Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings 15-April-2022, Good Friday
Posted on 04/15/2022 7:18:58 AM PDT by annalex
St. Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, St. Clair, PA
Readings at Mass
Liturgical Colour: Red.
There is no Mass today. The readings given here are used in the afternoon celebration of the Lord's Passion.
The servant of the Lord, an expiatory Sacrifice
See, my servant will prosper,
he shall be lifted up, exalted, rise to great heights.
As the crowds were appalled on seeing him
– so disfigured did he look
that he seemed no longer human –
so will the crowds be astonished at him,
and kings stand speechless before him;
for they shall see something never told
and witness something never heard before:
‘Who could believe what we have heard,
and to whom has the power of the Lord been revealed?’
Like a sapling he grew up in front of us,
like a root in arid ground.
Without beauty, without majesty we saw him,
no looks to attract our eyes;
a thing despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering,
a man to make people screen their faces;
he was despised and we took no account of him.
And yet ours were the sufferings he bore,
ours the sorrows he carried.
But we, we thought of him as someone punished,
struck by God, and brought low.
Yet he was pierced through for our faults,
crushed for our sins.
On him lies a punishment that brings us peace,
and through his wounds we are healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each taking his own way,
and the Lord burdened him
with the sins of all of us.
Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly,
he never opened his mouth,
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter-house,
like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers
never opening its mouth.
By force and by law he was taken;
would anyone plead his cause?
Yes, he was torn away from the land of the living;
for our faults struck down in death.
They gave him a grave with the wicked,
a tomb with the rich,
though he had done no wrong
and there had been no perjury in his mouth.
The Lord has been pleased to crush him with suffering.
If he offers his life in atonement,
he shall see his heirs, he shall have a long life
and through him what the Lord wishes will be done.
His soul’s anguish over
he shall see the light and be content.
By his sufferings shall my servant justify many,
taking their faults on himself.
Hence I will grant whole hordes for his tribute,
he shall divide the spoil with the mighty,
for surrendering himself to death
and letting himself be taken for a sinner,
while he was bearing the faults of many
and praying all the time for sinners.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
In you, O Lord, I take refuge.
Let me never be put to shame.
In your justice, set me free,
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
It is you who will redeem me, Lord.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
In the face of all my foes
I am a reproach,
an object of scorn to my neighbours
and of fear to my friends.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Those who see me in the street
run far away from me.
I am like a dead man, forgotten in men’s hearts,
like a thing thrown away.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
But as for me, I trust in you, Lord;
I say: ‘You are my God.
My life is in your hands, deliver me
from the hands of those who hate me.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Let your face shine on your servant.
Save me in your love.’
Be strong, let your heart take courage,
all who hope in the Lord.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
The Lord burdened him with the sins of all of us
Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.
During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Christ was humbler yet,
even to accepting death, death on a cross.
But God raised him high
and gave him the name which is above all names.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ
Key: N. Narrator. ✠ Jesus. O. Other single speaker. C. Crowd, or more than one speaker.
N. Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kedron valley. There was a garden there, and he went into it with his disciples. Judas the traitor knew the place well, since Jesus had often met his disciples there, and he brought the cohort to this place together with a detachment of guards sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees, all with lanterns and torches and weapons. Knowing everything that was going to happen to him, Jesus then came forward and said,
✠ Who are you looking for?
N. They answered,
C. Jesus the Nazarene.
N. He said,
✠ I am he.
N. Now Judas the traitor was standing among them. When Jesus said, ‘I am he’, they moved back and fell to the ground. He asked them a second time,
✠ Who are you looking for?
N. They said,
C. Jesus the Nazarene.
N. Jesus replied,
✠ I have told you that I am he. If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go.
N. This was to fulfil the words he had spoken, ‘Not one of those you gave me have I lost.’
Simon Peter, who carried a sword, drew it and wounded the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter,
✠ Put your sword back in its scabbard; am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?
N. The cohort and its captain and the Jewish guards seized Jesus and bound him. They took him first to Annas, because Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had suggested to the Jews, ‘It is better for one man to die for the people.’
Simon Peter, with another disciple, followed Jesus. This disciple, who was known to the high priest, went with Jesus into the high priest’s palace, but Peter stayed outside the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who was keeping the door and brought Peter in. The maid on duty at the door said to Peter,
O. Aren’t you another of that man’s disciples?
N. He answered,
O. I am not.
N. Now it was cold, and the servants and guards had lit a charcoal fire and were standing there warming themselves; so Peter stood there too, warming himself with the others.
The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered,
✠ I have spoken openly for all the world to hear; I have always taught in the synagogue and in the Temple where all the Jews meet together: I have said nothing in secret. But why ask me? Ask my hearers what I taught: they know what I said.
N. At these words, one of the guards standing by gave Jesus a slap in the face, saying,
O. Is that the way to answer the high priest?
N. Jesus replied,
✠ If there is something wrong in what I said, point it out; but if there is no offence in it, why do you strike me?
N. Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.
As Simon Peter stood there warming himself, someone said to him,
O. Aren’t you another of his disciples?
N. He denied it, saying,
O. I am not.
N. One of the high priest’s servants, a relation of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
O. Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?
N. Again Peter denied it; and at once a cock crew.
They then led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the Praetorium. It was now morning. They did not go into the Praetorium themselves or they would be defiled and unable to eat the passover. So Pilate came outside to them and said,
O. What charge do you bring against this man?
N. They replied,
C. If he were not a criminal, we should not be handing him over to you.
N. Pilate said,
O. Take him yourselves, and try him by your own Law.
N. The Jews answered,
C. We are not allowed to put a man to death.
N. This was to fulfil the words Jesus had spoken indicating the way he was going to die.
So Pilate went back into the Praetorium and called Jesus to him, and asked,
O. Are you the king of the Jews?
N. Jesus replied,
✠ Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?
N. Pilate answered,
O. Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?
N. Jesus replied,
✠ Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.
N. Pilate said,
O. So you are a king, then?
N. Jesus answered,
✠ It is you who say it. Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.
N. Pilate said,
O. Truth? What is that?
N. and with that he went out again to the Jews and said,
O. I find no case against him. But according to a custom of yours I should release one prisoner at the Passover; would you like me, then, to release the king of the Jews?
N. At this they shouted:
C. Not this man, but Barabbas.
N. Barabbas was a brigand.
Pilate then had Jesus taken away and scourged; and after this, the soldiers twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on his head, and dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him and saying,
C. Hail, king of the Jews!
N. and they slapped him in the face.
Pilate came outside again and said to them,
O. Look, I am going to bring him out to you to let you see that I find no case.
N. Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said,
O. Here is the man.
N. When they saw him the chief priests and the guards shouted,
C. Crucify him! Crucify him!
N. Pilate said,
O. Take him yourselves and crucify him: I can find no case against him.
N. The Jews replied,
C. We have a Law, and according to that Law he ought to die, because he has claimed to be the Son of God.
N. When Pilate heard them say this his fears increased. Re-entering the Praetorium, he said to Jesus
O. Where do you come from?
N. But Jesus made no answer. Pilate then said to him,
O. Are you refusing to speak to me? Surely you know I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?
N. Jesus replied,
✠ You would have no power over me if it had not been given you from above; that is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater guilt.
N. From that moment Pilate was anxious to set him free, but the Jews shouted,
C. If you set him free you are no friend of Caesar’s; anyone who makes himself king is defying Caesar.
N. Hearing these words, Pilate had Jesus brought out, and seated himself on the chair of judgement at a place called the Pavement, in Hebrew Gabbatha. It was Passover Preparation Day, about the sixth hour. Pilate said to the Jews,
O. Here is your king.
N. They said,
C. Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!
N. Pilate said,
O. Do you want me to crucify your king?
N. The chief priests answered,
C. We have no king except Caesar.
N. So in the end Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
They then took charge of Jesus, and carrying his own cross he went out of the city to the place of the skull or, as it was called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified him with two others, one on either side with Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote out a notice and had it fixed to the cross; it ran: ‘Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.’ This notice was read by many of the Jews, because the place where Jesus was crucified was not far from the city, and the writing was in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. So the Jewish chief priests said to Pilate,
C. You should not write ‘King of the Jews,’ but ‘This man said: “I am King of the Jews.”’
N. Pilate answered,
O. What I have written, I have written.
N. When the soldiers had finished crucifying Jesus they took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem; so they said to one another,
C. Instead of tearing it, let’s throw dice to decide who is to have it.
N. In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled:
They shared out my clothing among them.
They cast lots for my clothes.
This is exactly what the soldiers did.
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother,
✠ Woman, this is your son.
N. Then to the disciple he said,
✠ This is your mother.
N. And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.
After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed, and to fulfil the scripture perfectly he said:
✠ I am thirsty.
N. A jar full of vinegar stood there, so putting a sponge soaked in the vinegar on a hyssop stick they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the vinegar he said,
✠ It is accomplished;
N. and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.
Here all kneel and pause for a short time.
It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross during the sabbath – since that sabbath was a day of special solemnity – the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water. This is the evidence of one who saw it – trustworthy evidence, and he knows he speaks the truth – and he gives it so that you may believe as well. Because all this happened to fulfil the words of scripture:
Not one bone of his will be broken;
and again, in another place scripture says:
They will look on the one whom they have pierced.
After this, Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a disciple of Jesus – though a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews – asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission, so they came and took it away. Nicodemus came as well – the same one who had first come to Jesus at night-time – and he brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, following the Jewish burial custom. At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried. Since it was the Jewish Day of Preparation and the tomb was near at hand, they laid Jesus there.
The readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world. The New American Bible readings, which are used at Mass in the United States, are available in the Universalis apps, programs and downloads.
KEYWORDS: catholic; holyweek; jn18; prayer;
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|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|1.||WHEN Jesus had said these things, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where there was a garden, into which he entered with his disciples.||Hæc cum dixisset Jesus, egressus est cum discipulis suis trans torrentem Cedron, ubi erat hortus, in quem introivit ipse, et discipuli ejus.||ταυτα ειπων ο ιησους εξηλθεν συν τοις μαθηταις αυτου περαν του χειμαρρου των κεδρων οπου ην κηπος εις ον εισηλθεν αυτος και οι μαθηται αυτου|
|2.||And Judas also, who betrayed him, knew the place; because Jesus had often resorted thither together with his disciples.||Sciebat autem et Judas, qui tradebat eum, locum : quia frequenter Jesus convenerat illuc cum discipulis suis.||ηδει δε και ιουδας ο παραδιδους αυτον τον τοπον οτι πολλακις συνηχθη [και] ο ιησους εκει μετα των μαθητων αυτου|
|3.||Judas therefore having received a band of soldiers and servants from the chief priests and the Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.||Judas ergo cum accepisset cohortem, et a pontificibus et pharisæis ministros, venit illuc cum laternis, et facibus, et armis.||ο ουν ιουδας λαβων την σπειραν και εκ των αρχιερεων και φαρισαιων υπηρετας ερχεται εκει μετα φανων και λαμπαδων και οπλων|
|4.||Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said to them: Whom seek ye?||Jesus itaque sciens omnia quæ ventura erant super eum, processit, et dixit eis : Quem quæritis ?||ιησους ουν ειδως παντα τα ερχομενα επ αυτον εξελθων ειπεν αυτοις τινα ζητειτε|
|5.||They answered him: Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith to them: I am he. And Judas also, who betrayed him, stood with them.||Responderunt ei : Jesum Nazarenum. Dicit eis Jesus : Ego sum. Stabat autem et Judas, qui tradebat eum, cum ipsis.||απεκριθησαν αυτω ιησουν τον ναζωραιον λεγει αυτοις ο ιησους εγω ειμι ειστηκει δε και ιουδας ο παραδιδους αυτον μετ αυτων|
|6.||As soon therefore as he had said to them: I am he; they went backward, and fell to the ground.||Ut ergo dixit eis : Ego sum : abierunt retrorsum, et ceciderunt in terram.||ως ουν ειπεν αυτοις οτι εγω ειμι απηλθον εις τα οπισω και επεσον χαμαι|
|7.||Again therefore he asked them: Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.||Iterum ergo interrogavit eos : Quem quæritis ? Illi autem dixerunt : Jesum Nazarenum.||παλιν ουν αυτους επηρωτησεν τινα ζητειτε οι δε ειπον ιησουν τον ναζωραιον|
