Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Passion Of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Jesus took his place at the table, the disciples were at His side. He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." He took the cup, and after giving thanks he said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. Jesus knew that one of the disciples, Judas, was going to betray Him and hand Him over to be killed.

After the meal, Jesus and the disciples went to the Garden of Getsemane to pray. The disciples could not keep up with Him and fell asleep. Soon the hour came when Jesus was to be betrayed. Judas came up to Him and kissed Him. The soldiers who came with Judas arrested Jesus. Jesus was taken before the high priests. They tried to find a case to have Him killed but they could not. Jesus was innocent. The high priests then took Jesus before Pilate.

Pilate, wanting to release Jesus because he could find nothing to charge him with addressed the crowds. They kept shouting, "Crucify, crucify him!" He said to them, "Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him." Jesus was scourged. But they kept demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand would be granted.

Jesus picked up his big, heavy cross and started on the long way to Calvary. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by watching and jeering at Him, saying, "He saved others let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, His chosen one!" The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" One of the thieves jeered at Him but one asked for mercy, he asked Jesus to remember him when He went to heaven.

Jesus looked down from the Cross and told John, his beloved disciple that Mary, His Mother, was now his Mother. To Mary His Mother He said, behold your son (John). When everything had been fulfilled according to Holy Scripture, Jesus breathed his last breath.

Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb where no one had ever been laid.

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