MARY HART: ... and I'm Mary Hart. Tonight's big story is the arrival of Jesus Christ in the city of Jerusalem just over 24 hours ago. As you can imagine, it was absolute bedlam as the Christian Messiah made His long-awaited and triumphant "second coming" in the city that holds so many memories for Him. ET was there from start to finish, and our own Julie Moran kicks off our coverage. Julie, what's the lowdown?
JULIE MORAN: Well, Mary, much like His first visit here nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ came to the holy city of Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. But unlike the original Palm Sunday, this truly charismatic Superstar was greeted and mobbed by throngs of celebrities, believers, zealots, autograph seekers, even some curious infidels. As you can see by the videotape, Jesus -- dressed in a classically-inspired white, full-length robe courtesy of Giorgio Armani and sandals from Tommy Hilfiger -- warmly waved to His fans while maintaining His legendary beatific demeanor. Security along the route was tight, but as the Chief of Police told me, "You never know when some lunatic with a cross, hammer and nails might jump out of the crowd."
When the Savior finally reached the end of His route, He dismounted, was quickly ushered through a wall of cameras and reporters, then whisked into the Jerusalem Crowne Plaza for His highly anticipated press conference. For that story, let's go to Mark Steines ...
MARK STEINES: It was a loose, personable, unflappable Prince of Peace who stepped up to the microphones to take questions from the always skeptical press this afternoon ...
PRESS CORPS: How does it feel to be back in Jerusalem?
JESUS: Terrific. But I've never had a problem entering Jerusalem. It's my exit I'm concerned about.
MARK STEINES: And by the time He was done, He'd won a few converts.
PRESS CORPS: A lot of people doubted you even existed. Anything to say to them?
JESUS: Yeah. Try not to die. (Laughter) And if you do, wear something lightweight.
PRESS CORPS: You mentioned the afterlife, and that brings up an interesting question: How can the average person get to heaven?
JESUS: Turn right at Alpha Centauri. (Laughter)
MARK STEINES: But the most surprising exchange had to be this one...
PRESS CORPS: Julia Roberts has been spotted backstage at Your last two miracles. Is the relationship serious?
JESUS: To me, Julia is one of My Father's most beautiful creations, nothing more.
MARK STEINES: The press conference lasted about 30 minutes, during which Christ declined repeated requests to walk on the hotel swimming pool. He also admitted to reporters that He's disappointed He didn't get back in time to see Michael Jordan play in person. After it was all over, ET's Jann Carl caught up with the Man-slash-Son of God of the Hour for a one-on-one chat. Jann ...
JANN CARL: Thanks, Mark. Though He'd had a grueling day of preaching, teaching, meditating, healing and a little light carpentry, it was a tanned, rested, almost serene Jesus Christ that I spoke with earlier today ...
Is it all right to say You look fantastic, Lord?
JESUS: Of course, Jann. Thank you.
JANN CARL: I'm surprised, though. Your Hair is so much shorter than in the pictures most of us are familiar with. And Your beard. What happened to Your beard?
JESUS: My appearance is of no consequence. Perhaps ...
JANN CARL: To You maybe, but I think I saw several hundred women out there today who disagree. But if I can get serious for a minute, in the past, You've done a lot of healing. And today, probably the person who could most use Your help in the whole world is the courageous Christopher Reeve. Any chance You might lay hands on him?
JESUS: I would like to see an end to all suffering.
JANN CARL: How about Michael J. Fox? Or Ronald Reagan?
JESUS: Nancy Reagan called. We'll have to see. Right now, our schedules conflict.
JANN CARL: Now, we all understand that You're a man of love, a man of peace, a man of forgiveness. So tell our viewers, what exactly does Jesus Christ do for fun?
JESUS: Well, until recently, I enjoyed playing Yahtzee with Mahatma Gandhi.
BOB GOEN: We'll have more of ET's exclusive interview with the Messiah -- including His startling explanation of what He's doing here and how frightened we all should be -- when we come back after these messages ...
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