|8.||Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he. If therefore you seek me, let these go their way.||Respondit Jesus : Dixi vobis, quia ego sum : si ergo me quæritis, sinite hos abire.||απεκριθη ιησους ειπον υμιν οτι εγω ειμι ει ουν εμε ζητειτε αφετε τουτους υπαγειν|
|9.||That the word might be fulfilled which he said: Of them whom thou hast given me, I have not lost any one.||Ut impleretur sermo, quem dixit : Quia quos dedisti mihi, non perdidi ex eis quemquam.||ινα πληρωθη ο λογος ον ειπεν οτι ους δεδωκας μοι ουκ απωλεσα εξ αυτων ουδενα|
|10.||Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And the name of the servant was Malchus.||Simon ergo Petrus habens gladium eduxit eum : et percussit pontificis servum, et abscidit auriculam ejus dexteram. Erat autem nomen servo Malchus.||σιμων ουν πετρος εχων μαχαιραν ειλκυσεν αυτην και επαισεν τον του αρχιερεως δουλον και απεκοψεν αυτου το ωτιον το δεξιον ην δε ονομα τω δουλω μαλχος|
|11.||Jesus therefore said to Peter: Put up thy sword into the scabbard. The chalice which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?||Dixit ergo Jesus Petro : Mitte gladium tuum in vaginam. Calicem, quem dedit mihi Pater, non bibam illum ?||ειπεν ουν ο ιησους τω πετρω βαλε την μαχαιραν σου εις την θηκην το ποτηριον ο δεδωκεν μοι ο πατηρ ου μη πιω αυτο|
|12.||Then the band and the tribune, and the servants of the Jews, took Jesus, and bound him:||Cohors ergo, et tribunus, et ministri Judæorum comprehenderunt Jesum, et ligaverunt eum.||η ουν σπειρα και ο χιλιαρχος και οι υπηρεται των ιουδαιων συνελαβον τον ιησουν και εδησαν αυτον|
|13.||And they led him away to Annas first, for he was father in law to Caiphas, who was the high priest of that year.||Et adduxerunt eum ad Annam primum : erat enim socer Caiphæ, qui erat pontifex anni illius.||και απηγαγον αυτον προς ανναν πρωτον ην γαρ πενθερος του καιαφα ος ην αρχιερευς του ενιαυτου εκεινου|
|14.||Now Caiphas was he who had given the counsel to the Jews: That it was expedient that one man should die for the people.||Erat autem Caiphas, qui consilium dederat Judæis : Quia expedit unum hominem mori pro populo.||ην δε καιαφας ο συμβουλευσας τοις ιουδαιοις οτι συμφερει ενα ανθρωπον απολεσθαι υπερ του λαου|
|15.||And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. And that disciple was known to the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the court of the high priest.||Sequebatur autem Jesum Simon Petrus, et alius discipulus. Discipulus autem ille erat notus pontifici, et introivit cum Jesu in atrium pontificis.||ηκολουθει δε τω ιησου σιμων πετρος και ο αλλος μαθητης ο δε μαθητης εκεινος ην γνωστος τω αρχιερει και συνεισηλθεν τω ιησου εις την αυλην του αρχιερεως|
|16.||But Peter stood at the door without. The other disciple therefore, who was known to the high priest, went out, and spoke to the portress, and brought in Peter.||Petrus autem stabat ad ostium foris. Exivit ergo discipulus alius, qui erat notus pontifici, et dixit ostiariæ : et introduxit Petrum.||ο δε πετρος ειστηκει προς τη θυρα εξω εξηλθεν ουν ο μαθητης ο αλλος ος ην γνωστος τω αρχιερει και ειπεν τη θυρωρω και εισηγαγεν τον πετρον|
|17.||The maid therefore that was portress, saith to Peter: Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith: I am not.||Dicit ergo Petro ancilla ostiaria : Numquid et tu ex discipulis es hominis istius ? Dicit ille : Non sum.||λεγει ουν η παιδισκη η θυρωρος τω πετρω μη και συ εκ των μαθητων ει του ανθρωπου τουτου λεγει εκεινος ουκ ειμι|
|18.||Now the servants and ministers stood at a fire of coals, because it was cold, and warmed themselves. And with them was Peter also, standing, and warming himself.||Stabant autem servi et ministri ad prunas, quia frigus erat, et calefaciebant se : erat autem cum eis et Petrus stans, et calefaciens se.||ειστηκεισαν δε οι δουλοι και οι υπηρεται ανθρακιαν πεποιηκοτες οτι ψυχος ην και εθερμαινοντο ην δε μετ αυτων ο πετρος εστως και θερμαινομενος|
|19.||The high priest therefore asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.||Pontifex ergo interrogavit Jesum de discipulis suis, et de doctrina ejus.||ο ουν αρχιερευς ηρωτησεν τον ιησουν περι των μαθητων αυτου και περι της διδαχης αυτου|
|20.||Jesus answered him: I have spoken openly to the world: I have always taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither all the Jews resort; and in secret I have spoken nothing.||Respondit ei Jesus : Ego palam locutus sum mundo : ego semper docui in synagoga, et in templo, quo omnes Judæi conveniunt, et in occulto locutus sum nihil.||απεκριθη αυτω ο ιησους εγω παρρησια ελαλησα τω κοσμω εγω παντοτε εδιδαξα εν συναγωγη και εν τω ιερω οπου παντοτε οι ιουδαιοι συνερχονται και εν κρυπτω ελαλησα ουδεν|
|21.||Why asketh thou me? ask them who have heard what I have spoken unto them: behold they know what things I have said.||Quid me interrogas ? interroga eos qui audierunt quid locutus sim ipsis : ecce hi sciunt quæ dixerim ego.||τι με επερωτας επερωτησον τους ακηκοοτας τι ελαλησα αυτοις ιδε ουτοι οιδασιν α ειπον εγω|
|22.||And when he had said these things, one of the servants standing by, gave Jesus a blow, saying: Answerest thou the high priest so?||Hæc autem cum dixisset, unus assistens ministrorum dedit alapam Jesu, dicens : Sic respondes pontifici ?||ταυτα δε αυτου ειποντος εις των υπηρετων παρεστηκως εδωκεν ραπισμα τω ιησου ειπων ουτως αποκρινη τω αρχιερει|
|23.||Jesus answered him: If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil; but if well, why strikest thou me?||Respondit ei Jesus : Si male locutus sum, testimonium perhibe de malo : si autem bene, quid me cædis ?||απεκριθη αυτω ο ιησους ει κακως ελαλησα μαρτυρησον περι του κακου ει δε καλως τι με δερεις|
|24.||And Annas sent him bound to Caiphas the high priest.||Et misit eum Annas ligatum ad Caipham pontificem.||απεστειλεν αυτον ο αννας δεδεμενον προς καιαφαν τον αρχιερεα|
|25.||And Simon Peter was standing, and warming himself. They said therefore to him: Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said: I am not.||Erat autem Simon Petrus stans, et calefaciens se. Dixerunt ergo ei : Numquid et tu ex discipulis ejus es ? Negavit ille, et dixit : Non sum.||ην δε σιμων πετρος εστως και θερμαινομενος ειπον ουν αυτω μη και συ εκ των μαθητων αυτου ει ηρνησατο ουν εκεινος και ειπεν ουκ ειμι|
|26.||One of the servants of the high priest (a kinsman to him whose ear Peter cut off) saith to him: Did I not see thee in the garden with him?||Dicit ei unus ex servis pontificis, cognatus ejus, cujus abscidit Petrus auriculam : Nonne ego te vidi in horto cum illo ?||λεγει εις εκ των δουλων του αρχιερεως συγγενης ων ου απεκοψεν πετρος το ωτιον ουκ εγω σε ειδον εν τω κηπω μετ αυτου|
|27.||Again therefore Peter denied; and immediately the cock crew.||Iterum ergo negavit Petrus : et statim gallus cantavit.||παλιν ουν ηρνησατο ο πετρος και ευθεως αλεκτωρ εφωνησεν|
|28.||Then they led Jesus from Caiphas to the governor's hall. And it was morning; and they went not into the hall, that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the pasch.||Adducunt ergo Jesum a Caipha in prætorium. Erat autem mane : et ipsi non introierunt in prætorium, ut non contaminarentur, sed ut manducarent Pascha.||αγουσιν ουν τον ιησουν απο του καιαφα εις το πραιτωριον ην δε πρωι και αυτοι ουκ εισηλθον εις το πραιτωριον ινα μη μιανθωσιν αλλ ινα φαγωσιν το πασχα|
|29.||Pilate therefore went out to them, and said: What accusation bring you against this man?||Exivit ergo Pilatus ad eos foras, et dixit : Quam accusationem affertis adversus hominem hunc ?||εξηλθεν ουν ο πιλατος προς αυτους και ειπεν τινα κατηγοριαν φερετε κατα του ανθρωπου τουτου|
|30.||They answered, and said to him: If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to thee.||Responderunt, et dixerunt ei : Si non esset hic malefactor, non tibi tradidissemus eum.||απεκριθησαν και ειπον αυτω ει μη ην ουτος κακοποιος ουκ αν σοι παρεδωκαμεν αυτον|
|31.||Pilate therefore said to them: Take him you, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said to him: It is not lawful for us to put any man to death;||Dixit ergo eis Pilatus : Accipite eum vos, et secundum legem vestram judicate eum. Dixerunt ergo ei Judæi : Nobis non licet interficere quemquam.||ειπεν ουν αυτοις ο πιλατος λαβετε αυτον υμεις και κατα τον νομον υμων κρινατε αυτον ειπον ουν αυτω οι ιουδαιοι ημιν ουκ εξεστιν αποκτειναι ουδενα|
|32.||That the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he said, signifying what death he should die.||Ut sermo Jesu impleretur, quem dixit, significans qua morte esset moriturus.||ινα ο λογος του ιησου πληρωθη ον ειπεν σημαινων ποιω θανατω ημελλεν αποθνησκειν|
|33.||Pilate therefore went into the hall again, and called Jesus, and said to him: Art thou the king of the Jews?||Introivit ergo iterum in prætorium Pilatus : et vocavit Jesum, et dixit ei : Tu es rex Judæorum ?||εισηλθεν ουν εις το πραιτωριον παλιν ο πιλατος και εφωνησεν τον ιησουν και ειπεν αυτω συ ει ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων|
|34.||Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me?||Respondit Jesus : A temetipso hoc dicis, an alii dixerunt tibi de me ?||απεκριθη αυτω ο ιησους αφ εαυτου συ τουτο λεγεις η αλλοι σοι ειπον περι εμου|
|35.||Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thy own nation, and the chief priests, have delivered thee up to me: what hast thou done?||Respondit Pilatus : Numquid ego Judæus sum ? gens tua et pontifices tradiderunt te mihi : quid fecisti ?||απεκριθη ο πιλατος μητι εγω ιουδαιος ειμι το εθνος το σον και οι αρχιερεις παρεδωκαν σε εμοι τι εποιησας|
|36.||Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence.||Respondit Jesus : Regnum meum non est de hoc mundo. Si ex hoc mundo esset regnum meum, ministri mei utique decertarent ut non traderer Judæis : nunc autem regnum meum non est hinc.||απεκριθη ιησους η βασιλεια η εμη ουκ εστιν εκ του κοσμου τουτου ει εκ του κοσμου τουτου ην η βασιλεια η εμη οι υπηρεται αν οι εμοι ηγωνιζοντο ινα μη παραδοθω τοις ιουδαιοις νυν δε η βασιλεια η εμη ουκ εστιν εντευθεν|
|37.||Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.||Dixit itaque ei Pilatus : Ergo rex es tu ? Respondit Jesus : Tu dicis quia rex sum ego. Ego in hoc natus sum, et ad hoc veni in mundum, ut testimonium perhibeam veritati : omnis qui est ex veritate, audit vocem meam.||ειπεν ουν αυτω ο πιλατος ουκουν βασιλευς ει συ απεκριθη [ο] ιησους συ λεγεις οτι βασιλευς ειμι εγω εγω εις τουτο γεγεννημαι και εις τουτο εληλυθα εις τον κοσμον ινα μαρτυρησω τη αληθεια πας ο ων εκ της αληθειας ακουει μου της φωνης|
|38.||Pilate saith to him: What is truth? And when he said this, he went out again to the Jews, and saith to them: I find no cause in him.||Dicit ei Pilatus : Quid est veritas ? Et cum hoc dixisset, iterum exivit ad Judæos, et dicit eis : Ego nullam invenio in eo causam.||λεγει αυτω ο πιλατος τι εστιν αληθεια και τουτο ειπων παλιν εξηλθεν προς τους ιουδαιους και λεγει αυτοις εγω ουδεμιαν αιτιαν ευρισκω εν αυτω|
|39.||But you have a custom that I should release one unto you at the pasch: will you, therefore, that I release unto you the king of the Jews?||Est autem consuetudo vobis ut unum dimittam vobis in Pascha : vultis ergo dimittam vobis regem Judæorum ?||εστιν δε συνηθεια υμιν ινα ενα υμιν απολυσω εν τω πασχα βουλεσθε ουν υμιν απολυσω τον βασιλεα των ιουδαιων|
|40.||Then cried they all again, saying: Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.||Clamaverunt ergo rursum omnes, dicentes : Non hunc, sed Barabbam. Erat autem Barabbas latro.||εκραυγασαν ουν παλιν παντες λεγοντες μη τουτον αλλα τον βαραββαν ην δε ο βαραββας ληστης|
|1.||THEN therefore, Pilate took Jesus, and scourged him.||Tunc ergo apprehendit Pilatus Jesum, et flagellavit.||τοτε ουν ελαβεν ο πιλατος τον ιησουν και εμαστιγωσεν|
|2.||And the soldiers platting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head; and they put on him a purple garment.||Et milites plectentes coronam de spinis, imposuerunt capiti ejus : et veste purpurea circumdederunt eum.||και οι στρατιωται πλεξαντες στεφανον εξ ακανθων επεθηκαν αυτου τη κεφαλη και ιματιον πορφυρουν περιεβαλον αυτον|
|3.||And they came to him, and said: Hail, king of the Jews; and they gave him blows.||Et veniebant ad eum, et dicebant : Ave, rex Judæorum : et dabant ei alapas.||και ελεγον χαιρε ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων και εδιδουν αυτω ραπισματα|
|4.||Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith to them: Behold, I bring him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in him.||Exivit ergo iterum Pilatus foras, et dicit eis : Ecce adduco vobis eum foras, ut cognoscatis quia nullam invenio in eo causam.||εξηλθεν ουν παλιν εξω ο πιλατος και λεγει αυτοις ιδε αγω υμιν αυτον εξω ινα γνωτε οτι εν αυτω ουδεμιαν αιτιαν ευρισκω|
|5.||(Jesus therefore came forth, bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment.) And he saith to them: Behold the Man.||(Exivit ergo Jesus portans coronam spineam, et purpureum vestimentum.) Et dicit eis : Ecce homo.||εξηλθεν ουν ο ιησους εξω φορων τον ακανθινον στεφανον και το πορφυρουν ιματιον και λεγει αυτοις ιδε ο ανθρωπος|
|6.||When the chief priests, therefore, and the servants, had seen him, they cried out, saying: Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Take him you, and crucify him: for I find no cause in him.||Cum ergo vidissent eum pontifices et ministri, clamabant, dicentes : Crucifige, crucifige eum. Dicit eis Pilatus : Accipite eum vos, et crucifigite : ego enim non invenio in eo causam.||οτε ουν ειδον αυτον οι αρχιερεις και οι υπηρεται εκραυγασαν λεγοντες σταυρωσον σταυρωσον αυτον λεγει αυτοις ο πιλατος λαβετε αυτον υμεις και σταυρωσατε εγω γαρ ουχ ευρισκω εν αυτω αιτιαν|
|7.||The Jews answered him: We have a law; and according to the law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.||Responderunt ei Judæi : Nos legem habemus, et secundum legem debet mori, quia Filium Dei se fecit.||απεκριθησαν αυτω οι ιουδαιοι ημεις νομον εχομεν και κατα τον νομον ημων οφειλει αποθανειν οτι εαυτον υιον θεου εποιησεν|
|8.||When Pilate therefore had heard this saying, he feared the more.||Cum ergo audisset Pilatus hunc sermonem, magis timuit.||οτε ουν ηκουσεν ο πιλατος τουτον τον λογον μαλλον εφοβηθη|
|9.||And he entered into the hall again, and he said to Jesus: Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.||Et ingressus est prætorium iterum : et dixit ad Jesum : Unde es tu ? Jesus autem responsum non dedit ei.||και εισηλθεν εις το πραιτωριον παλιν και λεγει τω ιησου ποθεν ει συ ο δε ιησους αποκρισιν ουκ εδωκεν αυτω|
|10.||Pilate therefore saith to him: Speakest thou not to me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and I have power to release thee?||Dicit ergo ei Pilatus : Mihi non loqueris ? nescis quia potestatem habeo crucifigere te, et potestatem habeo dimittere te ?||λεγει ουν αυτω ο πιλατος εμοι ου λαλεις ουκ οιδας οτι εξουσιαν εχω σταυρωσαι σε και εξουσιαν εχω απολυσαι σε|
|11.||Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin.||Respondit Jesus : Non haberes potestatem adversum me ullam, nisi tibi datum esset desuper. Propterea qui me tradidit tibi, majus peccatum habet.||απεκριθη ιησους ουκ ειχες εξουσιαν ουδεμιαν κατ εμου ει μη ην σοι δεδομενον ανωθεν δια τουτο ο παραδιδους με σοι μειζονα αμαρτιαν εχει|
|12.||And from henceforth Pilate sought to release him. But the Jews cried out, saying: If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar's friend. For whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar.||Et exinde quærebat Pilatus dimittere eum. Judæi autem clamabant dicentes : Si hunc dimittis, non es amicus Cæsaris. Omnis enim qui se regem facit, contradicit Cæsari.||εκ τουτου εζητει ο πιλατος απολυσαι αυτον οι δε ιουδαιοι εκραζον λεγοντες εαν τουτον απολυσης ουκ ει φιλος του καισαρος πας ο βασιλεα εαυτον ποιων αντιλεγει τω καισαρι|
|13.||Now when Pilate had heard these words, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha.||Pilatus autem cum audisset hos sermones, adduxit foras Jesum : et sedit pro tribunali, in loco qui dicitur Lithostrotos, hebraice autem Gabbatha.||ο ουν πιλατος ακουσας τουτον τον λογον ηγαγεν εξω τον ιησουν και εκαθισεν επι του βηματος εις τοπον λεγομενον λιθοστρωτον εβραιστι δε γαββαθα|
