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Sunday, April 26, 2009

+ 4th Sunday + of E A S T E R +

Lexegete ™ | Year B | St. Mark

Fourth Sunday of Easter

May 3, 2009
Acts 4:5-12
Psalm 23 (1)
1 John 3:16-24
John 10:11-18

Prayer of the Day

O Lord Christ, good shepherd of the sheep, you seek the lost and guide us into your fold. Feed us, and we shall be satisfied; heal us, and we shall be whole. Make us one with you, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Jesus says, I am | the good shepherd.
I know my own and my | own know me. Alleluia. (John 10:14)


1a. CONTEXT: John 10:11-18

The background for the Good Shepherd pericopes is to be found in ch. 9, where Jesus gives sight to a man born blind. The man's blindness is symbolic and he represents everyone. The evangelist is saying that all people are born spiritually blind and remain blind until they are enabled to see by Jesus. When the man confesses his faith that Jesus is the Messiah, he is cast out of the synagogue (9:22). Jesus then seeks him out. When Jesus in ch. 10 says, "I am the good shepherd," and speaks of the sheepfold, this is to indicate that there is a new fellowship into which Christian believers alienated from their native religious communities will be received. Jesus cares for his sheep to the point of laying down his life for them. If this seems unwise strategy for a shepherd, ch. 11 assures us that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Furthermore, those who believe in him, even though they die, will live (11:25-26). Though the aged and sick are comforted by the words, "The Lord is my shepherd," and many children as they go to bed pray, "Jesus, tender shepherd hear me. Bless your little lamb tonight," it cannot be assumed that 20th century Americans, most of whom live in cities and have little to do with animals, well understand pastoral imagery. Indeed, if religious metaphors are to be drawn from animal husbandry, it would seem almost more appropriate that in America hogs and swineherds, or cows and cowboys be featured. Texts helpful in setting forth the Old Testament background of this imagery are Numbers 27:15-23; 1 Samuel 16:1-13; 17: 34-35; Ezekiel 34: Isaiah 40:11.

1b. TEXT: John 10:11-18


Jn. 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Jn. 10:12 The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away-- and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
Jn. 10:13 The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep.
Jn. 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
Jn. 10:15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.
Jn. 10:16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
Jn. 10:17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
Jn. 10:18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father."


11 Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλός: ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλὸς τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ τίθησιν ὑπὲρ τῶν προβάτων: 12 ὁ μισθωτὸς καὶ οὐκ ὢν ποιμήν, οὗ οὐκ ἔστιν τὰ πρόβατα ἴδια, θεωρεῖ τὸν λύκον ἐρχόμενον καὶ ἀφίησιν τὰ πρόβατα καὶ φεύγει καὶ ὁ λύκος ἁρπάζει αὐτὰ καὶ σκορπίζει 13 ὅτι μισθωτός ἐστιν καὶ οὐ μέλει αὐτῷ περὶ τῶν προβάτων. 14 Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλός, καὶ γινώσκω τὰ ἐμὰ καὶ γινώσκουσί με τὰ ἐμά, 15 καθὼς γινώσκει με ὁ πατὴρ κἀγὼ γινώσκω τὸν πατέρα: καὶ τὴν ψυχήν μου τίθημι ὑπὲρ τῶν προβάτων. 16 καὶ ἄλλα πρόβατα ἔχω ἃ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τῆς αὐλῆς ταύτης: κἀκεῖνα δεῖ με ἀγαγεῖν, καὶ τῆς φωνῆς μου ἀκούσουσιν, καὶ γενήσονται μία ποίμνη, εἷς ποιμήν. 17 διὰ τοῦτό με ὁ πατὴρ ἀγαπᾷ ὅτι ἐγὼ τίθημι τὴν ψυχήν μου, ἵνα πάλιν λάβω αὐτήν. 18 οὐδεὶς αἴρει αὐτὴν ἀπ∍ ἐμοῦ, ἀλλ∍ ἐγὼ τίθημι αὐτὴν ἀπ∍ ἐμαυτοῦ. ἐξουσίαν ἔχω θεῖναι αὐτήν, καὶ ἐξουσίαν ἔχω πάλιν λαβεῖν αὐτήν: ταύτην τὴν ἐντολὴν ἔλαβον παρὰ τοῦ πατρός μου.

Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th edition | © 1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart;
The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition © 1975, United Bible Societies, London

2. ANALYSIS: John 10:11-18

There are two parables in 10:1-5. In 1-3a the imagery has to do with the gate and the gatekeeper. In 3b-5 the theme is the relationship of the shepherd to his sheep. This latter parable is explained in 10:11-16. 10:17-18 are a commentary on Jesus' statement, "I lay down my life for the sheep" (Brown, Anchor Bible). 10:11. Ego eimi ho poimen ho kalos. This is one of the "I am" sayings of the Fourth Gospel. The
emphasis should be on "I" and "good." Brown proposes that kalos be translated "model." Ten psuchen autou tithesin. There is a slight difference between the meaning of "lays down his life" in v. 11 and "lay down my life" in v. 15. The good shepherd is willing to risk his life for his sheep (1 Sam. 17:34-35, Am. 3:12, cf. Judg. 12:3), whereas Jesus has freely given his own life for the sheep.

10:12-13. Misthotos, lukos. Macgregor notes a difference between the timid hired hand of v. 12 and the marauding thieves and robbers of vv. 1, 8. Hoskyns sees here the distinction between hostile attacks from the outside and desertion from the inside. Cf. Acts 20:29. For a shepherd's flight from wolves, see 2 Esdras 5:18.

10:14-15. Ginosko ta ema kai ginoskousi me ta ema, kathos ginoskei me ho pater kago ginosko . . . Bultmann states that here as in the Farewell Discourses the relationship between the Revealer and his own is reciprocal. They are determined by him and he by them. Since, however, this mutual relationship is grounded in God, it is not circular, as in mysticism, and differences do not disappear. The revelation
never loses its character of address and challenge.

10:16. Alla probata echo. Barrett, Bernard, and Hoskyns state that the reference to the "other sheep" implies the Gentile mission. Brown agrees, but in a later JBL article he uses the phrase "other sheep not of this fold" to suggest that it could refer to an instance of late first century ecumenism, as Johannine Christians reached out to Christians of the apostolic churches, as well as to secessionist Johannine

10:17. Dia touto me ho pater agapa. Nygren is of the opinion that the absolutely unmotivated NT idea of agape is somewhat weakened in the Johannine writings, because a reason is sometimes given for God's love, both of the Son, as in 10:17, and of the disciples, as in 16:27. It must be granted that the Fourth Evangelist does not use agapan in a restrictive sense. It can even be used to describe preferring
darkness rather than the light (3:19), or human praise more than the praise of God (12:43). It appears that agapan and philein are sometimes used interchangeably. In 10:17 and 16:27, where God's love is motivated, this can be interpreted as a further development of election love. The Son has in every sense done what the Father sent him into the world to do. The disciples have kept the commandments, as branches they have remained in the vine, and consequently they continue to bear fruit. They do not do this apart from God's grace, nor is their obedience merit on their part. At least as far as the disciples are concerned, God's love continues to be unmotivated in its original sense, but those whom this love wins it can use as its instruments in its redemptive purpose.

10:18. Oudeis eren (airei) psuchen mou. Barrett and Brown state that the aorist (eren, has taken) is the more difficult reading and to be preferred, though both the RSV and the NRSV translate (airei, takes). This appears to be another instance where Jesus during his ministry speaks of his death and resurrection in the past tense. Exousian echo palin labein auten. Elsewhere in the NT, the resurrection of Jesus is an act of God. Jesus, however, does not claim to act independently of the Father (cf. 5:30).

3. STRATEGY: John 10:11-18

One possible approach to this text is to stress the uniqueness of Jesus, the good shepherd, who, by virtue of having laid down his life for his sheep and taken it again, defends his flock, knows his own and is known by them, and is a source of unity as his voice is heard and heeded.

Another approach is to examine what is implied when we as human beings consider ourselves as sheep. Do we have the attributes of sheep, so that we are weak and helpless without a shepherd, easily frightened and stampeded, following in distress any leader, even if he is jumping off a cliff? Here an examination of the 23rd Psalm (the psalm for the day) may be helpful. The author confesses need for a
shepherd, but when he writes, "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil," we should not first of all imagine some sick or aged person being comforted as death draws near (though the psalm can certainly be used in this way), but a person going without fear on a dangerous mission. Thus those who are sheep may also exercise the shepherd's role. Indeed this is one of the ways the Good Shepherd
continues to lead and guide us.

Leaders of congregations are called “ pastors” (shepherds) and one of the signs of the bishop's office is the shepherd's staff. The shepherd's role can, however, be democratized. Luther writes in The Freedom of a Christian : "As our heavenly Father has in Christ freely come to our aid, we also ought freely to help our neighbor through our body and its works, and each one should become as it were a Christ to the other that we may be Christs to one another and Christ may be the same in all, that is, that we may be truly Christians. . . . Surely we are named after Christ, not because he is absent from us, but because he dwells in us, that is, because we believe in him and are Christs one to another and do to our neighbors as Christ does to us." To be a Christian is to have a risen Shepherd, but also to be called to a shepherding role.

4. REFERENCES: John 10:11-18

Barrett, C. K. The Gospel according to St John. London: S.P.C.K., l958.
Bernard, J. H. Gospel according to St. John, vol. II, ICC. New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1929.

Brown, Raymond E. The Gospel according to John, Anchor Bible, vol. 29. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1966.
Brown, R. E. "'Other Sheep not of this Fold': The Johannine Perspective on Christian Diversity in the Late First Century," JBL, 97:5-22.

Bultmann, Rudolf. The Gospel of John. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1971.
Hoskyns, Edwyn C. The Fourth Gospel, edited by F. N. Davey, 2nd ed. London: Faber & Faber, 1947.
Luther's Works, vol. 31. Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1957, 367-8.
Macgregor, G. H. C. The Gospel of John. New York: Harper's, 1928.
Nygren, Anders. Agape and Eros. Transl. Philip S. Watson. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1953, 146-159.

Exegete: Bernhard Erling, PhD, ThD

Dr. S. Bernhard Erling is Professor Emeritus of Religion at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota. Dr. Erlng holds degrees from Gustavus Adolphus (B.A.), Augustana Theol. Seminary (B.D.), Chicago (M.A.), Yale (Ph.D.), and Lund (Th.D.). He is author of a study of Anders Nygren, Nature and History [Studia theologica lundensia : Skrifter utgivna av Teologiska fakulteten], Lund: C.W.K. Gleerup, 1960; and A Reader’s Guide to Dag Hammarskjold’s Waymarks (St. Peter, MN, 1999.)



Tischrede Software | MacAdemia ™

Dartmouth,MA 02747


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Week of Prayer and Action for Darfur April 19

People all over the United States and around the world will gather in
their communities to pray for the people of Darfur and to advocate on
their behalf on this coming weekend, April 17-19.

You can look up local events at...

< >

Remember the people of Darfur in the Prayers of the People in your
Parish -- see sample prayer below.

For ELCA or NESynod information, please contact:
Pastor Tim Oslovich at...

Prayer for the People of Darfur:

Lord Jesus, be present to the millions of suffering
people in Darfur. Shelter the widows and the children
Comfort all who are sick, wounded and afraid
Bring relief to those who hunger and thirst
Move us to recall our shared humanity
Unite us in our determination to respond to injustice
May we never forget! May we never forget!
Hear our prayer. Make our action swift.


Lexegete ™ | Year B | St. Mark

Second Sunday of Easter | April 19, 2009

Acts 4:32-35
Psalm 133 (1)
1 John 1:1–2:2
John 20:19-31

Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, with joy we celebrate the day of our Lord’s resurrection. By the grace of Christ among us, enable us to show the power of the resurrection in all that we say and do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. Blessed are those who | have not seen
and yet have come | to believe. Alleluia. (John 20:29)

Color: White

1A. CONTEXT: John 20:19-31

In an attempt to find some new life in a passage that is always the
gospel reading for Easter 2, I make some hefty assumptions about John's
context. The community this gospel writer addresses in the last two
decades of the first century has been cast out of the synagogue. John's
task includes proclaiming God's good news for all who will hear,
independent of some centuries-old religious traditions. In doing so,
synagogue, festivals, and ancient understandings (signs) must all be looked
at anew through the glory of the cross of Christ. The "Jews" for John are
the religious authorities who are linked to the changes that led to the
expulsion of Christians from the synagogue.

Having said all that, it seem that the Christians had a second
plague that was causing trouble in those last days of century one. The
gnostics tended to spiritualize everything and disdain the worldly, even
perhaps to the point of resembling schizophrenia. They were twisting the
Christian message, and particularly the role of the Spirit's influence. They
embraced the concrete thinking of epic drama, good vs. evil, etc.

John's gospel attempted to move away from the narrowness of a
choking tradition and a self-centered spirituality. Our lesson comes at the
end of Chapter 20. It is an ending to a gospel, largely assumed to have had
Chapter 21 appended later. This lesson includes a Pentecost event, the
faith struggle of Thomas, perhaps a type for all the earliest Christians,
and a concluding disclaimer. There is more here than just a doubter's

Thomas can be described as Jesus' most loyal follower in John's
gospel. When Jesus shares the news that Lazarus is dead (11:14), and has
implied its meaning lies in God's glory (11:4), Thomas suggest they all
return to Bethany to die together (11:16). When Jesus used the figure of
the Father's house to indicate a place for all his followers, it is again
Thomas who speaks. He might be the lightning rod that asks the question
on everyone's mind. His question on Jesus' direction leads to Jesus'
answer on three "I am's": the way, the truth, the life (14:1-6).

And here in Chapter 20 Thomas is asking for a tangible sign of Jesus'
resurrection from death. He, like so many before, also wants to see Jesus.
And in his encounter with Jesus, Thomas sees him alive again, yet carrying
the wounds of his former life. Jesus' image becomes one with the story
of every converted heart, beginning with Thomas, our disciple-father.
Jesus' wounds were visible, Thomas' doubts were recorded, our "wounds"
are remembered by us long after our "healing" too.

In this lesson as in Luke's story of the walk along the Emmaus Road,
Jesus proves to be the most effective witness to the resurrection.

1B. TEXT: John 20:19-31

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” Jesus and Thomas

24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, [1] was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

[1] 20:24 Greek, Didymus

19ουσης ουν οψιας τη ημερα εκεινη τη μια σαββατων, και των θυρων κεκλεισμενων οπου ησαν οι μαθηται δια τον φοβον των ιουδαιων, ηλθεν ο ιησους και εστη εις το μεσον και λεγει αυτοις, ειρηνη υμιν. 20και τουτο ειπων εδειξεν τας χειρας και την πλευραν αυτοις. εχαρησαν ουν οι μαθηται ιδοντες τον κυριον. 21ειπεν ουν αυτοις [ο ιησους] παλιν, ειρηνη υμιν: καθως απεσταλκεν με ο πατηρ, καγω πεμπω υμας. 22και τουτο ειπων ενεφυσησεν και λεγει αυτοις, λαβετε πνευμα αγιον: 23αν τινων αφητε τας αμαρτιας αφεωνται αυτοις, αν τινων κρατητε κεκρατηνται. 24θωμας δε εις εκ των δωδεκα, ο λεγομενος διδυμος, ουκ ην μετ αυτων οτε ηλθεν ιησους. 25ελεγον ουν αυτω οι αλλοι μαθηται, εωρακαμεν τον κυριον. ο δε ειπεν αυτοις, εαν μη ιδω εν ταις χερσιν αυτου τον τυπον των ηλων και βαλω τον δακτυλον μου εις τον τυπον των ηλων και βαλω μου την χειρα εις την πλευραν αυτου, ου μη πιστευσω. 26και μεθ ημερας οκτω παλιν ησαν εσω οι μαθηται αυτου και θωμας μετ αυτων. ερχεται ο ιησους των θυρων κεκλεισμενων, και εστη εις το μεσον και ειπεν, ειρηνη υμιν. 27ειτα λεγει τω θωμα, φερε τον δακτυλον σου ωδε και ιδε τας χειρας μου, και φερε την χειρα σου και βαλε εις την πλευραν μου, και μη γινου απιστος αλλα πιστος. 28απεκριθη θωμας και ειπεν αυτω, ο κυριος μου και ο θεος μου. 29λεγει αυτω ο ιησους, οτι εωρακας με πεπιστευκας; μακαριοι οι μη ιδοντες και πιστευσαντες. 30πολλα μεν ουν και αλλα σημεια εποιησεν ο ιησους ενωπιον των μαθητων [αυτου], α ουκ εστιν γεγραμμενα εν τω βιβλιω τουτω: 31ταυτα δε γεγραπται ινα πιστευ[ς]ητε οτι ιησους εστιν ο χριστος ο υιος του θεου, και ινα πιστευοντες ζωην εχητε εν τω ονοματι αυτου.

Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th edition
© 1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, Germany

2. ANALYSIS: John 20:19-31

A) Eirene in John's gospel.

