The Easter story in chronological order
From Jesus: His Life and Lessons. I’ve divided the story into seven sections so you can choose to read a portion each day of Holy Week:
Religious leaders and Judas plot to kill Jesus
Now the feast of unleavened bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. The chief priests and the scribes sought how they might put him to death, for they feared the people. Satan entered into Judas, who was also called Iscariot, who was numbered with the twelve. He went away, and talked with the chief priests and captains about how he might deliver him to them. They were glad, and agreed to give him money. He consented, and sought an opportunity to deliver him to them in the absence of the multitude (Luke 22:1-6, also Matthew 26:1-5, 14-16; Mark 14:10-11; John 11:45-53)
Jesus celebrates Passover with his disciples
The day of unleavened bread came, on which the Passover must be sacrificed. He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.”
They said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare?”
He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him into the house which he enters. Tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”‘ He will show you a large, furnished upper room. Make preparations there.”
They went, found things as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. When the hour had come, he sat down with the twelve apostles (Luke 22:7-14).
Jesus washes his disciples’ feet
Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came from God and was going to God, arose from supper and laid aside his outer garments. He took a towel and wrapped a towel around his waist. Then he poured water into the basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”
Jesus answered him, “You don’t know what I am doing now, but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!”
Jesus answered him, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with me.”
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
Jesus said to him, “Someone who has bathed only needs to have his feet washed, but is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.” For he knew him who would betray him, therefore he said, “You are not all clean.” So when he had washed their feet, put his outer garment back on, and sat down again, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me, ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You say so correctly, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Most certainly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, neither one who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I don’t speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen. But that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.’ From now on, I tell you before it happens, that when it happens, you may believe that I am he. Most certainly I tell you, he who receives whomever I send, receives me; and he who receives me, receives him who sent me” (John 13:1-20).
Jesus institutes Communion
He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for I tell you, I will no longer by any means eat of it until it is fulfilled in God’s Kingdom.”
He received a cup, and when he had given thanks, he said, “Take this, and share it among yourselves, for I tell you, I will not drink at all again from the fruit of the vine until God’s Kingdom comes.”
He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.” Likewise, he took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:17-20).
Jesus predicts his betrayal
“But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. The Son of Man indeed goes, as it has been determined, but woe to that man through whom he is betrayed!”
They began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing (Luke 22:21-23).
One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was at the table, leaning against Jesus’ breast. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him and said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom he speaks.”
He, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
Jesus therefore answered, “It is he to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. After the piece of bread, then Satan entered into him.
Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”
Now no man at the table knew why he said this to him. For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus said to him, “Buy what things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. Therefore having received that morsel, he went out immediately. It was night (John 13:23-30).
Jesus declares a new commandment
When [Judas] had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him immediately. Little children, I will be with you a little while longer. You will seek me, and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you can’t come,’ so now I tell you. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:31-35).
Disciples argue who is the greatest
There arose also a contention among [the disciples], which of them was considered to be greatest. [Jesus] said to them, “The kings of the nations lord it over them, and those who have authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But not so with you. But one who is the greater among you, let him become as the younger, and one who is governing, as one who serves. For who is greater, one who sits at the table or one who serves? Isn’t it he who sits at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. But you are those who have continued with me in my trials. I confer on you a kingdom, even as my Father conferred on me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. You will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Luke 22:24-30).
Jesus predicts disciples denial, desertion
Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’
However, after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee.” But Peter said to him, “Although all will be offended, yet I will not” (Mark 14:27-29, also Matthew 26:31-35, John 13:36-38).
The Lord said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat, but I prayed for you, that your faith wouldn’t fail. You, when once you have turned again, establish your brothers.”
He said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death!” He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will by no means crow today until you deny that you know me three times.”
He said to them, “When I sent you out without purse, wallet, and shoes, did you lack anything?”
They said, “Nothing.”
Then he said to them, “But now, whoever has a purse, let him take it, and likewise a wallet. Whoever has none, let him sell his cloak and buy a sword. For I tell you that this which is written must still be fulfilled in me: ‘He was counted with transgressors.’ For that which concerns me has an end.”
They said, “Lord, behold, here are two swords.”
He said to them, “That is enough” (Luke 22:31-38).
Jesus assures his disciples of eternal life
[See Lessons: Eternal life (John 14:1-7).]
Jesus assures disciples he and Father are
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on, you know him, and have seen him.”
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (John 14:5-8).
[See Lessons: Jesus teaches about himself (John 14:9-21).]
