Yes. I am.

The High Priests react with gasps of horror and outrage.

CAIAPHAS
(triumphantly)
Blasphemy! What need is there for further witnesses? Have we not all heard the blasphemy from his own lips? What is our verdict?

All rise together and join in a unanimous chorus of indignation.

PRIEST2
Death to him! He must die!

CAIAPHAS
Agreed! To Pilate with him then, to be sentenced officially!

The priests surround Darius, spitting at him and pushing, pinching and jostling him with malicious glee as they sweep him along and out through the open doors.
Judas closes his eyes and gently bangs his head against the pillar.

EXT. THE STEPS TO THE ROOM ABOVE THE STABLE – DAY.
The sky is just beginning to turn light with the first signs of day as Judas climbs the stairs to the room where Jesus is waiting for him.
Judas pushes the door but it doesn’t open. He tries the handle, but it is bolted from inside.  He puts his mouth to a crack.
JUDAS
(whispering)
Let me in, Master! It is I, Judas.

We hear the SOUND OF THE BOLT SLIDING and the door swings open.
Judas enters and it shuts behind him.

INT. THE ROOM ABOVE THE STABLE – DAY.
Jesus stands there in the gloom, his arms crossed, staring stonily at Judas.
JESUS
Explain yourself.

JUDAS
(stammering)
It wasn’t my idea. It was Darius. I confided in him about your plan and we both agreed that it would put you in mortal danger. He suggested taking your place. Oh Master! If you had see how the police treated him! I would have died rather than to see you submitted to such cruelty!

Jesus covers his face with his hands.

JESUS
(in anguish)
Darius, oh Darius!
(pause, then fiercely)
You broke your promise. Again you acted behind my back! After giving me your word that you would do as I commanded, you deliberately defied me! I love Darius more than a brother, and you, and you alone are responsible for his suffering! I rue the day that I took you as a disciple, and I will never trust you again!

JUDAS
(weeping)
Master! We did it together, to spare you the pain and humiliation that we knew would be the result! Caiaphas has charged him with blasphemy and they’ve taken him to the Roman Procurator to try to have him sentenced to death! That would have been you! Don’t you understand?

Suddenly Judas remembers the ransom money and holds out the purse to Jesus.

JUDAS
Here’s the money! Thirty pieces of silver! They gave it to me!

Jesus stares at it incredulously and backs away horrified. He flings open the door.

JESUS
Take it back and tell them that you have given them the wrong man! You’ve cheated them, and that you are sorry, but they must release him! Darius must be saved at all costs!

JUDAS
Yes, Master, yes! There’s still a chance! And Joseph of Arimathea wasn’t at the trial, thank God!

Judas seizes Jesus’ hand and smothers it with kisses, but he pulls it away and wipes it on his tunic.
JESUS
Go! Now! Why are you still here? If Darius dies, I will hold you alone responsible!

Judas runs out of the room.

EXT. A STREET IN JERUSALEM – DAY.
We see Judas running wildly through the street. People stop to look at him as he runs past.

INT. THE CORRIDOR IN THE TEMPLE – DAY.
Judas rushes down the corridor in the temple, pushing aside those who try to stop him. He reaches the door of the room of the High Priests and throws it open without ceremony.

INT. THE CHAMBER OF THE HIGH PRIESTS – DAY.
The High Priests look up, startled and indignant as Judas bursts into the room.
JUDAS
(panting)
You have the wrong man! He’s innocent! It is not Jesus of Nazareth that you have condemned! I misled you! Cheated you! You must release him at once and I will hand over the money!

Judas holds out the purse with trembling hands.  The priests look scornful. One yawns.
PRIEST1
It doesn’t matter. The one you delivered to us suits our purpose. He openly claimed to be the Messiah. Blasphemy clear as day. The process of law has been generated and cannot be halted. You’ve earned your reward and you can keep it. Your guilty conscience is no concern of ours.

The priests continue counting their gold.
In a rage, Judas opens the purse and flings the silver coins on the marble floor. They bounce and roll across the room.
One priest rings a bell and TWO GUARDS come into the room. They seize hold of Judas and escort him forcibly from the chamber. Judas shouts over his shoulder.

