Summary: Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson chatting at home an proofing through logic and deduction that Jesus rose from the dead.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 7min.
Actors: 3M, 1F
Mrs Hudson (Holmes's housekeeper)
Notes: I wrote this in 2014 for my youth group, ages 9 to 13 to perform for their parents. Four characters were speaking. But Sherlock Holmes had his script pasted to the inside of his newspaper, and Dr John Watson had his pasted to the inside of the black cardboard laptop, Mrs Hudson had hers on her tea tray, and Inspector Lestrade had his in his police notebook, so although there was a lot to say, and they had practicsd it a lot, at least they had the script in front of them in case they got stuck.
There were also other characters (who didn't want a speaking part) who quietly mimed aspects of the resurrection story, on the other side of the stage, as they were referred to by Holmes and Watson. The mimers were all dressed in black (and with quiet shoes!) so as not to distract from the main action in Sherlock's drawing room.
J: Evening Sherlock, had a good day?
S: Oh, you know John, scouting around, always looking for a case to solve, no joy today though. Fetch me a cup of tea, Mrs Hudson ….......
H: Fetch you a cup of tea? I'm your landlady you know, Mr Holmes, not your housekeeper!........would you like a biscuit with that?
S: You still blogging Watson?
J: Yes, well, they like to read about your adventures.
S: Who do?
J: Well, the ...em....blog followers.
H: Bloggers, John, bloggers.
IL: Evening all!
S: Good evening Inspector Lestrade, what brings you here this evening?
IL: Just thought I'd pop in, see what cases your poking your noses into at the moment.
S: Nothing happening at the moment unfortunately, but John's busy “blogging”!
J: Yes, my readers will like this last case I'm typing up, you know, the one about the hound........now what shall I call it? How about “The Hound of the Baskervilles?”
S: That'll never catch on.......
H: Oh Holmes, encourage him! I think it sounds very exciting John.
S: Well, well, Watson, look at this (looking at newspaper)......another anti-God campaigner trying to disprove the resurrection of Jesus! Ha!
J: Why do you think people are always trying to argue that Jesus didn't rise from the dead, Holmes?
S: Because they're afraid, Watson! They're afraid that it is true, and they've ignored it!
IL: But how can you be sure that it is true? It's just a matter of faith isn't it?
S: Faith, yes Lestrade, a little, but not just faith. It's logic, logic and deduction!
J: You can use your powers of deduction to prove that Jesus rose from the dead?
S: Yes, its elementary, my dear Watson!
J: OK, let's see, let's look at some of the arguments. First, let's take the theory that Christ never died at all, but that he passed out, fainted, and was therefore still alive when they put him in the tomb......could that be true?
S: Of course not!.....
he was flogged,
he carried his heavy cross up to Calvary,
he was nailed to the cross and hung for hours in agony,
and he was put in a tomb, wrapped tightly in grave clothes, and a large stone placed over the entrance.
Would a man who was barely alive be able to get out of his grave clothes, fold them neatly, push back the stone, overcome the guards, get cleaned up and changed, and then act like a fit and healthy person?
J: No, that would be impossible, besides, when Jesus was still on the cross a soldier pierced his side with a spear to check if he was dead, and Jesus' blood had already separated, proving he was dead.
IL: So, what about the theory that the disciples were seeing things.......hallucinating? Is that possible?
S: What, all of them? As a doctor, Watson will know that's not possible. On one occasion after Jesus rose again, even 500 people saw him at the same time! Besides, they had no reason to hallucinate.... I mean they didn't expect or hope to see Jesus again after he died, they thought it was all over.
J: Yes, that's true.….......
H: How about this one, Sherlock? That in their grief and sorrow the women went to the wrong tomb....an empty one....on the Sunday morning? They made a mistake maybe.
S: Not impossible, but not probable either. The women had watched the burial, they knew where the tomb was, and this was only three days later. They were looking for a sealed tomb, they wouldn't have gone to an empty one by mistake. And Peter and the other disciples went to the tomb separately and also found it empty.
IL: If it had been a mistake, the Jews would have been quick to correct them! They would have produced His body, they wouldn't have wanted people thinking Jesus was special. And the Romans would have wanted to prove that Jesus was really dead too, they wouldn't have wanted any disturbance.
J: Yes, that makes sense. What about this though Holmes?..........some people say that the disciples stole Jesus' body....is that plausible?
S: Oh Watson, people don't think, do they?! This doesn't make sense at all. The disciples didn't expect Jesus to rise again, so why would they steal the body and then tell people that he had risen? And then be prepared to give up their lives for the sake of something they knew wasn't true? No, people don't do that.
H: Yes, they were afraid and in hiding, they wouldn't have risked being arrested for a lie.....
IL:....and then there's the problem of the two Roman guards at the tomb....they would have fought tooth and nail to protect that tomb from intruders, their punishment would have been severe for not guarding it well!
J: Yes, you're right.....and there's the women too....they were the first ones to report seeing Jesus. If it was all a fake, they wouldn't have chosen women to spread the word....they would have been worried that people wouldn't believe the women, as was common back then. No, in those days if they wanted something to be believed they would have chosen men to spread the news.
S: Well done my friends, you are coming on!
H: mmm......What other arguments are there? Oh yes, some say the resurrection was just spiritual...that it was just Jesus' spirit or soul that rose, and not his body. What do you say to that?
S: Well, that doesn't fit....after Jesus rose from the dead Mary touched him, Thomas touched him, he ate food with his friends.
IL: Well, one more thing Sherlock. Were the witnesses reliable? Can we trust their accounts written in the Bible?
S: Lestrade, you know, I believe we can, It's the science of textual criticism!
H: Oh Mr Holmes, whatever do you mean?!
S: ......it's quite simple.......in other words, if records are written down soon after an event, and if there are many copies of those records, then we are more likely to believe that the event actually happened.
IL: Ah yes, and some accounts of Jesus's death and resurrection were written only 40 years after (a very short time compared to other historical records), and there are thousands of copies. And they were written by eye witnesses....people who had been there and seen it all happen!
J: Brilliant! Another case solved, I think I'll write a blog about it!
S: Brilliant, yes Watson, but anyone could be brilliant if only they would put their mind palaces to better use!
H: mmm........but Mr Holmes...........something's missing …....you always say that when you are solving a crime you must always consider the motive. So what's the motive? Why did Jesus want to rise again?
S: Oh Mrs Hudson, that really IS elementary.....Jesus did it because he loves us! Now there's something special to put in Watson's blog!
© Lyd Heywood. All rights reserved.