Jesus answers additional questions
[See Lessons: Holy Spirit, Obedience (John 14:22-31).]
Jesus’ final teaching in the Garden of Gethsemane
[See Lessons: Fruit (John 15:1-7), Holy Spirit (John 15:26-27, 16:7-16), Love (John 15:8-17), Persecution (John 15:18-25, 16:1-6).]
Some of his disciples therefore said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you won’t see me, and again a little while, and you will see me;’ and, ‘Because I go to the Father’?” They said therefore, “What is this that he says, ‘A little while’? We don’t know what he is saying.”
Therefore Jesus perceived that they wanted to ask him, and he said to them, “Do you inquire among yourselves concerning this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you won’t see me, and again a little while, and you will see me?’ Most certainly I tell you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she gives birth, has sorrow, because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she doesn’t remember the anguish any more, for the joy that a human being is born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
“In that day you will ask me no questions (John 16:17-23a).
[See Lessons: Prayer John 16:23b-28)].
His disciples said to him, “Behold, now you speak plainly, and speak no figures of speech. Now we know that you know all things, and don’t need for anyone to question you. By this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the time is coming, yes, and has now come, that you will be scattered, everyone to his own place, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world” (John 16:29-33).
Jesus prays for present, future disciples
Jesus said these things, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may also glorify you; even as you gave him authority over all flesh, he will give eternal life to all whom you have given him. This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on the earth. I have accomplished the work which you have given me to do. Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed. I revealed your name to the people whom you have given me out of the world. They were yours, and you have given them to me. They have kept your word. Now they have known that all things whatever you have given me are from you, for the words which you have given me I have given to them, and they received them, and knew for sure that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I don’t pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them through your name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name. Those whom you have given me I have kept. None of them is lost, except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to you, and I say these things in the world, that they may have my joy made full in themselves. I have given them your word. The world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that you would take them from the world, but that you would keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me. The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am, that they may see my glory, which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world hasn’t known you, but I knew you; and these knew that you sent me. I made known to them your name, and will make it known; that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:1-26).
Jesus asks disciples to pray with him
Then Jesus . . . said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee and began to be sorrowful and severely troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me.”
He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire.”
He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup can’t pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done.” He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words. Then he came to his disciples, and said to them, “Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Arise, let’s be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand” (Matthew 26:36-46, also Mark 14:26, 32-42, Luke 22:39-46).
Mob arrests Jesus
While he was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs from the chief priest and elders of the people. Now he who betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, “Whoever I kiss, he is the one. Seize him” (Matthew 26:47-48, also Mark 14:43-50, Luke 22:47-53, John 18:3-12).
Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were happening to him, went out, and said to them, “Who are you looking for?”
They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas also, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When therefore he said to them, “I am he,” they went backward, and fell to the ground.
Again therefore he asked them, “Who are you looking for?”
They said, “Jesus of Nazareth” (John 18:4-7).
[Judas] came near to Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:47b-48, also Mark 14:45).
Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him (Matthew 26:50b, also Mark 14:46).
Simon Peter therefore, having a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus (John 18:10-11, also Matthew 26:51, Mark 14:47, Luke 22:50).
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword. Or do you think that I couldn’t ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:52-53).
[Jesus] touched [the servant’s] ear and healed him.
Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and elders who had come against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you in the temple daily, you didn’t stretch out your hands against me. But this is your hour and the power of darkness” (Luke 22:51-53, also Mark 14:48-49).
But all this has happened, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled” (Matthew 26:56).
[The disciples] all left him, and fled. A certain young man followed him, having a linen cloth thrown around himself, over his naked body. [A member of the mob] grabbed him, but he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked (Mark 14:50-52).
Jesus brought before Annas, the former chief priest
So the detachment, the commanding officer, and the officers of the Jews seized Jesus and bound him and led him to Annas first, for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should perish for the people (John 18:12-14, Matthew 26:57-58, Mark 14:53, Luke 22:54).
Peter had followed [Jesus] from a distance, until he came into the court of the high priest. He was sitting with the officers, and warming himself in the light of the fire (Mark 14:54).
[Annas] therefore asked Jesus about his disciples, and about his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet. I said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them. Behold, these know the things which I said.”
When he had said this, one of the officers standing by slapped Jesus with his hand saying, “Do you answer the high priest like that?”
Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, testify of the evil; but if well, why do you beat me?” Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas, the high priest. (John 18:19-23, Matthew 26:59-66, Mark 14:55).