|14.||And it was the parasceve of the pasch, about the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews: Behold your king.||Erat enim parasceve Paschæ, hora quasi sexta, et dicit Judæis : Ecce rex vester.||ην δε παρασκευη του πασχα ωρα δε ωσει εκτη και λεγει τοις ιουδαιοις ιδε ο βασιλευς υμων|
|15.||But they cried out: Away with him; away with him; crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Caesar.||Illi autem clamabant : Tolle, tolle, crucifige eum. Dicit eis Pilatus : Regem vestrum crucifigam ? Responderunt pontifices : Non habemus regem, nisi Cæsarem.||οι δε εκραυγασαν αρον αρον σταυρωσον αυτον λεγει αυτοις ο πιλατος τον βασιλεα υμων σταυρωσω απεκριθησαν οι αρχιερεις ουκ εχομεν βασιλεα ει μη καισαρα|
|16.||Then therefore he delivered him to them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him forth.||Tunc ergo tradidit eis illum ut crucifigeretur. Susceperunt autem Jesum, et eduxerunt.||τοτε ουν παρεδωκεν αυτον αυτοις ινα σταυρωθη παρελαβον δε τον ιησουν και ηγαγον|
|17.||And bearing his own cross, he went forth to that place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha.||Et bajulans sibi crucem exivit in eum, qui dicitur Calvariæ locum, hebraice autem Golgotha :||και βασταζων τον σταυρον αυτου εξηλθεν εις τοπον λεγομενον κρανιου τοπον ος λεγεται εβραιστι γολγοθα|
|18.||Where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the midst.||ubi crucifixerunt eum, et cum eo alios duos hinc et hinc, medium autem Jesum.||οπου αυτον εσταυρωσαν και μετ αυτου αλλους δυο εντευθεν και εντευθεν μεσον δε τον ιησουν|
|19.||And Pilate wrote a title also, and he put it upon the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.||Scripsit autem et titulum Pilatus, et posuit super crucem. Erat autem scriptum : Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Judæorum.||εγραψεν δε και τιτλον ο πιλατος και εθηκεν επι του σταυρου ην δε γεγραμμενον ιησους ο ναζωραιος ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων|
|20.||This title therefore many of the Jews did read: because the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin.||Hunc ergo titulum multi Judæorum legerunt : quia prope civitatem erat locus, ubi crucifixus est Jesus, et erat scriptum hebraice, græce, et latine.||τουτον ουν τον τιτλον πολλοι ανεγνωσαν των ιουδαιων οτι εγγυς ην ο τοπος της πολεως οπου εσταυρωθη ο ιησους και ην γεγραμμενον εβραιστι ελληνιστι ρωμαιστι|
|21.||Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate: Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am the King of the Jews.||Dicebant ergo Pilato pontifices Judæorum : Noli scribere : Rex Judæorum : sed quia ipse dixit : Rex sum Judæorum.||ελεγον ουν τω πιλατω οι αρχιερεις των ιουδαιων μη γραφε ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων αλλ οτι εκεινος ειπεν βασιλευς ειμι των ιουδαιων|
|22.||Pilate answered: What I have written, I have written.||Respondit Pilatus : Quod scripsi, scripsi.||απεκριθη ο πιλατος ο γεγραφα γεγραφα|
|23.||The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part,) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.||Milites ergo cum crucifixissent eum, acceperunt vestimenta ejus (et fecerunt quatuor partes, unicuique militi partem) et tunicam. Erat autem tunica inconsutilis, desuper contexta per totum.||οι ουν στρατιωται οτε εσταυρωσαν τον ιησουν ελαβον τα ιματια αυτου και εποιησαν τεσσαρα μερη εκαστω στρατιωτη μερος και τον χιτωνα ην δε ο χιτων αραφος εκ των ανωθεν υφαντος δι ολου|
|24.||They said then one to another: Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be fulfilled, saying: They have parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they have cast lot. And the soldiers indeed did these things.||Dixerunt ergo ad invicem : Non scindamus eam, sed sortiamur de illa cujus sit. Ut Scriptura impleretur, dicens : Partiti sunt vestimenta mea sibi : et in vestem meam miserunt sortem. Et milites quidem hæc fecerunt.||ειπον ουν προς αλληλους μη σχισωμεν αυτον αλλα λαχωμεν περι αυτου τινος εσται ινα η γραφη πληρωθη η λεγουσα διεμερισαντο τα ιματια μου εαυτοις και επι τον ιματισμον μου εβαλον κληρον οι μεν ουν στρατιωται ταυτα εποιησαν|
|25.||Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.||Stabant autem juxta crucem Jesu mater ejus, et soror matris ejus, Maria Cleophæ, et Maria Magdalene.||ειστηκεισαν δε παρα τω σταυρω του ιησου η μητηρ αυτου και η αδελφη της μητρος αυτου μαρια η του κλωπα και μαρια η μαγδαληνη|
|26.||When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son.||Cum vidisset ergo Jesus matrem, et discipulum stantem, quem diligebat, dicit matri suæ : Mulier, ecce filius tuus.||ιησους ουν ιδων την μητερα και τον μαθητην παρεστωτα ον ηγαπα λεγει τη μητρι αυτου γυναι ιδου ο υιος σου|
|27.||After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.||Deinde dicit discipulo : Ecce mater tua. Et ex illa hora accepit eam discipulus in sua.||ειτα λεγει τω μαθητη ιδου η μητηρ σου και απ εκεινης της ωρας ελαβεν ο μαθητης αυτην εις τα ιδια|
|28.||Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst.||Postea sciens Jesus quia omnia consummata sunt, ut consummaretur Scriptura, dixit : Sitio.||μετα τουτο ιδων ο ιησους οτι παντα ηδη τετελεσται ινα τελειωθη η γραφη λεγει διψω|
|29.||Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar and hyssop, put it to his mouth.||Vas ergo erat positum aceto plenum. Illi autem spongiam plenam aceto, hyssopo circumponentes, obtulerunt ori ejus.||σκευος ουν εκειτο οξους μεστον οι δε πλησαντες σπογγον οξους και υσσωπω περιθεντες προσηνεγκαν αυτου τω στοματι|
|30.||Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.||Cum ergo accepisset Jesus acetum, dixit : Consummatum est. Et inclinato capite tradidit spiritum.||οτε ουν ελαβεν το οξος ο ιησους ειπεν τετελεσται και κλινας την κεφαλην παρεδωκεν το πνευμα|
|31.||Then the Jews, (because it was the parasceve,) that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that was a great sabbath day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.||Judæi ergo (quoniam parasceve erat) ut non remanerent in cruce corpora sabbato (erat enim magnus dies ille sabbati), rogaverunt Pilatum ut frangerentur eorum crura, et tollerentur.||οι ουν ιουδαιοι ινα μη μεινη επι του σταυρου τα σωματα εν τω σαββατω επει παρασκευη ην ην γαρ μεγαλη η ημερα εκεινου του σαββατου ηρωτησαν τον πιλατον ινα κατεαγωσιν αυτων τα σκελη και αρθωσιν|
|32.||The soldiers therefore came; and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him.||Venerunt ergo milites : et primi quidem fregerunt crura, et alterius, qui crucifixus est cum eo.||ηλθον ουν οι στρατιωται και του μεν πρωτου κατεαξαν τα σκελη και του αλλου του συσταυρωθεντος αυτω|
|33.||But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.||Ad Jesum autem cum venissent, ut viderunt eum jam mortuum, non fregerunt ejus crura,||επι δε τον ιησουν ελθοντες ως ειδον αυτον ηδη τεθνηκοτα ου κατεαξαν αυτου τα σκελη|
|34.||But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water.||sed unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit, et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua.||αλλ εις των στρατιωτων λογχη αυτου την πλευραν ενυξεν και ευθεως εξηλθεν αιμα και υδωρ|
|35.||And he that saw it, hath given testimony, and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true; that you also may believe.||Et qui vidit, testimonium perhibuit : et verum est testimonium ejus. Et ille scit quia vera dicit : ut et vos credatis.||και ο εωρακως μεμαρτυρηκεν και αληθινη εστιν αυτου η μαρτυρια κακεινος οιδεν οτι αληθη λεγει ινα υμεις πιστευσητε|
|36.||For these things were done, that the scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of him.||Facta sunt enim hæc ut Scriptura impleretur : Os non comminuetis ex eo.||εγενετο γαρ ταυτα ινα η γραφη πληρωθη οστουν ου συντριβησεται απ αυτου|
|37.||And again another scripture saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced.||Et iterum alia Scriptura dicit : Videbunt in quem transfixerunt.||και παλιν ετερα γραφη λεγει οψονται εις ον εξεκεντησαν|
|38.||And after these things, Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews) besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.||Post hæc autem rogavit Pilatum Joseph ab Arimathæa (eo quod esset discipulus Jesu, occultus autem propter metum Judæorum), ut tolleret corpus Jesu. Et permisit Pilatus. Venit ergo, et tulit corpus Jesu.||μετα ταυτα ηρωτησεν τον πιλατον [ο] ιωσηφ ο απο αριμαθαιας ων μαθητης του ιησου κεκρυμμενος δε δια τον φοβον των ιουδαιων ινα αρη το σωμα του ιησου και επετρεψεν ο πιλατος ηλθεν ουν και ηρεν το σωμα του ιησου|
|39.||And Nicodemus also came, (he who at the first came to Jesus by night,) bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.||Venit autem et Nicodemus, qui venerat ad Jesum nocte primum, ferens mixturam myrrhæ et aloës, quasi libras centum.||ηλθεν δε και νικοδημος ο ελθων προς τον ιησουν νυκτος το πρωτον φερων μιγμα σμυρνης και αλοης ως λιτρας εκατον|
|40.||They took therefore the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.||Acceperunt ergo corpus Jesu, et ligaverunt illud linteis cum aromatibus, sicut mos est Judæis sepelire.||ελαβον ουν το σωμα του ιησου και εδησαν αυτο εν οθονιοις μετα των αρωματων καθως εθος εστιν τοις ιουδαιοις ενταφιαζειν|
|41.||Now there was in the place where he was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid.||Erat autem in loco, ubi crucifixus est, hortus : et in horto monumentum novum, in quo nondum quisquam positus erat.||ην δε εν τω τοπω οπου εσταυρωθη κηπος και εν τω κηπω μνημειον καινον εν ω ουδεπω ουδεις ετεθη|
|42.||There, therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at hand.||Ibi ergo propter parasceven Judæorum, quia juxta erat monumentum, posuerunt Jesum.||εκει ουν δια την παρασκευην των ιουδαιων οτι εγγυς ην το μνημειον εθηκαν τον ιησουν|
1. When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.
2. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxii) The discourse, which our Lord had with His disciples after supper, and the prayer which followed, being now ended, the Evangelist begins the account of His Passion. When Jesus had spoken these words, He came forth with His disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into which He entered, and His disciples. But this did not take place immediately after the prayer was ended; there was an interval containing some things, which John omits, but which are mentioned by the other Evangelists.
AUGUSTINE. (de Con. Ev. iii. c. 3.) A contention took place between them, which of them was the greater, as Luke relates. He also said to Peter, as Luke adds in the same place, Behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat, &c. (Luke 22:31) And according to Matthew and Mark, they sang a hymn, and then went to Mount Olivet. (Mat. 26:30. Mark 14:26) Matthew lastly brings the two narratives together: Then went Jesus with His disciples to a place which is called Gethsemane. That is the place which John mentions here, Where there was a garden, into the which He entered, and His disciples.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxii) When Jesus had spoken these words, shews that He did not enter before He had finished speaking.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) But why does not John say, When He had prayed, He entered? Because His prayer was a speaking for His disciples’ sake. It is now night time; He goes and crosses the brook, and hastens to the place which was known to the traitor; thus giving no trouble to those who were lying in wait for Him, and shewing His disciples that He went voluntarily to die.
ALCUIN. Over the brook Cedron, i. e. of cedars. It is the genitive in the Greek. He goes over the brook, i. e. drinks of the brook of His Passion. Where there was a garden, that the sin which was committed in a garden, He might blot out in a garden. Paradise signifies garden of delights.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxii) That it might not be thought that He went into a garden to hide Himself, it is added, But Judas who betrayed Him knew the place: for Jesus often resorted thither with His disciples.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxii) There the wolf in sheep’s clothing, permitted by the deep counsel of the Master of the flock to go among the sheep, learned in what way to disperse the flock, and ensnare the Shepherd.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) Jesus had often met and talked alone with His disciples there, on essential doctrines, such as it was lawful for others to hear. He does this on mountains, and in gardens, to be out of reach of noise and tumult. Judas however went there, because Christ had often passed the night there in the open air. He would have gone to His house, if he had thought he should find Him sleeping there.
THEOPHYLACT. Judas knew that at the feast time our Lord was wont to teach His disciples high and mysterious doctrines, and that He taught in places like this. And as it was then a solemn season, he thought He would be found there, teaching His disciples things relating to the feast.
3. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
4. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
5. They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
6. As soon then as he said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
7. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
8. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:
9. That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
GLOSS. (Nihil tale in G.) The Evangelist had shewn how Judas had found out the place where Christ was, now he relates how he went there. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxii) It was a band not of Jews, but of soldiers, granted, we must understand, by the Governor, with legal authority to take the criminal, as He was considered, and crush any opposition that might be made.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) But how could they persuade the band? By hiring them; for being soldiers, they were ready to do any thing for money.
THEOPHYLACT. They carry torches and lanterns, to guard against Christ escaping in the dark.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) They had often sent elsewhere to take Him, but had not been able. Whence it is evident that He gave Himself up voluntarily; as it follows, Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
THEOPHYLACT. He asks not because He needed to know, for He knew all things that should come upon Him; but because He wished to shew, that though present, they could not see or distinguish Him: Jesus saith unto them, I am He.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) He Himself had blinded their eyes. For that darkness was not the reason is clear, because the Evangelist says that they had lanterns. Though they had not lanterns, however, they should at least have recognised Him by His voice. And if they did not know Him, yet how was it that Judas, who had been with Him constantly also, did not know Him? And Judas also which betrayed Him stood with them. Jesus did all this to shew that they could not have taken Him, or even seen Him when He was in the midst of them, had He not permitted it.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiii) As soon then as He said unto them, I am He, they went backtward. Where now is the band of soldiers, where the terror and defence of arms? Without a blow, one word struck, drove back, prostrated a crowd fierce with hatred, terrible with arms. For God was hid in the flesh, and the eternal day was so obscured by His human body, that He was sought for with lanterns and torches, to be slain in the darkness. What shall He do when He cometh to judge, Who did thus when He was going to be judged? And now even at the present time Christ saith by the Gospel, I am He, and an Antichrist is expected by the Jews: to the end that they may go backward, and fall to the ground; because that forsaking heavenly, they desire earthly things.
