Bugenhagen's Passion History

 

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History of the Suffering & Death of our Lord Jesus Christ

according to the Four Evangelists

harmonised by Dr. Johann Bugenhagen

compiled from the New King James Version ©1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

[compiled by M. DeGarmeaux]

FIRST READING

The Preparation of the Passover Lamb

And it was near the feast of unleavened bread, which is called Passover. And Jesus said to His disciples: You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be betrayed, to be crucified.

Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled together in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and plotted that they might take Jesus by trickery and kill Him, for they feared the people. But they said: Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people. Now when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him, having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she broke the flask and poured it on His head as He sat at the table. When His disciples saw this, they were indignant, saying: To what purpose is this waste? For this fragrant oil could have been sold for more than 300 denarii and given to the poor, and they criticised her sharply. But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them: Let her alone; why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and when you wish, you may do them good, but Me you do not always have. She has done what she could. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly I say to you, wherever this Gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her. And Satan entered Judas surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the Twelve, and he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them, and he said: What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you? When they heard it, they were glad, and they gave him 30 pieces of silver. And from that time he sought an opportunity to betray Him in the absence of the multitude. Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover must be killed, the disciples came to Jesus and said to Him: Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover? And He sent Peter and John and said: Go into the city; behold, when you enter, a man will meet you, who is carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he enters and say to the owner of the house: The Master says to you: My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house. Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples? And he will show you a large furnished upper room; there make ready. They went and found it as He had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

And in the evening He came and sat at the table with the Twelve Apostles and said to them: With desire I have desired to eat the Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you that I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

And He took the cup, gave thanks and said: Take this and divide it among yourselves, for I tell you: I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes on the day when I will drink again with you in My Father's kingdom.

And while they ate in the night that He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to His disciples and said: Take, eat, this is My Body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me. In the same way also He took the cup after supper, gave thanks, gave it to them and said: Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the New Testament in My Blood, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me. And they all drank from it.

Now before the Feast of Passover, which is on the same evening, when Jesus knew that His hour had come, that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own, who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, Jesus knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper, laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dried them with the towel, with which He had girded Himself.

Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him: Lord, are You washing my feet? Jesus answered and said to him: What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this. Peter said to Him: You shall never wash my feet! Jesus answered him: If I do not wash you, then you have no part with Me. Simon Peter said to Him: Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus said to him: He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you. For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said: You are not all clean.

So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments and sat down again, He said to them: Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord and you say well, for so I am; I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly I say to you: A servant is not greater than his master, nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, happy are you if you do them. I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me. Now I tell you before it comes, that when it comes to pass, you may believe that I am He. Most assuredly, I say to you: He who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.

 

SECOND READING

When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit and testified and said: Most assuredly I tell you: One of you, who eats with Me, will betray Me. Behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table. And the disciples began to be sorrowful, and they looked at one another and were perplexed about whom He spoke. And they began to ask among themselves who it might be among them, who would do this, and they said to Him one after the other: Lord, is it I? He answered and said: One of the Twelve, who dips with Me in the dish, will betray Me. The Son of Man goes as it is has been determined, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed, it would be better for him that that man had never been born. And Judas answered and said: Rabbi, is it I? And He said to him: You have said it.

Now there was at the table leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore nodded to him that he should ask who it was of whom He spoke. Then, leaning back on Jesus' bosom, he said to Him: Lord, who is it? Jesus answered: It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it. And He dipped the bread, and gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, and after the piece of bread, Satan entered him.

Then Jesus said to him: What you do, do quickly. Now no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him: Buy those things we need for the feast, or that he should give something to the poor. Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.

Then when Judas had gone out, a strife arose among them, which of them should be considered the greatest. But He said to them: The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called benefactors, but not so you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who is chief as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I appoint for you a kingdom, as My Father has appointed for Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Then Jesus said: Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately. Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews: Where I am going, you cannot come, so now I say to you. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

Simon Peter said to Him: Lord, where are You going? Jesus answered him: Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward. Peter said to Him: Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake. Jesus answered him: Will you lay down your life for My sake? Simon, Simon, behold Satan has asked to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren. And he said to Him: Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death. But He said: Most assuredly I say to you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.

And He said to them: When I sent you without money bag, sack, and sandals, did you lack anything? And they said: Nothing. Then He said to them: But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise his sack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: And He was numbered with the transgressors. For the things concerning Me have an end. And they said: Lord, look, here are two swords. And He said to them: It is enough.

 

THIRD READING

Jesus' Suffering on the Mount of Olives

And when they had sung a hymn, Jesus went out, as He was accustomed, across the brook Kidron to the Mount of Olives. And His disciples followed Him. And He said to them: All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee. But Peter said to Him: Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be. Jesus said to him: Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times. But he spoke more vehemently: If I have to die with You, I will not deny You! And they all said likewise.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. And Jesus said to them: Sit here while I go over there and pray.