JUDAS
Release the captive! He’s innocent, I tell you! His blood will be on your hands!

EXT. THE STEPS OF THE TEMPLE – DAY.
The two guards march Judas out of the Temple, dump him on the steps, and then go back inside.  Judas sits with his head in hands.
People in the square go about their business. A boy passes at a quick pace. His friend calls him.
MAN
Hey, Isaac! Where are you off to so fast?

BOY
I’m going to see Pilate deliver the Passover Amnesty at the Praetorium. Why don’t you come along?

The two go off together.  Judas stumbles to his feet and follows them.

EXT. THE COURTYARD BEFORE THE PRAETORIUM – DAY.
The courtyard is filled with people – spectators and those who have come to petition Pilate. Roman guards stand on the steps, spears in hand, their faces stony and impassive.
Judas pushes his way through the crowd towards the front. The crowd falls silent as PILATE emerges from the palace. He is followed by Darius, who is flanked by two guards. The sight of Darius shocks Judas.
Branches of thorns have been fashioned into a crown and forced onto his head. His face is scarlet from the blood that runs down. His eyes and mouth are swollen and his nose looks broken. A purple cloak has been thrown over his shoulders. He sways as he stands.
Pilate raises his hand to silence the curious muttering that has been aroused at the sight of Darius.
PILATE
I have questioned this prisoner and can find no charges to bring against him. But since the Sanhedrin demanded that he be punished, you can see from his condition that it has been carried out.
I have the power to release one prisoner to you on this special day. Do you not wish it to be this one – the self-styled “King of the Jews”?

A great murmuring spreads through the crowd. A chorus of protests comes from a group of High Priests who are standing at the front.

PRIEST1
(shouting)
Crucify him!

PILATE
Why do you wish me to do that?

PRIEST2
(shouting)
He has made himself out to be the Son of God, and according to our law he should die!

PRIEST1
Think of your position! Anyone who claims to be king is anti-Caesar! Caesar would not be pleased!

Pilate turns and speaks to Darius. The impatient hubbub of the crowd increases.
Darius does not answer, just stares blankly ahead.
The priests chant in unison for his crucifixion. Pilate raises his hand for silence.
PILATE
Which prisoner do you wish me to release?

The courtyard is filled with the sound of raised voices calling the names of prisoners.  Judas shouts too.
JUDAS
Jesus of Nazareth! Jesus of Nazareth!

His voice is lost in the crowd.  The loudest name called is for BARABBAS, and the volume increases. Judas turns to a man next to him who is shouting the name.
JUDAS
Who’s Barabbas?

MAN
He’s a Zealot – a great freedom fighter. Arrested during an anti-Roman demonstration.
(shouting)
Barabbas! Barabbas!

The whole courtyard echoes with the name now.
Pilate raises his hand, but the chanting does not desist. He speaks briefly to a guard who marches into the palace and returns with a chained man. The crowd cheers wildly.
Pilate unshackles the man (BARABBAS) and he bounds down the steps to be mobbed and feted by the crowd who carry him out of the courtyard shoulder-high with great jubilation.
Pilate washes his hands in a bowl held by a slave. He goes back into the Praetorium followed by Darius and his guards.  Judas approaches a soldier on the steps.
JUDAS
What will be done with him? That one?

SOLDIER
He’s to be executed out at Golgotha along with another couple of criminals. Now, be on your way. There’s nothing more to see. You have the one you want.

Judas walks slowly out of the empty square.

EXT. SOME STEPS OVERLOOKING THE TEMPLE SQUARE – DAY.
Judas sits on some steps with his head in his hands, oblivious to the cries of the traders and the frenetic bustle of Sabbath eve. Suddenly he feels a hand on his shoulder and he looks up.  It is Peter.
JUDAS
Peter!

He looks around.
JUDAS
Aren’t the others with you?

PETER
They’ve run off back to Galilee. Terrified, they were. I’m headed that way now myself.

JUDAS
Darius has been sentenced to be crucified.