GREGORY. (Ezech. Hom. ix.) Why is this, that the Elect fall on their faces, the reprobate backward? Because every one who falls back, sees not where he falls, whereas he who falls forward, sees where he falls. The wicked when they suffer loss in invisible things, are said to fall backward, because they do not see what is behind them: but the righteous, who of their own accord cast themselves down in temporal things, in order that they may rise in spiritual, fall as it were upon their faces, when with fear and repentance they humble themselves with their eyes open.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) Lastly, lest any should say that He had encouraged the Jews to kill Him, in delivering Himself into their hands, He says every thing that is possible to reclaim them. But when they persisted in their malice, and shewed themselves inexcusable, then He gave Himself up into their hands: Then asked He them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am He.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxii) They had heard at the first, I am He, but had not understood it; because He who could do whatever He would, willed not that they should. But had He never permitted Himself to be taken by them, they would not have done indeed what they came to do; but neither would He what He came to do. So now having shewn His power to them when they wished to take Him and could not, He lets them seize Him, that they might be unconscious agents of His will; If ye seek Me, let these go their way.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiv) As if to say, Though ye seek Me, ye have nothing to do with these: lo, I give Myself up: thus even to the last hour does He shew His love for His own.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxii) He commands His enemies, and they do what He commands; they permit them to go away, whom He would not have perish.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) The Evangelist, to shew that it was not their design to do this, but that His power did it, adds, That the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, Of them which Thou hast given Me, have I lost none. He had said this with reference not to temporal, but to eternal death: the Evangelist however understands the word of temporal death also.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxii. 4) But were the disciples never to die? Why then would He lose them, even if they died then? Because they did not yet believe in Him in a saving way.
10. Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
11. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) Peter trusting to these last words of our Lord’s, and to what He had just done, assaults those who came to take Him: Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant. But how, commanded as he had been to have neither scrip, nor two garments, had he a sword? Perhaps he had foreseen this occasion, and provided one.
THEOPHYLACT. Or, he had got one for sacrificing the lamb, and carried it away with him from the Supper.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii. 2) But how could he, who had been forbidden ever to strike on the cheek, be a murderer? Because what he had been forbidden to do was to avenge himself, but here he was not avenging himself, but his Master. They were not however yet perfect: afterwards ye shall see Peter beaten with stripes, and bearing it humbly. And cut off his right ear: this seems to shew the impetuosity of the Apostle; that he struck at the head itself.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxii) The servant’s name was Malchus; John is the only Evangelist who mentions the servant’s name; as Luke is the only one who mentions that our Lord touched the ear and healed him.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) He wrought this miracle both to teach us, that we ought to do good to those who suffer, and to manifest His power. The Evangelist gives the name, that those who then read it might have the opportunity of enquiring into the truth of the account. And he mentions that he was the servant of the high priest, because in addition to the miracle of the cure itself, this shews that it was performed upon one of those who came to take Him, and who shortly after struck Him on the face.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxii. 5) The name Malchus signifies, about to reign. What then does the ear cut off for our Lord, and healed by our Lord, denote, but the abolition of the old, and the creating of a new, hearing1 in the newness of the Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter? To whomsoever this is given, who can doubt that he will reign with Christ? But he was a servant too, hath reference to that oldness, which generated to bondage: the cure figures liberty.
THEOPHYLACT. Or, the cutting off of the high priest’s servant’s right ear is a type of the people’s deafness, of which the chief priests partook most strongly: the restoration of the ear, of ultimate reenlightenment of the understanding of the Jews, at the coming of Elias.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxii) Our Lord condemned Peter’s act, and forbad him proceeding further: Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath. He was to be admonished to have patience: and this was written for our learning.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii. 2) He not only restrained Him however by threats, but consoled him also at the same time: The cup that My Father giveth Me, shall I not drink it? Whereby He shews that it was not by their power, but by His permission, that this had been done, and that He did not oppose God, but was obedient even unto death.
THEOPHYLACT. In that He calls it a cup, He shews how pleasing and acceptable death for the salvation of men was to Him.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxii) The cup being given Him by the Father, is the same with what the Apostle saith, Who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all. (Rom. 8:32) But the Giver of this cup and the Drinker of it are the same; as the same Apostle saith, Christ loved us, and gave Himself for us. (Eph. 5:2)
12. Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,
13. And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.
14. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
THEOPHYLACT. Every thing having been done that could be to dissuade the Jews, and they refusing to take warning, He suffered Himself to be delivered into their hands: Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxii) They took Him Whom they did not draw nigh to; nor understood that which is written in the Psalms, Draw nigh unto Him, and be ye lightened. (Ps. 34:5. accedite ad eum, Vulg.) For had they thus drawn nigh to Him, they would have taken Him, not to kill Him, but to be in their hearts. But now that they take Him in the way they do, they go backward. It follows, and bound Him, Him by Whom they ought to have wished to be loosed. And perhaps there were among them some who, afterwards delivered by Him, exclaimed, Thou hast broken My chains asunder. (Ps. 116) But after that they had bound Jesus, it then appears most clearly that Judas had betrayed Him not for a good, but a most wicked purpose: And led Him away to Annas first.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii. 2) In exultation, to shew what they had done, as if they were raising a trophy.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiii) Why they did so, he tells us immediately after: For he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Matthew, in order to shorten the narrative, says that He was led to Caiaphas; because He was led to Annas first, as being the father in law of Caiaphas. So that we must understand that Annas wished to act Caiaphas’s part.
BEDE. In order that, while our Lord was condemned by his colleague, he might not be guiltless, though his crime was less. Or perhaps his house lay in the way, and they were obliged to pass by it. Or it was the design of Providence, that they who were allied in blood, should be associated in guilt. That Caiaphas however was high priest for that year sounds contrary to the law, which ordained that there be only one high priest, and made the office hereditary. But the pontificate had now been abandoned to ambitious men.
ALCUIN. Josephus relates that this Caiaphas bought the high priesthood for this year. No wonder then if a wicked high priest judged wickedly. A man who was advanced to the priesthood by avarice, would keep himself there by injustice.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) That no one however might be disturbed at the sound of the chains, the Evangelist reminds them of the prophecy that His death would be the salvation of the world: Now Caiaphas was he which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. Such is the overpowering force of truth, that even its enemies echo it.
15. And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.
16. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.
17. Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not.
18. And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.
AUGUSTINE. (de Con. Evang. iii. vi) The temptation of Peter, which took place in the midst of the contumelies offered to our Lord, is not placed by all in the same order. Matthew and Mark put the contumelies first, the temptation of Peter afterwards; Luke the temptation first, the contumelies after. John begins with the temptation: And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple.
ALCUIN. He followed his Master out of devotion, though afar off, on account of fear.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiii) Who that other disciple was we cannot hastily decide, as his name is not told us. John however is wont to signify himself by this expression, with the addition of, whom Jesus loved. Perhaps therefore he is the one.
CHRYSOSTOM. He omits his own name out of humility: though he is relating an act of great virtue, how that he followed when the rest fled. He puts Peter before himself, and then mentions himself, in order to shew that he was inside the hall, and therefore related what took place there with more certainty than the other Evangelists could. That disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. This he mentions not as a boast, but in order to diminish his own merit, in having been the only one who entered with Jesus. It is accounting for the act in another way, than merely by greatness of mind. Peter’s love took him as far as the palace, but his fear prevented him entering in: But Peter stood at the door without.
ALCUIN. He stood without, as being about to deny his Lord. He was not in Christ, who dared not confess Christ.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) But that Peter would have entered the palace, if he had been permitted, appears by what immediately follows: Then went out that other disciple who was known to the high priest, and spake unto her who kept the doors, and brought in Peter. He did not bring him in himself, because he kept near Christ. It follows: Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this Man’s disciples? He saith, I am not. What sayest thou, O Peter? Didst thou not say before, I will lay down my life for thy sake? (Mat. 26:35) What then had happened, that thou givest way even when the damsel asks thee? It was not a soldier who asked thee, but a mean porteress. Nor said she, Art thou this Deceiver’s disciple, but, this Man’s: an expression of pity. Art not thou also, she says, because John was inside.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiii) But what wonder, if God foretold truly, man presumed falsely. Respecting this denial of Peter we should remark, that Christ is not only denied by him, who denies that He is Christ, but by him also who denies himself to be a Christian. For the Lord did not say to Peter, Thou shalt deny that thou art My disciple, but, Thou shalt deny Me. (Luke 22:34) He denied Him then, when he denied that he was His disciple. And what was this but to deny that he was a Christian? How many afterwards, even boys and girls, were able to despise death, confess Christ, and enter courageously into the kingdom of heaven; which he who received the keys of the kingdom, was now unable to do? Wherein we see the reason for His saying above, Let these go their way, for of those which Thou hast given Me, have I lost none. If Peter had gone out of this world immediately after denying Christ, He must have been lost.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Serm. de Petro et Elia.) Therefore did Divine Providence permit Peter first to fall, in order that he might be less severe to sinners from the remembrance of his own fall. Peter, the teacher and master of the whole world, sinned, and obtained pardon, that judges might thereafter have that rule to go by in dispensing pardon. For this reason I suppose the priesthood was not given to Angels; because, being without sin themselves, they would punish sinners without pity. Passible man is placed over man, in order that remembering his own weakness, he may be merciful to others.
THEOPHYLACT. Some however foolishly favour Peter, so far as to say that he denied Christ, because he did not wish to be away from Christ, and he knew, they say, that if he confessed that he was one of Christ’s disciples, he would be separated from Him, and would no longer have the liberty of following and seeing his beloved Lord; and therefore pretended to be one of the servants, that his sad countenance might not be perceived, and so exclude him: And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals, and warmed themselves; and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiii) It was not winter, and yet it was cold, as it often is at the vernal equinox.
GREGORY. (ii. Mor. c. 11) The fire of love was smothered in Peter’s breast, and he was warming himself before the coals of the persecutors, i. e. with the love of this present life, whereby his weakness was increased.
19. The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.
20. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.
21. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii. 3) As they could bring no charge against Christ, they asked Him of His disciples: The high priest then asked Jesus of His disciples; perhaps where they were, and on what account He had collected them, he wished to prove that he was a seditious and factious person whom no one attended to, except His own disciples.
THEOPHYLACT. He asks Him moreover of His doctrine, what it was, whether opposed to Moses and the law, that he might take occasion thereby to put Him to death as an enemy of God.
ALCUIN. He does not ask in order to know the truth, but to find out some charge against Him, on which to deliver Him to the Roman Governor to be condemned. But our Lord so tempers His answer, as neither to conceal the truth, nor yet to appear to defend Himself: Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiii) There is a difficulty here not to be passed over: if He did not speak openly even to His disciples, but only promised that He would do so at some time, how was it that He spoke openly to the world? He spoke more openly to His disciples afterwards, when they had withdrawn from the crowd; for He then explained His parables, the meaning of which He concealed from the others. When He says then, I spake openly to the world, He must be understood to mean, within the hearing of many. So in one sense He spoke openly, i. e. in that many heard Him; in another sense not openly, i. e. in that they did not understand Him. His speaking apart with His disciples was not speaking in secret; for how could He speak in secret before the multitude, especially when that small number of His disciples were to make known what He said to a much larger?
THEOPHYLACT. He refers here to the prophecy of Esaias; I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth. (Isa. 45:19)
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) Or, He spoke in secret, but not, as these thought, from fear, or to excite sedition; but only when what He said was above the understanding of the many. To establish the matter, however, upon superabundant evidence, He adds, Why askest thou Me? ask them which heard Me what I said unto them; behold, they know what I said unto them: as if He said, Thou askest Me of My disciples; ask My enemies, who lie in wait for Me. These are the words of one who was confident of the truth of what He said: for it is incontrovertible evidence, when enemies are called in as witnesses.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiii. 3) For what they had heard and not understood, was not of such a kind, as that they could justly turn it against Him. And as often as they tried by questioning to find out some charge against Him, He so replied as to blunt all their stratagems, and refute their calumnies.
22. And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?
23. Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?
24. Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.
THEOPHYLACT. When Jesus had appealed to the testimony of the people by, an officer, wishing to clear himself, and shew that he was not one of those who admired our Lord, struck Him: And when He had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest Thou the high priest so?
AUGUSTINE. (de Con. Evang. iii. vi) This shews that Annas was the high priest, for this was before He was sent to Caiaphas. And Luke in the beginning of his Gospel says, that Annas and Caiaphas were both high priests.
ALCUIN. Here is fulfilled the prophecy, I gave my cheek to the smiters. Jesus, though struck unjustly, replied gently: Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou Me?
THEOPHYLACT. As if to say, If thou hast any fault to find with what I have said, shew it; if thou hast not, why ragest thou? Or thus: If I taught any thing unadvisedly, when I taught in the synagogues, give proof of it to the high priest; but if I taught aright, so that even ye officers admired, why smitest thou Me, Whom before thou admiredst?
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiii) What can be truer, gentler, kinder, than this answer? He Who received the blow on the face neither wished for him who struck it that fire from heaven should consume him, or the earth open its mouth and swallow him; or a devil seize him; or any other yet more horrible kind of punishment. Yet had not He, by Whom the world was made, power to cause any one of these things to take place, but that He preferred teaching us that patience by which the world is overcome? Some one will ask here, why He did not do what He Himself commanded, i. e. not make this answer, but give the other cheek to the smiter? But what if He did both, both answered gently, and gave, not His check only to the smiter, but His whole body to be nailed to the Cross? And herein He shews, that those precepts of patience are to be performed not by posture of the body, but by preparation of the heart: for it is possible that a man might give his cheek outwardly, and yet be angry at the same time. How much better is it to answer truly, yet gently, and be ready to bear even harder usage patiently.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) What should they do then but either disprove, or admit, what He said? Yet this they do not do: it is not a trial they are carrying on, but a faction, a tyranny. Not knowing what to do further, they send Him to Caiaphas: Now Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
THEOPHYLACT. Thinking that as he was more cunning, he might find out something against Him worthy of death.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiii) He was the one to whom they were taking Him from the first, as Matthew says; he being the high priest of this year. We must understand that the pontificate was taken between them year by year alternately, and that it was by Caiaphas’s consent that they led Him first to Annas; or that their houses were so situated, that they could not but pass straight by that of Annas.
BEDE. Sent Him bound, not that He was bound now for the first time, for they bound Him when they took Him. They sent Him bound as they had brought Him. Or perhaps He may have been loosed from His bonds for that hour, in order to be examined, after which He was bound again, and sent to Caiaphas.
25. And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.
26. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?
27. Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiii) After the Evangelist has said that they sent Jesus bound from Annas to Caiaphas, he returns to Peter and his three denials, which took place in the house of Annas: And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. He repeats what he had said before.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) Or, He means that the once fervid disciple was now too torpid, to move even when our Lord was carried away: shewing thereby how weak man’s nature is, when God forsakes him. Asked again, he again denies: They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of His disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.
AUGUSTINE. (de Con. Evang. iii. 6) Here we find Peter not at the gate, but at the fire, when he denies the second time: so that he must have returned after he had gone out of doors, where Matthew says he was. He did not go out, and another damsel see him on the outside, but another damsel saw him as he was rising to go out, and remarked him, and told those who were by, i. e. those who were standing with her at the fire inside the hall, This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth. (Matt. 26:71, 72) He heard this outside, and returned, and swore, I do not know the man. Then John continues: They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of His disciples? which words we suppose to have been said to him when he had come back, and was standing at the fire. And this explanation is confirmed by the fact, that besides the other damsel mentioned by Matthew and Mark in the second denial, there was another person, mentioned by Luke, who also questioned him. So John uses the plural: They said therefore unto him. And then follows the third denial: One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with Him? That Matthew and Mark speak of the party who here question Peter in the plural number, whereas Luke mentions only one, and John also, adding that that one was the kinsman of him whose ear Peter cut off, is easily explained by supposing that Matthew and Mark used the plural number by a common form of speech for the singular; or that one who had observed him most strictly put the question first, and others followed it up, and pressed Peter with more.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii. 3) But neither did the garden bring back to his memory what he had then said, and the great professions of love he had made: Peter then denied again, and immediately the cock crew.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiii) Lo, the prophecy of the Physician is fulfilled, the presumption of the sick man demonstrated. That which Peter had said he would do, he had not done. I will lay down my life for Thy sake; but what our Lord had foretold had come to pass, Thou shall deny Me thrice. (Luke 22:34)
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii. 3) The Evangelists have all given the same account of the denials of Peter, not with any intention of throwing blame upon him, but to teach us how hurtful it is to trust in self, and not ascribe all to God.