False witnesses sought to testify against Jesus
Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witnesses against Jesus to put him to death and found none. For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony didn’t agree with each other. Some stood up and gave false testimony against him saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.'” Even so, their testimony did not agree (Mark 14:56-59, also Matthew 26:59-61).
Caiaphas, the high priest, condemns Jesus
The high priest stood up in the middle and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is it which these testify against you?” But he stayed quiet, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
Jesus said, “I am. You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of the sky.”
The high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need have we of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” They all condemned him to be worthy of death (Mark 14:60-64, also Matthew 26:62-66, Luke 22:66-71).
Members of Sanhedrin beat Jesus
Some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to beat him with fists, and to tell him, “Prophesy!” The officers struck him with the palms of their hands (Mark 14:65, also Matthew 26:67-68, Luke 22:63-65).
Peter denies Jesus first time
As Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the maids of the high priest came and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him, and said, “You were also with the Nazarene, Jesus!”
But he denied it, saying, “I neither know, nor understand what you are saying.” He went out on the porch, and the rooster crowed (Mark 14:66-68, also Matthew 26:69-70, Luke 22:55-57, John 18:17-18).
Peter denies Jesus second and third times
The maid . . . began . . . to tell those who stood by, “This is one of them.” But he again denied it. After a little while again those who stood by said to Peter, “You truly are one of them, for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it” (Mark 14:69-70, also Matthew26:69-73, Luke 22:58-59).
One of the servants of the high priest, being a relative of him whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?” (John 18:26).
But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. The Lord turned, and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the Lord’s word, how he said to him, “Before the rooster crows you will deny me three times.” He went out, and wept bitterly (Luke 22:60-62, also Mark 14:71-72, also Matthew 26:73-74).
Judas regrets betraying Jesus, hangs himself
Then Judas, who betrayed him, when he saw that Jesus was condemned, felt remorse and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood.”
But they said, “What is that to us? You see to it.”
He threw down the pieces of silver in the sanctuary and departed. He went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It’s not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is the price of blood.” They took counsel, and bought the potter’s field with them, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field was called “The Field of Blood” to this day. Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying,
They took the thirty pieces of silver,
the price of him upon whom a price had been set,
whom some of the children of Israel priced,
and they gave them for the potter’s field,
as the Lord commanded me (Matthew 27:3-10)
Christ appears before Pilate
[The religious leaders] led Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium. It was early, and they themselves didn’t enter into the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. Pilate therefore went out to them, and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”
They answered him, “If this man weren’t an evildoer, we wouldn’t have delivered him up to you.”
Pilate therefore said to them, “Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”
Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,” that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke, signifying by what kind of death he should die.
Pilate therefore entered again into the Praetorium, called Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered him, “Do you say this by yourself, or did others tell you about me?”
Pilate answered, “I’m not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered you to me. What have you done?”
Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world, then my servants would fight, that I wouldn’t be delivered to the Jews. But now my Kingdom is not from here.”
Pilate therefore said to him, “Are you a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this reason I have been born, and for this reason I have come into the world, that I should testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
When he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no basis for a charge against him (John 18:28-38; also Matthew 27:1-2, Mark 15:1-2, Luke 23:1-5).
When he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then Pilate said to him, “Don’t you hear how many things they testify against you?”
He gave him no answer, not even one word, so that the governor marveled greatly (Matthew 27:12-14, Mark 15:3-5).
Pilate sends Jesus to Herod
But they insisted, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee even to this place.” But when Pilate heard Galilee mentioned, he asked if the man was a Galilean. When he found out that he was in Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem during those days.
Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad, for he had wanted to see him for a long time, because he had heard many things about him. He hoped to see some miracle done by him. He questioned him with many words, but he gave no answers. The chief priests and the scribes stood, vehemently accusing him. Herod with his soldiers humiliated him and mocked him. Dressing him in luxurious clothing, they sent him back to Pilate. Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before that they were enemies with each other.
Pilate called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one that perverts the people, and see, I have examined him before you, and found no basis for a charge against this man concerning those things of which you accuse him. Neither has Herod, for I sent you to him, and see, nothing worthy of death has been done by him. (Luke 23:5-15).
Good Friday’s reading
Jesus appears before Pilate a second time
Now at the feast he used to release to them one prisoner, whom they asked of him. There was one called Barabbas, bound with his fellow insurgents, men who in the insurrection had committed murder. The multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do as he always did for them. Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” For he perceived that for envy the chief priests had delivered him up (Mark 15:6-10, also Matthew 27:15-18, John 18:30).
