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I don't think that Easter would be complete without the telling of the crucifixion and Jesus Christ's resurrection from the grave as told in the Holy Bible.







We begin with Jesus talking with his disciples. "As you know, the Passover celebration begins in two days, and I shall be betrayed and crucified."

At that very moment the chief priests and other Jewish officials were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the High Priest, to discuss ways of capturing Jesus quietly, and killing him. "But not during the Passover celebration," they agreed, "for there would be a riot."

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles, went to the chief priests, and asked, "How much will you pay me to get Jesus into your hands?" And they gave him thirty silver coins. From that time on, Judas watched for an opportunity to betray Jesus to them.

On the first day of the Passover ceremonies, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where shall we plan to eat the Passover?" He replied, "Go into the city and see a certain man and tell him, 'Our Master says, my time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.'" So the disciples did as he told them, and prepared the supper there.

That evening as Jesus sat eating with the Twelve, he said, "One of you will betray me." Judas asked him, "Rabbi, am I the one?" And Jesus told him, "Yes." Then Jesus broke the bread, blessed it and said, "Take, eat, for this is my body." He then took the cup of wine and gave thanks and said, "Drink from it, all of you. For this is my blood which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

When they had sung a hymn, they went to the Mount of Olives and Jesus told them, "This very night you will all be made to stumble because of me." Peter declared, "Even if all fall away because of you, I never will." "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." But Peter declared again, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you."


GETHSEMANE



Now Jesus took his disciples to a place called Gethsemane and said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." Going a little farther , he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

When he returned to the disciples, he found them sleeping and asked them, "Couldn't you even keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation, for the spirit is willing, but the body is weak." Then he went away for a second time to pray, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."

When he came back the second time, they were asleep again and he told them, "Wake up! For the hour is near for the Son of Man to be betrayed by sinners! Here comes my betrayer."

Judas had made arrangements with the soldiers who were with him to give a signal, "The one whom I kiss is the one you will arrest." When they arrived where Jesus and his disciples were, Judas went up to Jesus and kissed him and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" And with that the soldiers arrested Jesus.


CAIAPHAS, THE HIGH PRIEST



He was then taken before Caiaphas (the High Priest), the teachers of the law and the elders. Peter followed at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the High Priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to await the outcome. The priests and the Sanhedrin (the body of law) brought many false witnesses against him, but nothing would stick and Jesus would not say anything to defend himself. Then the High Priest said to him, "I charge you under oath: are you the Son of God?" To which Jesus replied, "Yes, it is as you say." Then the High Priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy!! Do we need anymore witnesses?" The other priests replied, "He is worthy of death!" Then they struck him with their fists and spit on him. Others slapped him and said, "Prophesy to us, Christ. Who struck you?"

Meanwhile, in the courtyard, a servant girl came up to Peter and said, "You were with Jesus of Galilee." Peter said, "I don't know what you're talking about." Then he went out to the gateway where another girl saw him and told the people around her, "This guy was with Jesus of Nazareth." Peter swore and said, "I don't know the man!" After a little while, the people standing around the gate came up to Peter and said, "Surely you were with him, your accent gives you away." Now Peter began to call down curses upon himself and said, "I don't know the man!!" Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had told him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." He went outside and wept bitterly.


PILATE, THE GOVERNOR



Now they stood Jesus before Pilate, the governor, who asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus replied, "Yes, it is as you say." The priests and chief elders then began accusing him and still, Jesus made no move to defend himself (much to the amazement of Pilate). The governor said, "Don't you hear how they're accusing you?" But still, Jesus said not a word.

It was the custom at the time of the Feast of Passover for the governor to release one prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time, they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. The chief priests and elders spoke to the crowd and pursuaded them to ask for Barabbas and have Jesus executed. So when the crowd was given the choice of prisoner to be released, they called for Barabbas. Pilate asked them, "What do you want me to do with Jesus, who is called King of the Jews?" The answer came back, "Crucify him!"

Pilate asked them, "Why? What crime has he committed?" But, they shouted even louder, "CRUCIFY HIM!!" When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsiblity!" Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stirpped him and put a scarlet robe on him and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. They they led him away to crucify him.


GOLGOTHA





As the soldiers led him away, they grabbed a man from Cyrene, named Simon, who was on his way in from the country and put the cross on him and made him carry it. When they came to a place called Golgotha, Place of the Skull, they offered Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall, but after he tasted it, he refused to drink it.

When they had crucified Jesus, they threw lots and divided his clothing among themselves and the people stood looking on. The rulers among them sneered, saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself." An inscription was written over him in Greek, Latin and Hebrew. It read, "THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS." Two thieves were crucified with him that day, one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him, "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us, too!!" But the other thief rebuked him, "Don't you fear God since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said to Jesus, "Remember me when you come into your Kingdom." Jesus told him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."


THE DEATH OF JESUS





From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness covered all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' meaning "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Some thought he was calling for Elijah. Immediately, one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. Now Jesus again cried out in a loud voice, "It is finished!" With that he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. The curtain of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, "Surely, this man was the Son of God!"

Because the next day was the day of Preparation, a special Sabbath, the Jews didn't want the bodies left on the crosses. So they asked Pilate to have the men's legs broken to hasten their deaths. When they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead and so they didn't break his legs. But one soldier took his spear and pierced Jesus' side, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. Fulfilling the prophecy which said, "They will look on the one they have pierced."


THE BURIAL OF JESUS





Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Joseph was a desciple of Jesus, but secretly, because he feared the Jews. Pilate gave his permission for Joseph to remove his body. He and Nicodemus (the man who came to Jesus by night) took Jesus' body and wrapped it in spices and strips of cloth (which was the Jewish burial custom). Near the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden and in the garden was a tomb that no one else had ever used. Because the next day was Preparation Day, they buried Jesus in this tomb.

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdelene went to the tomb and discovered that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran to get Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken away the Lord and we don't know where to find him!" So Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb. The fist disciple looked, but didn't go into the tomb. Simon Peter went into the tomb and saw that the strips that had covered Jesus' body were just laying about and the kerchief that had covered his face was laying apart from them and neatly folded. The other disciple now went in also and saw and believed. (They still didn't realize that Jesus had risen from the dead).

The disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. She bent down and saw two angels sitting in the tomb, one at the foot and one at the head where Jesus had laid. They asked her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said, "They've taken away my Lord, and I don't know where to find him." At that moment, she turned around and saw Jesus standing behind her. But she didn't realize that's who he was, she thought he was the gardener. He asked her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said, "Oh sir, please tell me where you've taken his body, so that I may take it away from here." Jesus just said, "Mary" And suddenly, she realized he was Jesus and said in Aramaic, "Rabboni!!" which means Teacher.

Jesus told her, "Don't hold onto me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father in heaven. Go and tell my brothers 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.'" And so Mary ran to the disciples and told them all she had seen and heard.


JESUS APPEARS TO THE DISCIPLES



On the evening of the first day of the week, the disciples were in a locked room for fear of being found by the Jews. Jesus appeared among them and showed them his pierced hands and side and they believed. But there was one who wasn't there when Jesus first appeared, his name was Thomas and he doubted that Jesus really had appeared. He said that unless he saw his hands and side, he wouldn't believe that he was raised from the dead. The next week, the discliples were in the room again and Thomas was with them. Even though the room was locked, Jesus still appeared among them. He showed Thomas his hands and side. Thomas touched him and said, "My Lord and My God!" Jesus performed many miracles before ascending into heaven. But if they were written down, the whole world would not be able to contain them.







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