The PEACE that Jesus leaves with people is meant to ease
troubled hearts (14:27). When he speaks of the passion events to come,
Jesus adds that PEACE will be available in him (16:33). In the post-
resurrection account (20:19, 21,26) PEACE (shalom? healing?) from God is
offered as a greeting and as a gift to ease their grieving and fearful

PEACE is given in Christ to bring the followers of Jesus through
the trials of separation.

B) pneuma agion & pneuma in John's gospel.

The HOLY SPIRIT is to be a gift to believers at the time of
Christ's glory in the cross event (7:39). The counselor is the SPIRIT of
truth and will bear witness to Christ (15:26). The SPIRIT of truth will
guide people in all truth (16:13). The Counselor, the HOLY SPIRIT, sent
from the Father, will teach all things and bring to remembrance all Jesus
had said (14:26).

C) Use of "Peace" and "Holy Spirit" in our lesson.

Jesus greeted the disciples on Easter evening with his gift of
PEACE that their unburdened hearts might be open to receive the gift of
the HOLY SPIRIT and the office of keys (20:21-23). PEACE is extended the
following week to the group which then included Thomas (20:26).

3. STRATEGY: John 20:19-31

For John, "God so loved the WORLD" -- hard words for a gnostic to
speak and so a corrective to their brand of exclusive spirituality. But
included in this world were religious leaders, "Jews," who wanted
Christians out of the synagogues in the latter years of the first century.
Loyalty to people and things had always been the first order of faith.
Jesus' exchange with Thomas was to move him beyond the concrete
tradition of "seeing is believing."

Throughout the fourth gospel, signs of the miraculous had been
re-interpreted to give greater meaning to the true single event of glory,
the cross. Through the "I am" passages, God's presence is made known in
Christ, in the world.

Through the course of twenty chapters, the evangelist understands
the theology of Jesus' mission as replacing traditional Jewish observances
with the living presence of the Lord. Old Testament precedents abound. In
the exile, the prophets in Babylon had de-emphasized the Temple Cult.
Abraham's attempted sacrifice of Isaac on the mountain can be seen as a
corrective to practices of ancient child sacrifice. So, too, in John's gospel
we read in Jesus' exchange with the woman at the well (John 4) her
wanting to talk about religious things with the good rabbi. She
specifically mentions the cultic site of the Northern Kingdom's temple.
Jesus comes back with a replacement for her, too (Jn 4:21, 23-24).

Since it was to be that Christians were denied access to the
synagogue, the Spirit would be their strength. In Raymond Brown's Anchor
Bible commentary on John, two whole divisions of the book deal with the
reinterpretation of signs and festivals.

What of Thomas' encounters? Is he singled out to voice the loyalty
and concern of all the other followers? If that is so, the risen Christ is
also replacing traditional ways of religious behavior. No longer bound by
traditional concrete thinking, Thomas is called to make room for the
Spirit's work among the fellowship. Yes, Jesus is alive for Thomas and the
others, carrying the wounds of his former life. And yes, Thomas, too,
showed evidence of his wounds as he demanded signs. But the gospel
writer countered the gnostics by grounding Christ's mission to this world.
So, in opposite fashion, Thomas' struggles in this world would not
suddenly be relieved or spiritualized in the presence of Jesus. Thomas
received God's peace and came to faith (20:26, 28). The others, too, had
rejoiced in Christ's resurrected presence. That peace prompted Thomas'
joyous confession, "My Lord and my God" (20:28b).

The sign and the peace combined in the moment and converted
Thomas' heart to a new understanding. Here one last time in John 20, an
outward sign's miraculous nature was superceded by the living presence of
God among humankind. The message of the gospel writer was completed
and made whole in that moment of conversion for Thomas. In the future
the gift Thomas received would come through the Holy Spirit's prompting.
Christ's mission was complete. As on the Emmaus Road for Luke, Jesus
turns out to be the best witness to the resurrection.

4. REFERENCES: John 20:19-31

Brown, Raymond E. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN. 2 vol. (Anchor Bible).
New York: Doubleday, 1966, 1970.

UNDERSTANDING. Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas, 1977.

Harper & Row, 1968.


It is a privilege to preach on the second Sunday of Easter. It is a day when your parish's staunchest supporters are present to celebrate Easter all over again. Sing their favorite Easter hymns. If there is a hymn
that rallies the faithful, include it. Also, the last six stanzas of "O Sons and Daughters of the King" tell the gospel story.
There is an obvious parallel between those who are most faithful in church attendance and those closest to our Lord who gathered Easter evening. Without sounding exclusive, let those present on "low
Sunday" know that they are special and appreciated.
Perhaps the pastors of our churches might do some Johannine re-interpreting and give some other week to the Vicars and associates who have traditionally received the assignment to preach on the so-called "Doubting Thomas."

Exegete: Paul Beck

Rev. Paul R. Beck began serving at Little Zion, Telford PA, in November of 1987. He has served congregations in Ridgewood, Queens, NY; Worcester, MA; and Norristown, PA. Paul received his undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University (Ohio) in 1970. He received his MDiv from the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia in 1978. Prior to serving in ministry, Paul worked as a production stage manager off Broadway, appearing in Godspell.
He is married to Linda and they are the parents of three adult children. Paul's ministry at Little Zion includes administration, worship and music leadership, stewardship, evangelism, social ministry and outreach programs. His favorite Bible verse is from Matthew 28:20 when Jesus says: "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."


Dartmouth,MA 02747




Mark, Evangelist | April 25, 2009
Isaiah 52:7-10
Psalm 57 (9)
2 Timothy 4:6-11, 18
Mark 1:1-15

Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, you have enriched your church with Mark's proclamation of the gospel. Give us grace to believe firmly in the good news of salvation and to walk daily in accord with it, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. This Jesus | God raised up;
and of that all of | us are witnesses. Alleluia. (Acts 2:32)


Third Sunday of Easter | April 26, 2009
Acts 3:12-19
Psalm 4 (3)
1 John 3:1-7
Luke 24:36b-48

Prayer of the Day
Holy and righteous God, you are the author of life, and you adopt us to be your children. Fill us with your words of life, that we may live as witnesses to the resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. Our hearts | burn within us
while you open to | us the scriptures. Alleluia. (Luke 24:32)


1a. Context: Luke 24:36b-48


This unit closely resembles the account of the walk to Emmaus. There
are these same elements: the risen Christ appears, the disciples do not
recognize him, their doubt is rebuked, food is shared, belief emerges.
There are also, in many respected manuscripts, parallels insertions to
the account in John 20, as both the New RSV and the Rev'd English Bible
point out in their footnotes.

But there are also some unique emphases in this narrative:

1) the strong emphasis on the continuity between the
Scriptures and the Risen Christ;
2) the good news attached to this great event; and
3) the promise of the empowerment of the disciples so that
they can carry out what has been given to them to do.

1b. Text: Luke 24:36b-48

Lk. 24:36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
38 He said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost
does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."
40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, "Have
you anything here to eat?"
42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
43 and he took it and ate in their presence.
44 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with
you-- that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled."
45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,
46 and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

48 You are witnesses of these things.

Greek Text: Luke 24:36b-48
36ταυτα δε αυτων λαλουντων αυτος εστη εν μεσω αυτων και λεγει αυτοις, ειρηνη υμιν. 37πτοηθεντες δε και εμφοβοι γενομενοι εδοκουν πνευμα θεωρειν. 38και ειπεν αυτοις, τι τεταραγμενοι εστε, και δια τι διαλογισμοι αναβαινουσιν εν τη καρδια υμων; 39ιδετε τας χειρας μου και τους ποδας μου οτι εγω ειμι αυτος: ψηλαφησατε με και ιδετε, οτι πνευμα σαρκα και οστεα ουκ εχει καθως εμε θεωρειτε εχοντα. 40και τουτο ειπων εδειξεν αυτοις τας χειρας και τους ποδας. 41ετι δε απιστουντων αυτων απο της χαρας και θαυμαζοντων ειπεν αυτοις, εχετε τι βρωσιμον ενθαδε; 42οι δε επεδωκαν αυτω ιχθυος οπτου μερος: 43και λαβων ενωπιον αυτων εφαγεν. 44ειπεν δε προς αυτους, ουτοι οι λογοι μου ους ελαλησα προς υμας ετι ων συν υμιν, οτι δει πληρωθηναι παντα τα γεγραμμενα εν τω νομω μωυσεως και τοις προφηταις και ψαλμοις περι εμου. 45τοτε διηνοιξεν αυτων τον νουν του συνιεναι τας γραφας. 46και ειπεν αυτοις οτι ουτως γεγραπται παθειν τον χριστον και αναστηναι εκ νεκρων τη τριτη ημερα, 47και κηρυχθηναι επι τω ονοματι αυτου μετανοιαν εις αφεσιν αμαρτιων εις παντα τα εθνη αρξαμενοι απο ιερουσαλημ: 48υμεις μαρτυρες τουτων.

Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th edition
© 1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart;

The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition
© 1975, United Bible Societies, London

2. Analysis: Luke 24:36-49

The most striking thing about the text itself may be its plainspokenness
and the power that is contained in Luke's direct style of reporting.
απιστεοο. I disbelieve. -"Out of joy." The Jerusalem Bible captures the
meaning admirably: "Their joy was so great they still could not believe it,
and they stood there dumbfounded (thaumadzoo--I wonder greatly.)

Or, REB: "It seemed too good to be true." The risen Lord shows them his hands, his feet and says 'Touch" (Πσεελαπηεεσατε) and see" ( ιδετε). There is a fish, already broiled (reminding us of the scene on the shore of the Sea of Galilee). It is ready for eating, and
he eats it, ενοοπιαν ("before their very eyes").
In such matter of fact reporting Luke is not entering into questions
about the resurrection body, as Paul later does (1 Cor. 15). He is making
one point, which Ignatius, the 2nd Century bishop of Antioch
paraphrased, "See that I am not a bloodless ghost" (Craddock, p 289).
v 44, Πλεεροο, fulfill. Having reported the facts, Luke turns to the lesson
to be learned. Christ speaks of the fulfillment of 1) what he himself had
spoken when with them, and 2) what is perhaps of even greater
significance, the continuity between what they have now experienced
and the promises of the Scriptures (γεγραμμενα , "what has been
written), promises found in the three major sections which speak of the
coming Messiah, the Law of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms. We
might paraphrase: "It's been there all the time, and now you know it."
But what is the meaning of these things that have taken place? As in
the Emmaus experience, the Christ himself must open their minds and
give them understanding. The significance and nature of the Messiah's
mission is then laid out. It is given in words so plain and direct that
what Christ says may become, for some, little more than a cliche. But
each word contains dynamite and deserves respectful attention.
Πατηειν--"Suffer." Αναστεεναι εκ νεκρον--"rise from the dead."
κεερισσοο. This is a most powerful verb: 'I proclaim, herald."
The suffering and death of the Christ are to be proclaimed so that
people are led to repentance (μετανοια, a turning around) and
forgiveness of sins (αμαρτια - the effects in the soul's broken
relationship with God).
αρξαμενοι. The Expositor's Greek Testament: "We have to suppose a
pause and then Jesus resuming [and saying] to the eleven -
"beginning," the implied though not expressed thought being: this
preaching of repentance is to be your work - beginning at Jerusalem."
v. 49. επαγγελιαν του πατροσ. The Messiah has carried out his
mission. He has in turn commissioned his disciples . But how
shall be able to do this? Jesus says he will "send the promise of
my Father upon you."
κατηισατε: Expositor's Greek: "sit still, patiently but with hope."
And the promise itself? ενδυσεστηε (from ενδυοο) to be clothed,
invested with power from on high.

3. Strategy: Luke 24:36-49

As we have seen, verses 44-49 contain instruction, commission and
promise, not only to the disciples but to us. There are many sides
to these three themes, and we venture to suggest some as part of a
preaching strategy.

1. The nature of discipleship . The Risen Christ is real, not a
bloodless ghost. By the very sequence of events he demonstrates that
for those who follow him there will be suffering before the
resurrection, trial before glory. "'See my hands and feet' (v. 39)
is Christ's word to the church. Easter is forever joined to Good
Friday, and to follow the risen Christ is to follow one who bore the
cross" (Craddock, p. 290).
2. The centrality and importance of Scripture. There is eradicable
linkage between Jesus and the Old Testament. His work rests upon
the prophecies of the Old Testament. His work opens up the meaning
of the Old Testament. When he speaks of fulfilling what was written,
he is saying about of himself, "This was God's plan all along. Now
it's done."
3. Good News for all who have failed God. Without apology the
suffering, death, and resurrection of the Christ is to be proclaimed
as God's call to understand that the way is open to repentance and
the forgiveness of sins. This was his plan from the beginning, and
now the secret is out. The mission of the Messiah has been made
clear. For the disciples in the upper room life had become a living
death. They were like men trapped in the tunnel of a mine which has
caved in. And they had themselves caused that cave-in. They hear
tapping above. They look up. A hole appears in the roof of the
tunnel. Light appears. They see the face of their rescuer. They
are filled with inexpressible joy. They have been brought back for
the dead. And this experience of the risen Christ is to be behind
their preaching to others, that they might be rescued as well. Both
the disciples then and now are infused with a desire to look to the
Scriptures, Old and New, and rejoice in all that has been written to
reveal to us the everlasting love of God.
4. A Mission To All People. The risen Christ makes it very clear:
What we have cannot be kept to ourselves. It is for all people, and
always has been. Going to all the nations was not a second choice
after the Jews rejected the gospel, Luke would remind us. It was
always there. But Christ's disciples have always had trouble
actualizing the incredible wideness of God's mercy. "After twenty
centuries, preaching a crucified Christ and accepting all people
equally continue as problems haunting the corners of the church,
awaiting full and free resolution" (Craddock, p. 291).
5. The Help of the Holy Spirit. The promises of God never cease.
We who are given what seems to be such a daunting commission are
offered along with the first disciples the promise that help is on
the way. This help will come in the form of being clothed with power
from on high. This is the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
I've been told that when Judges 6:34 speaks of the Spirit of the LORD
taking possession of Gideon, the Hebrew conveys the picture of a man putting on a suit of clothes. In any case, it's a powerful figure for a church
which is so often like a man snuggled under the covers who only
dreams he is dressing.

The promise is the promise of empowerment by the Holy Spirit.
When John the Evangelist speaks of this empowerment, he thinks
of guidance and strengthening. Paul thinks of the Spirit sanctifying
and equipping. Luke thinks of the Spirit moving people and
empowering people to carry out God's mission throughout the world.

4. REFERENCES: Luke 24:36-49

Craddock, Fred B. Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for
Teaching & Preaching. Atlanta, Georgia: John Knox Press,1990.
The Expositor's Greek Testament, Vol. I.
S. MacLean Gilmour, Interpreter's Bible, Vol. 8, The Gospel of
Luke. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1952.
Rienecker, Fritz, Sprachlicher Schlussel zum Grieschen Neuen
Testament, 1956, Brunnen Verlag, GMBH, Giessen und Basel.

5. Hymn Suggestions: Luke 24:36-49
Christ is alive! Let Christians sing (HB 182, LBW 363)
Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands (HB 185-6, LBW 134)
Christ the Lord is Risen Again (HB 184)
Good Christians all, rejoice and sing (HB 205, LBW 144)
Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless (HB 343)
That Easter Day with joy was bright (HB 193, LBW 154)
The strife is o'er, the battle done (HB 208, LBW 135)
Exegete: Vernon R. Schreiber


Philip and James, Apostles | May 1, 2009
Isaiah 30:18-21
Psalm 44:1-3, 20-26 (26)
2 Corinthians 4:1-6
John 14: 8-14

Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, you gave to your apostles Philip and James grace and strength to bear witness to your Son. Grant that we, remembering their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea | and Samaria,
and to the ends | of the earth. Alleluia. (Acts 1:8)



Tischrede Software | MacAdemia ™

Dartmouth,MA 02747


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Seven Stanzas for Easter

Seven Stanzas for Easter

Seven Stanzas at Easter

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules reknit,
the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as flowers,
each soft spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled eyes of the
eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that---pierced---died, withered, paused, and then regathered
out of enduring might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence,
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded
credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of
time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck's quanta, vivid with hair, opaque in
the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed
by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

--Written by John Updike for the 1960 Arts Festival
at Clifton Lutheran Church,
Marblehead, Massachusetts (Norman D. Kretzmann, Pastor).

+ = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + =

The Rev. Norman D Kretzmann

4300 West River Parkway-Apt. 606

Minneapolis, MN 55406

Dear Pastor Kretzmann,

Were it not for the internet, I doubt if I would
know that you were Pastor at Clifton Lutheran back in 1960.
Were it not for my Dad (Rev. Conrad J. Buehler) having
been a close friend of Alvin Rogness at Luther Seminary,
I doubt if I would have gone to Harvard Divinity School.
[I didn’t want any kind of “pull” to contaminate ministry.]
Were it not for HDS, I doubt I would have read John Updike’s
“Sevcn Stanzas for Easter,” in 1970 when it finally reached me.
Were it not for that poem (and writings of Philip Hefner),
I doubt if I would have been so absorbed in the Science/Theology
dialogue that has shaped my ministry and teaching ever since my
ordination in 1973. Everything under the sun--above it all the
Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ--has happened for a reason.