BEDE. Mystically, by the first denial of Peter are denoted those who before our Lord’s Passion denied that He was God, by the second, those who did so after His resurrection. So by the first crowing of the cock His resurrection is signified; by the second, the general resurrection at the end of the world. By the first damsel, who obliged Peter to deny, is denoted lust, by the second, carnal delight: by one or more servants, the devils who persuade men to deny Christ.
28. Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover.
29. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?
30. They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.
31. Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.
32. That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiv) The Evangelist returns to the part where he had left off, in order to relate Peter’s denial: Then led they Jesus to Caiaphas (a Caiapha Vulg.) unto the hall of judgment: to Caiaphas from his colleague and father in law Annas, as has been said. But if to Caiaphas, how to the prætorium, which was the place where the governor Pilate resided?
BEDE. The prætorium is the place where the prætor sat. Prætors were called prefects and preceptors, because they issue decrees.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiv) Either then for some urgent reason Caiaphas proceeded from the house of Annas, where both had been sitting, to the prætorium of the governor, and left Jesus to the hearing of his father in law: or Pilate had established the prætorium in the house of Caiaphas, which was large enough to afford a separate lodging to its owner, and the governor at the same time.
AUGUSTINE. (de Con. Evang. l. iii. c. vii) According to Matthew, When the morning came, they led Him away, and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate. (Mat. 27:1, 2) But He was to have been led to Caiaphas at first. How is it then that He was brought to him so late? The truth is, now He was going as it were a committed criminal, Caiaphas having already determined on His death. And He was to be given up to Pilate immediately.
And it was early.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) He was led to Caiaphas before the cock crew, but early in the morning to Pilate. Whereby the Evangelist shews, that all that night of examination, ended in proving nothing against Him; and that He was sent to Pilate in consequence. But leaving what passed then to the other Evangelists, he goes to what followed.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xiv) And they themselves entered not into the judgment hall: i. e. into that part of the house which Pilate occupied, supposing it to be the house of Caiaphas. Why they did not enter is next explained: Lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) For the Jews were then celebrating the passover; He Himself celebrated it one day before, reserving His own death for the sixth day; on which day the old passover was kept. Or, perhaps, the passover means the whole season.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiv) The days of unleavened bread were beginning; during which time it was defilement to enter the house of a stranger.
ALCUIN. The passover was strictly the fourteenth day of the month, the day on which the lamb was killed in the evening: the seven days following were called the days of unleavened bread, in which nothing leavened ought to be found in their houses. Yet we find the day of the passover reckoned among the days of unleavened bread: Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the passover? (Mat. 26:17) And here also in like manner: That they might eat the passover; the passover here signifying not the sacrifice of the lamb, which took place the fourteenth day at evening, but the great festival which was celebrated on the fifteenth day, after the sacrifice of the lamb. Our Lord, like the rest of the Jews, kept the passover on the fourteenth day: on the fifteenth day, when the great festival was held, He was crucified. His immolation however began on the fourteenth day, from the time that He was taken in the garden.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiv) O impious blindness! They feared to be defiled by the judgment hall of a foreign prefect, to shed the blood of an innocent brother they feared not. For that He Whom they killed was the Lord and Giver of life, their blindness saved them from knowing.
THEOPHYLACT. Pilate however proceeds in a more gentle way: Pilate then went out unto them.
BEDE. It was the custom of the Jews when they condemned any one to death, to notify it to the governor, by delivering the man bound.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii. 4) Pilate however seeing Him bound, and such numbers conducting Him, supposed that they had not unquestionable evidence against Him, so proceeds to ask the question: And said, What accusation bring ye against this Man? For it was absurd, he said, to take the trial out of his hands, and yet give him the punishment. They in reply bring forward no positive charge but only their own conjectures: They answered and said unto him, If He were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered Him up unto thee.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiv) Ask the freed from unclean spirits, the blind who saw, the dead who came to life again, and, what is greater than all, the fools who were made wise, and let them answer, whether Jesus was a malefactor. But they spoke, of whom He had Himself prophesied in the Psalms, They rewarded Me evil for good. (Ps. 39.)
AUGUSTINE. (de Cons. Evang. iii. 8) But is not this account contradictory to Luke’s, who mentions certain positive charges: And they began to accuse Him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar, saying that He Himself is Christ a King. (Luke 23:2) According to John, the Jews seem to have been unwilling to bring actual charges, in order that Pilate might condemn Him simply on their authority, asking no questions, but taking it for granted that if He was delivered up to him, He was certainly guilty. Both accounts are however compatible. Each Evangelist only inserts what he thinks sufficient. And John’s account implies that some charges had been made, when it comes to Pilate’s answer: Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye Him, and judge Him according to your law.
THEOPHYLACT. As if to say, Since you will only have such a trial as will suit you, and are proud, as if you never did any thing profane, take ye Him, and condemn Him; I will not be made a judge for such a purpose.
ALCUIN. Or as if he said, Ye who have the law, know what the law judgeth concerning such: do what ye know to be just.
The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiv. 4) But did not the law command not to spare malefactors, especially deceivers such as they thought Him? We must understand them however to mean, that the holiness of the day which they were beginning to celebrate, made it unlawful to put any man to death. Have ye then so lost your understanding by your wickedness, that ye think yourselves free from the pollution of innocent blood, because ye deliver it to be shed by another?
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii. 4) Or, they were not allowed by the Roman law to put Him to death themselves. Or, Pilate having said, Judge Him according to your law, they reply, It is not lawful for us: His sin is not a Jewish one, He hath not sinned according to our law: His offence is political, He calls Himself a King. Or they wished to have Him crucified, to add infamy to death: they not being allowed to put to death in this way themselves. They put to death in another way, as we see in the stoning of Stephen: That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which He spake, signifying what death He should die. Which was fulfilled in that He was crucified, or in that He was put to death by Gentiles as well as Jews.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxiv) As we read in Mark, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles. (Mark 10:33) Pilate again was a Roman, and was sent to the government of Judæa, from Rome. That this saying of Jesus then might be fulfilled, i. e. that He might be delivered unto and killed by the Gentiles, they would not accept Pilate’s offer, but said, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.
33. Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
34. Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
35. Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
36. Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
37. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
38. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii.) Pilate, wishing to rescue Him from the hatred of the Jews, protracted1 the trial a long time: Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall, and called Jesus.
THEOPHYLACT. i. e. Apart, because he had a strong suspicion that He was innocent, and thought he could examine Him more accurately, away from the crowd: and said unto Him, Art Thou the King of the Jews?
ALCUIN. Wherein Pilate shews that the Jews had charged Him with calling Himself King of the Jews.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii. 4) Or Pilate had heard this by report; and as the Jews had no charge to bring forward, began to examine Him himself with respect to the things commonly reported of Him.
Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of Me?
THEOPHYLACT. He intimates here that Pilate was judging blindly and indiscreetly: If thou sayest this thing of thyself, He says, bring forward proofs of My rebellion; if thou hast heard it from others, make regular enquiry into it.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxv) Our Lord knew indeed both what He Himself asked, and what Pilate would answer; but He wished it to be written down for our sakes.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) He asks not in ignorance, but in order to draw from Pilate himself an accusation against the Jews: Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered Thee unto me.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxv) He rejects the imputation that He could have said it of Himself; Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered Thee unto me: adding, what hast Thou done? Whereby he shews that this charge had been brought against Him, for it is as much as to say, If Thou deniest that Thou art a King, what hast Thou done to be delivered up to me? As if it were no wonder that He should be delivered up, if He called Himself a King.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) He then tries to bring round the mind of Pilate, not a very bad man, by proving to him, that He is not a mere man, but God, and the Son of God; and overthrowing all suspicion of His having aimed at a tyranny, which Pilate was afraid of, Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxv. 1) This is what the good Master wished to teach us. But first it was necessary to shew the falsity of the notions of both Jews and Gentiles as to His kingdom, which Pilate had heard of; as if it meant that He aimed at unlawful power; a crime punishable with death, and this kingdom were a subject of jealousy to the ruling power, and to be guarded against as likely to be hostile either to the Romans or Jews. Now if our Lord had answered immediately Pilate’s question, He would have seemed to have been answering not the Jews, but the Gentiles only. But after Pilate’s answer, what He says is an answer to both Gentiles and Jews: as if He said, Men, i. e. Jews and Gentiles, I hinder not your dominion in this world. What more would ye have? Come by faith to the kingdom which is not of this world. For what is His kingdom, but they that believe in Him, of whom He saith, Ye are not of the world: although He wished that they should be in the world. In the same way, here He does not say, My kingdom is not in this world; but, is not of this world. Of the world are all men, who created by God are born of the corrupt race of Adam. All that are born again in Christ, are made a kingdom not of this world. Thus hath God taken us out of the power of darkness, and translated us to the kingdom of His dear Son.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) Or He means that He does not derive His kingdom from the same source that earthly kings do; but that He hath His sovereignty from above; inasmuch as He is not mere man, but far greater and more glorious than man: If My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews. Here He shews the weakness of an earthly kingdom, that it has its strength from its servants, whereas that higher kingdom is sufficient to itself, and wanting in nothing. And if His kingdom was thus the greater of the two, it follows that He was taken of His own will, and delivered up Himself.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxv) After shewing that His kingdom was not of this world, He adds, But now My kingdom is not from hence. He does not say, Not here, for His kingdom is here unto the end of the world, having within it the tares mixed with the wheat until the harvest. But yet it is not from hence, since it is a stranger in the world.
THEOPHYLACT. Or He says, from hence, not, here; because He reigns in the world, and carries on the government of it, and disposes all things according to His will; but His kingdom is not from below, but from above, and before all ages.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) Heretics infer from these words that our Lord is a different person (ἀλλότριον) from the Creator of the world. But when He says, My kingdom is not from hence, He does not deprive the world of His government and superintendence, but only shews that His government is not human and corruptible. Pilate therefore said unto Him, Art Thou a King then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a King.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxv) He did not fear to confess Himself a King, but so replied as neither to deny that He was, nor yet to confess Himself a King in such sense as that His kingdom should be supposed to be of this world. He says, Thou sayest, meaning, Thou being carnal sayest it carnally. He continues, To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. The pronoun here, in hoc, must not be dwelt long on, as if it meant, in hâc re, but shortened, as if it stood, ad hoc natus sum, as the next words are, ad hoc veni in mundum. Wherein it is evident He alludes to His birth in the flesh, not to that divine birth which never had beginning.
THEOPHYLACT. Or, to Pilate’s question whether He was a King, our Lord answers, To this end was I born, i. e. to be a King. That I am born from a King, proves that I am a King.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii. 4) If then He was a King by birth, He hath nothing which He hath not received from another. For this I came, that I should bear witness to the truth, i. e. that I should make all men believe it. We must observe how He shews His humility here: when they accused Him as a malefactor, He bore it in silence; but when He is asked of His kingdom, then He talks with Pilate, instructs him, and raises his mind to higher things. That I should bear witness to the truth, shews that He had no crafty purpose in what He did.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxv) But when Christ bears witness to the truth, He bears witness to Himself; as He said above, I am the truth. (c. 14:6) But inasmuch as all men have not faith, He adds, Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice: heareth, that is, with the inward ear; obeys My voice, believes Mc. Every one that is of the truth, hath reference to the grace by which He calleth according to His purpose. For as regards the nature in which we are created, since the truth created all, all are of the truth. But it is not all to whom it is given by the truth to obey the truth. For had He even said, Every one that heareth My voice is of the truth, it still would be thought that such were of the truth, because they obeyed the truth. But He does not say this, but, Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice. A man then is not of the truth, because he hears His voice, but hears His voice because he is of the truth. This grace is conferred upon him by the truth.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) These words have an effect upon Pilate, persuade him to become a hearer, and elicit from him the short enquiry, What is truth? Pilate said unto Him, What is truth?
THEOPHYLACT. For it had almost vanished from the world, and become unknown in consequence of the general unbelief.
38. And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
39. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
40. Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxv) After Pilate had asked, What is truth? he remembered a custom of the Jews, of releasing one prisoner at the passover, and did not wait for Christ’s answer, for fear of losing this chance of saving Him, which he much wished to do: And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) He knew that this question required time to answer, and it was necessary immediately to rescue Him from the fury of the Jews. So he went out.
ALCUIN. Or, he did not wait to hear the reply, because he was unworthy to hear it.
And saith unto them, I find no fault in Him.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) He did not say, He has sinned and is worthy of death; yet release Him at the feast; but acquitting Him in the first place, he does more than he need do, and asks it as a favour, that, if they are unwilling to let Him go as innocent, they will at any rate allow Him the benefit of the season: But ye have a custom, that I should release one unto you at the passover.
BEDE. This custom was not commanded in the law, but had been handed down by tradition from the old fathers, viz. that in remembrance of their deliverance out of Egypt, they should release a prisoner at the passover. Pilate tries to persuade them: Will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxv) He could not dismiss the idea from his mind, that Jesus was King of the Jews; as if the Truth itself, whom he had just asked what it was, had inscribed it there as a title.
THEOPHYLACT. Pilate is judicious in replying that Jesus had done nothing wrong, and that there was no reason to suspect Him of aiming at a kingdom. For they might be sure that if He set Himself up as a King, and a rival of the Roman empire, a Roman prefect would not release Him. When then He says, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? he clears Jesus of all guilt, and mocks the Jews, as if to say, Him whom ye accuse of thinking Himself a King, the same I bid you release: He does no such thing.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxv) Upon this they cried out: Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber. We blame you not, O Jews, for releasing a guilty man at the passover, but for killing an innocent one. Yet unless this were done, it were not the true passover.
BEDE. Inasmuch then as they abandoned the Saviour, and sought out a robber, to this day the devil practises his robberies upon them.
ALCUIN. The name Barabbas signifies, The son of their master, i. e. the devil; his master in his wickedness, the Jews’ in their perfidy.
1. Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
2. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
3. And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
4. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.
5. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxvi) When the Jews had cried out that they did not wish Jesus to be released on account of the passover, but Barabbas, Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him. Pilate seems to have done this for no reason but to satisfy the malice of the Jews with some punishment short of death. On which account he allowed his band to do what follows, or perhaps even commanded them. The Evangelist only says however that the soldiers did so, not that Pilate commanded them: And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe, and said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote Him with their hands.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiii) Pilate having called Him the King of the Jews, they put the royal dress upon Him, in mockery.
