Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lazarus: The Day After

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. "Take away the stone," he said.

"But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."

Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."
--John 11: 38-45

LAZARUS appears at his GIRLFRIEND’s house.

GIRLFRIEND
Lazarus! Is that really you?

LAZARUS (hugging her)
Oh, baby, you have no idea how much I missed you. Those four days away from you felt like an eternity.

GIRLFRIEND (nervous laughter)
Yeah, they felt like an eternity to me, too.

LAZARUS
I have a whole new perspective on life. I'm going to treat every minute like it's my last. That's why I want to get married.

GIRLFRIEND
Married?

LAZARUS
Right away. (Gets down on a knee and presents a spectacular diamond ring.) Will you marry me?

GIRLFRIEND
Wow, look at that ring! Where did you get the money for that?

LAZARUS
I had Jesus make it for me out of clay. So what do you say?

GIRLFRIEND
I can't. I’m sort of...married.

LAZARUS
Married? When did that happen?

GIRLFRIEND
Two days ago.

LAZARUS
You got married two days after I died?

GIRLFRIEND
Hey, I’m already 20. I had to move on with my life. Josephus the Goat Herder asked and I said yes. We didn’t want to wait so we went to that little chapel in Bethlehem.

LAZARUS
I can't believe it.

GIRLFRIEND
Well, sweetie, I can't believe you're not dead.


Lazarus appears at the local shipping dock to see his BOSS.

LAZARUS
Hey, boss.

BOSS
Jesus Christ!

LAZARUS
Exactly!

BOSS
What are you doing here?

LAZARUS
I came back for my old job. I’m ready to fish like there’s no tomorrow and feel the life-affirming satisfaction of a job well done.

BOSS
That’s great, except I already gave your job to someone else.

LAZARUS
Who?

BOSS
A Samaritan. Honestly, he works harder than you did when you were alive.

LAZARUS
But I was only dead for four freaking days!

BOSS
I know, but fish don’t mourn, Lazarus.

LAZARUS
You know what, screw working. Life's too short to waste on a boat with a bunch of smelly fish. I'm going to get my stuff and see the world. The primitive beauty of Gaul. The imperial splendor of Rome. The exotic...exoticness of India.

BOSS
Before you bid us goodbye, you owe me four pieces of silver for the four days you didn't report to work.


Lazarus is at local Roman government office, talking to an OFFICIAL.

LAZARUS
What do you mean I can’t travel abroad?

OFFICIAL (looking over scrolls)
You can’t travel abroad because I don’t have a box to check.

LAZARUS
A box to check?

OFFICIAL
Yes. I have boxes for born, married, divorced, widowed, remarried, multiply married, fed to the lions, fed to the gladiators, stoned, crucified, and 67 other death categories. But no box for "resurrected." And we can’t just let the dead wander the earth, can we? I’m afraid you’ll have to stay in Galilee.

LAZARUS
Until when?

OFFICIAL
Until the Second Coming. (Laughs at his own joke.) Or until I get a box to check.


Lazarus talks to the apostle PETER.

LAZARUS
Peter, I have seen the light. Love, work, travel...I reject all of these pursuits. I want to devote my life to Jesus.

PETER
Terriffic. We are always looking for more disciples.

LAZARUS
Yes, well, I was hoping I could be an apostle.

PETER
I'm afraid we don’t have any openings right now.

LAZARUS
Just add me. The more the merrier!

PETER
Thirteen apostles? We're fishers of men, not the baker's dozen of Christ.

LAZARUS
Come on. I was raised from the dead by your boss! That's gotta make me better candidate than Bartholomew or Simon the Zealot.

PETER
I'm so sorry. But we'll keep your beseeching on file in case something opens up.


Lazarus appears at the farm of his sister, MARTHA.

LAZARUS
I tell you, Martha, I'm so glad to be back home. If you don't mind, I've had a very stressful week, and I'm going to retire early to my room.

MARTHA
Laz, honey, we kind of turned your room into a shrine.

LAZARUS
A shrine?

MARTHA
To Jesus. For resurrecting you. But we fixed you up a nice spot in the barn.


Lazarus lays in the hay in the barn, surrounded by animals. Rain pours in from the leaky roof onto his head.

LAZARUS
I wish I was dead.

7 comments:

Grendel said...

This is gold. Gold, I tell ya.

Brando said...

Thanks, Grendel. The stuff I think of during Lent....

Jennifer said...

Lazarus has never reminded me so much of Snag!

Noelle said...

Hi-larious. I always wondered what happened to Lazurus after he came back to life. Was he that important that he alone got the resurrection treatment? Did he walk the Earth forever like some Ann Rice vampire? Did he step out of his tomb only to get hit by a truck and did Jesus then refuse to resurrect someone with a smashed-in face?

My Bible had a lot of plot holes. Thanks for filling them in.

The Uncanny Canadian said...

Sux 2B Lazarus. As I have learned from watching Pushing Daisies, it really can suck to be risen from the dead.

Churlita said...

"Thirteen apostles? We're fishers of men, not the baker's dozen of Christ." I loved this line most of all.

Once again, your post was a veritable laugh riot.

Hjorthen said...

This is so damn funny I decided to translate it to norwegian and post it on my own blog.

I looked for an e-mail-address to ask in advance if it was okay, but since I couldn't find one I just went right ahead and did it. If you don't approve, just let me know and I'll take it right back down again!

(My email is hjortheblogg@gmail.com)

I'll give you credit of course, even though I wish I could get away with having written the piece myself.