And so at this joyful Eastertide, when churches
throughout the land sprout lilies and sing Bach, I thank God
for you and your ministry among so many people near and far,
known and unknown.

And I wish you a very blessed and comforting Easter season!

Peace in Christ,

Dave Buehler

Rev. Dave Buehler

+ = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + =

Monday, April 6, 2009

+ HOLY + WEEK + 2009 +

Lexegete ™ | Year B | Mark | Holy Week


Sunday of the Passion
Palm Sunday | April 5, 2009

Mark 11:1-11 or John 12:12-16 - Procession with Palms

Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16 (5)
Philippians 2:5-11
Mark 14:1 – 15:47 or Mark 15:1-39 [40-47]

Prayer of the Day

Everlasting God, in your endless love for the human race you sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross. In your mercy enable us to share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Sovereign God, you have established your rule in the human heart through the servanthood of Jesus Christ. By your Spirit, keep us in the joyful procession of those who with their tongues confess Jesus as Lord and with their lives praise him as Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
O God of mercy and might, in the mystery of the passion of your Son you offer your infinite life to the world. Gather us around the cross of Christ, and preserve us until the resurrection, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation

Christ humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death | on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above | every name. (Phil. 2:8-9)
Color: Scarlet/Purple

1a. CONTEXT: Mark 14:1-15:47

The exegete at this point is advised to review Edgar Krentz' Introduction to
Year B found in LEXEGETE. If Mark is a Passion Narrative with a long
introduction, nearly the whole of the gospel is the context. Jesus' Passion
has been formally predicted three times. This is also Palm Sunday; the
triumphal entry leads to the cleansing of the Temple, which is the
immediate occasion of hostility toward Jesus. The stubborn stupidity of
the disciples, previously emphasized by Mark, is climaxed at Gethsemane
and in Peter's denial. In Bethany, Jesus is anointed as Messiah
(cf. Caesarea-Philippi, 8:27- 33), and Jesus sees this gesture as ironical.
The Passover season recalls the feeding of the Five Thousand Four
Thousand. The deliberate misunderstanding of Jesus' mission continues
in the hearings before the high priest and Pilate.

There is a sharp break between Chaps. 13 and 14, but the two are
linked by the Mt. of Olives locale and the Son of Man theme (13:3; 14:62).
There is no break between 15:39 and 15:40, but the story now moves to the
burial and the empty tomb--the last of many surprises in the gospel.
13:3 and 14:62 make it likely that Mark believes Jesus will return to
Galilee (16:7) as Son of Man.

The trial before Pilate exhibits Mark's irony. The people prefer Barabbas,
and the soldiers hail Jesus as King of the Jews. Mark interprets the
Crucifixion in the light of Pss. 22 and 69, identifying Jesus with the
faithful sufferer. The only completely positive characters are the
centurion (15:39) and the women.

The Reign of God, so important in earlier part of the gospel, is
mentioned in 14:25. W.H. Kelber's theory is that Mark expects the
Kingdom to be established in Galilee. The audience for which Mark
writes is an important part of the context. The first readers/hearers
must have known Alexander and Rufus (15:21; in Galilee or Rome?).
It is also important that Mark's gospel is the first complete
document of this kind. Except for such collections as Q, the
Church has been dependent on oral tradition; now the tradition
becomes fixed and codified.

1b. Text (Shorter Reading): Mark 15:1-39

15:1 As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.

15:2 Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" He answered him, "You say so."

15:3 Then the chief priests accused him of many things.

15:4 Pilate asked him again, "Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you."

15:5 But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.

15:6 Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked.

15:7 Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection.

15:8 So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom.

15:9 Then he answered them, "Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?"

15:10 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over.

15:11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead.

15:12 Pilate spoke to them again, "Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?"

15:13 They shouted back, "Crucify him!"

15:14 Pilate asked them, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify him!"

15:15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

15:16 Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort.

15:17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him.

15:18 And they began saluting him, "Hail, King of the Jews!"

15:19 They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him.

15:20 After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

15:21 They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

15:22 Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).

15:23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.

15:24 And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.

15:25 It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him.

15:26 The inscription of the charge against him read, "The King of the Jews."

15:27 And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left.


15:29 Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days,

15:30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!"

15:31 In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself.

15:32 Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe." Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.

15:33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.

15:34 At three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

15:35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, "Listen, he is calling for Elijah."

15:36 And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down."

15:37 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

15:38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

15:39 Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, "Truly this man was God's Son!"

1b. Text: Mark 14:1-15:47


The Plot to Kill Jesus

14:1 It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him, 2 for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”
Jesus Anointed at Bethany

3 And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, [1] as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. 4 There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii [2] and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 9 And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
Judas to Betray Jesus

10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.
The Passover with the Disciples

12 And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13 And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, 14 and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” 16 And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

17 And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”
Institution of the Lord's Supper

22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the [3] covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
Jesus Foretells Peter's Denial

26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” 30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” [4] 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41 And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

43 And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” 45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 46 And they laid hands on him and seized him. 47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant [5] of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 And they all left him and fled.
A Young Man Flees

51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.
Jesus Before the Council

53 And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole Council [6] were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” [7] 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.
Peter Denies Jesus

66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway [8] and the rooster crowed. [9] 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept. [10]
Jesus Delivered to Pilate

15:1 And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole Council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.
Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified

6 Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. 7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. 8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. 9 And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. 12 And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” 14 And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged [11] Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
Jesus Is Mocked

16 And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters), [12] and they called together the whole battalion. [13] 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
The Crucifixion

21 And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. 22 And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour [14] when they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. [15] 29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
The Death of Jesus

33 And when the sixth hour [16] had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. [17] 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he [18] breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son [19] of God!”

40 There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
Jesus Is Buried

42 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the Council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. [20] And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. 45 And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And Joseph [21] bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.


[1] 14:3 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
[2] 14:5 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer
[3] 14:24 Some manuscripts insert new
[4] 14:34 Or keep awake; also verses 37, 38
[5] 14:47 Greek bondservant
[6] 14:55 Greek Sanhedrin
[7] 14:60 Or Have you no answer to what these men testify against you?
[8] 14:68 Or forecourt
[9] 14:68 Some manuscripts omit and the rooster crowed
[10] 14:72 Or And when he had thought about it, he wept
[11] 15:15 A Roman judicial penalty, consisting of a severe beating with a multi-lashed whip containing imbedded pieces of bone and metal
[12] 15:16 Greek the praetorium
[13] 15:16 Greek cohort; a tenth of a Roman legion, usually about 600 men
[14] 15:25 That is, 9 a.m.
[15] 15:27 Some manuscripts insert verse 28: And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “He was numbered with the transgressors”
[16] 15:33 That is, noon
[17] 15:33 That is, 3 p.m.
[18] 15:39 Some manuscripts insert cried out and
[19] 15:39 Or a son
[20] 15:44 Or Pilate wondered whether he had already died
[21] 15:46 Greek he

ESV Bible © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers


14.1 ην δὲ τὸ πάσχα καὶ τὰ ἄζυμα μετὰ δύο ἡμέρας. καὶ ἐζήτουν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς πῶς αὐτὸν ἐν δόλῳ κρατήσαντες ἀποκτείνωσιν: 2ἔλεγον γάρ, Μὴ ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ, μήποτε ἔσται θόρυβος τοῦ λαοῦ. 3Καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ ἐν Βηθανίᾳ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ Σίμωνος τοῦ λεπροῦ κατακειμένου αὐτοῦ ἦλθεν γυνὴ ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτελοῦς: συντρίψασα τὴν ἀλάβαστρον κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς. 4ἦσαν δέ τινες ἀγανακτοῦντες πρὸς ἑαυτούς, Εἰς τί ἡ ἀπώλεια αὕτη τοῦ μύρου γέγονεν; 5ἠδύνατο γὰρ τοῦτο τὸ μύρον πραθῆναι ἐπάνω δηναρίων τριακοσίων καὶ δοθῆναι τοῖς πτωχοῖς: καὶ ἐνεβριμῶντο αὐτῇ. 6ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν, Ἄφετε αὐτήν: τί αὐτῇ κόπους παρέχετε; καλὸν ἔργον ἠργάσατο ἐν ἐμοί. 7πάντοτε γὰρ τοὺς πτωχοὺς ἔχετε μεθ' ἑαυτῶν, καὶ ὅταν θέλητε δύνασθε αὐτοῖς εὖ ποιῆσαι, ἐμὲ δὲ οὐ πάντοτε ἔχετε. 8ὃ ἔσχεν ἐποίησεν: προέλαβεν μυρίσαι τὸ σῶμά μου εἰς τὸν ἐνταφιασμόν. 9ἀμὴν δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ὅπου ἐὰν κηρυχθῇ τὸ εὐαγγέλιον εἰς ὅλον τὸν κόσμον, καὶ ὃ ἐποίησεν αὕτη λαληθήσεται εἰς μνημόσυνον αὐτῆς. 10Καὶ Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριὼθ ὁ εἷς τῶν δώδεκα ἀπῆλθεν πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς ἵνα αὐτὸν παραδοῖ αὐτοῖς. 11οἱ δὲ ἀκούσαντες ἐχάρησαν καὶ ἐπηγγείλαντο αὐτῷ ἀργύριον δοῦναι. καὶ ἐζήτει πῶς αὐτὸν εὐκαίρως παραδοῖ. 12Καὶ τῇ πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν ἀζύμων, ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον, λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ, Ποῦ θέλεις ἀπελθόντες ἑτοιμάσωμεν ἵνα φάγῃς τὸ πάσχα; 13καὶ ἀποστέλλει δύο τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς, Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν πόλιν, καὶ ἀπαντήσει ὑμῖν ἄνθρωπος κεράμιον ὕδατος βαστάζων: ἀκολουθήσατε αὐτῷ, 14καὶ ὅπου ἐὰν εἰσέλθῃ εἴπατε τῷ οἰκοδεσπότῃ ὅτι Ὁ διδάσκαλος λέγει, Ποῦ ἐστιν τὸ κατάλυμά μου ὅπου τὸ πάσχα μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν μου φάγω; 15καὶ αὐτὸς ὑμῖν δείξει ἀνάγαιον μέγα ἐστρωμένον ἕτοιμον: καὶ ἐκεῖ ἑτοιμάσατε ἡμῖν. 16καὶ ἐξῆλθον οἱ μαθηταὶ καὶ ἦλθον εἰς τὴν πόλιν καὶ εὗρον καθὼς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἡτοίμασαν τὸ πάσχα. 17Καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης ἔρχεται μετὰ τῶν δώδεκα. 18καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν καὶ ἐσθιόντων ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν, Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με, ὁ ἐσθίων μετ' ἐμοῦ. 19ἤρξαντο λυπεῖσθαι καὶ λέγειν αὐτῷ εἷς κατὰ εἷς, Μήτι ἐγώ; 20ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Εἷς τῶν δώδεκα, ὁ ἐμβαπτόμενος μετ' ἐμοῦ εἰς τὸ τρύβλιον. 21ὅτι ὁ μὲν υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὑπάγει καθὼς γέγραπται περὶ αὐτοῦ, οὐαὶ δὲ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἐκείνῳ δι' οὗ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται: καλὸν αὐτῷ εἰ οὐκ ἐγεννήθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος. 22Καὶ ἐσθιόντων αὐτῶν λαβὼν ἄρτον εὐλογήσας ἔκλασεν καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς καὶ εἶπεν, Λάβετε, τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ σῶμά μου. 23καὶ λαβὼν ποτήριον εὐχαριστήσας ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἔπιον ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες. 24καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ ἐκχυννόμενον ὑπὲρ πολλῶν: 25ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐκέτι οὐ μὴ πίω ἐκ τοῦ γενήματος τῆς ἀμπέλου ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης ὅταν αὐτὸ πίνω καινὸν ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ. 26Καὶ ὑμνήσαντες ἐξῆλθον εἰς τὸ Ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν. 27Καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι Πάντες σκανδαλισθήσεσθε, ὅτι γέγραπται, Πατάξω τὸν ποιμένα, καὶ τὰ πρόβατα διασκορπισθήσονται: 28ἀλλὰ μετὰ τὸ ἐγερθῆναί με προάξω ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν. 29ὁ δὲ Πέτρος ἔφη αὐτῷ, Εἰ καὶ πάντες σκανδαλισθήσονται, ἀλλ' οὐκ ἐγώ. 30καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ἀμὴν λέγω σοι ὅτι σὺ σήμερον ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ πρὶν ἢ δὶς ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι τρίς με ἀπαρνήσῃ. 31ὁ δὲ ἐκπερισσῶς ἐλάλει, Ἐὰν δέῃ με συναποθανεῖν σοι, οὐ μή σε ἀπαρνήσομαι. ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ πάντες ἔλεγον. 32Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς χωρίον οὗ τὸ ὄνομα Γεθσημανί, καὶ λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ, Καθίσατε ὧδε ἕως προσεύξωμαι. 33καὶ παραλαμβάνει τὸν Πέτρον καὶ [τὸν] Ἰάκωβον καὶ [τὸν] Ἰωάννην μετ' αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἤρξατο ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι καὶ ἀδημονεῖν, 34καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς, Περίλυπός ἐστιν ἡ ψυχή μου ἕως θανάτου: μείνατε ὧδε καὶ γρηγορεῖτε. 35καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν ἔπιπτεν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, καὶ προσηύχετο ἵνα εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν παρέλθῃ ἀπ' αὐτοῦ ἡ ὥρα, 36καὶ ἔλεγεν, Αββα ὁ πατήρ, πάντα δυνατά σοι: παρένεγκε τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο ἀπ' ἐμοῦ: ἀλλ' οὐ τί ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλὰ τί σύ. 37καὶ ἔρχεται καὶ εὑρίσκει αὐτοὺς καθεύδοντας, καὶ λέγει τῷ Πέτρῳ, Σίμων, καθεύδεις; οὐκ ἴσχυσας μίαν ὥραν γρηγορῆσαι; 38γρηγορεῖτε καὶ προσεύχεσθε, ἵνα μὴ ἔλθητε εἰς πειρασμόν: τὸ μὲν πνεῦμα πρόθυμον ἡ δὲ σὰρξ ἀσθενής. 39καὶ πάλιν ἀπελθὼν προσηύξατο τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον εἰπών. 40καὶ πάλιν ἐλθὼν εὗρεν αὐτοὺς καθεύδοντας, ἦσαν γὰρ αὐτῶν οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ καταβαρυνόμενοι, καὶ οὐκ ᾔδεισαν τί ἀποκριθῶσιν αὐτῷ. 41καὶ ἔρχεται τὸ τρίτον καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς, Καθεύδετε τὸ λοιπὸν καὶ ἀναπαύεσθε; ἀπέχει: ἦλθεν ἡ ὥρα, ἰδοὺ παραδίδοται ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἰς τὰς χεῖρας τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν. 42ἐγείρεσθε ἄγωμεν: ἰδοὺ ὁ παραδιδούς με ἤγγικεν. 43Καὶ εὐθὺς ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος παραγίνεται Ἰούδας εἷς τῶν δώδεκα καὶ μετ' αὐτοῦ ὄχλος μετὰ μαχαιρῶν καὶ ξύλων παρὰ τῶν ἀρχιερέων καὶ τῶν γραμματέων καὶ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων. 44δεδώκει δὲ ὁ παραδιδοὺς αὐτὸν σύσσημον αὐτοῖς λέγων, Ὃν ἂν φιλήσω αὐτός ἐστιν: κρατήσατε αὐτὸν καὶ ἀπάγετε ἀσφαλῶς. 45καὶ ἐλθὼν εὐθὺς προσελθὼν αὐτῷ λέγει, Ῥαββί, καὶ κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν. 46οἱ δὲ ἐπέβαλον τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῷ καὶ ἐκράτησαν αὐτόν. 47εἷς δέ [τις] τῶν παρεστηκότων σπασάμενος τὴν μάχαιραν ἔπαισεν τὸν δοῦλον τοῦ ἀρχιερέως καὶ ἀφεῖλεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτάριον. 48καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Ὡς ἐπὶ λῃστὴν ἐξήλθατε μετὰ μαχαιρῶν καὶ ξύλων συλλαβεῖν με; 49καθ' ἡμέραν ἤμην πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ διδάσκων καὶ οὐκ ἐκρατήσατέ με: ἀλλ' ἵνα πληρωθῶσιν αἱ γραφαί. 50καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν ἔφυγον πάντες. 51Καὶ νεανίσκος τις συνηκολούθει αὐτῷ περιβεβλημένος σινδόνα ἐπὶ γυμνοῦ, καὶ κρατοῦσιν αὐτόν: 52ὁ δὲ καταλιπὼν τὴν σινδόνα γυμνὸς ἔφυγεν. 53Καὶ ἀπήγαγον τὸν Ἰησοῦν πρὸς τὸν ἀρχιερέα, καὶ συνέρχονται πάντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς. 54καὶ ὁ Πέτρος ἀπὸ μακρόθεν ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ ἕως ἔσω εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως, καὶ ἦν συγκαθήμενος μετὰ τῶν ὑπηρετῶν καὶ θερμαινόμενος πρὸς τὸ φῶς. 55οἱ δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ ὅλον τὸ συνέδριον ἐζήτουν κατὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ μαρτυρίαν εἰς τὸ θανατῶσαι αὐτόν, καὶ οὐχ ηὕρισκον: 56πολλοὶ γὰρ ἐψευδομαρτύρουν κατ' αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἴσαι αἱ μαρτυρίαι οὐκ ἦσαν. 57καί τινες ἀναστάντες ἐψευδομαρτύρουν κατ' αὐτοῦ λέγοντες 58ὅτι Ἡμεῖς ἠκούσαμεν αὐτοῦ λέγοντος ὅτι Ἐγὼ καταλύσω τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον τὸν χειροποίητον καὶ διὰ τριῶν ἡμερῶν ἄλλον ἀχειροποίητον οἰκοδομήσω: 59καὶ οὐδὲ οὕτως ἴση ἦν ἡ μαρτυρία αὐτῶν. 60καὶ ἀναστὰς ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς εἰς μέσον ἐπηρώτησεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν λέγων, Οὐκ ἀποκρίνῃ οὐδέν; τί οὗτοί σου καταμαρτυροῦσιν; 61ὁ δὲ ἐσιώπα καὶ οὐκ ἀπεκρίνατο οὐδέν. πάλιν ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς ἐπηρώτα αὐτὸν καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, Σὺ εἶ ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ εὐλογητοῦ; 62ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν, Ἐγώ εἰμι, καὶ ὄψεσθε τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ δεξιῶν καθήμενον τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ ἐρχόμενον μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ. 63ὁ δὲ ἀρχιερεὺς διαρρήξας τοὺς χιτῶνας αὐτοῦ λέγει, Τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων; 64ἠκούσατε τῆς βλασφημίας: τί ὑμῖν φαίνεται; οἱ δὲ πάντες κατέκριναν αὐτὸν ἔνοχον εἶναι θανάτου. 65Καὶ ἤρξαντό τινες ἐμπτύειν αὐτῷ καὶ περικαλύπτειν αὐτοῦ τὸ πρόσωπον καὶ κολαφίζειν αὐτὸν καὶ λέγειν αὐτῷ, Προφήτευσον, καὶ οἱ ὑπηρέται ῥαπίσμασιν αὐτὸν ἔλαβον. 66Καὶ ὄντος τοῦ Πέτρου κάτω ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ ἔρχεται μία τῶν παιδισκῶν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως, 67καὶ ἰδοῦσα τὸν Πέτρον θερμαινόμενον ἐμβλέψασα αὐτῷ λέγει, Καὶ σὺ μετὰ τοῦ Ναζαρηνοῦ ἦσθα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ. 68ὁ δὲ ἠρνήσατο λέγων, Οὔτε οἶδα οὔτε ἐπίσταμαι σὺ τί λέγεις. καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἔξω εἰς τὸ προαύλιον [:καὶ ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν]. 69καὶ ἡ παιδίσκη ἰδοῦσα αὐτὸν ἤρξατο πάλιν λέγειν τοῖς παρεστῶσιν ὅτι Οὗτος ἐξ αὐτῶν ἐστιν. 70ὁ δὲ πάλιν ἠρνεῖτο. καὶ μετὰ μικρὸν πάλιν οἱ παρεστῶτες ἔλεγον τῷ Πέτρῳ, Ἀληθῶς ἐξ αὐτῶν εἶ, καὶ γὰρ Γαλιλαῖος εἶ. 71ὁ δὲ ἤρξατο ἀναθεματίζειν καὶ ὀμνύναι ὅτι Οὐκ οἶδα τὸν ἄνθρωπον τοῦτον ὃν λέγετε. 72καὶ εὐθὺς ἐκ δευτέρου ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν. καὶ ἀνεμνήσθη ὁ Πέτρος τὸ ῥῆμα ὡς εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι Πρὶν ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι δὶς τρίς με ἀπαρνήσῃ: καὶ ἐπιβαλὼν ἔκλαιεν.