PETER
I know. I was there at the Amnesty. I told the Master about it, so there’s no need for you to tell him. I’d keep away from him, if I were you. You’re not his favourite person at the moment.

JUDAS
He took it very badly?

PETER
Terrible. I’ve never seen him like that. What’s going on, Judas? Why does he want me to tell the others that it was him who was arrested and crucified?

JUDAS
(surprised)
He does?

PETER
He made me tell Joseph of Arimathea that he was going to be crucified and ask him to beg Pilate for the body. Joseph was shocked at the news. He was preparing to leave Jerusalem for an appointment in Capernaum, so he’s sent two of his servants to retrieve the body and place it in his own private tomb until his return.  And he made me promise to tell no one what really happened in the garden. What’s going on, Judas? Everyone thinks you are responsible for the Master’s death, and he wants them to believe it. I don’t understand.

JUDAS
The best thing is to just follow the Master’s instructions and be patient. All will be revealed in time.

PETER
Ah well. I suppose you both know what you’re doing. But it’s hard to take the sad news of his death back to the lads in Galilee when I know he’s alive. Lying doesn’t come easy for me.

JUDAS
Goodbye, Peter.

They shake hands solemnly. Peter walks away into the crowd, stops and turns for a moment, then continues on his way. Judas raises a hand in farewell.

EXT. THE EAST GATE OF JERUSALEM – DAY.
Judas walks out through the city gates into the hilly countryside.

EXT. A HILL OVERLOOKING GOLGOTHA – DAY.
Judas climbs an escarpment.
From the top he has a view in the distance of another hill where three naked men hang crucified on crosses. They are too far away to make out their features but their AGONIZED GROANS can be heard.  A group of Roman soldiers are seated on the ground in front of them, playing dice.
Suddenly, we hear the SOUND OF SOBBING. Judas looks down from the cliff on which he is standing and sees Mary and the Mother standing below him. The Mother is weeping bitterly and Mary holds her, comforting her.
Judas lays down on the cliff edge to conceal himself from sight and peers over the edge.

MOTHER
It’s my fault that he has come to such an end! I am to blame!

MARY
That’s not true, and you know it!

MOTHER
No, it is true. He was brought up to believe that his birth was extraordinary, that he was somebody special, and I let Joseph fill his head with the nonsense because I was afraid he would hate me if I told him the truth.

MARY
What are you talking about?

MOTHER
I was thirteen when it happened. I was betrothed to Joseph the carpenter, a good, gentle man. I was looking forward to the marriage so I could escape from my father who was mean and bad tempered and always found an excuse to beat me.
One morning, very early, I went to fetch water from the well. It was so early that none of the other women were there. But he was. A Roman soldier, sitting by himself by the side of the well. He asked me for water and I gave him some. He was friendly and handsome and he made me laugh with his strange accent and sign language.
Suddenly he put his arms around me and carried me into a small grove nearby. It happened so quickly that I didn’t cry out, and I didn’t want to, because I wasn’t afraid of him. I liked the feeling of his strong arms around me. He laid me down and whispered things. And.. I let him take me. It hurt, but he made me feel special.
But when he had spent himself I realized how late it had become, so I left him and ran back home with the water. Luckily there was no one else about and the family had not yet risen.
I never saw the soldier again. He was my special secret, and I remembered his caresses fondly, but within a few weeks I discovered to my horror that I was with child.
What could I do? The village would have cast me out; my father would have killed me! I went to Joseph and told him the only thing I could think of to save myself. I said an angel had appeared to me and told me that I was to bear the Son of God.
And, like a miracle, he believed me. He arranged for the date of our marriage to be brought forward and saved my life and reputation.
Jesus was born, and when he was old enough, Joseph took him aside and told him of the angel and the message. He grew up believing that! I kept silent to protect myself, but now I wish to God that I had told him the truth! Even if he had hated and spurned me, he would have been spared this vile and ridiculous death!

MARY
You dear, dear woman! What pain you’ve been through! But you’re wrong to blame yourself. His parentage makes no difference. Your son was a truly great man with a wonderful plan. What hope he gave us all! But he was too good for them to let him live. He was destined to die this way.