BEDE. For instead of a diadem, they put upon Him a crown of thorns, and a purple robe to represent the purple robe which kings wear. Matthew says, a scarlet robe, (Mat. 27:28) but scarleta and purple are different names for the same colour. And though the soldiers did this in mockery, yet to us their acts have a meaning. For by the crown of thorns is signified the taking of our sins upon Him, the thorns which the earth of our body brings forth. And the purple robe signifies the flesh crucified. For our Lord is robed in purple, wherever He is glorified by the triumphs of holy martyrs.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xxxiv) It was not at the command of the governor that they did this, but in order to gratify the Jews. For neither were they commanded by him to go to the garden in the night, but the Jews gave them money to go. He bore however all these insults silently. Yet do thou, when thou hearest of them, keep stedfastly in thy mind the King of the whole earth, and Lord of Angels bearing all these contumelies in silence, and imitate His example.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxvi) Thus were fulfilled what Christ had prophesied of Himself; thus were martyrs taught to suffer all that the malice of persecutors could inflict; thus that kingdom which was not of this world conquered the proud world, not by fierce fighting, but by patient suffering.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiv) That the Jews might cease from their fury, seeing Him thus insulted, Pilate brought out Jesus before them crowned: Pilate therefore went forth again, and, saith unto them, Behold, I bring Him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in Him.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxvi) Hence it is apparent that these things were not done without Pilate’s knowledge, whether he commanded, or only permitted them, for the reason we have mentioned, viz. that His enemies seeing the insults heaped upon Him, might not thirst any longer for His blood: Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe: not the insignia of empire, but the marks of ridicule. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! as if to say, If ye envy the King, spare the outcast. Ignominy overflows, let envy subside.
6. When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
7. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
8. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxvi) The envy of the Jews does not subside at Christ’s disgraces; yea, rather rises: When the chief priests therefore and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, Crucify Him. crucify Him.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiv. 2) Pilate saw then that it was all in vain: Pilate saith unto them, Take ye Him, and crucify Him. This is the speech of a man abhorring (ἀφοσιούμενον) the deed, and urging others to do a deed which he abhors himself. They had brought our Lord indeed to him that He might be put to death by his sentence, but the very contrary was the result; the governor acquitted Him: For I find no fault in Him. He clears Him immediately from all charges: which shews that he had only permitted the former outrages, to humour the madness of the Jews. But nothing could shame the Jewish hounds: The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxvi) Lo, another greater outbreak of envy. The former was lighter, being only to punish Him for aspiring to a usurpation of the royal power. Yet did Jesus make neither claim falsely; both were true: He was both the Only-begotten Son of God, and the King appointed by God upon the holy hill of Sion. And He would have demonstrated His right to both now, had He not been as patient as He was powerful.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiv) While they disputed with each other, He was silent, fulfilling the prophecy, He openeth not His mouth; He was taken from prison and from judgment. (Is. 53:7, 8)
AUGUSTINE. (de Con. Evang. iii. 8) This agrees with Luke’s account, We found this fellow perverting the nation, (Luke 23:2) only with the addition of, because He made Himself the Son of God.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiv. 2) Then Pilate begins to fear that what had been said might be true, and that he might appear to be administering justice improperly: When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid.
BEDE. It was not the law that he was afraid of, as he was a stranger: but he was more afraid, lest he should slay the Son of God.
CHRYSOSTOM. They were not afraid to say this, that He made Himself the Son of God: but they kill Him for the very reasons for which they ought to have worshipped Him.
9. And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
10. Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
11. Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
12. And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiv. 2) Pilate, agitated with fear, begins again examining Him: And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art Thou? He no longer asks, What hast Thou done? But Jesus gave him no answer. For he who had heard, To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, and, My kingdom is not from hence, ought to have resisted, and rescued Him, instead of which he had yielded to the fury of the Jews. Wherefore seeing that he asked questions without object, He answers him no more. Indeed at other times He was unwilling to give reasons, and defend Himself by argument, when His works testified so strongly for Him; thus shewing that He came voluntarily to His work.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxvi. 4) In comparing the accounts of the different Evangelists together, we find that this silence was maintained more than once; viz. before the High Priest, before, Herod, and before Pilate. So that the prophecy of Him, As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so opened He not His mouth, (Isa. 53:7.) was amply fulfilled. To many indeed of the questions put to Him, He did reply, but where He did not reply, this comparison of the sheep shews us that His was not a silence of guilt, but of innocence; not of self-condemnation, but of compassion, and willingness to suffer for the sins of others.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiv. 2) He remaining thus silent, Then saith Pilate unto Him, Speakest Thou not unto me? knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee? See how he condemns himself. If all depends upon thee, why, when thou findest no fault of offence, dost thou not acquit Him?
Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against Me, except it were given thee from above; shewing that this judgment was accomplished not in the common and natural order of events, but mysteriously. But lest we should think that Pilate was altogether free from blame, He adds, Therefore he that hath delivered Me unto thee hath the greater sin. But if it was given, thou wilt say, neither he nor they were liable to blame. Thou speakest foolishly. Given means permitted; as if He said, He hath permitted this to be done; but ye are not on that account free from guilt.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxvi) So He answers. When He was silent, He was silent not as guilty or crafty, but as a sheep: when He answered, He taught as a shepherd. Let us hear what He saith; which is that, as He teacheth by His Apostle, There is no power but of God; (Rom. 13:1) and that he that through envy delivers an innocent person to the higher power, who puts to death from fear of a greater power, still sins more than that higher power itself. God had given such power to Pilate, as that he was still under Cæsar’s power: wherefore our Lord says, Thou couldest have no power at all against Me, i. e. no power however small, unless it, whatever it was, was given thee from above. And as that is not so great as to give thee complete liberty of action, therefore he that delivered Me unto thee hath the greater sin. He delivered Me into thy power from envy, but thou wilt exercise that power from fear. And though a man ought not to kill another even from fear, especially an innocent man, yet to do so from envy is much worse. Wherefore our Lord does not say, He that delivered Me unto thee hath the sin, as if the other had none, but, hath the greater sin, implying that the other also had some.
THEOPHYLACT. He that delivered Me unto thee, i. e. Judas, or the multitude. When Jesus had boldly replied, that unless He gave Himself up, and the Father consented, Pilate could have had no power over Him, Pilate was the more anxious to release Him; And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release Him.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxvi) Pilate had sought from the first to release: so we must understand, from thence, to mean from this cause, i. e. lest he should incur guilt by putting to death an innocent person.
12. But the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Cæsar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Cæsar.
13. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
14. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
15. But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Cæsar.
16. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxvi) The Jews thought they could alarm Pilate more by the mention of Cæsar, than by telling him of their law, as they had done above; We have a law, and by that law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God. So it follows, But the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this Man go, thou art not Cæsar’s friend; whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Cæsar.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiv. 2) But how can ye prove this? By His purple, His diadem, His chariot, His guards? Did He not walk about with His twelve disciples only, and every thing mean about Him, food, dress, and habitation?
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxvi) Pilate was before afraid not of violating their law by sparing Him, but of killing the Son of God, in killing Him. But he could not treat his master Cæsar with the same contempt with which he treated the law of a foreign nation: When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiv. 2) He went out to examine into the matter: his sitting down on the judgment seat shews this.
GLOSS. The tribunal is the seat of the judge, as the throne is the seat of the king, and the chair the seat of the doctor.
BEDE. Lithostraton, i. e. laid with stone; the word signifies pavement. It was an elevated place.
And it was the preparation of the Passover.
ALCUIN. Parasceve, i. e. preparation. This was a name for the sixth day, the day before the Sabbath, on which they prepared what was necessary for the Sabbath; as we read, On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread. (Exod. 16:22) As man was made on the sixth day, and God rested on the seventh; so Christ suffered on the sixth day, and rested in the grave on the seventh.
And it was about the sixth hour.
AUGUSTINE. (Tract. cxvii) Why then doth Mark say, And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him? (Mark 15:25) Because on the third hour our Lord was crucified by the tongues of the Jews, on the sixth by the hands of the soldiers. So that we must understand that the fifth hour was passed, and the sixth began, when Pilate sat down on the judgment seat, (about the sixth hour, John says,) and that the crucifixion, and all that took place in connexion with it, filled up the rest of the hour, from which time up to the ninth hour there was darkness, according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke. But since the Jews tried to transfer the guilt of putting Christ to death from themselves to the Romans, i. e. to Pilate and his soldiers, Mark, omitting to mention the hour at which He was crucified by the soldiers, has expressly recorded the third hour; in order that it might be evident that not only the soldiers who crucified Jesus on the sixth hour, but the Jews who cried out for His death at the third, were His crucifiers. There is another way of solving this difficulty, viz. that the sixth hour here does not mean the sixth hour of the day; as John does not say, It was about the sixth hour of the day, but, It was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour. Parasceve means in Latin, præparatio. For Christ our passover, as saith the Apostle, is sacrificed for us. The preparation for which passover, counting from the ninth hour of the night, which seems to have been the hour at which the chief priests pronounced upon our Lord’s sacrifice, saying, He is guilty of death, between it and the third hour of the day, when He was crucified, according to Mark, is an interval of six hours, three of the night and three of the day.
THEOPHYLACT. Some suppose it to be a fault of the transcriber, who for the letter y, three, puts, six.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiv) Pilate, despairing of moving them, did not examine Him, as he intended, but delivered Him up. And he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
THEOPHYLACT. As if to say, See the kind of Man whom ye suspect of aspiring to the throne, a humble person, who cannot have any such design.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiv. 2) A speech that should have softened their rage; but they were afraid of letting Him go, lest He might draw away the multitude again. For the love of rule is a heavy crime, and sufficient to condemn a man. They cried out, Away with Him, away with Him. And they resolved upon the most disgraceful kind of death, Crucify Him, in order to prevent all memorial of Him afterwards.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxvi. 8) Pilate still tries to overcome their apprehensions on Cæsar’s account; Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? He tries to shame them into doing what he had not been able to soften them into by putting Christ to shame.
The chief priests answered, We have no king but Cæsar.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxiv. 2) They voluntarily brought themselves under punishment, and God gave them up to it. With one accord they denied the kingdom of God, and God suffered them to fall into their own condemnation; for they rejected the kingdom of Christ, and called down upon their own heads that of Cæsar.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxvi) But Pilate is at last overcome by fear: Then delivered he Him therefore unto them to be crucified. For it would be taking part openly against Cæsar, if when the Jews declared that they had no king but Cæsar, he wished to put another king over them, as he would appear to do if he let go unpunished a Man whom they had delivered to him for punishment on this very ground. It is not however, delivered Him unto them to crucify Him, but, to be crucified, i. e. by the sentence and authority of the governor. The Evangelist says, delivered unto them, to shew that they were implicated in the guilt from which they tried to escape. For Pilate would not have done this except to please them.
16. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
17. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
18. Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
GLOSS. By the command of the governor, the soldiers took Christ to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led Him away.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxvi) They, i. e. the soldiers, the guards of the governor, as appears more clearly afterwards; Then the soldiers when they had crucified Jesus; though the Evangelist might justly have attributed the whole to the Jews, who were really the authors of what they procured to be done.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv. 1) They compel Jesus to bear the cross, regarding it as unholy, and therefore avoiding the touch of it themselves. And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha, where they crucified Him. The same was done typically by Isaac, who carried the wood. But then the matter only proceeded as far as his father’s good pleasure ordered, but now it was fully accomplished, for the reality had appeared.
THEOPHYLACT. But as there Isaac was let go, and a ram offered; so here too the Divine nature remains impassible, but the human, of which the ram was the type, the offspring of that straying ram, was slain. But why does another Evangelist say that they hired Simon to bear the cross?
AUGUSTINE. (de Con. Evang. iii. x) Both bore it; first Jesus, as John says, then Simon, as the other three Evangelists say. On first going forth, He bore His own cross.
AUGUSTINE. (Tract. cxvii) Great spectacle, to the profane a laughing-stock, to the pious a mystery. Profaneness sees a King bearing a cross instead of a sceptre; piety sees a King bearing a cross, thereon to nail Himself, and afterwards to nail it on the foreheads of kings. That to profane eyes was contemptible, which the hearts of Saints would afterwards glory in; Christ displaying His own cross on His shoulders, and bearing that which was not to be put under a bushel, the candlestick of that candle which was now about to burn.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv) He carried the badge of victory on His shoulders, as conquerors do. Some say that the place of Calvary was where Adam died and was buried; so that in the very place where death reigned, there Jesus erected His trophy.
JEROME. (super Matt. c. xxvii.) An apt connexion, and smooth to the ear, but not true. For the place where they cut off the heads of men condemned to death, called in consequence Calvary, was outside the city gates, whereas we read in the book of Jesus the son of Nave, that Adam was buried by Hebron and Arbah.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv. 1) They crucified Him with the thieves: And two others with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst; thus fulfilling the prophecy, And He was numbered with the transgressors. (Isa. 53:12) What they did in wickedness, was a gain to the truth. The devil wished to obscure what was done, but could not. Though three were nailed on the cross, it was evident that Jesus alone did the miracles; and the arts of the devil were frustrated. Nay, they even added to His glory; for to convert a thief on the cross, and bring him into paradise, was no less a miracle than the rending of the rocks.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxxi. in fin.) Yea, even the cross, if thou consider it, was a judgment seat: for the Judge being the middle, one thief, who believed, was pardoned, the other, who mocked, was damned: a sign of what He would once do to the quick and dead, place the one on His right hand, the other on His left.
19. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
20. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.
21. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
22. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
CHRYSOSTOM. As letters are inscribed on a trophy declaring the victory, so Pilate wrote a title on Christ’s cross. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross: thus at once distinguishing Christ from the thieves with Him, and exposing the malice of the Jews in rising up against their King: And the writing was, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.
BEDE. Wherein was shewn that His kingdom was not, as they thought, destroyed, but rather strengthened.
AUGUSTINE. (Tract. cxviii) But was Christ the King of the Jews only? or of the Gentiles too? Of the Gentiles too, as we read in the Psalms, Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Sion; (Ps. 2:6) after which it follows, Demand of Me, and I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance. So this title expresses a great mystery, viz. that the wild olive-tree was made partaker of the fatness of the olive-tree, not the olive-tree made partaker of the bitterness of the wild olive-tree. Christ then is King of the Jews according to the circumcision not of the flesh, but of the heart; not in the letter, but in the spirit. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city.
CHRYSOSTOM. It is probable that many Gentiles as well as Jews bad come up to the feast. So the title was written in three languages, that all might read it: And it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.
AUGUSTINE. (Tract. cxviii) These three were the languages most known there: the Hebrew, on account of being used in the worship of the Jews: the Greek, in consequence of the spread of Greek philosophy: the Latin, from the Roman empire being established every where.
THEOPHYLACT. The title written in three languages signifies that our Lord was King of the whole world; practical, natural, and spiritual1. The Latin denotes the practical, because the Roman empire was the most powerful, and best managed one; the Greek the physical, the Greeks being the best physical philosophers; and, lastly, the Hebrew the theological, because the Jews had been made the depositaries of religious knowledge.
CHRYSOSTOM. But the Jews grudged our Lord this title: Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that He said, I am King of the Jews, For as Pilate wrote it, it was a plain and single declaration that He was King, but the addition of, that he said, made it a charge against Him of petulance and vain glory. But Pilate was firm: Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
AUGUSTINE. O ineffable working of Divine power even in the hearts of ignorant men! Did not some hidden voice sound from within, and, if we may say so, with clamorous silence, saying to Pilate in the prophetic words of the Psalm, Alter not the inscription of the titlea? But what say ye, ye mad priests: will the title be the less true, because Jesus said, I am the King of the Jews? If that which Pilate wrote cannot be altered, can that be altered which the Truth spoke? Pilate wrote what he wrote, bceause our Lord said what He said.
23. Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
24. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots.
On Pilate giving sentence, the soldiers under his command crucified Jesus: Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments. And yet if we look to their intentions, their clamours, the Jews were rather the people which crucified Him. On the parting and casting lots for His garment, John gives more circumstances than the other Evangelists, And made four parts, to every soldier a part: whence we see there were four soldiers who executed the governor’s sentence. And also His coat: took, understood. They took His coat too. The sentence is brought in so to shew that this was the only garment for which they cast lots, the others being divided. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv) The Evangelist describes the tunic, to shew that it was of an inferior kind, the tunics commonly worn in Palestine being made of two pieces.