15.1Καὶ εὐθὺς πρωῒ συμβούλιον ποιήσαντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων καὶ γραμματέων καὶ ὅλον τὸ συνέδριον δήσαντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπήνεγκαν καὶ παρέδωκαν Πιλάτῳ. 2καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτὸν ὁ Πιλᾶτος, Σὺ εἶ ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων; ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτῷ λέγει, Σὺ λέγεις. 3καὶ κατηγόρουν αὐτοῦ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς πολλά. 4ὁ δὲ Πιλᾶτος πάλιν ἐπηρώτα αὐτὸν λέγων, Οὐκ ἀποκρίνῃ οὐδέν; ἴδε πόσα σου κατηγοροῦσιν. 5ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς οὐκέτι οὐδὲν ἀπεκρίθη, ὥστε θαυμάζειν τὸν Πιλᾶτον. 6Κατὰ δὲ ἑορτὴν ἀπέλυεν αὐτοῖς ἕνα δέσμιον ὃν παρῃτοῦντο. 7ἦν δὲ ὁ λεγόμενος Βαραββᾶς μετὰ τῶν στασιαστῶν δεδεμένος οἵτινες ἐν τῇ στάσει φόνον πεποιήκεισαν. 8καὶ ἀναβὰς ὁ ὄχλος ἤρξατο αἰτεῖσθαι καθὼς ἐποίει αὐτοῖς. 9ὁ δὲ Πιλᾶτος ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς λέγων, Θέλετε ἀπολύσω ὑμῖν τὸν βασιλέα τῶν Ἰουδαίων; 10ἐγίνωσκεν γὰρ ὅτι διὰ φθόνον παραδεδώκεισαν αὐτὸν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς. 11οἱ δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς ἀνέσεισαν τὸν ὄχλον ἵνα μᾶλλον τὸν Βαραββᾶν ἀπολύσῃ αὐτοῖς. 12ὁ δὲ Πιλᾶτος πάλιν ἀποκριθεὶς ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς, Τί οὖν [θέλετε] ποιήσω [ὃν λέγετε] τὸν βασιλέα τῶν Ἰουδαίων; 13οἱ δὲ πάλιν ἔκραξαν, Σταύρωσον αὐτόν. 14ὁ δὲ Πιλᾶτος ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς, Τί γὰρ ἐποίησεν κακόν; οἱ δὲ περισσῶς ἔκραξαν, Σταύρωσον αὐτόν. 15ὁ δὲ Πιλᾶτος βουλόμενος τῷ ὄχλῳ τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι ἀπέλυσεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Βαραββᾶν, καὶ παρέδωκεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν φραγελλώσας ἵνα σταυρωθῇ. 16Οἱ δὲ στρατιῶται ἀπήγαγον αὐτὸν ἔσω τῆς αὐλῆς, ὅ ἐστιν πραιτώριον, καὶ συγκαλοῦσιν ὅλην τὴν σπεῖραν. 17καὶ ἐνδιδύσκουσιν αὐτὸν πορφύραν καὶ περιτιθέασιν αὐτῷ πλέξαντες ἀκάνθινον στέφανον: 18καὶ ἤρξαντο ἀσπάζεσθαι αὐτόν, Χαῖρε, βασιλεῦ τῶν Ἰουδαίων: 19καὶ ἔτυπτον αὐτοῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν καλάμῳ καὶ ἐνέπτυον αὐτῷ, καὶ τιθέντες τὰ γόνατα προσεκύνουν αὐτῷ. 20καὶ ὅτε ἐνέπαιξαν αὐτῷ, ἐξέδυσαν αὐτὸν τὴν πορφύραν καὶ ἐνέδυσαν αὐτὸν τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ. καὶ ἐξάγουσιν αὐτὸν ἵνα σταυρώσωσιν αὐτόν. 21Καὶ ἀγγαρεύουσιν παράγοντά τινα Σίμωνα Κυρηναῖον ἐρχόμενον ἀπ' ἀγροῦ, τὸν πατέρα Ἀλεξάνδρου καὶ Ῥούφου, ἵνα ἄρῃ τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ. 22καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸν Γολγοθᾶν τόπον, ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Κρανίου Τόπος. 23καὶ ἐδίδουν αὐτῷ ἐσμυρνισμένον οἶνον, ὃς δὲ οὐκ ἔλαβεν. 24καὶ σταυροῦσιν αὐτὸν καὶ διαμερίζονται τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ, βάλλοντες κλῆρον ἐπ' αὐτὰ τίς τί ἄρῃ. 25ἦν δὲ ὥρα τρίτη καὶ ἐσταύρωσαν αὐτόν. 26καὶ ἦν ἡ ἐπιγραφὴ τῆς αἰτίας αὐτοῦ ἐπιγεγραμμένη, Ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων. 27Καὶ σὺν αὐτῷ σταυροῦσιν δύο λῃστάς, ἕνα ἐκ δεξιῶν καὶ ἕνα ἐξ εὐωνύμων αὐτοῦ. 28Καὶ 29οἱ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν καὶ λέγοντες, Οὐὰ ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν καὶ οἰκοδομῶν ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις, 30σῶσον σεαυτὸν καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ. 31ὁμοίως καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς ἐμπαίζοντες πρὸς ἀλλήλους μετὰ τῶν γραμματέων ἔλεγον, Ἄλλους ἔσωσεν, ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται σῶσαι: 32ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἰσραὴλ καταβάτω νῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ, ἵνα ἴδωμεν καὶ πιστεύσωμεν. καὶ οἱ συνεσταυρωμένοι σὺν αὐτῷ ὠνείδιζον αὐτόν. 33Καὶ γενομένης ὥρας ἕκτης σκότος ἐγένετο ἐφ' ὅλην τὴν γῆν ἕως ὥρας ἐνάτης. 34καὶ τῇ ἐνάτῃ ὥρᾳ ἐβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ, Ελωι ελωι λεμα σαβαχθανι; ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Ὁ θεός μου ὁ θεός μου, εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπές με; 35καί τινες τῶν παρεστηκότων ἀκούσαντες ἔλεγον, Ἴδε Ἠλίαν φωνεῖ. 36δραμὼν δέ τις [καὶ] γεμίσας σπόγγον ὄξους περιθεὶς καλάμῳ ἐπότιζεν αὐτόν, λέγων, Ἄφετε ἴδωμεν εἰ ἔρχεται Ἠλίας καθελεῖν αὐτόν. 37ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἀφεὶς φωνὴν μεγάλην ἐξέπνευσεν. 38Καὶ τὸ καταπέτασμα τοῦ ναοῦ ἐσχίσθη εἰς δύο ἀπ' ἄνωθεν ἕως κάτω. 39Ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ κεντυρίων ὁ παρεστηκὼς ἐξ ἐναντίας αὐτοῦ ὅτι οὕτως ἐξέπνευσεν εἶπεν, Ἀληθῶς οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος υἱὸς θεοῦ ἦν. 40*)=ησαν δὲ καὶ γυναῖκες ἀπὸ μακρόθεν θεωροῦσαι, ἐν αἷς καὶ Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ Μαρία ἡ Ἰακώβου τοῦ μικροῦ καὶ Ἰωσῆτος μήτηρ καὶ Σαλώμη, 41αἳ ὅτε ἦν ἐν τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ ἠκολούθουν αὐτῷ καὶ διηκόνουν αὐτῷ, καὶ ἄλλαι πολλαὶ αἱ συναναβᾶσαι αὐτῷ εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα. 42Καὶ ἤδη ὀψίας γενομένης, ἐπεὶ ἦν παρασκευή, ὅ ἐστιν προσάββατον, 43ἐλθὼν Ἰωσὴφ [ὁ] ἀπὸ Ἁριμαθαίας εὐσχήμων βουλευτής, ὃς καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν προσδεχόμενος τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, τολμήσας εἰσῆλθεν πρὸς τὸν Πιλᾶτον καὶ ᾐτήσατο τὸ σῶμα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ. 44ὁ δὲ Πιλᾶτος ἐθαύμασεν εἰ ἤδη τέθνηκεν, καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τὸν κεντυρίωνα ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτὸν εἰ πάλαι ἀπέθανεν: 45καὶ γνοὺς ἀπὸ τοῦ κεντυρίωνος ἐδωρήσατο τὸ πτῶμα τῷ Ἰωσήφ. 46καὶ ἀγοράσας σινδόνα καθελὼν αὐτὸν ἐνείλησεν τῇ σινδόνι καὶ ἔθηκεν αὐτὸν ἐν μνημείῳ ὃ ἦν λελατομημένον ἐκ πέτρας, καὶ προσεκύλισεν λίθον ἐπὶ τὴν θύραν τοῦ μνημείου. 47ἡ δὲ Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ Μαρία ἡ Ἰωσῆτος ἐθεώρουν ποῦ τέθειται.

Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th edition
© 1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart;

The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition
© 1975, United Bible Societies, London

2. ANALYSIS: Mark 14:1-15:47

14:1-2. The authorities do not want to have Jesus arrested during
the festival, but this is what actually happened. Vs. 2 is often thought
to be a tradition matching John 18:28, that Jesus was put to death before
the festival began. Alternatively, it may be Mark's irony: the plans
went awry.

The Passion Narrative is generally terse and factual with little
miracle or theological interpretation. It is now doubted that it
existed in connected written form prior to Mark, but it is fairly
homogeneous and the sequence of events was known. Mark certainly
colored it with his own theology. But vss. 3-9 are his work, and they
interrupt a narrative that continues in vss. 10f. Mark's story is
probably more primitive than Luke 7:36-38, and John 12:18

14:3. katakeimenou autou - literally "as he was reclining," but the
woman anoints Jesus' head to consecrate him as Messiah, and in a
village the people were probably seated on the floor. Perfumes were
kept in tubular flasks, usually of glass, but the shape was called
alabastron because sometimes they were made of alabaster.

14:8. Anyone who is Messiah in these days is anointed only for his burial.

14:9 reflects the sentiment of Mark and of the Church.

14:12. From the Jewish point of view, the lambs were not slain
on the first day of unleavened bread (15 Nisan, which began as
sundown), but on the 14th.

14:14. kataluma - a guest room, previously arranged for the occasion.
anagaion, an upstairs room.

14:18. "He who is eating with me;" cf. Ps. 41:9. Other fulfilments of O.T.
prophecy are noted in vss. 21, 27, 49.

14:22f. eulogeisas and eucharisteisas are interchangeable; one thanks
God by blessing him (saying something good about him). Mark regards
these as Passover blessings over the bread and the wine. To them Jesus
adds, "Take it; this is my Body." The disciples are to participate in the
blessings brought by his coming death.

14:24. The blood of the covenant: in the ceremony of ratification (Exod.
24:6-8) the people are leagued with God when the blood is dashed first
on the altar and then on the congregation.

14:25. Reunion in the Kingdom of God might take place in Galilee (14:28;

14:26. If this was a Passover, the hymns might be the second part of the
Hallel (Pss. 115-118). The N.T. often interprets Ps. 118 as a prophecy of

14:32-42. This is an interlude showing signs of Mark's theology, language
and irony, and a pathos unique in Mark. The traditional sites of Gethsemane
(Russian and Latin) are on the extreme west slope of the Mount of Olives.

14:33f. Ekthambetsthai kai adeimonein, distressed and agitated (NRSV),
but the words express shuddering awe. His sorrow is so great that he is
near death. Contrast John 12:27f.

14:36,38. Echoes of the Lord's Prayer. gregorette, keep awake, keep alert,
resumes 13:33-37. This great word of Christian devotion is echoed in the
proper name Gregory.

14:44. susseimon, sign or signal. asphalos, securely; they must get the right
man and seize him.

14:45. The kiss identified Jesus to his captors; it is also ironical.

14:51f. Like the Gethesemane story, this is almost like a dream-sequence.
Is this the young man (angel) of 16:5?

14:53-65. The hearing appears to be an informal examination designed
to collect evidence; it does not conform to rabbinical laws regarding trials.
For evidence elsewhere that Jesus spoke against the Temple, see Mark 13:2;
Luke 19:44; Matt. 23:38=Luke 13:35, but especially Mark 11:17.

14:61f. The dialogue is from the point of view of Christian theology.
In Judaism the Messiah is not necessarily a "son of the Blessed," i.e. God
(though see Ps. 2:7). Jesus answers, "I am" (cf. Exodus 3:14) but immediately
speaks of the Son of Man (cf. Mark 8:31). Ps. 110:1 and Dan. 7:13 are part of
the background, but this refers not to the ascent of the Son of Man, instead
to his return (Mark 13:26).

14:63. Not blasphemy in the strictest sense.

14:65. "received him with blows;" NRSV, "took him over and beat him."

14:66-72. Many regard the story as only the climax of Mark's program to
discredit Peter and the Twelve. But if the original audience knew the whole
story of Peter, does it also suggest that even this man who denied his Lord
could be restored? First hinted in Luke 22:32.