Black clouds appear on the horizon blotting out the sun. A storm is on its way.

DARIUS
(filtered)
(wailing)
My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?

MARTHA arrives and joins the other women.

MARTHA
None of the men are left in Jerusalem. All have fled like cowards! And Lazarus has left with his wife to visit relatives in Decapolis. There is no one to help us!

DARIUS
(crying aloud)
It is accomplished!

Darius’ body slumps forward. He is dead.
The Roman soldiers are preparing to return to the city. They take hammers and smash the legs of the other two crucified men, who scream in agony, pull them down and let them crawl away to die.
One soldier, to make sure Darius is dead, rams a spear into his ribcage. The women SHRIEK at the sight in horror.
TWO MEN arrive while the soldiers are taking down Darius’ body. One of them shows the soldiers a document and they hand over the corpse to the men. They wrap it in a sheet, pick it up, and begin to carry it away.
The women start to follow them.

EXT. A SMALL GARDEN OUTSIDE THE CITY WALLS – DAY.
The men carrying Darius’ body enter a small garden outside the city walls.
The women follow and watch from a little distance.  Judas hides behind a tree and watches from there.
The men carry the corpse into a cave tomb in the rock cliff. They emerge wiping their hands on their tunics. They roll the large stone across the entrance to seal it and walk away together.
The Mother begins to weep again.
MOTHER
He doesn’t deserve this! To be dumped so, without reverence or ceremony!

MARTHA
Sabbath is about to begin. We must get back to Bethany. But we will return the day after to wash and anoint his body properly.

A great crack of lightning illuminates the sky and heavy drops of rain begin to fall as the women leave the garden.
Judas remains, staring at the cover-stone of the tomb, a defeated expression on his face.
The rain increases with flashes of lightning and deafening thunder.
The expression on Judas’ face gradually changes as an idea dawns upon him.
He runs out from his shelter and throws wild kisses into the sky.
He runs out of the garden towards the city.

EXT. A STREET IN JERUSALEM – DAY.
The rain is pouring down. Judas runs through the street towards the upper city, soaked to the skin, an ecstatic smile on his face.

EXT. THE DOOR TO THE ROOM ABOVE THE STABLE – NIGHT.
Judas tries the door but it is bolted. He knocks but there is no reply. He pounds against it with his fist.
JUDAS
Master! It’s me, Judas! Let me in! Please!
THE SOUND OF THE BOLT BEING DRAWN. Judas pushes open the door.

INT. THE ROOM ABOVE THE STABLE – NIGHT.
The room is gloomy, lit by a single lamp. Jesus stands staring at Judas, his face emotionless.
JUDAS
Well, Master? Speak to me! Abuse me! Condemn me! Anything but this wordless stare!

JESUS
(calmly and coldly)
You have murdered my dearest friend. You have destroyed the mission and perverted the prophecies. I preach forgiveness, but I could never find it in my heart to forgive you for what you have done.

JUDAS
If it weren’t for me you would be dead! Darius went willingly to his death to spare you! You would have been proud to see how bravely he died!  “Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friend” you said. And he did! There will be jubilation in Heaven at his arrival instead of you. There is still so much you have to perform here on earth!

Jesus groans and buries his face in his hands.

JESUS
It should have been me and not Darius. All is finished!

JUDAS
On the contrary. In a way, it’s only the beginning.
Everyone believes that it was you, not Darius, who was arrested, tried and executed on the cross. This is a God-given chance to establish you once and for all as the true Messiah!

Jesus removes his face from his hands and sits down on a bench.

JESUS
Leave me. Your presence and the sound of your voice sicken me.

JUDAS
You are alive, yet none but Peter and I know it. You raised Lazarus from the dead, with many witnesses to vouch for it. If you wished, you could now perform the ultimate miracle of your career. Your own resurrection!

Jesus looks at Judas, the idea dawning on him.

JUDAS
If you reveal yourself after the Sabbath, whole and well, unvanquished even by death, who could refuse to believe that you were not truly the Anointed One – The Son of God? All is not finished! Seize this opportunity that Darius has presented to you by his sacrifice!

