Setting: Just outside the gates of a mighty, ancient city.
GUARD: Identity scrolls, please.
JESUS: I’m sorry, what?
GUARD: Identity scrolls. To let you inside Jerusalem, we’ve got to confirm your citizenship.
JESUS: Oh! We’ve never had to do that before.
GUARD: New policy. Border security crisis. A lot of riffraff getting in. Sicarii. Zealots. MS-13. You know the types.
JESUS: I’m afraid we didn’t know we’d need identity scrolls.
GUARD: Undocumented, then. (writes that down) Seeking asylum, I assume?
JESUS: Actually, I’ve come to take away the sins of the world.
GUARD: Uh huh. Purpose of trip? Business? Pleasure?
JESUS: (puzzled) It’s ... it’s Passover. We’re here for Passover. Just like the thousand other people behind us in line.
GUARD: Pilgrimage, then. (writes that down) Name?
JESUS: Jesus of Nazareth.
GUARD: Place of birth?
GUARD: (suspiciously) You just said Nazareth.
JESUS: The family moved around a lot. Bethlehem. Egypt. Up to Galilee.
GUARD: (muttering) Migrant workers. (louder) Number of people in your party?
JESUS: Well, there’s Simon called Peter, and Thomas called the Twin, James called the Lesser, Levi called Matthew –
GUARD: Whoa, whoa, whoa! ALL your friends have gang names?
JESUS: (exasperated) We’re not a gang! Anyway, there’s Simon called the Zeal— You know what? There's twelve of them, that’s all you asked.
PETER: (pokes head in) Twelve, but seventy more who follow close behind.
JAMES: (also pokes head in) And a lot of women, too.
JOHN: (joins in) Wait, don’t we count the women among the Seventy?
ANDREW (intrudes) Oh, and He has sheep not of this fold, in another flock!
JESUS: Really NOT being helpful, guys.
GUARD: All right, then. We’ll call you a "growing caravan trying to cross our border." Now, have you got anything to declare?
PETER: (excitedly) That He is the Christ, the Son of the living of God!
GUARD: Okay. (writes that down) Anything else?
JESUS: This donkey. I’m hoping to ride it in. You know, once we clear the gates.
GUARD: Uh oh. That might be an issue. We’re worried about disease crossing the border. Animals and migrants like you tend to be unclean. Have you been near any lepers or demon-possessed people lately?
(Foot shuffling and inaudible murmurs among the group.)
GUARD: Look, mostly we’re worried about violence. Can I get your word that you’re not going to whip anyone up into civil disobedience or irritate the priests and elders in any way?
PETER: Hey, we call this guy the Prince of Peace. You sound like you expect Him to start kicking over tables right in the temple.
JESUS: ... again, NOT helping ...
GUARD: I’ve gotta be honest with you. A group of outsiders, a bunch of gang names, no documentation, possibility of disease coming over the city border .... Your prospects for getting in don’t look great unless we can work something out.
JESUS: Huh? What do you mean?
GUARD: You know. Work something out. A little something. To work it out.
JUDAS: (cutting in) Yo, Jesus, I got this. (to the guard) Maybe a little silver will hurry things along? What do you say to ... thirty pieces?
GUARD: I say, Welcome to Jerusalem, blessed pilgrims! Please pass through the eternal Wall guarding our city!
JESUS: (muttering as He passes) Eternal my eye. I tell you, not one temple stone will remain atop another when—
JUDAS: NOT helping. (pause) You know, I’ll be needing that money back eventually.