THEOPHYLACT. Others say that they did not weave in Palestine, as we do, the shuttle being driven upwards through the warp; so that among them the woof was not carried upwards but downwardsb.
AUGUSTINE. (Tract. cxviii) Why they cast lots for it, next appears: They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it whose it should be. It seems then that the other garments were made up of equal parts, as it was not necessary to rend them; the tunic only having to be rent in order to give each an equal share of it; to avoid which they preferred casting lots for it, and one having it all. This answered to the prophecy: That the Scripture might be fulfilled which saith, They parted My raiment among them, and for My vesture they did cast lots.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv) Behold the sureness of prophecy. The Prophet foretold not only what they would part, but what they would not. They parted the raiment, but cast lots for the vesture.
AUGUSTINE. (Tract. cxviii. 3) Matthew in saying, They parted His garments, casting lots, (Mat. 27:35.) means us to understand the whole division of the garments, including the tunic also for which they cast lots. Luke says the same: They parted His raiment, and cast lots. (Luke 23:34) In parting His garments they came to the tunic, for which they cast lots. Mark is the only one that raises any question: They parted His garments, casting upon them what every man should take: (Mark 15:24) as if they cast lots for all the garments, and not the tunic only. But it is his brevity that creates the difficulty. Casting lots upon them: as if it was, casting lots when they were parting the garments. What every man should take: i. e. who should take the tunic; as if the whole stood thus: Casting lots upon them, who should take the tunic which remained over and above the equal shares, into which the rest of the garments were divided. The fourfold division of our Lord’s garment represents His Church, spread over the four quarters of the globe, and distributed equally, i. e. in concord, to all. The tunic for which they cast lots signifies the unity of all the parts, which is contained in the bond of love. And if love is the more excellent way, above knowledge, and above all other commandments, according to Colossians, Above all things have charity, (Col. 3:14) the garment by which this is denoted, is well said to be woven from above. (desuper, ἄνωθεν) Through the whole, is added, because no one is void of it, who belongs to that whole, from which the Church Catholic is named. It is without seam again, so that it can never come unsown, and is in one piece, i. e. brings all together into one. (ad unum provenit) By the lot is signified the grace of God: for God elects not with respect to person or merits, but according to His own secret counsel.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv. 1) According to some, The tunic without seam, woven from above throughout, is an allegory shewing that He who was crucified was not simply man, but also had Divinity from above.
THEOPHYLACT. The garment without seam denotes the body of Christ, which was woven from above; for the Holy Ghost came upon the Virgin, and the power of the Highest overshadowed her. This holy body of Christ then is indivisible: for though it be distributed for every one to partake of, and to sanctify the soul and body of each one individually, yet it subsists in all wholly and indivisibly. The world consisting of four elements, the garments of Christ must be understood to represent the visible creation, which the devils divide amongst themselves, as often as they deliver to death the word of God which dwelleth in us, and by worldly allurements bring us over to their side.
AUGUSTINE. (Tract. cxviii) Nor let any one say that these things had no good signification, because they were done by wicked men; for if so, what shall we say of the cross itself? For that was made by ungodly men, and yet certainly by it were signified, What is the length, and depth, and breadth, and height, (Eph. 3:18) as the Apostle saith. Its breadth consists of a cross beam, on which are stretched the hands of Him who hangs upon it. This signifies the breadth of charity, and the good works done therein. Its length consists of a cross beam going to the ground, and signifies perseverance in length of time. The height is the top which rises above the cross beam, and signifies the high end to which all things refer. The depth is that part which is fixed in the ground; there it is hidden, but the whole cross that we see rises from it. Even so all our good works proceed from the depth of God’s incomprehensible grace. But though the cross of Christ only signify what the Apostle saith, They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts, (Gal. 5:24) how great a good is it? Lastly, what is the sign of Christ, but the cross of Christ? Which sign must be applied to the foreheads of believers, to the water of regeneration, to the oil of chrism, to the sacrifice whereby we are nourished, or none of these is profitable for life.
24. These things therefore the soldiers did.
25. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
26. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27. Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
THEOPHYLACT. While the soldiers were doing their cruel work, He was thinking anxiously of His mother: These things therefore the soldiers did. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
AMBROSE. Mary the mother of our Lord stood before the cross of her Son. None of the Evangelists hath told me this except John. The others have related how that at our Lord’s Passion the earth quaked, the heaven was overspread with darkness, the sun fled, the thief was taken into paradise after confession. John hath told us, what the others have not, how that from the cross whereon He hung, He called to His mother. He thought it a greater thing to shew Him victorious over punishment, fulfilling the offices of piety to His mother, than giving the kingdom of heaven and eternal life to the thief. For if it was religious to give life to the thief, a much richer work of piety it is for a son to honour his mother with such affection. Behold, He saith, thy son; behold thy mother. Christ made His Testament from the cross, and divided the offices of piety between the Mother and the disciples. Our Lord made not only a public, but also a domestic Testamnet. And this His Testament John sealed, a witness worthy of such a Testator. A good testament it was, not of money, but of eternal life, which was not written with ink, but with the spirit of the living God: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. (Ps. 45:1) Mary, as became the mother of our Lord, stood before the cross, when the Apostles fled, and with pitiful eyes beheld the wounds of her Son. For she looked not on the death of the Hostage, but on the salvation of the world; and perhaps knowing that her Son’s death would bring this salvation, she who had been the habitation of the King, thought that by her death she might add to that universal gift.
But Jesus did not need any help for saving the world, as we read in the Psalm, I have been even as a man with no help, free among the dead. (Ps. 87) He received indeed the affection of a parent, but He did not seek another’s help. Imitate her, ye holy matrons, who, as towards her only most beloved Son, hath set you an example of such virtue: for ye have not sweeter sons, nor did the Virgin seek consolation in again becoming a mother.
JEROME. The Mary which in Mark and Matthew is called the mother of James and Joses, was the wife of Alpheus, and sister of Mary the mother of our Lord: which Mary John here designates of Cleophas, either from her father, or family, or for some other reason. She need not be thought a different person, because she is called in one place Mary the mother of James the less, and here Mary of Cleophas, for it is customary in Scripture to give different names to the same person.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv) Observe how the weaker sex is the stronger; standing by the cross when the disciples fly.
AUGUSTINE. (de Con. Ev. iii. 21) If Matthew and Mark had not mentioned by name Mary Magdalen, we should have thought that there were two parties, one of which stood far off, and the other near. But how must we account for the same Mary Magdalen and the other women standing afar off, as Matthew and Mark say, and being near the cross, as John says? By supposing that they were within such a distance as to be within sight of our Lord, and yet sufficiently far off to be out of the way of the crowd and Centurion, and soldiers who were immediately about Him. Or, we may suppose that after our Lord had commended His mother to the disciple, they retired to be out of the way of the crowd, and saw what took place afterwards at a distance: so that those Evangelists who do not mention them till after our Lord’s death, describe them as standing afar off. (Matthew and Mark.) That some women are mentioned by all alike, others not, makes no matter.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv. 2) Though there were other women by, He makes no mention of any of them, but only of His mother, to shew us that we should specially honour our mothers. Our parents indeed, if they actually oppose the truth, are not even to be known: but otherwise we should pay them all attention, and honour them above all the world beside: When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, He saith unto His mother, Woman, behold thy son!
BEDE. By the disciple whom Jesus loved, the Evangelist means himself; not that the others were not loved, but he was loved more intimately on account of his estate of chastity; for a Virgin our Lord called him, and a Virgin he ever remained.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv. 2.) Heavens! (Papæ) what honour does He pay to the disciple; who however conceals his name from modesty. For had he wished to boast, he would have added the reason why he was loved, for there must have been something great and wonderful to have caused that love. This is all He says to John; He does not console his grief, for this was a time for giving consolation. Yet was it no small one to be honoured with such a charge, to have the mother of our Lord, in her affliction, committed to his care by Himself on His departure: Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother!
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxix. 1) This truly is that hour of the which Jesus, when about to change the water into wine, said, Mother, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. Then, about to act divinely, He repelled the mother of His humanity, of His infirmity, as if He knew her not: now, suffering humanly, He commends with human affection her of whom He was made man. Here is a moral lesson. The good Teacher shews us by His example how that pious sons should take care of their parents. The cross of the sufferer, is the chair of the Master.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv. 2) The shameless doctrine of Marcion is refuted here. For if our Lord were not born according to the flesh, and had not a mother, why did He make such provision for her? Observe how imperturbable He is during His crucifixion, talking to the disciple of His mother, fulfilling prophecies, giving good hope to the thief; whereas before His crucifixion, He seemed in fear. The weakness of His nature was shewn there, the exceeding greatness of His power here. He teaches us too herein, not to turn back, because we may feel disturbed at the difficulties before us; for when we are once actually under the trial, all will be light and easy for us.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxix. 2) He does this to provide as it were another son for His mother in his place; And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own. Unto his own what? Was not John one of those who said, Lo, we have left all, and followed Thee? (Mat. 19:27) He took her then to his own, i. e. not to his farm, for he had none, but to his care, for of this he was master.
BEDE. Another reading is, Accepit eam discipulus in suam, his own mother some understand, but to his own care seems better.
28. After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
29. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
30. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxix.) He who appeared man, suffered all these things; He who was God, ordered them: After this Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished; i. e. knowing the prophecy in the Psalms, And when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink, (Ps. 68) said, I thirst:As if to say, ye have not done all (minus): give me yourselves: for the Jews were themselves vinegar, having degenerated from the wine of the Patriarchs and the Prophets. Now there was a vessel full of vinegar: they had drunk from the wickedness of the world, as from a full vessel, and their heart was deceitful, as it were, a spunge full of caves and crooked hiding places: And they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv) They were not softened at all by what they saw, but were the more enraged, and gave Him the cup to drink, as they did to criminals, i. e. with a hyssop.
AUGUSTINE. The hyssop around which they put the spunge full of vinegar, being a mean herb, taken to purge the breast, represents the humility of Christ, which they hemmed in and thought they had circumvented. (ὑσσώπῳ περιθέντες) For we are made clean by Christ’s humility. Nor let it perplex you that they were able to reach His mouth when He was such a height above the ground: for we read in the other Evangelists, what John omits to mention, that the spunge was put upon a reed.
THEOPHYLACT. Some say that the hyssop is put here for reed, its leaves being like a reed.
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxix) viz. what prophecy had foretold so long before.
BEDE. It may be asked here, why it is said, When Jesus had received the vinegar, when another Evangelists says, He would not drink. (Mat. 27:34) But this is easily settled. He did not receive the vinegar, to drink it, but fulfil the prophecy.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxix) Then as there was nothing left Him to do before He died, it follows, And He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost, only dying when He had nothing more to do, like Him who had to lay down His life, and to take it up again.
GREGORY. (xi. Mor. iii.) Ghost is put here for soul: for had the Evangelist meant any thing else by it, though the ghost departed, the soul might still have remained.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv) He did not bow His head because He gave up the ghost, but He gave up the ghost because at that moment He bowed His head. Whereby the Evangelist intimates that He was Lord of all.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxix) For who ever had such power to sleep when he wished, as our Lord had to die when He wished? What power must He have, for our good or evil, Who had such power dying?
THEOPHYLACT. Our Lord gave up His ghost to God the Father, shewing that the souls of the saints do not remain in the tomb, but go into the hand of the Father of all; while sinners are reserved for the place of punishment, i. e. hell.
31. The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
32. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
33. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
34. But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
35. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
36. For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
37. And again another Scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv) The Jews who strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel, after their audacious wickedness, reason scrupulously about the day: The Jews therefore because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath.
BEDE. Parasceue, i. e. preparation: the sixth day was so called because the children of Israel prepared twice the number of loaves on that day. For that sabbath day was an high day, i. e. on account of the feast of the passover.
Besought Pilate that their legs might be broken.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxx) Not in order to take away the legs, but to cause death, that they might be taken down from the cross, and the feast clay not be defiled by the sight of such horrid torments.
THEOPHYLACT. For it was commanded in the Law that the sun should not set on the punishment of any one; or they were unwilling to appear tormentors and homicides on a feast day.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv. 3) How forcible is truth: their own devices it is that accomplish the fulfilment of prophecy: Then came the soldiers and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they brake not His legs: but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side.
THEOPHYLACT. To please the Jews, they pierce Christ, thus insulting even His lifeless body. But the insult issues in a miracle: for a miracle it is that blood should flow from a dead body.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxx.) The Evangelist has expressed himself cautiously; not struck, or wounded, but opened His side: (ἔνυξε, aperuit V.) whereby was opened the gate of life, from whence the sacraments of the Church flowed, without which we cannot enter into that life which is the true life: And forthwith came thereout blood and water. That blood was shed for the remission of sins, that water tempers the cup of salvation. This it was which was prefigured when Noah was commanded to make a door in the side of the ark, by which the animals that were not to perish by the deluge entered; which animals prefigured the Church. To shadow forth this, the woman was made out of the side of the sleeping man; for this second Adam bowed His head, and slept on the cross, that out of that which came therefrom, there might be formed a wife for Him. O death, by which the dead are quickened, what can be purer than that blood, what more salutary than that wound!
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv) This being the source whence the holy mysteries are derived, when thou approachest the awful cup, approach it as if thou wert about to drink out of Christ’s side.
THEOPHYLACT. Shame then upon them who mix not water with the wine in the holy mysteries: they seem as if they believed not that the water flowed from the side. Had blood flowed only, a man might have said that there was some life left in the body, and that that was why the blood flowed. But the water flowing is an irresistible miracle, and therefore the Evangelist adds, And he that saw it bare record.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv. 3) As if to say, I did not hear it from others, but saw it with mine own eyes. And his record is true, he adds, not as if he had mentioned something so wonderful that his account would be suspected, but to stop the mouths of heretics, and in contemplation of the deep value of those mysteries which he announces.
And he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxx) He that saw it knoweth; let him that saw not believe his testimony. He gives testimonies from the Scriptures to each of these two things he relates. After, they brake not His legs, He adds, For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of Him shall not be broken, a commandment which applied to the sacrifice of the paschal lamb under the old law, which sacrifice foreshadowed our Lord’s. Also after, One of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, then follows another Scripture testimony; And again another Scripture saith, They shall look on Him whom they pierced, (Zech. 12:10) a prophecy which implies that Christ will come in the very flesh in which He was crucified.
JEROME. (Pref. ad Pentet.) This testimony is taken from Zacharias.
38. And after this Joseph of Arimathæa, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
39. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.
40. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
41. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.
42. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv) Joseph thinking that the hatred of the Jews would be appeased by His crucifixion, went with confidence to ask permission to take charge of His burial: And after this, Joseph of Arimathea besought Pilate.
BEDE. Arimathea is the same as Ramatha, the city of Elkanah, and Samuel. It was providentially ordered that he should be rich, in order that he might have access to the governor, and just, in order that he might merit the charge of our Lord’s body: That he might take the body of Jesus, because he was His disciple.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv. 3) He was not of the twelve, but of the seventy, for none of the twelve came near. Not that their fear kept them back, for Joseph was a disciple, secretly for fear of the Jews. But Joseph was a person of rank, and known to Pilate; so he went to him, and the favour was granted, and afterwards believed Him, not as a condemned man, but as a great and wonderful Person: He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
AUGUSTINE. (de Con. Evang. iii. 22) In performing this last office to our Lord, he shewed a bold indifference to the Jews, though he had avoided our Lord’s company when alive, for fear of incurring their hatred.
