The Body-snatchers

by Jane And Mark Lewis
Potted JAM
Copyright © 1989, 2003 Jane And Mark Lewis. Email:



This sketch is a monologue of a Roman officer investigating the disappearance of Jesus' body.  He is  interviewing the Roman soldiers posted to guard the tomb. The sketch is based on Matthew 27:62 - 28:15 and is aimed at highlighting some of the evidence for Jesus' resurrection.



  • Lucius — a Roman military investigator. 


The monologue can be addressed to the front row of the audience/congregation as if they were the 16 soldiers being interviewed.  Lucius should be dressed in modern military combat gear and have a clipboard for referring to/making notes on. Pauses for responses of the soldiers are indicated by an ellipsis (…).


Lucius:  Hail Caesar. At Ease. Right, I am Centurion Lucius Special Investigator for the Governor. Pilate himself has ordered me to look into the body-snatching of this so called prophet  - er  [refers to clipboard] ? Jesus of Nazareth. You men were appointed to watch the tomb at the express request of the Jewish authorities to prevent just this sort of embarrassing incident. Now I couldn't care less about the Jews and their petty religious squabblings, but you have embarrassed the governor and disgraced the army of Caesar and now the press have got hold of it. I intend to get to the bottom of this - understood? … 
 Right. I've read your reports and all sixteen of you say, and I quote, "the dead man’s followers came and stole the body while we were asleep" is that correct? … From what I understand, since his arrest this man’s followers have been about as organised as a Barbarian-in-a-bog and couldn't catch a fish let alone rob a grave. But, you're trying to tell me that these Galilean bumpkins managed to clamber past you, move a 2-ton rock and steal a dead body and you bunch of babies SLEPT THROUGH IT!!  … You realise of course that falling asleep on guard duty is an act of gross negligence for which you will be court martialled? … Yes, SIR!   In any case  ? how come you know it was the Galileans if you were all asleep, hmm?  … Oh I see so the chief priests said it was his followers did they?  And they were there I suppose? … Listen there are no eyewitnesses to say that there was anyone near the tomb that night apart from a few women at dawn … No soldier I don't think that even with you guarding the tomb that the women stole the body - and if you make another comment like that you’ll be on report.
Listen you lot - do you think I was born yesterday?  You claim that as trained guards you couldn't manage to stay awake for a few hours to prevent some unknown thieves stealing a body.  Do me a favour, someone has bribed you and I want to know who. NOW! … Ah so it was the chief priests!  Hah - I thought as much they probably want to blame the Galileans  so they can have them hanged too.  So where's the body then? … You don't know! … Come on spit it out ? you, name? … Right Marcus lets hear it … Lightning? … Earthquake … ANGELS??!!! Are you crazy Marcus ? you expect me to believe that! … No wait let me get this straight.  There was an almighty flash of lightning brighter than the sun followed by a thunderous earthquake as a fiery angel burst out of nowhere, rolled away the stone and then you all passed out? Expect me to believe that! Dismissed!  Get out all of you I'll deal with your punishment later.  If you’re going to accept bribes you really ought to invent better cover stories.
 [he sits].  What is going on?  We don't have the body, the Jews don't have the body, the Galileans don't have it - where in Caesar's name is it?

Copyright © 1989, 2003 Jane And Mark Lewis. Email:

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