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
Psalm 31:9-16 (5)
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.
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)
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,  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  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  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.”  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  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  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?”  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  and the rooster crowed.  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. 
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  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),  and they called together the whole battalion.  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.
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  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.  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  had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.  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  breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son  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.  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  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.
 14:3 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
 14:5 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer
 14:24 Some manuscripts insert new
 14:34 Or keep awake; also verses 37, 38
 14:47 Greek bondservant
 14:55 Greek Sanhedrin
 14:60 Or Have you no answer to what these men testify against you?
 14:68 Or forecourt
 14:68 Some manuscripts omit and the rooster crowed
 14:72 Or And when he had thought about it, he wept
 15:15 A Roman judicial penalty, consisting of a severe beating with a multi-lashed whip containing imbedded pieces of bone and metal
 15:16 Greek the praetorium
 15:16 Greek cohort; a tenth of a Roman legion, usually about 600 men
 15:25 That is, 9 a.m.
 15:27 Some manuscripts insert verse 28: And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “He was numbered with the transgressors”
 15:33 That is, noon
 15:33 That is, 3 p.m.
 15:39 Some manuscripts insert cried out and
 15:39 Or a son
 15:44 Or Pilate wondered whether he had already died
 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
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
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
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
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
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
Psalm 36:5-11 (7)
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.
May I never boast of | anything
except the cross of our Lord | Jesus Christ. (Gal. 6:14)
Tuesday in Holy Week
April 7, 2009
Psalm 71:1-14 (6)
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
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.
May I never boast of | anything
except the cross of our Lord | Jesus Christ. (Gal. 6:14)
Wednesday in Holy Week
April 8, 2009
Psalm 70 (1)
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.
May I never boast of | anything
except the cross of our Lord | Jesus Christ. (Gal. 6:14)
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.
I give you a | new commandment,
that you love one another just as I | have loved you. (John 13:34)
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,  but is completely clean. And you  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  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.”
 13:10 Some manuscripts omit except for his feet
 13:10 The Greek words for you in this verse are plural
 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
Hatchett, Marion J. COMMENTARY ON THE AMERICAN PRAYER BOOK. New
York: Seabury, 1981.
INTERPRETER'S DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE. New York & Nashville:
Leon-Dufour, Xavier. DICTIONARY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. San Francisco:
Harper & Row, 1980.
5. MUSIC SUGGESTIONS
"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.
6. FURTHER READING
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! [ http://www.joyfulnoiseletter.com/index.asp ] 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
Psalm 22 (1)
Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
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.
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)
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.”  Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus  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  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  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.  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. 
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  Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour.  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.
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.  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.”
 18:5 Greek I am; also verses 6, 8
 18:6 Greek he
 18:10 Greek bondservant; twice in this verse
 18:18 Greek bondservants; also verse 26
 18:28 Greek the praetorium
 18:40 Or an insurrectionist
 19:13 Or Hebrew; also verses 17, 20
 19:14 That is, about noon
 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: < http://net.bible.org/bible.php >
5. WORSHIP SUGGESTIONS
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:
A LAMB GOES UNCOMPLAINING FORTH (LBW 105)
AH, HOLY JESUS, HOW HAST THOU OFFENDED (HB 158, LBW 123)
ALONE THOU GOEST FORTH, O LORD (HB 164)
AT THE CROSS HER VIGIL KEEPING (HB 159, LBW 110)
BENEATH THE CROSS OF JESUS (HB 498, LBW 107)
CROSS OF JESUS, CROSS OF SORROW ( HB 160)
DEEP WERE HIS WOUNDS (LBW 100)
GO TO DARK GETHSEMANE (HB 171, LBW 109)
IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST I GLORY (HB 441/2, LBW 104)
IN THE HOUR OF TRIAL (LBW 106)
JESUS IN THY DYING WOES (LBW 112/3)
JESUS, I WILL PONDER NOW (LBW 115)
LAMB OF GOD, PURE AND SINLESS (LBW 111)
MY SONG IS LOVE UNKNOWN (HB 163, LBW 94)
O SACRED HEAD (HB 168/9, LBW 116/7)
O SORROW DEEP (HB 173)
OF THE GLORIOUS BODY TELLING (LBW 120)
SING MY TONGUE THE GLORIOUS BATTLE (HB 165/6, LBW 118)
THE FLAMING BANNERS OF OUR KING (HB 161)
THE OLD RUGGED CROSS (Traditional)
THERE IS A GREEN HILL FAR AWAY (HB 167, omit st. 3,4;LBW 114),
TO MOCK YOUR REIGN (HB 170)
WERE YOU THERE WHEN THEY CRUCIFIED MY LORD? (HB 172, LBW 92)
WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS (HB 474, LBW 482)
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
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.
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)
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.
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
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.
"...to 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.
5. MUSIC SUGGESTIONS: Mark 16:1-8
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
Psalm 114 (7)
1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
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.
Alleluia. Our hearts | burn within us
while you open to | us the scriptures. Alleluia. (Luke 24:32)
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”?
Psalm 16:8-11 (9)
Acts 2:14, 22b-32
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.
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)
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