And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them: My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me, so that you do not fall into temptation. And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down, fell on His face, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him, and He said: Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will. And He came to His disciples and found them sleeping and said to Peter: Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. He went away again a second time and prayed, saying: O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done. And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy and they did not know what to answer Him. And He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words: Father, if it is Your will, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.

And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

And when He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, He said to them: Sleep on now and take your rest. It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, he who betrays Me is at hand. But pray lest you enter into temptation.

And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, having received a band of soldiers, and officers from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders, went before them, and came with lanterns, torches, with swords and with clubs. And the betrayer had given them a signal, saying: Whomever I kiss, He is the one; take Him and lead Him away safely. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them: Whom are you seeking? They answered Him: Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said to them: I am He. And Judas who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Then, as soon as He had said to them: I am He, they drew back and fell to the ground. Then He asked them again: Whom are you seeking? And they said: Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered: I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way, (that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke: Of these whom You gave Me I have lost none).

And Judas drew near to Jesus to kiss Him, and immediately he went up to Jesus and said: Greetings, Rabbi!, and kissed Him. And Jesus said to him: My friend, why have you come? Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss? Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.

When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him: Lord, shall we strike with the sword? Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

Then Jesus answered and said: Permit even this. And He said to Peter: Put your sword into the sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me? How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be thus? And He touched his ear and healed him.

In that hour Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come out to Him: Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not lay hands on Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness, so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. And all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.

Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled. And a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.

 

FOURTH READING

Jesus' Suffering before the spiritual authorities

Then the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year. Now Caiaphas was he who gave counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one Man should die for the people. And they led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes.

And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. That disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door outside. Then that other disciple who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in. And the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself, so that he could see the end. Then the servant girl who kept the door, seeing Peter in the light as he warmed himself, looked intently at him and said: And you were also with Jesus of Galilee! You are not also one of this Man's disciples, are you? He denied before all and said: Woman, I am not; I do not know Him; I do not know what you are saying.

The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine. Jesus answered him: I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in the synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who hear Me what I have said to them. Indeed they know what I said. And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying: Do You answer the high priest like that? Jesus answered him: If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me? Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. And a little while after the first denial, when he had gone out to the entrance, the rooster crowed and another girl saw him and again began to say to those who were there: This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. Then they said to him: Aren't you one of His disciples? And another said: You are also one of them. And he denied again and swore to it and said: Man, I am not and I do not know the Man. And after about the space of one hour another confidently affirmed, saying: Surely you are also one of them, for you are a Galilean and your speech betrays you. One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said: Did I not see you in the garden with Him? Then he began to curse and swear: I do not know this Man, of whom you speak. And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed a second time. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered Jesus' word, how He had said to him: Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times. And he went out and wept bitterly.

Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none, even though many false witnesses came forward, for their testimony did not agree. But at last two false witnesses came forward and gave false testimony against Him and said: We heard Him say: I can and will destroy the temple of God that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. And not even then did their testimony agree.

And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying: Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You? But Jesus kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him: Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? I adjure You by the living God that You tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God? Jesus said to him: It is as you said; I am. Hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying: He has spoken blasphemy; what further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! What do you think? And they all condemned Him and said: He is guilty of death.

And the men, who held Jesus, mocked Him and spat in His face and beat Him; and others blindfolded Him and struck Him in the face, saying: Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is it that struck You? And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him.

When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people came together and took counsel concerning Jesus to put Him to death, and they led Him into their council, saying: If You are the Christ, tell us. And He said to them: If I tell you, you will not believe Me. And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go. Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God. Then they all said: Are You then the Son of God? And He said to them: You rightly say that I am. And they said: What further testimony do we need? For we ourselves have heard it from His own mouth.

 

FIFTH READING

Jesus' Suffering before the secular authorities

Then the whole multitude of them arose and bound Jesus, led Him from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning.

Then Judas, who had betrayed Him, when he saw that He was condemned to death, felt remorse and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying: I have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent blood. And they said: What is that to us? You see to that! And he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple, departed, and went and hanged himself and he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out.

And the chief priests took the silver pieces and said: It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood. And they took counsel and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem, so to this day that field is called in their own language, Akeldama, that is the Field of Blood. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me.

But the Jews did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. Pilate then went out to them and said: What accusation do you bring against this Man? They answered and said to him: If He were not an evil doer, we would not have delivered Him up to you. Then Pilate said to them: You take Him and judge Him according to your law. Therefore the Jews said to him: It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death, that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.

And the chief priests and elders began to accuse Him vehemently, saying: We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King. Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and asked Him, saying: Are You the King of the Jews? Jesus stood before him and answered: Are you speaking for yourself, or did others tell you this about Me? Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done? Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here. Pilate therefore said to Him: Are You a king then? Jesus answered: You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born and for this cause I came into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. Pilate said to Him: What is truth? And when he had said this he went out again to the Jews, and said to them: I find no fault in Him at all. And the chief priests and elders accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. And Pilate asked Him again, saying: Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You! Do You not hear? But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled. But they were the more fierce, saying: He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.

