John Masefield (1878-1967), was a celebrated English poet, novelist and playwright. In 1925, he wrote a beautiful play entitled "The Trial of Jesus."
In the play, after the crucifixion of Jesus, the Roman Centurion, Longinus, reports to Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator. Longinus was the officer in charge of Calvary.
And in Masefield's play, after Longinus gives his report to Pilate, the wife of the procurator, Claudia Procula, calls him aside. In Matthew's Gospel 27:19, she pleaded with her husband not to condemn Jesus. "Have nothing to do with that man; I have been upset all day by a dream I had about him."
So, in the play, Masefield has her asking about Our Lord's last moments and how he died. And she says to Longinus, "Do you think he is really dead?" Longinus answers her: "No Lady, I don't." Then where is he", she says. Longinus replies again: "He's let loose in the world, Lady, where neither Roman nor Jew can stop His truth."
When Longinus spoke those words to Claudia Procula in Masefield's play, he sensed that the teachings of Jesus would spark a revolution in the way people would think and behave towards one another. The truth of Our Lord's message would inflict grievous wounds on the cruel, barbaric values of the proud Roman Empire. The Empire that crucified Jesus was doomed and the kingdom of God reigning in the hearts of men would ultimately triumph. For Calvary was not the end of the story of Jesus Christ, but only the beginning.
"Christ is risen. He is risen indeed."
Fr Barry Tobin PE