14:72. kai epibalon aklalen is puzzling; probably "he broke down and wept"
(NRSV). A variant in D,Theta, Old Latin,etc. reads "he began to weep;"
Matt. 26:75 and Luke 22:62 substitute "he went out and wept bitterly."

15:1-47. The account is generally terse and sober. Although the evangelists
excuse Pilate as much as possible, he is the one responsible for Jesus'
death and acts in the interest of imperial policy.

15:1. Certain members of the Sanhedrin hold a consultation (symboulion);
the actual trial now follows.

15:2. "King of the Jews" was the title of Herod the Great. Its use here and
in vss. 7,12,18,26 shows that the charge was treason against the emperor
(cf. John 19:12). Pilate is not interested in the religious issues. su legeis,
"It is YOU (emphatic) who use these words." According to Mark, Jesus could
not deny that in some sense he was the Messiah (cf. 14:62).

15:6f. There is no independent evidence that Pilate was accustomed to grant
such an amnesty, but it is conceivable. Barabbas was one of the insurgents (stasiastai) in a recent uprising; the political situation was sensitive.

15:9-11. Pilate evidently did not think Jesus dangerous, and he is ironical
when he calls him King of the Jews. It was not mere envy or jealousy
(phthonos) that impelled the chief priest; they though of Jesus as an actual
threat because the "cleansing" of the Temple was an insult to their authority.
In Mark the crowd is usually friendly or at least neutral; here it is a hostile
mob. The variant in Matt. 27:16f., "Jesus Barabbas or Jesus the so-called
Messiah," may reflect an actual tradition.

15:16. praitorion, government house; Pilate's residence and headquarters
when in Jerusalem, probably Herod's old palace on the west side of the city,
near the Jaffa gate. The whole speira (the 2nd Italian cohort?) could consist
of 600 men.

15:17-19. The soldiers give Jesus mock-royal honors. An emperor would be
hailed with the words, Ave, Caesar, victor, imperator.

15:21. Mark's first readers, in Rome or Galilee, could have known Alexander
and Rufus; the other evangelists did not. Simon was compelled to carry the
cross beam which would be nailed to a pole or tree already standing.
Discovery in Jerusalem of the bones of a man crucified in the 1st century
illustrates the method of execution; see "Crucifixion, Method of,"
Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Suppl. 199-200.

15:23. esmurnismenon hoinon, wine infused with myrrh to deaden pain.

15:24. Garments of a condemned man were perquisites of his executioners,
but there is also an echo of Ps. 22:18.

15:25. The third hour, approximately 9 a.m.

15:27. leistas, properly "bandits;" the term sometimes refers to guerrillas.
Luke 23:39-43 expands the story, and later tradition even gives names to
the two.

15:32. "the anointed, the King of Israel" is a more exalted and theological
title than "King of the Jews."

15:33. Sixth and ninth hours, about noon and 3 p.m. The darkness suggests
Amos 8:9 or Jer. 15:9.

15:34. Ps. 22:1 is quoted in Aramaic, not Hebrew; Matt. 27:46 changes the
first two words to Eli, Eli, which could more easily be misheard as a call
to Elijah. This can be thought of as a cry of despair, or as a prayer in which
Jesus identified himself with the ancient sufferer.

15:36. hoksos - cheap sour wine, perhaps given to Jesus to quench his thirst.
Ps. 69:21 may have influenced this tradition. It is not certain if the man
actually expected Elijah to come. aphete idomen, "let us see;" very colloquial.

15:37. phonein megalein, "great," i.e. loud voice, here and in vs. 34, may be
the shout of a hero. Ignatius of Antioch (ca. A.D. 115) says to the
Philadelphians, "When I was among you, I cried out with megalei phonei,
a voice of God..." (Philad. 7:1).

15:38. Mark may have thought of the tearing of the veil of the Temple as
a sign of God's judgment; in Heb. 9:19-25 it symbolizes the direct access
to God's presence made possible by Jesus' death.

15:39. Jesus' final cry, rather than the miracle of the veil, may have led
the centurion to exclaim that Jesus was a "son of God." To a pagan this
meant only a semi-divine hero, but to Mark much more; it resumes "son of
God" in 1:1.

15:40f. Everyone, including the disciples, had fled, and only the women
were present. These three were the first to learn the news of Jesus'
resurrection. Mary Magdalene, according to John 20:11-18, actually saw
the Lord. Mary the mother of James the younger (or "small") and Joses is
probably not Jesus' mother (but cf. 6:3). Luke 8:2 mentions two others who
had followed Jesus to Jerusalem, Susanna and Joanna; the latter is also at
the empty tomb (Luke 24:10).

15:43. euscheimon, "respected" or "honorable," but the word can mean
"wealthy," as Matt. 27:57 understands it. bouleuteis, councillor, a member
of the Great Sanhedrin or of a local court. As a devoted Jew, he expected
the Kingdom of God. Matt. 27:57 claims him as a disciple; a secret one,
in John 19:38.

15:44. Crucifixion was execution by torture, and a victim might suffer for
several days.

15:46. The tomb was hewn out of the limestone bedrock, like many
tombs in and near Jerusalem. For archaeological evidence regarding
crucifixion and the identification of the site with the traditional Holy
Sepulchre, see John Wilkinson, Jerusalem as Jesus Knew It (London: Thames
and Hudson, 1978), pp. 144-159. A disk-shaped stone could be rolled to
close the entrance.

3. STRATEGY: Mark 14:1-15:47

The Passion Narratives practically preach themselves, and this is
especially true when Bach's St. Matthew Passion is sung, or when
members of the congregation read the parts of various persons in the
story. The homily therefore need not be long.

The preceding Sunday, Lent 5, is rather directly related to Holy Week;
see, e.g., John 12:20-33. The service leaflet or bulletin for that day might
encourage the people to read Mark 14-15 as a personal preparation and to
note certain important points, especially the simplicity and power of
the narrative.

Several possible approaches for the homilist follow:

1 - The Cross as Jesus' act of obedience (Mk. 14:33-36), in
which he continued his work for the Reign of God (14:25).

2 - Selecting some particular aspect of the story: Jesus before
the Sanhedrin or before Pilate; the minor actors, Simon of Cyrene, the centurion, the women.

3 - The unholy alliance of state and religious authorities
in a judicial murder.

4 - Paul's paradox: "stumbling-block to the Jews, nonsense to
Gentiles, but to us...Christ the power of God and the wisdom
of God" (1 Cor. 1:23f.).

5 - How does the Cross save us? There are many theories of the
Atonement, but consider:
a) We are united with Christ, not just emotionally; for he leads
us to follow the way of the Cross. This is the theme of Mark
8:34-37 and the entire story of the journey to Jerusalem,
9:30-10:52. b) The resurrection showed that the Cross was
God's victory over the powers of evil (Col. 2:13-15;cf. Luke
10:17-20; John 12:31f.; Rev. 12:7-12).

Exegete - Sherman E. Johnson, ThD,PhD †
Dean Emeritus, Visiting Professor of New Testament
Church Divinity School of the Pacific , Episcopal Church in America

Editor's Note:

There is no better preparation for Holy Week than to spend at least some time this week with J.S.B. in meditation. It is the choral sine qua non for entry into the Easter Season.

Some of the most poignant and soul-stirring themes of all time are found within the St. Matthew Passion, not only in terms of the main theme (O Sacred Head) repeated in several variations, but also in sub-themes, such as:

Pare-toi, mon coeur, pour lui;
Tu vas etre le sepulcre ou Jesus dort et repose,
Car c'est en toi desormais,
C'est en toi qu'il veut faire sa demeure;
Monde, adieu, descends en moi,
O Jesus, descends en moi!

In some peculiar way, this passage (Aria Nr. 75) touches me because it so reminds me of the prayer my Großmutter, Anna Weiß, taught me and which her great-grandchildren pray:

Ich bin klein, mein Herz ist rein, niemand darf im wohnen,
als Jesus allein. AMEN.


Monday in Holy Week

April 6, 2009
Isaiah 42:1-9
Psalm 36:5-11 (7)
Hebrews 9:11-15
John 12:1-11

Prayer of the Day
O God, your Son chose the path that led to pain before joy and to the cross before glory. Plant his cross in our hearts, so that in its power and love we may come at last to joy and glory, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation
May I never boast of | anything
except the cross of our Lord | Jesus Christ. (Gal. 6:14)

Color: Scarlet/Purple


Tuesday in Holy Week

April 7, 2009
Isaiah 49:1-7
Psalm 71:1-14 (6)
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
John 12:20-36

Prayer of the Day
Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you. Grant that our love may not grow cold in your service, and that we may not fail or deny you in the time of trial, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation
May I never boast of | anything
except the cross of our Lord | Jesus Christ. (Gal. 6:14)

Color: Scarlet/Purple


Wednesday in Holy Week

April 8, 2009
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 70 (1)
Hebrews 12:1-3
John 13:21-32

Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, your Son our Savior suffered at human hands and endured the shame of the cross. Grant that we may walk in the way of his cross and find it the way of life and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation
May I never boast of | anything
except the cross of our Lord | Jesus Christ. (Gal. 6:14)

Color: Scarlet/Purple


The Three Days
Year B, 2008-2009

This Church Year Calendar and Propers uses the Revised Common Lectionary as it appears in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006). This version includes additional readings for a number of festivals and occasions, as well as the church year calendar and terminology from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Two series of readings are provided for the Time after Pentecost. The complementary series provides Old Testament readings and psalms chosen for their relationship to the gospels. The semicontinuous series provides Old Testament readings and psalms that, while not as explicitly connected to the gospels, explore many of the books and stories not covered by the complementary series.


Maundy Thursday | April 9, 2009

Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 (13)
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Prayer of the Day
Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave us a new commandment, to love one another as he loves us.
Write this commandment in our hearts, and give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Eternal God, in the sharing of a meal your Son established a new covenant for all people, and in the washing of feet he showed us the dignity of service. Grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit these signs of our life in faith may speak again to our hearts, feed our spirits, and refresh our bodies, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation
I give you a | new commandment,
that you love one another just as I | have loved you. (John 13:34)
Color: Scarlet/White

1a. CONTEXT - John 13: 1-17, 31b-35

This selection is one of two possible Gospel passages for Maundy Thursday, the other being Luke 22:14-30. Luke's emphasis is on the Last Supper as a rite of the community. In John, on the other hand, the emphasis is on footwashing as an expression of Jesus' nature as servant and as an example of discipleship. Liturgical practice traditionally has identified Maundy Thursday with the institution of the Eucharist and, in recent years, there has been renewed interest in footwashing as an act of powerful symbolism in that situation. The rite also has medieval precedent and frequently accompanied stripping and washing of the altar. Originally a hospitable amenity in ancient Palestine, footwashing was offered to guests upon arrival at a host's home. It was usually performed by a servant or by the wife of the host, while guests reclined at table. Luke 7:44 offers an example in another context.

In John 13 the illustration of footwashing suggests two kinds of themes. One is servant ministry; the other is liturgical. Much of the Christian tradition views Jesus' action as a dramatization of servanthood. Jesus' humility illustrates the kind of life discipleship requires. The Christian must serve without consideration those who come to him in need. This thought is strengthened by Jesus' pointed reference in verse 15. Raymond Brown understands verses 12-20 as a unit which stresses footwashing as a moral example. The fourth gospel emphasizes that
Christ's act is a metaphor for the Christian life.

However Brown also views verses 2-11 as a unit. The actual account of footwashing presents it as a prophetic symbol of Jesus' death. In this light the event has liturgical significance. It portrays the power of cleansing especially associated with baptism. It has implications for the Eucharist as participation in Christ's servanthood and as a preparation of oneself for ministry. In the context of Maundy Thursday, and the eve of the passion, such events reinforce the sacramental nature of the Christian community. Moreover, John 13 offers a powerful juxtaposition of the sacraments and of servanthood. Ideally the sacraments and the ministry of all believers enhance one another.

1b. TEXT: John 13: 1-15, 31b-35 (ESV)

13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, [1] but is completely clean. And you [2] are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant [3] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 31 [When he had gone out, Jesus said, ] “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


[1] 13:10 Some manuscripts omit except for his feet

[2] 13:10 The Greek words for you in this verse are plural

[3] 13:16 Greek bondservant


1προ δε της εορτης του πασχα ειδως ο ιησους οτι ηλθεν αυτου η ωρα ινα μεταβη εκ του κοσμου τουτου προς τον πατερα, αγαπησας τους ιδιους τους εν τω κοσμω, εις τελος ηγαπησεν αυτους. 2και δειπνου γινομενου, του διαβολου ηδη βεβληκοτος εις την καρδιαν ινα παραδοι αυτον ιουδας σιμωνος ισκαριωτου, 3ειδως οτι παντα εδωκεν αυτω ο πατηρ εις τας χειρας και οτι απο θεου εξηλθεν και προς τον θεον υπαγει, 4εγειρεται εκ του δειπνου και τιθησιν τα ιματια, και λαβων λεντιον διεζωσεν εαυτον. 5ειτα βαλλει υδωρ εις τον νιπτηρα και ηρξατο νιπτειν τους ποδας των μαθητων και εκμασσειν τω λεντιω ω ην διεζωσμενος. 6ερχεται ουν προς σιμωνα πετρον. λεγει αυτω, κυριε, συ μου νιπτεις τους ποδας; 7απεκριθη ιησους και ειπεν αυτω, ο εγω ποιω συ ουκ οιδας αρτι, γνωση δε μετα ταυτα. 8λεγει αυτω πετρος, ου μη νιψης μου τους ποδας εις τον αιωνα. απεκριθη ιησους αυτω, εαν μη νιψω σε, ουκ εχεις μερος μετ εμου. 9λεγει αυτω σιμων πετρος, κυριε, μη τους ποδας μου μονον αλλα και τας χειρας και την κεφαλην. 10λεγει αυτω ο ιησους, ο λελουμενος ουκ εχει χρειαν ει μη τους ποδας νιψασθαι, αλλ εστιν καθαρος ολος: και υμεις καθαροι εστε, αλλ ουχι παντες. 11ηδει γαρ τον παραδιδοντα αυτον: δια τουτο ειπεν οτι ουχι παντες καθαροι εστε. 12οτε ουν ενιψεν τους ποδας αυτων [και] ελαβεν τα ιματια αυτου και ανεπεσεν παλιν, ειπεν αυτοις, γινωσκετε τι πεποιηκα υμιν; 13υμεις φωνειτε με ο διδασκαλος και ο κυριος, και καλως λεγετε, ειμι γαρ. 14ει ουν εγω ενιψα υμων τους ποδας ο κυριος και ο διδασκαλος, και υμεις οφειλετε αλληλων νιπτειν τους ποδας: 15υποδειγμα γαρ εδωκα υμιν ινα καθως εγω εποιησα υμιν και υμεις ποιητε. 16αμην αμην λεγω υμιν, ουκ εστιν δουλος μειζων του κυριου αυτου ουδε αποστολος μειζων του πεμψαντος αυτον. 17ει ταυτα οιδατε, μακαριοι εστε εαν ποιητε αυτα.
... 31 [οτε ουν εξηλθεν λεγει ιησους, ] νυν εδοξασθη ο υιος του ανθρωπου, και ο θεος εδοξασθη εν αυτω: 32[ει ο θεος εδοξασθη εν αυτω] και ο θεος δοξασει αυτον εν αυτω, και ευθυς δοξασει αυτον. 33τεκνια, ετι μικρον μεθ υμων ειμι: ζητησετε με, και καθως ειπον τοις ιουδαιοις οτι οπου εγω υπαγω υμεις ου δυνασθε ελθειν, και υμιν λεγω αρτι. 34εντολην καινην διδωμι υμιν, ινα αγαπατε αλληλους: καθως ηγαπησα υμας ινα και υμεις αγαπατε αλληλους. 35εν τουτω γνωσονται παντες οτι εμοι μαθηται εστε, εαν αγαπην εχητε εν αλληλοις.

2. ANALYSIS: John 13: 1-17, 31b-35

13:1 - Pro de thw 'eorthw toy pæasxa....
The stage is set for Jesus' passion. The Gospel succinctly emphasizes Jesus' awareness of himself and his fate. His death would fulfill his nature as God's Son. Yet because of his willingness to be a servant, he would accept the grim fate he foresaw. Voluntary death is seen in the fourth gospel as the supreme expression of love (15:13). Jesus goes to his death because of the depth of his love. He loved humanity utterly, completely. Thus he died as an expression of servanthood.

13:7 - kyrie, sæy moy næipteiw toyw podaw apekræiue 'Ihsoyw kai eipen aytv:
`O egv poio sy oyk oidaw æarti, gnævsei de meta tayta . . . .
Jesus' reply to Peter's dumbfounded query. As happens on other occasions in the New Testament, Peter's hesitation facilitates a powerful statement of faith. The linkage of now and later has eschatological significance. The reference to knowledge suggests insight, understanding, comprehension. As in John 12:16, Peter, like the other disciples, will only be able to make sense of this episode in the light of subsequent experience. The implication lingers that with understanding will come the demand to continue what Jesus has done, for the sake of the Church and its ministry. Verses 8-10 augur against too literal an interpretation of the rite. Instead, the event overflows with symbolism for the life of the Christian community. It serves as an example of the Church's nature.

