The Feast of Passover
Then came the day od Unleavened Bread on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John saying, 'Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.' 'Where do you want us to prepare for it?'they asked.He replied"As you enter the city a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters and say to the owner of the house, "The teacher asks:Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?" HE will show you a large upper room, alll furnished. Make preparations there.' They left and found the things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. When the hour came Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them'I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it again until it comes to fulfillment in the kingdom of God.' After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said,'Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God comes.' And he took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying,'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way after supper he took the cup,saying,'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to hatman who betrays him.'They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would od this.
Jesus on the Mount of Olives
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.On reaching the place, he said to them,' Pray that you will not fall into temptation.' He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 'Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.' An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 'Why are you sleeping?' he asked them.'Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.'
While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, 'Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?' When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, 'Lord should we strike with our swords?' Amd one of them struck the servant of the high priest cutting of his right ear. But Jesus answered, 'No more of this!' And he touched the man's eat and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders who had come for him, 'Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour- when darkness reigns.'
The trial before the Jewish Council
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met toether, and Jesus was led before them. 'If you are the Christ' they said,'tell us.'Jesus answered,'If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.'They all asked,'Are you then the Son of God?' He replied, 'You are right in saying I am.' Then they said,'Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips'
The first hearing before Pilate
Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, 'We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king.' So Pilate asked Jesus 'Are you the king of the Jews?' 'Yes it is as you say', Jesus replied. Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, 'I find no basis for a charge against this man.' But they insisted, 'He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.' On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
Jesus before Herod
When Herod sae Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and teachers of the law were standing there vehemently accusing him. Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends- before this they had been enemies.
Second hearing before Pilate
Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, 'You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him then release him.' With one voice they cried out, 'Away with this man! Release Barabbus to us!'(Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)Wanting to release Jesus ,Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting,'Crucify him! Crucify him!' For the third time he spoke to them:'Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found him in no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished then release him.' But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder. the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
Jesus dies on the cross
As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus... Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals- one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.' And they divided his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said,'He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen one.' The soldier also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said if you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.' There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him;'Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!' But the other criminal rebuked him. 'Don't you fear God,' he said 'since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong,' Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' Jesus answered him,'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.' It was now about the sixth hour and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice,'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.' When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said,'Surely this was a righteous man.' When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one yet had been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
The empty tomb
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightening stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, 'Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remeber how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again."' Then they rememebered his words. When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalane, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
On the road to Emmaus
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with eachother, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognising him. He asked them,'What are you discussing together as you walk along?' They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, 'Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?' 'What things?' he asked. 'About Jesus of Nazareth,' they replied. 'He was a prophet, poweful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning and didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.' He said to them, 'How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?' And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, 'Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.' So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, 'Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?' They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, 'It is true! The lord has risen and appeared to Simon.' Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognised by them when he broke the bread.