5 BC

YAHWEH: Hey, Jesus, come over here a minute.

JESUS: Okay, dad. What’s up?

YAHWEH: There was a time when I just loved the smell of fresh blood and burning goat flesh. But it’s kinda getting old. I wish I could just forgive everybody without making them kill something first.

JESUS: So, what’s stopping you from just forgiving everybody?

YAHWEH: We made a contract. The humans kill things so I can forgive them for whatever they did wrong. I can’t just go and change the terms of the contract. They’ve got this new thing called “lawyers”. Trust me, you do NOT want to get on their bad side. But don’t worry, I have a plan.

JESUS: What’s your plan?

YAHWEH: They still have to kill something, but just one last kill and then that’s it. And it has to be big.

JESUS: What are they going to kill?

YAHWEH: You.

JESUS: Seriously?

YAHWEH: Yeah, I told you it had to be a big one. You can’t get any bigger than killing my only son. A man’s only son is his most valuable possession. You can steal a man’s money, burn down his house, murder his wife, but all those possessions put together aren’t as valuable as his only son.

JESUS: What about daughters?

YAHWEH: Oh, I agree that daughters are valuable possessions. You can sell a daughter for two cows, maybe three. A really pretty one might even go for up to five cows. But that’s still not as valuable as a son.

JESUS: So, what happens after they kill me. Do I stay dead forever?

YAHWEH: No, it’s only a temporary death. Three days, tops. Then you come back here with me again. No sweat.

JESUS: So, it’s not really like having your son killed at all. It’s more like a man having his son kidnapped and then three days later the kidnappers bring the son back. Not exactly a tragedy.

YAHWEH: You’re missing the best part.

JESUS: What’s that?

YAHWEH: the part where I forgive all the humans!

JESUS: All the humans? Not just the ones who actually kill me?

YAHWEH: I’ll forgive anyone who publicly claims responsibility for your death, even if they actually had nothing to do with it.

JESUS: What if they grow up in another country, years later, and didn’t even know about my death?

YAHWEH: Oh, they’ll know.

JESUS: How? Are you going to beam the information directly into their brains?

YAHWEH: Don’t be silly. That would never work. Instead, I’ll just make sure they have access to a book that explains the whole story.

JESUS: And, you want me to write the book, right?

YAHWEH: No, that’s a terrible idea. I’ll get a committee of ordinary humans to write it.

JESUS: How will they know what to say?

YAHWEH: I’ll beam the information directly into their brains.

JESUS: And when people read this book, how will they know it’s real?

YAHWEH: I’ll make sure it includes stories about you performing magic. That should convince them.

JESUS: What happens to the people who aren’t convinced? Do they still have to sacrifice goats?

YAHWEH: You’re not listening. No More GOATS! After this, they only have two options. Either they take responsibility for your death because they read about it in the magic book and then they go to heaven, OR they go straight to hell because I won’t forgive them. There’s no third alternative.

JESUS: So, heaven will be full of gullible people and hell will be full of skeptics, right?

YAHWEH: Yep, that’s the way I want it.

JESUS: Does Mom know about this plan?

YAHWEH: Umm… She’s not crazy about it. Especially the part where I impregnate a 12-year-old virgin.

JESUS: Okay. Wow. You kinda skipped over that part.

YAHWEH: Well, obviously we need a human surrogate to give birth to you. I just thought it would be more dramatic if she was a 12-year-old virgin. The book works much better that way.

JESUS: So, what did Mom say?

YAHWEH: She said it’s a terrible idea, she wants nothing to do with it, and we should just leave her out of the book completely.

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