Jesus ponders in silence.

JESUS
The body is in the tomb. My enemies could easily produce it as evidence.

JUDAS
(laughing)
That’s a minor problem! Due to the storm and the Sabbath no one is abroad tonight. I will return to the garden, remove the corpse and carry it to the nearby refuse tips. The wild dogs that scavenge there will soon make short work of it.

JESUS
(horrified)
You would treat Darius in such a fashion? As his final reward?

JUDAS
(slightly impatient)
Darius is dead, and his soul is certainly with God. He has no further use for his body, and it must disappear if the plan is to succeed.
Martha and Mary and your mother intend to anoint your body the day after Sabbath. You should appear to them outside the empty tomb and they will be the first witnesses of your return to life. The word will quickly spread, and it will surely mean the dawning of the Kingdom!

Judas kneels and kisses Jesus’ hands.

JUDAS
Forgive me for the pain I have caused you, Master! I am your slave. My life is nothing without you.

Jesus pulls his hands away.
JESUS
Do what you have to do. Past experience has shown me that once you have some scheme in your head, not even I can prevent you from carrying it out.

Judas rises to his feet and makes for the door.

JUDAS
I’ll be back to tell you as soon as I’ve done the deed.

JESUS
Wait a moment. I have a small task for you before you go.

Jesus rummages among a pile of tools in the corner and then turns to Judas, holding out a heavy mallet and a long sharp nail. Judas understands and is horrified.

JUDAS
No, Master. That is not necessary.

JESUS
(scornfully)
It is necessary if we are to be convincing. I will be brave.

Jesus seats himself on the bench and places his right hand palm-upward on the rough wood. He offers Judas the hammer and nail with his left. Judas backs away, revolted.

JUDAS
No, Master! I couldn’t! The thought of causing you physical pain and scarring your blessed body! Don’t ask me!

JESUS
(in a fury)
After the long appalling torture that Darius endured for my sake do you think I am incapable of bearing a couple of paltry wounds?

Jesus flings the hammer and nail to the floor.

JESUS
Get out! Your company revolts me! You have thwarted me all along, acting behind my back and disobeying orders! Even this last simple request you refuse to perform for me! You are a traitor and a coward, and I detest you!

Judas picks up the hammer and nail and approaches, trembling.

JESUS
(calmly)
That’s a good Judas! Strike hard and quickly. I will bear it.

Judas holds the nail over Jesus’ unflinching palm with the mallet above it, frozen. Jesus kisses him on the cheek.

JESUS
Don’t be afraid. Show me that you love me enough to follow an order that you loathe to perform.

Judas smashes the mallet down on the nail and it passes through Jesus’ hand. Jesus screams.

JUDAS
(sobbing hysterically)
Forgive me Master! Please forgive me!

JESUS
Pull it out swiftly and do the other one!

Judas pulls the nail out and hammers it through the other hand. Then he pulls it out and crumples to the floor, weeping.
Jesus sits staring in fascination at the bleeding wounds in his hands.
JESUS
(quietly)
Go now, and never let me see your face again. I will never forgive you for as long as I live for handing over Darius instead of me.
Judas crawls to the door, broken hearted. Before he goes he takes one last look at Jesus, who remains staring at his hands.

JESUS
(whispering)
Darius!

EXT. THE GARDEN OF THE TOMB – NIGHT.
The storm has not abated. The rain lashes down as Judas enters the garden and goes to the tomb. He tries to move the cover-stone with his shoulder but it will not budge.
He finds a fallen branch and uses it as a lever. The stone shifts aside.
Judas enters the tomb. He drags the corpse out and hoists it onto his shoulder. He staggers out of the garden.

EXT. THE CITY RUBBISH TIP – NIGHT.
A desolate place. The SOUND OF BARKING DOGS ON THE PROWL nearby.
Judas puts the body down on the ground and strips off the winding sheet. He looks down at Darius’ body lying in the mud and the garbage. His eyes fill with tears.
JUDAS
Thank you.

A flash of lightning reveals three mangy dogs approaching with cunning stealth down the hillside. Judas turns and walks away quickly.