13:14 - 'o kyriow kai 'o didaskalow
The titles Teacher and Lord were commonly given to rabbis by their disciples. In verse 14 Jesus reversed the order commonly used by his followers (verse 13). The titles, in this form, suggest Jesus' nature first, his role second. He imputes meaning to the title Lord that would not be imputed by traditional usage. At the same time he would dramatize personally the themes underscored in this passage. Footwashing is an illustration of who Jesus is. It is also an example for all who believe in Him to follow. The form of the statement recalls a type of argument used by rabbis. Here Jesus uses such a structure to reinforce his person-hood as the source of his authority.

3. STRATEGY: John 13: 1-17, 31b-35

The passage resounds with powerful, homiletic imagery. Its proximity to the passion, and resurrection, of Christ heightens its potential. In the context of a Eucharist, and perhaps a footwashing and a stripping of the altar, a profound moment is within reach. The eve of sorrow and death anticipates the dawn of triumph. Maundy Thursday is a moment of birth. It is the synthesis of rite, of Jesus' presence, and servanthood, into the foundations of the Christian community. At a time in history when privatized faith remains an irresistible lure for many, when the possibility of being "born again" frequently diminishes the significance of shared faith, this passage has important implications. Jesus' summons comes to the community of believers. Jesus' person dwells amid the company of his followers; his example directs a new kind of relationship, i.e., that of servanthood.

For liturgically grounded forms of Christianity there is a particular opportunity to interweave the Church's sacramental life with its call to ministry. The Church, as well as individual Christians, is faithful when it offers itself in humble service. Indeed, faith is not an intangible set of feelings or pious intentions. Faith is concrete. It entails participation in community and extension of oneself to serve others.

A minor theme in this passage concerns Peter. Peter often serves as the foil. His doubt reflects our own. His incredulity allows us a ready point of identification with the Gospel. Here he is astounded that Jesus should wash his feet. Exalted leaders don't do such things in Peter's eyes. On the other hand, with Jesus' persistence, Peter seeks personal indulgence. Peter is the modern believer, upon whom Jesus' example initially is lost. Peter inevitably grapples with what he cannot understand, and thus serves as an inducement to belief for those who question.

4. REFERENCES, John 13:!-17, 31b-35

York: Seabury, 1981.
Abingdon, 1962.
Leon-Dufour, Xavier. DICTIONARY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. San Francisco:
Harper & Row, 1980.


"Strengthen for Service, Lord" HB 312 - LBW 218

"This is the Hour of Banquet and of Song" HB 316

"My God, thy Table Now is Spread" HB 321

"O Lord, We Praise You, Bless You and Adore You" LBW 215

"Now the Silence" LBW 205

Exegete: William L. Sachs, Ph.D., author of The Transformation of Anglicanism: From State Church to Global Communion. Cambndge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.


While it may seem odd or even irreverent to contemplate joy and laughter in the midst of this holiest of weeks, it may be something we need. I am thinking here especially of a "pop" book on religious humor by Cal Samra, founder of an organization known as the "Fellowship of Merry Christians." Samra's book is entitled THE JOYFUL CHRIST: The Healing Power of Humor
(San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1986). The book is a wonderful anthology of the meaning and message of humor in the church's mission today. Samra relates example after example to support his contention that humor is perhaps the most important missing dimension in the church's life today, a dimension that is needed for unity and wholeness. It is a challenging and exhilarating thesis, beautifully expressed. Moreover, once one has begun to ponder THE JOYFUL CHRIST, Jesus may never be the same! [ ] A recent issue of their Joyful Noiseletter notes:
Many American churches are resurrecting an old Easter custom begun by the Greeks in the early centuries of Christianity-"Holy Humor Sunday" celebrations of Jesus' resurrection on the Sunday after Easter.
For centuries in Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant countries, the week following Easter Sunday, including "Bright Sunday" (the Sunday after Easter), was observed by the faithful as "days of joy and laughter" with parties and picnics to celebrate Jesus' resurrection.
Churchgoers and pastors played practical jokes on each other, drenched each other with water, told jokes, sang, and danced.
The custom was rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. "Risus paschalis - the Easter laugh," the early theologians called it.
In 1988 the Fellowship of Merry Christians began encouraging churches and prayer groups to resurrect Bright Sunday celebrations and call it "Holy Humor Sunday," with the theme: "Jesus is the LIFE of the party."
Many churches from different traditions responded enthusiastically. Holy Humor Sunday services are bringing back large crowds to churches on a Sunday when church attendance typically drops dramatically.
If you Google “Holy Humor Sunday” on the Internet, you’ll be amazed at how widespread Holy Humor Sunday celebrations on the Sunday after Easter have become among churches of all traditions. It’s clearly a movement of the Holy Spirit to shore up belief in the resurrection of Jesus.

On a much more serious note is Jacob Jonsson's brilliant monograph, Humour and Irony in the New Testament: Illuminated by Parallels in Talmud and Midrash (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1985). This study was for many years the only serious, scholarly and theological work in its field aside from occasional brief essays and exegetical studies by various scholars. Jonsson's work was first published in Reykjavik in 1965 and exhaustive bibliography and indices on scriptural references containing elements of humor and irony. This new edition completely reprints the original and includes a brief foreword by Krister Stendahl, former Bishop of Stockholm, Sweden. It makes a fine starting point for anyone interested in a serious study of the place of humor in the Scriptures.


Good Friday | April 10, 2009

Isaiah 52:13—53:12
Psalm 22 (1)
Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
John 18:1—19:42

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, look with loving mercy on your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, to be given over to the hands of sinners, and to suffer death on the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Merciful God, your Son was lifted up on the cross to draw all people to himself. Grant that we who have been born out of his wounded side may at all times find mercy in him, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation

Look to Jesus, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregard- ing its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the | throne of God. (Heb. 12:2)

Color: none


1a. CONTEXT: John 18:1-19:37

Each of the four gospels has a passion account. These passion accounts are thought to be representative of the earliest stories the church passe around. They are certainly the longest sustained narratives that the Gospel writers inherited. In the passion narrative the Gospel of John comes closer to the Synoptics than in any other place. Despite the relative similarities in the four accounts, internal evidence shows them to have different sources. The author of John has used a different source from the sources used by the Synoptics. Hence the variance in details in the different accounts can be attributed partly to different sources and partly to different theological intentions of the Gospel writers. But the case if the Johannine passion account, a clear theological perspective and a source with different details make it, as usual, more different from the Synoptics than they are from each other.

Given that the Gospel for the Sunday of the Passion is the Lukan passion narrative, it would be helpful to review major points of comparison between the Lukan and Johannine accounts. In John's Gospel, the passion narrative follows the rather lengthy Farewell discourses, which include some of the incidents and details that being Luke's passion narrative (Last Supper, prediction of betrayal, prediction of denial). John's passion begins abruptly, with Jesus leading his disciples across the Valley of Kidron to a garden, whereupon they immediately encounter the mob. Luke places it on the Mount of Olives, and includes the agony of prayer and the sleeping disciples. John's mob includes both state and religious police, Luke's mentions only religious. John names the injured slaves and mentions a relative. Luke has Jesus heal the slave.

In the judicial process, John has Jesus taken to Annas (where he is accompanied by "another disciple," while Peter is left behind). He then goes to Caiphas, and then to Pilate, before whom there is a lengthy dialogue. Luke has Jesus go to the high priest's house, the council of elders, Pilate, Herod, then Pilate, before whom Jesus is relatively silent.

John's Jesus carries his own cross to the crucifixion. Pilate imposes his tri-lingual proclamation. Jesus entrusts his mother and the Beloved Disciple to each other. The women stand close the cross. Jesus declares his thirst, and ends with, "It is finished." The soldiers do not break his legs, but do pierce his side. Luke's account has Simon of Cyrene carry the cross. Jesus asks God to forgive the tormentors. He has conversations with the criminals. His final words are, "Into your hands I commend my spirit." Darkness and testimonials follow his death. The faithful women stand afar.

1b. TEXT: John 18:1-19:37


Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” [1] Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus [2] said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant [3] and cut off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
Jesus Faces Annas and Caiaphas

12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.
Peter Denies Jesus

15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, 16 but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. 17 The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants [4] and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
The High Priest Questions Jesus

19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Peter Denies Jesus Again

25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.
Jesus Before Pilate

28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor's headquarters. [5] It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor's headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32 This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
My Kingdom Is Not of This World

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. 39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber. [6]
Jesus Delivered to Be Crucified

19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic [7] Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. [8] He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 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.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.
The Crucifixion

So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. [9] But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
The Death of Jesus

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus' Side Is Pierced

31 Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would 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. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

[1] 18:5 Greek I am; also verses 6, 8
[2] 18:6 Greek he
[3] 18:10 Greek bondservant; twice in this verse
[4] 18:18 Greek bondservants; also verse 26
[5] 18:28 Greek the praetorium
[6] 18:40 Or an insurrectionist
[7] 19:13 Or Hebrew; also verses 17, 20
[8] 19:14 That is, about noon
[9] 19:23 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Text -- John 18:19-37


