“Gentlemen, tomorrow is the day that we’ve jointly been working towards. You’ve supported me throughout the various trials meted out by both the occupying forces and our own religious leadership, not to mention individuals who seem to have missed the point.
But tomorrow I die. If you don’t listen carefully you’ll be confused, and there will be multiple theories in the future about what my death proved, or showed, or achieved. People will speculate that I was sacrificed as a ransom to Satan, or that I died to satisfy an angry Father (God forbid). But the reality is far simpler:
Tomorrow you are all forgiven. Every one of you. And you, and you. In fact, every person, man, woman and child in the whole world. You are all forgiven of your past sins and I’m giving you a fresh start as children once more of the Father. All you have to do is accept this gift freely. No strings, other than to follow the example I’ve set over these last years through faith in me and a genuine, heartfelt desire to return to the Father. Of course, some will carry on as normal, and ultimately miss out, but hey, people.
My death doesn’t bring about your forgiveness, nor does it reconcile you to the Father. Reconciliation is a gift given by the grace of God. He doesn’t need anyone to die to be generous. The Father has waited patiently for your return, but to no avail, so the time has come for Him to show you what love and forgiveness in action means. Adam blew it, and I’ll put it right.
But my Father and the Holy Spirit have agreed with me (and they always do) that I must die in order to conquer the one enemy you have left, apart from your own hard hearts – death. I will die the lowliest death known to man, in order that my return to life will be all the more spectacular, and of course my chosen method of dying won’t leave any room for doubt. People don’t get over this one. If everything goes to plan my resurrection to life will remove all doubts you may have, although I suspect Thomas may need a bit of work. One day even my worst enemy will say that without my rising your faith would have been in vain, so this isn’t about me being a great teacher, or morally perfect. This is about you being able to join me at the end of your natural earthly lives because I will have defeated death for you. It’s the best gift we could think of for you and it’s what the Father has always wanted. All you have to do is understand what I’ve done and know it was for you.
I’d like to thank you all, Peter first, for being a stalwart and practical leader, if a bit slow at times (Just kidding Pete), Judas, in his absence, for being sooooo predictable, and each of the rest of you for being there. Your work is not over (although I can’t see much of a future for Judas), because I’ll want you to get the word around along with the others. And remember, this death thing is supposed to happen, so don’t go getting down on yourselves. There is nothing you could’ve done to stop it because it’s been the plan from day one. Anyway, I’m going off to pray. All I ask is that you stay awake to watch over me. Nothing too complex, and I want you all on top form for when Judas comes back…”