INT. INSIDE THE TOMB – NIGHT.
Judas enters and places the winding-sheet on the slab. He is about to go out again but the storm dissuades him. He lies down on the slab and falls asleep, covering himself with the winding-sheet for warmth.

INT. INSIDE THE TOMB – DAY.
The morning after Sabbath day.
Daylight shines in through the gap left by the shifted cover-stone. Judas lies on the slab asleep, the winding sheet clutched in his hand.

MARTHA
(filtered)
(calling from a distance)
This is the place! I told you I’d be able to find it again!

Judas wakes with a start, terrified. He leaps from the slab, leaving the winding-sheet, runs to the entrance and peers out. The coast is clear and he slips out quickly.

EXT. THE GARDEN OF THE TOMB – DAY.
Judas comes quickly out of the tomb and runs and hides behind some nearby bushes. He watches from there.
Martha, carrying cloth and a vessel of myrrh is waiting in a small clearing while Mary, supporting the limping Mother approach to join her. They both carry pitchers of water.
The Mother sinks to the ground exhausted.

MOTHER
Let’s rest a while before we continue. It will need all our strength to move the stone aside.

Martha puts a comforting arm around the Mother.

MARY
I’ll go and see how difficult it is to shift it.

She goes through the trees towards the tomb.

INT. INSIDE THE TOMB – DAY.
Mary looks in from the outside at the empty tomb, her eyes wide in horror, her hands to her mouth. She SCREAMS.

EXT. THE GARDEN OF THE TOMB – DAY.
Martha and the Mother rise and look in the direction of Mary’s scream.
Mary comes running through the trees.

MARY
(distraught)
The tomb is open and empty! Someone has stolen the Master’s body!

Martha and the Mother look at each other in surprise.

MARTHA
Stay here and guard the myrrh, Mary. We’ll go and see.

Martha and the Mother hurry off to look at the tomb. Mary covers her face and begins to weep in despair.
Suddenly Jesus emerges from behind a tree and approaches Mary. The lower part of his face is covered with a scarf and his hands are bandaged.  He approaches Mary and stops behind her.

JESUS
(softly)
Why are you crying?

Mary wheels around. She doesn’t recognize Jesus.

MARY
Have you moved the Master’s body from the tomb? Please show us where it is so we can anoint it properly before burial!

JESUS
Mary.

Realizing who he is, Mary falls to the ground, stretching her hands out towards his.
Jesus backs away.

JESUS
No, don’t touch me.
Tell the men that you have seen me. Tell them that they must all return to Galilee. I will come to them shortly and give further instructions.

He turns to go.

MARY
No! Wait! Stay and show yourself to your mother! She’ll be so happy!

Mary scrambles to her feet and runs towards the tomb calling for the others.
As soon as she is gone Jesus turns and walks quickly away out of the garden.

Mary returns, excitedly pulling Martha and the Mother by their hands.  She stops in dismay when she sees that Jesus has gone and looks around in bewilderment.

MARY
He was here! He talked to me! I touched him!

MOTHER
You must have imagined it. Finding the tomb empty has been a great shock for you.

Martha puts an arm around her sister, but Mary shakes it off.

MARY
I didn’t imagine it! The Master is alive! He has risen! Truly risen from the grave! He said I must go to Galilee and tell the disciples!

She kisses Martha and the Mother, and laughing and clapping, she dances out of the garden.
Martha and the Mother look sadly at each other and shake their heads. They follow her. The Mother is carrying the bloodstained winding-sheet that wrapped Darius.
Judas watches them go. He smiles and punches the sky, but the smile slowly fades from his face and he becomes sadly thoughtful.

EXT. OUTSIDE LAZARUS’ HOUSE IN BETHANY – NIGHT.
A moonlit night. Judas slips furtively out of the shadows and approaches Lazarus’ house. He tries the house door but it is secure.
He goes to the shutter of a window and raps on it quietly but persistently.
The shutter opens and Martha looks out. She gasps when she sees Judas and looks at him in disgust.

JUDAS
Let me in Martha. I beg you.