When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was in Jerusalem at that time. And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. And he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. And Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod became mutual friends, for before they had been at enmity between themselves.

And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, said to them: You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; no, nor did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing worthy of death has been done by Him. I will therefore chastise Him and release Him. Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. And there was at that time a notorious prisoner named Barabbas, who had been thrown into prison with his fellow insurrectionists, who had committed murder in the insurrection made in the city. And the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. And when they gathered together, Pilate answered: You have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Whom do you want me to release to you, Barabbas or Jesus, the king of the Jews, who is called Christ? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered Him because of envy.

While he was sitting on the judgement seat, his wife sent to him, saying: Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.

But the chief priests and the elders stirred up the people and persuaded them that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said to them: Which of the two do you want me to release to you? The whole crowd cried out, saying: Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas. Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, spoke again to them: What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ? They all said to him: Crucify Him, crucify Him! And he said to them the third time: Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go. And they cried out more exceedingly: Crucify Him! And they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed.

And Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole band of soldiers around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. And when they had twisted a crown out of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him and began to salute Him, saying: Hail, King of the Jews! And they struck Him in the face and spat on Him and took the reed and struck Him on the head; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him.

Pilate then went out again, and said to them: Look, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him. Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them: Behold the Man! Therefore when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying: Crucify Him, crucify Him! Pilate said to them: You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him. The Jews answered him: We have a law, and by our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.

Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus: Where are You from? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate said to Him: Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You? Jesus answered: You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin. From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying: If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.

When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgement seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews: Behold your king. But they cried out: Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him! Pilate said to them: Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Caesar.

When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he gave sentence that it should be as they requested. And he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying: I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it. And all the people answered and said: His blood be on us and on our children.

Then he released to them Barabbas, whom they requested, who had been thrown in prison for insurrection and murder; but he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to their will, to be crucified.

 

SIXTH READING

The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus

Then the soldiers took Jesus, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him and He carried His cross. And as they came out, they found a man, who was coming out of the country, Simon of Cyrene by name, who was the father of Alexander and Rufus; they compelled him to carry the cross for Him, and laid the cross on him that he might bear it after Jesus.

And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. But Jesus, turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For, indeed, the days are coming in which they will say: Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts which never nursed. Then they will begin to say to the mountains: Fall on us! and to the hills: Cover us! For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?

And there were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And they brought Him to the place, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha, that is to say, the Place of a Skull, and they gave Him sour wine mingled with myrrh to drink. And when He had tasted it, He would not drink.

And they crucified Him at the place Golgotha and the two criminals with Him, one on the right hand and the other on the left, and Jesus in the centre. And the Scripture was fulfilled, which says: And He was numbered with the transgressors. And it was the third hour, when they crucified Him.

And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.

And Pilate wrote a title, the accusation against Him, the reason for His death, and they put it on the cross over His head. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then many Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate: Do not write The King of the Jews, but He said: I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered: What I have written, I have written.

The soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also His tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. They said therefore among themselves: Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be, that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over Him there.

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother: Woman, behold your son! Then He said to the disciple: Behold your mother! And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying: You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders along with the people, said: He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the king of Israel, the chosen of God, let Him save Himself and now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said: I am the Son of God. Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing. And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, saying: If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.

And one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying: If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us. But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying: Do you not fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong. And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom. And Jesus said to him: Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.

And it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?, that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said: This Man is calling for Elijah! After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst. Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and immediately one of them ran, took a sponge and filled it with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth for Him to drink. But the others said: Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come and take Him down.

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said: It is finished! And again He cried out with a loud voice, saying: Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit. And when He had said that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Now when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw that He cried out like this and saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly and praised God, saying: Certainly this was a righteous Man! Truly this was the Son of God! And all the multitude who came together to that sight, seeing the things which were done, beat their breasts and returned.

And all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and Salome the mother of Zebedee's sons, who followed Him when He was in Galilee, ministering to Him, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs, but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

And he who saw it bore witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled: Not one of His bones shall be broken. And again another Scripture says: They will look on Him whom they pierced.

 

SEVENTH READING

The Burial of Jesus

And now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea a city of the Jews, a prominent council member, a good and just man, who had not consented to their counsel and deed, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God, for he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked that he might take away the body of Jesus.

And Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and calling the centurion to him, he asked him if He had been dead for some time. And when he found out from the centurion, he commanded the body to be given to him. And Joseph bought fine linen. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came; and he brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, which had been taken down, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.

Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb which was Joseph's, which was hewn out of the rock, in which no one had ever been laid. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews' Preparation Day, and the Sabbath drew near, for the tomb was nearby. And they rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb and departed. And Mary Magdalene was there, and Mary the mother of Joses, sitting opposite the tomb, also other women, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, and they observed how His body was laid. And they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils, and rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

Now the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying: Sir, we remember while He was alive, how that deceiver said: After three days I will rise. Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night, steal Him away, and say to the people: He has risen from the dead. So the last deception will be worse than the first. Pilate said to them: You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how. So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone, and setting the guard.


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