(The following includes the remainder of a fictional interview by first-century writer Caleb. Based on historical Gospel accounts, it takes place soon after Jesus of Nazareth’s execution. As Caleb conducts the interview, using a small tape recorder, Mary Magdalene’s sister, Huldah, stirs a huge pot of stew and occasionally yells at her children.)
Huldah: As I said, Daniel and I weren’t crazy about Mary’s being a groupie, trailing after this rock-star rabbi, Jesus. It’s not like she wasn’t already nutty as a fruitcake. But the more Mary hung with Jesus, the better she got.
We were grateful, though I worried about her reputation when she traveled with Jesus.
Mary thought that was funny. “Huldah, I don’t have a reputation to lose!”
Caleb: How did you feel about Jesus’ enemies?
Huldah: What do you think? I worried. Worried our rabbi would kick Mary out of the synagogue. That she’d get us kicked out, and our business would go bankrupt.
Caleb: What about the Romans’ reaction to Jesus and his followers?
Huldah: Duh! You know they also crucify women, if they’re in the mood.
But when Mary visited weekends, I’d never seen her so … peaceful.
Still, she worried about Jesus. He didn’t do anything wrong. He did everything right! But that didn’t earn him any brownie points. We came here to Jerusalem for Passover, but instead of celebrating, the whole town waited, as if expecting fire to fall. When we heard they’d crucified Jesus, we were scared Mary would hang on a cross next to him.
Caleb: What happened to her?
Huldah: Thank God, the Romans hadn’t harmed her. When Jesus died, we begged Mary to hide outside Jerusalem. But she wanted to help bury him.
Caleb: She’s still okay?
Huldah: I—I don’t know. Mary swears up and down she not only saw but talked to Jesus.
Caleb: She thinks a man survived crucifixion?
Huldah: Yes, she’s crazy happy. Others who claim they saw him are crazy happy. Maybe they’re all loonier than she was in the first place!
Huldah: I know, I know. Roman soldiers are good at their job. I saw Jesus die. Mary saw his followers put the body into a tomb. Yet she won’t back down. She can’t wait to see Jesus again.
Caleb: Um, Huldah, I want to put a positive spin on this. But you need to get Mary some help.
Huldah: If only she’ll come home with us — there she is! Talk to her. Wait. Who is that Man walking behind her?
Caleb: It can’t be —
Huldah: (screaming) Mary’s right! Jesus is alive!
(Caleb’s recorder plopped into the stewpot, and normally, an interview would have been lost forever. But this one, Caleb noted later, he would never forget.)
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: If you could talk to someone who saw Jesus after His Resurrection, who would it be?