Martha closes the shutter.  Judas goes to the street door and Martha, holding a lit lamp, opens it for him.  Judas enters.

JUDAS
You know.

MARTHA
We learned too late. We could do nothing to save him. We watched him die. His mother..! How could you do such a thing? How could you?

Judas looks around.
JUDAS
Mary?

MARTHA
She’s gone mad. She says the Master is alive and appeared to her and told her to go to tell the men in Galilee that he was coming. I couldn’t control her. She set off tonight with his mother.
Is there anything – anything you can say to explain your behavior?

JUDAS
No, I can’t. I can’t. I can only ask if you will hide me for a while? Just for a short time? I don’t know what to do or where to go! You’re the only one I can turn to!

MARTHA
“And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us..” Oh, that’s a hard one! I don’t think I can do that! You’re hateful! Despicable! (pause) But I’ll try. Come with me.

Martha leads Judas though the house and into the garden.

EXT. THE GARDEN OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – NIGHT.
Martha with lantern, leads Judas across the garden towards Lazarus’ empty tomb.

INT. INSIDE LAZARUS TOMB – NIGHT.
Martha squeezes into the empty tomb, followed by Judas.
MARTHA
You’ll be safe here. Stay as long as you need, but I hope it’s not long! I’ll bring you food and wine, but don’t expect me to be civil. In fact I won’t even speak to you. Do you understand?

JUDAS
You’re an angel, Martha. May I make one small request? Please let me have some material to write with. That’s all I need.

Martha stares at him, then nods curtly. She goes out leaving Judas alone with the lamp. He sits on the slab and stares at the wall.

INT. INSIDE LAZARUS’ TOMB – NIGHT.
Judas squats on the slab with the parchment in front of him.
JUDAS
(v.o.)
That’s my story, Peter, and I wonder what you’ll make of it. Tonight I will hand you this manuscript, and when you have read it I am sure that you will agree that I only did what was best.

Judas puts the papers together and places them at the top of the slab. He rests his head on them and closes his eyes.

INT. INSIDE A SEALED TOMB – NIGHT.
The scene is the same as the nightmare of Judas as we witnessed at the beginning.
A wrapped corpse lies on a slab in a sealed tomb, lit only by small oil lamps placed at each corner. Suddenly the corpse stirs and slowly pulls away the winding sheet. It rises from the slab and shuffles to the sealed entrance. It scrabbles at the stone.

EXT. THE GARDEN OF LAZARUS’ HOUSE – NIGHT.
We see a lighted lantern being carried by someone, coming through the trees of the garden towards the tomb.

INT. INSIDE THE SEALED TOMB – NIGHT.
The wrapped corpse continues to scrape and fumble with the cover stone.
CORPSE
Help! Let me out! Is there anyone there? I’m still alive! Anybody! Judas? Judas?

EXT. OUTSIDE LAZARUS’ TOMB – NIGHT.
The unseen person with the lamp has reached Lazarus’ tomb. They put the lantern down on the ground outside.

INT. INSIDE THE SEALED TOMB – NIGHT.

CORPSE
Judas! Can you hear me? Save me Judas! Let me out of here!

The stone slowly grates aside and a brilliant white light shines in.

INT. INSIDE LAZARUS’ TOMB – NIGHT.
Judas wakes with a start. He can hear the same GRATING SOUND as in his dream.
The cover stone is moving, and slowly comes to a stop, blocking the entrance completely.
Judas jumps to his feet and flings himself at the stone. He tries to move it but it is impossible.

JUDAS
(shouting)
What are you doing? Peter? Martha? Let me out!

Judas eventually gives up his struggle and goes back to the slab, where he sits with his knees drawn up to his chest. The flame in the lamp begins to die.

JUDAS
I suppose it’s best this way. The secret will be safe forever. Whenever my name is mentioned people will spit. The Kingdom of God will be established on earth and everyone will love one another and revere the Master’s name.  But you owe me, Master. You owe me.

The flame in the lamp flickers and goes out. Utter blackness.

FADE OUT.

THE END.

Michael Dickinson can be contacted at his website – http://yabanji.tripod.com/id21.html