While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of him.” Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes to ask for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. (Matthew 27:19-20).
But they all cried out together, saying, “Away with this man! Release to us Barabbas!”—one who was thrown into prison for a certain revolt in the city, and for murder (Luke 23:18-19, also John 18:40).
So Pilate then took Jesus, and flogged him. The soldiers twisted thorns into a crown, and put it on his head, and dressed him in a purple garment. They kept saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and they kept slapping him.
Then Pilate went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I bring him out to you, that you may know that I find no basis for a charge against him.”
Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment. Pilate said to them, “Behold, the man!”
When therefore the chief priests and the officers saw him, they shouted, saying, “Crucify! Crucify!”
Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves, and crucify him, for I find no basis for a charge against him.”
The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”
When therefore Pilate heard this saying, he was more afraid. He entered into the Praetorium again, and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, “Aren’t you speaking to me? Don’t you know that I have power to release you, and have power to crucify you?” Jesus answered, “You would have no power at all against me, unless it were given to you from above. Therefore he who delivered me to you has greater sin.”
At this, Pilate was seeking to release him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you release this man, you aren’t Caesar’s friend! Everyone who makes himself a king speaks against Caesar!”
When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called “The Pavement”, but in Hebrew, “Gabbatha.” Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, at about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!”
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!” (John 19:1-15, also Matthew 27:22-23, Mark 15:12-14, Luke 23:20-22).
So when Pilate saw that nothing was being gained, but rather that a disturbance was starting, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this righteous person. You see to it.”
All the people answered, “May his blood be on us, and on our children!” (Matthew 27:24-25).
Pilate condemns Jesus to be crucified
Pilate decreed that what they asked for should be done. He released him who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus up to their will (Luke 23:24-25, also Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15).
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium, and gathered the whole garrison together against him. They stripped him, and put a scarlet robe on him. They braided a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and a reed in his right hand; and they kneeled down before him, and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. When they had mocked him, they took the robe off of him, and put his clothes on him, and led him away to crucify him (Matthew 27:27-31, also Mark 15:16-19).
Jesus led to cross
[Jesus] went out, bearing his cross, [toward] the place called “The Place of a Skull,” which is called in Hebrew, “Golgotha” (John 19:16-17, also Matthew 27:31, Mark 15:20).
They compelled one passing by, coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go with them, that he might bear his cross (Mark 15:21, also Matthew 27:32, Luke 23:26).
A great multitude including women follow Jesus to cross
A great multitude of the people followed him, including women who also mourned and lamented him. But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to tell the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and tell the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things in the green tree, what will be done in the dry?” (Luke 23:27-31).
They offered him wine mixed with myrrh to drink, but he didn’t take it (Mark 15:23, Matthew 27:34).
It was [9 A.M.], and they crucified him (Mark 15:25).
Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also the coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. Then they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to decide whose it will be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which says,
“They parted my garments among them.
For my cloak they cast lots.”
Therefore the soldiers did these things. (John 19:23-24, also Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:34b).
Pilate wrote a title also, and put it on the cross. There was written, “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Therefore many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. The chief priests of the Jews therefore said to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘he said, I am King of the Jews.'”
Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written” (John 19:19-22, also Matthew 27:37, Mark 15:26, Luke 23:38).
There were also others, two criminals, led with him to be put to death . . . one on the right and the other on the left (Luke 23:32-33, also Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27, John 19:18).
One of the criminals who was hanged insulted him, saying, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!”
But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Don’t you even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” He said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:39-43).
Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying, “You who destroy the temple, and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!”
Likewise the chief priests also mocking, with the scribes, the Pharisees, and the elders, said, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself. If he is the King of Israel, let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God deliver him now, if he wants him; for he said, ‘I am the Son of God'” (Matthew 27:39-43, also Mark 15:29-32, Luke 23:35-36).
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
There were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Therefore when Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour, the disciple took her to his own home (John 19:25-27)
When the [noon] hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until [3 P.M.]. At [that time], Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is, being interpreted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah” (Mark 15:33-35, also Matthew 27:45-47, Luke 23:44-45).
After this, Jesus, seeing that all things were now finished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.” Now a vessel full of vinegar was set there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop, and held it at his mouth (John 19:28-29, also Matthew 27: 48, Mark 15:36).
The rest said, “Let him be. Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.” (Matthew 27:49).
Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Having said this, he breathed his last (Luke 23:46).
[John 19:30 records Jesus also saying, “It is finished!”]
Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared to many. Now the centurion, and those who were with him watching Jesus, when they saw the earthquake, and the things that were done, feared exceedingly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:51-54, also Mark 15:38-39, Luke 23:45-47).
All the multitudes that came together to see this, when they saw the things that were done, returned home beating their breasts. All his acquaintances, and the women who followed with him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things (Luke 23:48-49).
There were also women watching from afar, among whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and served him; and many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem (Mark 15:40-41).
Therefore the Jews, because it was the Preparation Day, so that the bodies wouldn’t remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a special one), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Therefore the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who was crucified with him; but when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was already dead, they didn’t break his legs. However one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. He who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe. For these things happened, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “A bone of him will not be broken.” Again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they pierced” (John 19-31-37).
Jesus is buried in nearby tomb
When evening had now come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent council member who also himself was looking for God’s Kingdom, came. He boldly went in to Pilate, and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate marveled if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead long. When he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph (Mark 15:42-45, also Matthew 27:57-58, Luke 23:50-52, John 19:38).
He came therefore and took away his body. Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about [seventy-two] pounds. So they took Jesus’ body, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden. In the garden was a new tomb in which no man had ever yet been laid. Then because of the Jews’ Preparation Day (for the tomb was near at hand) they laid Jesus there (John 19:38b-42, also Matthew 27:59-60, Mark 15:46, Luke 23:53-54).
The women . . . followed after, and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid. They returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment (Luke 23:55-56).
Now . . . the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Command therefore that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest perhaps his disciples come at night and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He is risen from the dead;’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.”
Easter Sunday’s reading
Jesus rises risen from dead
Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. Behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from the sky, and came and rolled away the stone from the door, and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him, the guards shook, and became like dead men (Matthew 28:1-4, also Mark 16:1).
Entering into the tomb, [the women] saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed. He said to them, “Don’t be amazed. You seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen. He is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him! But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He goes before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you.'”
They went out, and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come on them (Mark 16:5-8a, also Luke 24:1-8, John 20:1).
[Mary Magdalene] ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have laid him!”
Therefore Peter and the other disciple went out, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran together. The other disciple outran Peter, and came to the tomb first. Stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths lying, yet he didn’t enter in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying, and the cloth that had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but rolled up in a place by itself. So then the other disciple who came first to the tomb also entered in, and he saw and believed. For as yet they didn’t know the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. So the disciples went away again to their own homes (John 20:2-10).
Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene
But Mary was standing outside at the tomb weeping. So, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb, and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. They told her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, and didn’t know that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned and said to him, “Rabboni!” which is to say, “Teacher!”
Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold me, for I haven’t yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had said these things to her (John 20:11-18, also Mark 16:9-11).
Guards spread rumor disciples stole Jesus’ body
Behold, some of the guards came into the city, and told the chief priests all the things that had happened. When they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave a large amount of silver to the soldiers, saying, “Say that his disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him and make you free of worry.” So they took the money and did as they were told. This saying was spread abroad among the Jews, and continues until today (Matthew 28:11-15).
Jesus appears to two disciples on road to Emmaus
Behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was [seven miles] from Jerusalem. They talked with each other about all of these things which had happened. While they talked and questioned together, Jesus himself came near, and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?”
One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things which have happened there in these days?”
He said to them, “What things?”
They said to him, “The things concerning Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we were hoping that it was he who would redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Also, certain women of our company amazed us, having arrived early at the tomb; and when they didn’t find his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of us went to the tomb, and found it just like the women had said, but they didn’t see him.”
He said to them, “Foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Didn’t the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. They came near to the village, where they were going, and he acted like he would go further.
They urged him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.”
He went in to stay with them. When he had sat down at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks. Breaking it, he gave to them. Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished out of their sight. They said to one another, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us, while he spoke to us along the way, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:13-32).
Jesus appears to the disciples in Jerusalem
They rose up that very hour, returned to Jerusalem, and found the [disciples] gathered together, and those who were with them, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” They related the things that happened along the way, and how he was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread. As they said these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be to you.”
But they were terrified and filled with fear, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
He said to them, “Why are you troubled? Why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is truly me. Touch me and see, for a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see that I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they still didn’t believe for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. He took them, and ate in front of them (Luke 24:33-43, Mark 16:14, John 20:19-23).
Jesus therefore said to them again, “Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit! If you forgive anyone’s sins, they have been forgiven them. If you retain anyone’s sins, they have been retained” (John 20:21-23).
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