18.1Ταῦτα εἰπὼν Ἰησοῦς ἐξῆλθεν σὺν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ πέραν τοῦ χειμάρρου τοῦ Κεδρὼν ὅπου ἦν κῆπος, εἰς ὃν εἰσῆλθεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ. 2ᾔδει δὲ καὶ Ἰούδας ὁ παραδιδοὺς αὐτὸν τὸν τόπον, ὅτι πολλάκις συνήχθη Ἰησοῦς ἐκεῖ μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ. 3ὁ οὖν Ἰούδας λαβὼν τὴν σπεῖραν καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἀρχιερέων καὶ ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων ὑπηρέτας ἔρχεται ἐκεῖ μετὰ φανῶν καὶ λαμπάδων καὶ ὅπλων. 4Ἰησοῦς οὖν εἰδὼς πάντα τὰ ἐρχόμενα ἐπ' αὐτὸν ἐξῆλθεν καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς, Τίνα ζητεῖτε; 5ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ, Ἰησοῦν τὸν Ναζωραῖον. λέγει αὐτοῖς, Ἐγώ εἰμι. εἱστήκει δὲ καὶ Ἰούδας ὁ παραδιδοὺς αὐτὸν μετ' αὐτῶν. 6ὡς οὖν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Ἐγώ εἰμι, ἀπῆλθον εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω καὶ ἔπεσαν χαμαί. 7πάλιν οὖν ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτούς, Τίνα ζητεῖτε; οἱ δὲ εἶπαν, Ἰησοῦν τὸν Ναζωραῖον. 8ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς, Εἶπον ὑμῖν ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι: εἰ οὖν ἐμὲ ζητεῖτε, ἄφετε τούτους ὑπάγειν: 9ἵνα πληρωθῇ ὁ λόγος ὃν εἶπεν ὅτι Οὓς δέδωκάς μοι οὐκ ἀπώλεσα ἐξ αὐτῶν οὐδένα. 10Σίμων οὖν Πέτρος ἔχων μάχαιραν εἵλκυσεν αὐτὴν καὶ ἔπαισεν τὸν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως δοῦλον καὶ ἀπέκοψεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτάριον τὸ δεξιόν. ἦν δὲ ὄνομα τῷ δούλῳ Μάλχος. 11εἶπεν οὖν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ Πέτρῳ, Βάλε τὴν μάχαιραν εἰς τὴν θήκην: τὸ ποτήριον ὃ δέδωκέν μοι ὁ πατὴρ οὐ μὴ πίω αὐτό; 12Ἡ οὖν σπεῖρα καὶ ὁ χιλίαρχος καὶ οἱ ὑπηρέται τῶν Ἰουδαίων συνέλαβον τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶ ἔδησαν αὐτὸν 13καὶ ἤγαγον πρὸς Ανναν πρῶτον: ἦν γὰρ πενθερὸς τοῦ Καϊάφα, ὃς ἦν ἀρχιερεὺς τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ ἐκείνου: 14ἦν δὲ Καϊάφας ὁ συμβουλεύσας τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις ὅτι συμφέρει ἕνα ἄνθρωπον ἀποθανεῖν ὑπὲρ τοῦ λαοῦ. 15Ἠκολούθει δὲ τῷ Ἰησοῦ Σίμων Πέτρος καὶ ἄλλος μαθητής. ὁ δὲ μαθητὴς ἐκεῖνος ἦν γνωστὸς τῷ ἀρχιερεῖ, καὶ συνεισῆλθεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως, 16ὁ δὲ Πέτρος εἱστήκει πρὸς τῇ θύρᾳ ἔξω. ἐξῆλθεν οὖν ὁ μαθητὴς ὁ ἄλλος ὁ γνωστὸς τοῦ ἀρχιερέως καὶ εἶπεν τῇ θυρωρῷ καὶ εἰσήγαγεν τὸν Πέτρον. 17λέγει οὖν τῷ Πέτρῳ ἡ παιδίσκη ἡ θυρωρός, Μὴ καὶ σὺ ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν εἶ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τούτου; λέγει ἐκεῖνος, Οὐκ εἰμί. 18εἱστήκεισαν δὲ οἱ δοῦλοι καὶ οἱ ὑπηρέται ἀνθρακιὰν πεποιηκότες, ὅτι ψῦχος ἦν, καὶ ἐθερμαίνοντο: ἦν δὲ καὶ ὁ Πέτρος μετ' αὐτῶν ἑστὼς καὶ θερμαινόμενος. 19Ὁ οὖν ἀρχιερεὺς ἠρώτησεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν περὶ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ περὶ τῆς διδαχῆς αὐτοῦ. 20ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ Ἰησοῦς, Ἐγὼ παρρησίᾳ λελάληκα τῷ κόσμῳ: ἐγὼ πάντοτε ἐδίδαξα ἐν συναγωγῇ καὶ ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ, ὅπου πάντες οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι συνέρχονται, καὶ ἐν κρυπτῷ ἐλάλησα οὐδέν. 21τί με ἐρωτᾷς; ἐρώτησον τοὺς ἀκηκοότας τί ἐλάλησα αὐτοῖς: ἴδε οὗτοι οἴδασιν ἃ εἶπον ἐγώ. 22ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ εἰπόντος εἷς παρεστηκὼς τῶν ὑπηρετῶν ἔδωκεν ῥάπισμα τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἰπών, Οὕτως ἀποκρίνῃ τῷ ἀρχιερεῖ; 23ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ Ἰησοῦς, Εἰ κακῶς ἐλάλησα, μαρτύρησον περὶ τοῦ κακοῦ: εἰ δὲ καλῶς, τί με δέρεις; 24ἀπέστειλεν οὖν αὐτὸν ὁ Αννας δεδεμένον πρὸς Καϊάφαν τὸν ἀρχιερέα. 25*)=ην δὲ Σίμων Πέτρος ἑστὼς καὶ θερμαινόμενος. εἶπον οὖν αὐτῷ, Μὴ καὶ σὺ ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ εἶ; ἠρνήσατο ἐκεῖνος καὶ εἶπεν, Οὐκ εἰμί. 26λέγει εἷς ἐκ τῶν δούλων τοῦ ἀρχιερέως, συγγενὴς ὢν οὗ ἀπέκοψεν Πέτρος τὸ ὠτίον, Οὐκ ἐγώ σε εἶδον ἐν τῷ κήπῳ μετ' αὐτοῦ; 27πάλιν οὖν ἠρνήσατο Πέτρος: καὶ εὐθέως ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν. 28Ἄγουσιν οὖν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ Καϊάφα εἰς τὸ πραιτώριον: ἦν δὲ πρωΐ: καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐκ εἰσῆλθον εἰς τὸ πραιτώριον, ἵνα μὴ μιανθῶσιν ἀλλὰ φάγωσιν τὸ πάσχα. 29ἐξῆλθεν οὖν ὁ Πιλᾶτος ἔξω πρὸς αὐτοὺς καὶ φησίν, Τίνα κατηγορίαν φέρετε [κατὰ] τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τούτου; 30ἀπεκρίθησαν καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ, Εἰ μὴ ἦν οὗτος κακὸν ποιῶν, οὐκ ἄν σοι παρεδώκαμεν αὐτόν. 31εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ Πιλᾶτος, Λάβετε αὐτὸν ὑμεῖς, καὶ κατὰ τὸν νόμον ὑμῶν κρίνατε αὐτόν. εἶπον αὐτῷ οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι, Ἡμῖν οὐκ ἔξεστιν ἀποκτεῖναι οὐδένα: 32ἵνα ὁ λόγος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ πληρωθῇ ὃν εἶπεν σημαίνων ποίῳ θανάτῳ ἤμελλεν ἀποθνῄσκειν. 33Εἰσῆλθεν οὖν πάλιν εἰς τὸ πραιτώριον ὁ Πιλᾶτος καὶ ἐφώνησεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Σὺ εἶ ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων; 34ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς, Ἀπὸ σεαυτοῦ σὺ τοῦτο λέγεις ἢ ἄλλοι εἶπόν σοι περὶ ἐμοῦ; 35ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Πιλᾶτος, Μήτι ἐγὼ Ἰουδαῖός εἰμι; τὸ ἔθνος τὸ σὸν καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς παρέδωκάν σε ἐμοί: τί ἐποίησας; 36ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς, Ἡ βασιλεία ἡ ἐμὴ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου: εἰ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου ἦν ἡ βασιλεία ἡ ἐμή, οἱ ὑπηρέται οἱ ἐμοὶ ἠγωνίζοντο [ἄν], ἵνα μὴ παραδοθῶ τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις: νῦν δὲ ἡ βασιλεία ἡ ἐμὴ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐντεῦθεν. 37εἶπεν οὖν αὐτῷ ὁ Πιλᾶτος, Οὐκοῦν βασιλεὺς εἶ σύ; ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Σὺ λέγεις ὅτι βασιλεύς εἰμι. ἐγὼ εἰς τοῦτο γεγέννημαι καὶ εἰς τοῦτο ἐλήλυθα εἰς τὸν κόσμον, ἵνα μαρτυρήσω τῇ ἀληθείᾳ: πᾶς ὁ ὢν ἐκ τῆς ἀληθείας ἀκούει μου τῆς φωνῆς. 38λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Πιλᾶτος, Τί ἐστιν ἀλήθεια; Καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν πάλιν ἐξῆλθεν πρὸς τοὺς Ἰουδαίους, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς, Ἐγὼ οὐδεμίαν εὑρίσκω ἐν αὐτῷ αἰτίαν. 39ἔστιν δὲ συνήθεια ὑμῖν ἵνα ἕνα ἀπολύσω ὑμῖν ἐν τῷ πάσχα: βούλεσθε οὖν ἀπολύσω ὑμῖν τὸν βασιλέα τῶν Ἰουδαίων; 40ἐκραύγασαν οὖν πάλιν λέγοντες, Μὴ τοῦτον ἀλλὰ τὸν Βαραββᾶν. ἦν δὲ ὁ Βαραββᾶς λῃστής.
19. 1 Τότε οὖν ἔλαβεν ὁ Πιλᾶτος τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶ ἐμαστίγωσεν. 2καὶ οἱ στρατιῶται πλέξαντες στέφανον ἐξ ἀκανθῶν ἐπέθηκαν αὐτοῦ τῇ κεφαλῇ, καὶ ἱμάτιον πορφυροῦν περιέβαλον αὐτόν, 3καὶ ἤρχοντο πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ ἔλεγον, Χαῖρε, ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων: καὶ ἐδίδοσαν αὐτῷ ῥαπίσματα. 4Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν πάλιν ἔξω ὁ Πιλᾶτος καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς, Ἴδε ἄγω ὑμῖν αὐτὸν ἔξω, ἵνα γνῶτε ὅτι οὐδεμίαν αἰτίαν εὑρίσκω ἐν αὐτῷ. 5ἐξῆλθεν οὖν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἔξω, φορῶν τὸν ἀκάνθινον στέφανον καὶ τὸ πορφυροῦν ἱμάτιον. καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς, Ἰδοὺ ὁ ἄνθρωπος. 6ὅτε οὖν εἶδον αὐτὸν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ ὑπηρέται ἐκραύγασαν λέγοντες, Σταύρωσον σταύρωσον. λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Πιλᾶτος, Λάβετε αὐτὸν ὑμεῖς καὶ σταυρώσατε, ἐγὼ γὰρ οὐχ εὑρίσκω ἐν αὐτῷ αἰτίαν. 7ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι, Ἡμεῖς νόμον ἔχομεν, καὶ κατὰ τὸν νόμον ὀφείλει ἀποθανεῖν, ὅτι υἱὸν θεοῦ ἑαυτὸν ἐποίησεν. 8Οτε οὖν ἤκουσεν ὁ Πιλᾶτος τοῦτον τὸν λόγον, μᾶλλον ἐφοβήθη, 9καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸ πραιτώριον πάλιν καὶ λέγει τῷ Ἰησοῦ, Πόθεν εἶ σύ; ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἀπόκρισιν οὐκ ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ. 10λέγει οὖν αὐτῷ ὁ Πιλᾶτος, Ἐμοὶ οὐ λαλεῖς; οὐκ οἶδας ὅτι ἐξουσίαν ἔχω ἀπολῦσαί σε καὶ ἐξουσίαν ἔχω σταυρῶσαί σε; 11ἀπεκρίθη [αὐτῷ] Ἰησοῦς, Οὐκ εἶχες ἐξουσίαν κατ' ἐμοῦ οὐδεμίαν εἰ μὴ ἦν δεδομένον σοι ἄνωθεν: διὰ τοῦτο ὁ παραδούς μέ σοι μείζονα ἁμαρτίαν ἔχει. 12ἐκ τούτου ὁ Πιλᾶτος ἐζήτει ἀπολῦσαι αὐτόν: οἱ δὲ Ἰουδαῖοι ἐκραύγασαν λέγοντες, Ἐὰν τοῦτον ἀπολύσῃς, οὐκ εἶ φίλος τοῦ Καίσαρος: πᾶς ὁ βασιλέα ἑαυτὸν ποιῶν ἀντιλέγει τῷ Καίσαρι. 13Ὁ οὖν Πιλᾶτος ἀκούσας τῶν λόγων τούτων ἤγαγεν ἔξω τὸν Ἰησοῦν, καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἐπὶ βήματος εἰς τόπον λεγόμενον Λιθόστρωτον, Ἑβραϊστὶ δὲ Γαββαθα. 14ἦν δὲ παρασκευὴ τοῦ πάσχα, ὥρα ἦν ὡς ἕκτη. καὶ λέγει τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις, Ἴδε ὁ βασιλεὺς ὑμῶν. 15ἐκραύγασαν οὖν ἐκεῖνοι, *)=αρον ἆρον, σταύρωσον αὐτόν. λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Πιλᾶτος, Τὸν βασιλέα ὑμῶν σταυρώσω; ἀπεκρίθησαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς, Οὐκ ἔχομεν βασιλέα εἰ μὴ Καίσαρα. 16τότε οὖν παρέδωκεν αὐτὸν αὐτοῖς ἵνα σταυρωθῇ. Παρέλαβον οὖν τὸν Ἰησοῦν: 17καὶ βαστάζων ἑαυτῷ τὸν σταυρὸν ἐξῆλθεν εἰς τὸν λεγόμενον Κρανίου Τόπον, ὃ λέγεται Ἑβραϊστὶ Γολγοθα, 18ὅπου αὐτὸν ἐσταύρωσαν, καὶ μετ' αὐτοῦ ἄλλους δύο ἐντεῦθεν καὶ ἐντεῦθεν, μέσον δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν. 19ἔγραψεν δὲ καὶ τίτλον ὁ Πιλᾶτος καὶ ἔθηκεν ἐπὶ τοῦ σταυροῦ: ἦν δὲ γεγραμμένον, Ἰησοῦς ὁ Ναζωραῖος ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων. 20τοῦτον οὖν τὸν τίτλον πολλοὶ ἀνέγνωσαν τῶν Ἰουδαίων, ὅτι ἐγγὺς ἦν ὁ τόπος τῆς πόλεως ὅπου ἐσταυρώθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς: καὶ ἦν γεγραμμένον Ἑβραϊστί, Ῥωμαϊστί, Ἑλληνιστί. 21ἔλεγον οὖν τῷ Πιλάτῳ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς τῶν Ἰουδαίων, Μὴ γράφε, Ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων, ἀλλ' ὅτι ἐκεῖνος εἶπεν, Βασιλεύς εἰμι τῶν Ἰουδαίων. 22ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Πιλᾶτος, Ὃ γέγραφα, γέγραφα. 23Οἱ οὖν στρατιῶται ὅτε ἐσταύρωσαν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἔλαβον τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐποίησαν τέσσαρα μέρη, ἑκάστῳ στρατιώτῃ μέρος, καὶ τὸν χιτῶνα. ἦν δὲ ὁ χιτὼν ἄραφος, ἐκ τῶν ἄνωθεν ὑφαντὸς δι' ὅλου. 24εἶπαν οὖν πρὸς ἀλλήλους, Μὴ σχίσωμεν αὐτόν, ἀλλὰ λάχωμεν περὶ αὐτοῦ τίνος ἔσται: ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ [ἡ λέγουσα], Διεμερίσαντο τὰ ἱμάτιά μου ἑαυτοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν ἱματισμόν μου ἔβαλον κλῆρον. Οἱ μὲν οὖν στρατιῶται ταῦτα ἐποίησαν. 25εἱστήκεισαν δὲ παρὰ τῷ σταυρῷ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἡ ἀδελφὴ τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ, Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Κλωπᾶ καὶ Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνή. 26Ἰησοῦς οὖν ἰδὼν τὴν μητέρα καὶ τὸν μαθητὴν παρεστῶτα ὃν ἠγάπα, λέγει τῇ μητρί, Γύναι, ἴδε ὁ υἱός σου. 27εἶτα λέγει τῷ μαθητῇ, Ἴδε ἡ μήτηρ σου. καὶ ἀπ' ἐκείνης τῆς ὥρας ἔλαβεν ὁ μαθητὴς αὐτὴν εἰς τὰ ἴδια. 28Μετὰ τοῦτο εἰδὼς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἤδη πάντα τετέλεσται, ἵνα τελειωθῇ ἡ γραφή, λέγει, Διψῶ. 29σκεῦος ἔκειτο ὄξους μεστόν: σπόγγον οὖν μεστὸν τοῦ ὄξους ὑσσώπῳ περιθέντες προσήνεγκαν αὐτοῦ τῷ στόματι. 30ὅτε οὖν ἔλαβεν τὸ ὄξος [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν, Τετέλεσται: καὶ κλίνας τὴν κεφαλὴν παρέδωκεν τὸ πνεῦμα. 31Οἱ οὖν Ἰουδαῖοι, ἐπεὶ παρασκευὴ ἦν, ἵνα μὴ μείνῃ ἐπὶ τοῦ σταυροῦ τὰ σώματα ἐν τῷ σαββάτῳ, ἦν γὰρ μεγάλη ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείνου τοῦ σαββάτου, ἠρώτησαν τὸν Πιλᾶτον ἵνα κατεαγῶσιν αὐτῶν τὰ σκέλη καὶ ἀρθῶσιν. 32ἦλθον οὖν οἱ στρατιῶται, καὶ τοῦ μὲν πρώτου κατέαξαν τὰ σκέλη καὶ τοῦ ἄλλου τοῦ συσταυρωθέντος αὐτῷ: 33ἐπὶ δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐλθόντες, ὡς εἶδον ἤδη αὐτὸν τεθνηκότα, οὐ κατέαξαν αὐτοῦ τὰ σκέλη, 34ἀλλ' εἷς τῶν στρατιωτῶν λόγχῃ αὐτοῦ τὴν πλευρὰν ἔνυξεν, καὶ ἐξῆλθεν εὐθὺς αἷμα καὶ ὕδωρ. 35καὶ ὁ ἑωρακὼς μεμαρτύρηκεν, καὶ ἀληθινὴ αὐτοῦ ἐστιν ἡ μαρτυρία, καὶ ἐκεῖνος οἶδεν ὅτι ἀληθῆ λέγει, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς πιστεύ[ς]ητε. 36ἐγένετο γὰρ ταῦτα ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ, Ὀστοῦν οὐ συντριβήσεται αὐτοῦ. 37καὶ πάλιν ἑτέρα γραφὴ λέγει, Ὄψονται εἰς ὃν ἐξεκέντησαν.

Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th edition © 1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart;

The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition © 1975, United Bible Societies, London

2. ANALYSIS: John 18:19-37

Jn. 18:3 - speiran - This Roman term for cohort implies that there were soldiers of Pilate involved in the arrest.

Jn. 18:6 - ego eimi...apelthan eis ta hopiso dai epesan chamai - Jesus' presence and his proclamation of it stuns his attackers.

Jn. 18:9 - plerothe...The fulfillment of prophecy is a recurrent theme in this passion narrative. Here Jesus probably refers ato his own statement in John 6:39.

Jn. 18:11 - to poterion ho dedoken moi ho pater, ou me pio auto - The rhetorical phrasing of what was a genuine question in the synoptics calls for a positive response, "Yes, you shall."

Jn. 18:15 - allos mathetes...gnostos to archierei - How another disciple of Jesus could have made it into the priest's court when Peter didn't is problematic. Possible "others" are: 1) The Beloved Disciple [because of closeness to Jesus, association with Peter, presence at the cross].;
The improbability of the Beloved Disciple begin allowed to enter gives rise to three others: 2) an unknown, 3) Judas, and 4) Nicodemus.

Jn. 18:19 - peri ton matheton autou kai peri tes didaches autou - This is John's only recorded questioning by the temple authorities, who seek to ascertain how subversive as well as how blasphemous Jesus is. Note that Jesus avoids the question of his disciples, and stands on his public record of teaching (v. 20).

Jn. 18:29 - Pilatos - John first mentions Pilate here without identifying him as governor. The tradition of Pilate's humanity and concern for Jesus is unlikely, given the presence of Roman soldiers at the arrest. Pilate's question in verse 29 (tina kategorian pherete tou anthropou toutou) is formal rather than informational.

Jn. 18:31 - kai kata ton nomon hymon krinate auton - Scholars debate whether the Jewish authorities did have capital powers. The state had jurisdiction over political crimes.

Jn. 18:32 - plerothe - See John 18:9.

Jn. 18:33-6 - basileus - Pilate and Jesus use the same word, king, but with entirely different meanings.

Jn. 18:37 - ego eis touto gegennemai - Jesus explains his destiny.

Jn. 18:37-8 - aletheias - Again, Pilate and Jesus have vastly different meanings for the same word, truth.

Jn. 19:7 - uion theou - This is the theological accusation.

Jn. 19:8 - mallon - We haven' heard of fear previously, though here it is reported to have increased. Is it a fear of hearing the truth, or of facing the consequences?

Jn. 19:10-11 - exousian - Jesus and Pilate use the word for power in difference senses also.

Jn. 19:12 - philos tou kaisaros - An official title meaning "friend of Caesar."

Jn. 19:16 - paredoken - Pilate judges and sentences Jesus.

Jn. 19:17 - Heauto - It was standard for a condemned person to carry the crossbeam.

Jn. 19:24 - Note here the need to fulfill scripture.

Jn. 19:25b - Note the faithful women, para to stauro.

Jn. 19:26-7 - ide - Jesus uses the same word, behold, to Mary and the Beloved disciple in this adoption formula. A new reality is coming into being.

Jn. 19:28 - dipso - Even this apparent expression of weakness is turned into a triumphant fulfillment of scripture.

Jn. 19:30 - tetelestai - "accomplished" ; paredoken to pneuma - The same word is used for Pilate handing over Jesus in 19:16. The emphasis here is on Jesus' volition in his own death.

Jn. 19:34 - aima kai hydor - Only John reports this, which may be part of the symbolism of the crucified Christ.

Jn. 19:36 - plerothe - Again scripture is fulfilled. Jesus is as an unblemished Passover lamb.

3. STRATEGY: John 18:1 - 19:37

Good Friday is the most solemn day of the church year. Many churches observe it with special services such as Stations of the Cross, Tenebrae or meditation on the Seven Last Words. Virtually every church member, however peripheral, knows the story of Good Friday. But most people, lay and clergy alike, when asked to tell the story of Jesus' Passion, will give an syncretistic account.

Good Friday is like Christmas in that we mix the various Gospel accounts with legends in our memories. Many Good Friday services encourage a blended view of the various Gospel accounts. There is nothing wrong with being conversant with the various versions of the Passion of Jesus. Each gospel is rich in detail and perspective, and to leave any one of them out is to lose a great deal. However, to know the story and to hear it proclaimed only as an amalgam is to do disservice to the theological perspectives of the four Gospel writers.

It is not random, therefore, that John's Passion account is used on Good Friday. Passion Sunday alternates among the Synoptics, but Good Friday remains Johannine. Reading the Synoptics, we may wonder with the child,
"What is so good about Good Friday?" The answer given to that question in John's Gospel is an essential preaching point, especially if one chooses to be Biblical and not simply narrative on Good Friday. Good Friday is good, according to John, because Jesus is completely in control of his own destiny. Together with God he plans and implements everything for our salvation. From his confident striding onto the Mount of Olives, to his spirited debates with Pilate, to his final words on the cross, Jesus is in charge. There is no room for our pity here. Even to wallow in our own sinfulness is self-indulgent and not the point of the Gospel. The drama that we witness is God's will, even the seemingly incongruous details. All attempts to humiliate Jesus glorify him. All attempts to discredit him acclaim him.

The preacher's Good Friday challenge is to proclaim the Johannine triumph while maintaining the solemnity of the day. The victory on the cross is total, but it is not without cost. God is the playwright, and Jesus the star in this drama, yet the stage (for at least the Passion) is the world. One cannot interpret this drama completely without contemplating
the world's role in it. The Passion of Jesus is about humanity's rejection and destruction of God. It is about the religious establishment colluding with the state to resist God's will. It is about human nature, free will.
It is about historic events, and about a continuing human tendency. It is about them, and about us, a point made dramatically clear when the Passion is done by congregational reading and the people are called on to say "Crucify, crucify!"


