Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jesus' last days...Thursday

According to all four gospels:

Then Jesus went out as usual with his disciples across the Kidron Valley to a place called Gethsemane, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. He said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there and pray."

And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, he began to be greatly distressed, sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me." And going a little farther, about a stone's throw, he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will."

And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done."

(Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests, scribes, Sanhedrin and the Pharisees went there with lanterns and torches, swords and clubs.)

And again Jesus came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to answer him. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Then when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, he came to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand."

While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. 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." And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" And he kissed him, but Jesus said to him, "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss? Friend, do what you came to do."

Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, "Whom do you seek?" They answered him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am he." Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, "Whom do you seek?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus answered, "I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go." This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: "Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one."

And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?" 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.) But Jesus said, "No more of this!" And he touched his ear and healed him. Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into its sheath. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than 72,000 angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so? Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?"

Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day teaching in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness. Let the Scriptures of the prophets be fulfilled." And all the disciples left him and fled.

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

The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 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. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said." 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?" 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?" Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting to see the end with the guards and warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole Council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness 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, not made with hands.'" Yet even about this their testimony did not agree.

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?" But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "I adjure you by the living God, are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" And Jesus said, "You have said so. But I tell you, I am and you will see the Son of Man, seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven."

And the high priest tore his garments and said, "What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?" And they all condemned him as deserving death. And some began to spit on him and they blindfolded him and struck him, saying to him, "Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?", mocking him as they beat him. And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She came up to him, looked closely at him, and said, "You also were with Jesus the Galilean. You also are not one of his disciples, are you?" But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you mean."

And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth. You also are not one of his disciples, are you?" And again he denied it with an oath: "I do not know the man."

After about an hour, the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you." Then one of the servants of the high priest, relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, came up and said to Peter, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?" Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, "I do not know the man." Immediately the rooster crowed.

And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.

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