Brown, Raymond E. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN (xiii-xxi). THE ANCHOR BIBLE. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970.

Bultmann, Rudolf. THE GOSPEL OF JOHN. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1971.

Additional Textual Notes, SEE: < >


Worship leaders are encouraged to plan Good Friday observances taking great care to convey the triumph and the dignity of John's Passion account. On this day, the Eucharist for once is not appropriate. It is to be saved for the Easter Vigil, or Easter, as the culmination. Good Friday remains quiet, watching and waiting. We are like the women at the foot of the cross, witnessing the pain, awaiting the new community.

Some helpful comments for worship preparation are given by Philip H. Pfatteicher and Carlos R. Messerli in the MANUAL ON THE LITURGY: Lutheran Book of Worship, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1979, pp. 320-326.

While church music for this day is normally restrained (no entrance hymn or recessional hymn, e.g.) some hymns that may be appropriate for meditation include the following:

O SACRED HEAD (HB 168/9, LBW 116/7)
THERE IS A GREEN HILL FAR AWAY (HB 167, omit st. 3,4;LBW 114),

Lexegete: Bishop Jessica Crist-Graybill

The Rev. Jessica Crist is Bishop of the Montana Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. A resident of Great Falls, she is married to Turner Graybill, a retired attorney. They have two children—Rhiannon, who is a doctoral student in Hebrew Bible at UC Berkeley, and Raphael, who is an undergraduate in political science at Columbia. Prior to assuming the office of Bishop, Pastor Crist served as Associate to the Bishop for 5 years, and Director of the Northern Rockies Institute of Theology for 18 years. She served congregations in Great Falls, Montana, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and started in ministry as a campus pastor. She served on the Transition Team that helped put together the Montana Synod from the predecessor churches, and was elected Synod Secretary at the Constituting Convention. She served in that capacity for 12 years. She has worked with the Montana Association of Churches for many years, including serving as president, and as part of the teaching staff for the Lay Ministry Institute.


Resurrection of Our Lord | Vigil of Easter | April 11, 2009

First Reading: Genesis 1:1–2:4a
Response: Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26 (1)

Second Reading: Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18, 8:6-18, 9:8-13
Response: Psalm 46 (7)

Testing of Abraham
Third Reading: Genesis 22:1-18
Response: Psalm 16 (11)

Deliverance at the Red Sea
Fourth Reading: Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21
Response: Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18 (1)

Salvation Freely Offered to All
Fifth Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11
Response: Isaiah 12:2-6 (3)

The Wisdom of God
Sixth Reading: Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6 or Baruch 3:9-15, 32–4:4
Response: Psalm 19 (8)

A New Heart and a New Spirit
Seventh Reading: Ezekiel 36:24-28
Response: Psalms 42 and 43 (42:2)

Valley of the Dry Bones
Eighth Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14
Response: Psalm 143 (11)

The Gathering of God's People
Ninth Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-20
Response: Psalm 98 (4)

The Deliverance of Jonah
Tenth Reading: Jonah 1:1–2:1
Response: Jonah 2:2-3 [4-6] 7-9 (9)

Clothed in the Garments of Salvation
Eleventh Reading: Isaiah 61:1-4, 9-11
Response: Deuteronomy 32:1-4, 7, 36a, 43a (3-4)

Deliverance from the Fiery Furnace
Twelfth Reading: Daniel 3:1-29
Response: Song of the Three 35-65 (35)

New Testament Reading

Romans 6:3-11

Gospel -- John 20:1-18

Prayer of the Day

Eternal giver of life and light, this holy night shines with the radiance of the risen Christ. Renew your church with the Spirit given us in baptism, that we may worship you in sincerity and truth and may shine as a light in the world, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


O God, you are the creator of the world, the liberator of your people, and the wisdom of the earth. By the resurrection of your Son free us from our fears, restore us in your image, and ignite us with your light, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Let us sing to the Lord, who has | triumphed gloriously;
our strength and our might, who has become | our salvation. Alleluia. (Exod. 15:1-2)

Color: White/Gold

Resurrection of Our Lord | Easter Day

April 12, 2009
Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (24)
1 Corinthians 15:1-11 or Acts 10:34-43
Mark 16:1-8 or John 20:1-18

Prayer of the Day

O God, you gave your only Son to suffer death on the cross for our redemption, and by his glorious resurrection you delivered us from the power of death. Make us die every day to sin, that we may live with him forever in the joy of the resurrection, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
God of mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive and has become the Lord of life. Increase in our minds and hearts the risen life we share with Christ, and help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life with you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Christ, our paschal lamb, | has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us | keep the feast. Alleluia. (1 Cor. 5:7, 8)

Color: White / Gold

1a. CONTEXT: Mark 16: 1-8

The Resurrection accounts--or, more precisely, the stories of the discovery of the empty tomb-- differ significantly among the four Gospels. The narrative inconsistencies are so striking that some might think the truth claim of this central Christian proclamation thereby discredited. Many Christians, of course, never noticed the contradictions, while a few, especially in the 19th century, came upon them with so strong a disappointment and sense of betrayal as to thenceforward abandon church and faith altogether. Yet we may see these discrepancies quite differently, as confirmations of both the church's need and its ability to tell the Truth through more than one accounting of the story. The choice of these four distinct books over against Tatian's harmonized version of the Gospels in the formation of the canon should remind us that our ancestors in the faith could both see the variety in these documents and affirm the value of that diversity. Their freedom from a narrow consistency derived more from wisdom than from stupidity, and is more a hermeneutical help than a problem.

In Mark, the witness to the Resurrection is not a report of the risen Jesus but of the empty tomb and the words spoken within it. It is arguable that the earliest tradition of the kerygma understood and proclaimed the resurrection in terms of the appearance of Jesus, as most notably in I Cor. 15:3-7. Unless one considers the strikingly unMarcan versions of Mark 16:9ff to represent a now lost ending to the narrative, however, it appears that Mark has no intent of grounding faith in the resurrected Lord in an account of his appearance. The empty tomb, this abrupt and powerful reversal of Jesus' destruction on the cross, points ahead to an encounter which is narratively future: he will meet his followers in Galilee, back where they began.

As we move into this last scene of Mark's Gospel, it is important to remember how dramatically the resurrection will contrast with the description of Jesus' trial and death just before. The horror and defeat was there tempered by neither the loving piety heard in Luke's passion account nor the majestic notes of triumph sounded by John. There was not even a grand Matthean earthquake to prefigure the vindication of the saints. This messiah was too weak to carry his own cross, and even his cry of desolation proved yet another occasion for him to be misunderstood. There were of course intimations of divinity and purpose in all this, but they were ironic, ambiguous, or unaccountably grounded in some peculiar vision. One would have had to remember Jesus' earlier words about seeds and secrets and a mission of suffering in order to see anything hopeful at the end of Chapter 15.

1b. Text: Mark 16:1-8

16:1 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.

16:2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.

16:3 They had been saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?"

16:4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.

16:5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

16:6 But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.

16:7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you."

16:8 So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

1b. TEXT: Mark 16: 1-8


The Resurrection

16:1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission


1Καὶ διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ Μαρία ἡ [τοῦ] Ἰακώβου καὶ Σαλώμη ἠγόρασαν ἀρώματα ἵνα ἐλθοῦσαι ἀλείψωσιν αὐτόν. 2καὶ λίαν πρωῒ τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων ἔρχονται ἐπὶ τὸ μνημεῖον ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου. 3καὶ ἔλεγον πρὸς ἑαυτάς, Τίς ἀποκυλίσει ἡμῖν τὸν λίθον ἐκ τῆς θύρας τοῦ μνημείου; 4καὶ ἀναβλέψασαι θεωροῦσιν ὅτι ἀποκεκύλισται ὁ λίθος, ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα. 5καὶ εἰσελθοῦσαι εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον εἶδον νεανίσκον καθήμενον ἐν τοῖς δεξιοῖς περιβεβλημένον στολὴν λευκήν, καὶ ἐξεθαμβήθησαν. 6ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐταῖς, Μὴ ἐκθαμβεῖσθε: Ἰησοῦν ζητεῖτε τὸν Ναζαρηνὸν τὸν ἐσταυρωμένον: ἠγέρθη, οὐκ ἔστιν ὧδε: ἴδε ὁ τόπος ὅπου ἔθηκαν αὐτόν. 7ἀλλὰ ὑπάγετε εἴπατε τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ τῷ Πέτρῳ ὅτι Προάγει ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν: ἐκεῖ αὐτὸν ὄψεσθε, καθὼς εἶπεν ὑμῖν. 8καὶ ἐξελθοῦσαι ἔφυγον ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου, εἶχεν γὰρ αὐτὰς τρόμος καὶ ἔκστασις: καὶ οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπαν, ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ.

Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th edition © 1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart;
The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition © 1975, United Bible Societies, London

2. ANALYSIS: Mark 16: 1-8

Mk 16:1 "When the Sabbath was past..." A capacious, useful, and lovely cloak can be hung on this little peg: this Sunday is not just the first day but the eighth day, not just the beginning of another week but the totally unexpected and unnatural fulfillment of the story that had seemed finished and dead, the Sabbath beyond the Sabbath, etc., etc. Although such reflection has homiletical and spiritual value, it does not seem of great exegetical truth, especially given the pace and urgency of Mark's narrative. We are not being invited to pause and caress this phrase or this moment.

"Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome" are the three who are named in Mk 15:40 as among the women who were present at the death of Jesus. In this they contrast to the male disciples, who have disappeared from the story after betraying, abandoning, or denying their teacher.

The contrast is, I think, significant: it is the women, not the supposed leaders of the community, who have kept and are now keeping the faith. They lack the conventional authority of male witnesses, but they are the only witnesses Mark will offer us. (This in distinction to I Cor. 15, which had attested the resurrection with the witness of Peter and other men; The other evangelists, moreover, all include revelations to men after the initial female discovery at the tomb.) Yet it would also run against the grain of Mark's narrative simply to extol the women as heroic paragons of faith. It was, after all, only "from afar" that they had watched the crucifixion, and now their frightened failure to obey the angel's command will constitute the last written fact of the Gospel. They are of course significantly more faithful than their brethren, but Mark still aims to avoid presenting a vision of the church based on heroes, male or female.

" anoint him."-- The mission and motive of anointing, prefigured in 14:3-9, carries on the image of humble service connected with Salome in 15:41, and may suggest to us also the tenderness exhibited so movingly by Mary Magdalene in Jn 20:11-18. The form of faithfulness which would so minister to a corpse two days dead bespeaks an intimate human solidarity in the face of death. Without such a faithfulness, grounded more in love than in reason, this particular resurrection account would dissolve, the tomb unvisited. Note also the possible suggestion of taboo and transgression here: as Jesus had so often done, these women now reach across the boundary to the realm of the unclean. (Such a liminal task, of course, is one often accorded to women in a patriarchal culture.)

16:3 "'Who will roll away the stone?'" This belated forethought may indeed be more an example of what John Meagher calls Mark's clumsiness as a storyteller than a detail of significance. It is nonetheless a detail with which many of us, prone to lapses of practicality and foresight, can identify, and it does also move the narrative toward the discovery that someone or something has already moved the great stone out of the way. 16:5 "And entering the tomb..." Note that in Mark the angelic encounter takes place *inside* the tomb. The tomb is actually not empty, but contains the young man who will announce Jesus' resurrection. This entry into the tomb provides, I would suggest, a reinforcement of Marcan imagery: the victory is made known within the place of death, in a place which is--in the root sense of the word--secret. We may be reminded of Jesus' own simile of the Kingdom's presence as a seed in this world, a seed buried in the dark soil, a seed whose form is hard and enclosed like a tomb, and yet which cracks open with mysterious life and power. Mark's passion narrative took us insistently into the horror of Jesus' death, and now it is into the tomb that he would bring us in order to tell of that death's secret meaning.

"...a young man"-- This *neaniskos* has interestingly been linked to the youth in Mk 14:51. While such a connection may form part of the history of the text, the canonical form of the Gospel does not appear to intend more than that this figure be seen as an angel, a messenger of divine mission and authority, robed in white as was the figure of Jesus at his Transfiguration. (Still, the link back to chapter 14 may be worth some reflection in terms of the contrast between the youth's connection to defeat and shame and his[?] appearance now clothed as the messenger of God's vindication.)

16:7 "Go tell Peter..."- Remember that the apostolic leadership remained centered in Jerusalem, and Lk indeed gives Dominical warrant to the disciples staying there. There may thus be here again a Marcan suggestion that Peter and the inner circle missed the point. Perhaps, in fact, they didn't even get the message. And the implications may go further: if Jerusalem, capital city of the priests and scribes, and of Herod and Pilate, has become the home of the apostles, might not they now have become new purveyors of that pharisaic leaven (Mk 8:15) which puffs up but does not nourish?

"... to Galilee." Not at the tomb and not in Jerusalem. Consider here the evocation of Jesus' ministry in Chapters 1-8. The direction is back home, back again to the Gospel's beginning, back to the countryside and towns where Jesus' liberating words and deeds had begun the plundering of Satan's house. That Galilee-- homeground for the messianic ministry-- will
of course prove to be not only Jewish but multi-ethnic and Gentile, and is indeed the promised place for encounter of the risen Lord, but the force of this direction is diminished and deflected if it is taken as either just the geographic locus of the parousia or simply a coded term for the Roman world.

16:8 "they said nothing to anyone..." The double negative in Greek (*oudeni ouden*) intensifies rather than cancels. An English triple negative would convey the force of the statement, albeit in a more colloquial fashion: "they didn't say nothing to nobody."

As Don Juel has observed, there is a kind of existential realism here which shrouds even this triumph in disappointment and failure, and yet the very abruptness of the ending, like the direction back to Galilee, indicates that the story is not yet ended. Jesus has proved true to his own predictions (*"... kathos eipen hymin"*), and our response-- like the ultimate responses of the women, and of the disciples-- is still an open question.

3. STRATEGY: Mark 16: 1-8

Several homiletical possibilities have, I hope, already been suggested by the analysis above. In more detail, I offer these two approaches to the preaching task:

1) It might be helpful for the preacher simply to lay out the narrative shape of Mark's Gospel, with particular attention to the drama of this strange turning of the tables. Jesus, who had seemed able to bind Satan and plunder his house, has himself been bound and defeated. Describing both Jesus' initial power and his eventual destruction can be done in a manner which connects with issues of empowerment and failure in our midst, and the preacher may then carry her or his hearers to a renewed sense of Easter's great reversal: of Satan bound, the tomb broken, and the defeated one triumphant after all. The evidence for such a resurrection in this world may seem tenuous, with attestation as slight and ambiguous as what Mark offers us here, puny seeds indeed. Yet we may sense the stirring of those seeds, and dare to ask afresh the Gospel's open question of faith and response. One could end with that question, but before doing so it would be important to show something of what is at stake for human lives in its answering. (Mk. 9:24 might also be a valuable memory here.)

2) The words of the angel open up another aspect of the Easter Gospel worthy of explication: Jesus is not here, but has moved on ahead of us. He awaits his followers back in Galilee. The Church on this morning is like the open tomb, a place associated with the mysteries of love and death, a place for remembrance and for this wondrous announcement. But in an important sense Jesus is not here. He is waiting for us at home, back in the world where he tried to show us the kingdom of God. It feels good to savor this sweet morning at the tomb, but with that sweetness let the preacher send the people back to the places where Jesus is waiting for them.

4. REFERENCES: Mark 16: 1-8

Myers' Binding the Strong Man is one of the most helpful books for the consideration of Mark's text and its use, not least so in this final section. Perrin's The Resurrection Narratives and Fuller's more ponderous Formation of the Resurrection Narratives are both also useful in thinking through the contradictions among the sources. Juel's little Augsburg Commentary also offers several concise and valuable insights on Chapter 16.

There is certainly no dearth of great hymnody for this day. Two particularly apt for a Marcan reading are NOW THE GREEN BLADE RISES (LBW 148; HB 204) and WELCOME HAPPY MORNING (LBW 153; HB 179).

Exegete - John Stendahl, Lutheran Church of the Newtons,
Newton Centre, Massachusetts

Easter Evening | April 12, 2009

Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 114 (7)
1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
Luke 24:13-49
Prayer of the Day

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread, open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Our hearts | burn within us
while you open to | us the scriptures. Alleluia. (Luke 24:32)

Color: White/Gold

Easter Monday | April 13, 2009

These propers may be used for a service on Easter Monday or on another day during the week after Easter Day. Why not find and use an “Upper Room”?

Daniel 12:1-3
Psalm 16:8-11 (9)
Acts 2:14, 22b-32
Matthew 28:9-15a

Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, you give us the joy of celebrating our Lord's resurrection. Give us also the joys of life in your service, and bring us at last to the full joy of life eternal, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. God raised up Jesus, having freed | him from death,
because it was impossible for him to be held | in its power. Alleluia. (Acts 2:24)

Color: White/Gold