BEDE. Their ferocity being appeased for the time by their success, he sought the body of Christ. He did not come as a disciple, but simply to perform a work of mercy, which is due to the evil as well as to the good. Nicodemus joined him: And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxx) We must not read the words, at the first, first bringing a mixture of myrrh, but attach the first to the former clause. For Nicodemus at the first came to Jesus by night, as John relates in the former part of the Gospel. From these words then we are to infer that that was not the only time that Nicodemus went to our Lord, but simply the first time; and that he came afterwards and heard Christ’s discourses, and became a disciple.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv) They bring the spices most efficacious for preserving the body from corruption, treating Him as a mere man. Yet this shews great love.
BEDE. We must observe however that it was simple ointment; for they were not allowed to mix many ingredients together. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. (Exod. 30:34, 38)
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxx) Wherein the Evangelist intimates, that in paying the last offices of the dead, the custom of the nation is to be followed. It was the custom of the Jewish nation to embalm their dead bodies, in order that they might keep the longer.
AUGUSTINE. (de Con. Evang. iii. 23) Nor does John here contradict the other Evangelists, who, though they are silent about Nicodemus, yet do not affirm that our Lord was buried by Joseph alone. Nor because they say that our Lord was wrapped in a linen cloth by Joseph, do they say that other linen cloths may not have been brought by Nicodemus in addition; so that John may be right in saying, not, in a single cloth, but, in linen cloths. Nay more, the napkin which was about His head and the bands which were tied round His body being all of linen, though there were but one linen cloth, He may yet be said to have been wrapped up in linen cloths: linen cloths being taken in a general sense, as comprehending all that was made of linen.
BEDE. Hence hath come down the custom of the Church, of consecrating the Lord’s body not on silk or gold cloth, but in a clean linen cloth.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv. 4) But as they were pressed for time, for Christ died at the ninth hour, and after that they had gone to Pilate, and taken away the body, so that the evening was now near, they lay Him in the nearest tomb: Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. A providential design, to make it certain that it was His resurrection, and not any other person’s that lay with Him.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxx) As no one before or after Him was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary, so in this grave was there none buried before or after Him.
THEOPHYLACT. In that it was a new sepulchre, we are given to understand, that we are all renewed by Christ’s death, and death and corruption destroyed. Mark too the exceeding poverty that He took up for our sakes. He had no house in His lifetime, and now He is laid in another’s sepulchre at His death, and His nakedness covered by Joseph. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cxx. 5) Implying that the burial was hastened, in order to finish it before the evening, when, on account of the preparation, which the Jews with us call more commonly in the Latin, Cæna pura, it was unlawful to do any such thing.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxv) The sepulchre was near, that the disciples might approach it more easily, and be better witnesses of what took place there, and that even enemies might be made the witnesses of the burial, being placed there as guards, and the story of His being stolen away shewed to be false.
BEDE. Mystically, the name Joseph means, apt for the receiving of a good work; whereby we are admonished that we should make ourselves worthy of our Lord’s body, before we receive it.
THEOPHYLACT. Even now in a certain sense Christ is put to death by the avaritious, in the person of the poor man suffering famine. Be therefore a Joseph, and cover Christ’s nakedness, and, not once, but continually by contemplation, embalm Him in thy spiritual tomb, cover Him, and mix myrrh and bitter aloes; considering that bitterest sentence of all, Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire. (Matt. 25:41)
Scholar Jane Tibbetts Schulenburg placed Hunna in the tradition of what she called the "domestic saint" or "holy housekeeper", pious and noble women in the Middle Ages, who like Hunna, conducted public roles such as founders and abbesses of convents, but whose "popular and local fame rested on her pious activity of washing the clothing of the poor", from where she received her nickname.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)
From: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Fourth Song of the Servant of the Lord
 Behold, my servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.  As many were astonished at him--his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men-- so shall he startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they shall see, and that which they have not heard they shall understand.
 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?  For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.  He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.  By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?  And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
 Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand;  he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and be shall bear their iniquities.
 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
52:13-53:12. This fourth Song of the Servant is one of the most commented on passages in the Bible, as regards both its literary structure and its content. From the point of view of structure, it interrupts the hymn-style of chapter 52 (which is taken up again in chapter 54); the style here is more reflective; the theme, the value of suffering. In terms of content, the song is unusual in that it shows the servant triumphing through his humiliation and suffering. Even more than that--he makes the pains and sins of others his own, in order to heal them and set them free. Prior to this, the idea of “vicarious expiation” was unknown in the Bible. The passage is original even in its vocabulary: it contains forty words that are not to be found elsewhere in the Bible.
The poem, which is very carefully composed, divides into three stanzas: the first (52:13-15) is put on the Lord’s lips and it acts as a kind of overture to what follows--taking in the themes of the triumph of the servant (v. 13), his humiliation and suffering (v. 14), and the stunning effect that this has on his own people and on strangers.
The second stanza (53:1-11a) celebrates the servant’s trials, and the good effects they produce. This is spoken in the first-person plural, standing for the people and the prophet: both feel solidarity with the servant of the Lord. This stanza has four stages to it: first (53:1-3) it describes the servant’s noble origins (he grew up before the Lord like a young plant: cf. v. 2) and the low esteem in which he is held as a “man of sorrows”. Then we learn that all this suffering is atonement for the sins of others (53:4-6). Traditionally, suffering was interpreted as being a punishment for sins, but here it is borne on behalf of others. This is the first lesson to be learned by those who see him “stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted”, and it marks the climax of the poem. Thirdly (53:7-9), the point is made, again that he has freely accepted suffering and meekly, offers himself as a sacrifice of atonement (he is like a lamb, like a sheep). His death is as ignominious as the suffering that precedes it. Finally (vv. 10-11a) we are told how fruitful all this suffering is: like the patriarchs of old (the text seems to imply) the servant will have many offspring and a long life and be a man of great wisdom.
In the, third stanza (53:11b-12) the Lord speaks again, finally acknowledging that his servant’s sacrifice is truly efficacious: he will cause many to be accounted “righteous”, that is, he will win their salvation (v. 11) and will share in the Lord’s spoils (v. 12).
The fourth song of the servant of the Lord was from very early on interpreted as having a current application. When the Jews of Alexandria made the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) around the second century BC, they tinkered a little with the text to indicate that the servant in the poem stood for the people of Israel in the diaspora. Those Jews, who encountered huge obstacles in their effort to maintain their identity in that Hellenistic and polytheistic environment, found comfort in the hope that they would emerge enhanced, just like the servant.
Jews of Palestine identified the victorious servant with the Messiah, but they reinterpreted the sufferings described here to apply them to the pagan nations. The Dead Sea Scrolls interpret this song in the light of the ignominy experienced by the Teacher of Righteousness, the probable founder of the group that established itself at Qumran.
Jesus revealed his redemptive mission to be that of the suffering servant prophesied by Isaiah here. He referred to him on a number of occasions--in his reply to the request made by the sons of Zebedee (“the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”: Mt 20:28 and par.); at the Last Supper, when he announced his ignominious death among transgressors, quoting 53:12 (Lk 22:37); in some passages in the fourth Gospel (Jn 12:32, 37-38); etc. He also seems to refer to it in his conversation with the disciples of Emmaus (Lk 24:25ff) to explain his passion and death. Therefore, the first Christians interpreted Jesus’ death and resurrection in terms of this poem; evidence of this is the expression “in accordance with the scriptures” in 1 Corinthians 15:3; the words “for our trespasses” (Rom 4:25; 1 Cor 15:3-5); the Christological hymn in the Letter to the Philippians (Phil 2:6-11); and expressions used in the First Letter of Peter (1 Pet 2:22-25) and in other New Testament passages (Mt 8:17; 27:29; Acts 8:26-40; Rom 10:16; etc.).
Patristic tradition reads the song as a prophecy that found fulfillment in Christ (cf. St Clement of Rome, "Ad Corinthios", 16:1-14; St Ignatius Martyr, "Epistula ad Polycarpum", 1, 3; the so-called "Letter of Barnabas", 5, 2 and "Epistula ad Diognetuin", 9, 2; etc.). The Church uses it in the Good Friday liturgy.
52:14. “Beyond human semblance”: this phrase sums up the description given in 53:2-3 and shows the intense pain reflected in the servant’s face: the description is so graphic that Christian ascetical writing, with good reason, reads it as anticipating the passion of our Lord: “The prophet, who has rightly been called ‘the Fifth Evangelist’, presents in this Song an image of the sufferings of the Servant with a realism as acute as if he were seeing them with his own eyes: the eyes of the body and of the spirit. [...] The Song of the SufferingServant contains a description in which it is possible, in a certain sense, to identify the stages of Christ’s Passion in their various details: the arrest, the humiliation, the blows, the spitting, the contempt for the prisoner, the unjust sentence, and then the scourging, the crowning with thorns and the mocking, the carrying of the Cross, the crucifixion and the agony” (John Paul II, "Salvifici Doloris", 17; cf. idem, "Dives in Misencordia", 7).
53:1. St Paul cites this verse to prove the need for preaching (Rom 10:16). The verse also underlines the extraordinary degree of undeserved suffering endured by the Servant. It is sometimes interpreted as a further sign of the humility of Christ, who, being divine, took on the form of a servant: “Christ is a man of humble thought and feeling, unlike those who attack his flock. The heart of God’s majesty, the Lord Jesus Christ, did not come with loud cries of arrogance and pride; he came in humility, as the Holy Spirit said of him: "Who has believed what we have heard?” (St Clement of Rome, "Ad Corinthios", 16, 1-3).
53:4-5. “He has borne our griefs [or pains]”: the servant’s sufferings are no due to his own personal sins; they are atonement for the sins of others. “The sufferings of our Savior are our cure” (Theodoret of Cyrus, "De Incarnatione Domini", 28). He suffered on account of the sins of the entire people, even though he was not guilty of them. By bearing the penalty for those sins, he expiated the guilt involved. St Matthew, after recounting some miraculous cures and the casting out of devils, sees the words of v. 4a fulfilled in Christ (Mt 8:17). He interprets Jesus Christ as being the servant foretold by the prophet, who will cure the physical suffering of people as a sign that he is curing the root cause of all types of evil, that is, sin, iniquity (v. 5). The miracles worked by Jesus for the sick are therefore a sign of Redemption: “Christ’s whole life is a mystery of ‘redemption’. Redemption comes to us above all through the blood of his cross (cf. Eph 1:7; Col 1:13-14; 1 Pet 1:18-19), but this mystery is at work throughout Christ’s entire life” ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 517).
Our Confidence is Based on Christ's Priesthood
 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Christ Has Been Made High Priest by God the Father
 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear.  Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered;  and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,  being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
14-16. The text now reverts to its main theme (cf. 2:17), that is, the priesthood of Christ. It highlights the dignity of the new high priest, who has passed through the heavens; and His mercy, too, for He sympathizes with our weaknesses. We have, therefore, every reason to approach Him with confidence. "The believers were at that time in a storm of temptation; that is why the Apostle is consoling them, saying that our High Priest not only knows, as God, the weaknesses of our nature: as man, He has also experienced the sufferings that affect us, although He was free from sin. Since He knows our weaknesses so well, He can give us the help we need, and when He comes to judge us, He will take that weakness into account in His sentence" ("Interpretatio Ep. Ad Haebreos, ad loc.").
We should respond to the Lord's goodness by staying true to our profession of faith. The confession or profession of faith referred to here is not simply an external declaration: external confession is necessary but there must also be commitment and a spirit of fidelity. A Christian needs to live up to all the demands of his calling; he should be single-minded and free from doubts.
15. "If we should some time find ourselves sorely tempted by our enemies, it will greatly help us to remember that we have on our side a high priest who is most compassionate, for He chose to experience all kinds of temptation" ("St. Pius V Catechism", IV, 15, 14). In order to understand and help a sinner to get over his falls and cope with temptation, one does not oneself need to have experience of being tempted; in fact, only one who does not sin knows the full force of temptation, because the sinner gives in prior to resisting to the end. Christ never yielded to temptation. He therefore experienced much more than we do (because we are often defeated by temptation) the full rigor and violence of those temptations which He chose to undergo as man at particular points in His life. Our Lord, then, allowed Himself to be tempted, in order to set us an example and prevent us from ever losing confidence in our ability to resist temptation with the help of grace (cf. notes on Matthew 4:1-11 and paragraph).
"There is no man", St. Jerome comments, "who can resist all tests except He who, made in our likeness, has experienced everything but sin" ("Comm. In Ioannam", II, 46). Christ's sinlessness, often affirmed in Sacred Scripture (Romans 8:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; John 8:46; 1 Peter 1:19; 2:21-24), follows logically from His being God and from His human integrity and holiness. At the same time Christ's weakness, which He chose to experience out of love for us, is a kind of invitation from God to pray for strength to resist sin. "Let us adore Christ who emptied Himself to assume the condition of a slave. He was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. Let us turn in prayer to Him, saying, 'You took on our human weakness. Be the eyes of the blind, the strength of the weak, the friend of the lonely'" ("Liturgy of the Hours", Christmas Day, Evening Prayer I).
16. The "throne" is the symbol of Christ's authority; He is King of the living and the dead. But here it speaks of a "throne of grace": through the salvation worked by Christ, the compassionate Priest and Intercessor, God's throne has become a judgment seat from which mercy flows. Christ has initiated for mankind a time of forgiveness and sanctification in which He does not yet manifest His position as Sovereign Judge. Christ's priesthood did not cease to operate with His death; it continues in Heaven, where He forever pleads on our behalf, and therefore we should have confident recourse to Him.
"What security should be ours in considering the mercy of the Lord! 'He has but to cry for redress, and I, the Ever-Merciful, will listen to him' (Exodus 22:27). It is an invitation, a promise that He will not fail to fulfill. 'Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, and we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need'. The enemies of our sanctification will be rendered powerless if the mercy of God goes before us. And if through our own fault and human weakness we should fall, the Lord comes to our aid and raises us up" (St J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 7).
7-9. This brief summary of Christ's life stresses his perfect obedience to the Father's will, his intense prayer and his sufferings and redemptive death. As in the hymn to Christ in Philippians 2:6-11, the point is made that Christ set his power aside and, despite his being the only-begotten Son of God, out of obedience chose to die on the cross. His death was a true self-offering expressed in that "loud voice" when he cried out to the Father just before he died, "into thy hands I commit my spirit" (Lk 23:46). But although Jesus' obedience was most obvious on Calvary, it was a constant feature of "the days of his flesh": he obeyed Mary and Joseph, seeing in them the authority of the heavenly Father; he was obedient to political and religious authorities; and he always obeyed the Father, identifying himself with him to such a degree that he could say, "I have glorified thee on earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do [...]. All mine are thine and thine are mine" (Jn 17:4, 10).
The passage also points to Jesus prayer, the high point of which occurred in Gethsemane on the eve of his passion. The reference to "loud cries and supplications" recalls the Gospel account of his suffering: "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground" (Lk 22:44).
Hebrews 5:7-9 is probably referring not so much to his prayer in the Garden, still less to any prayer of Christ asking to be delivered from death, but to our Lord's constant prayer for the salvation of mankind. "When the Apostle speaks of these supplications and cries of Jesus," St John Chrysostom comments, "he does not mean prayers which he made on his own behalf but prayers for those who would later believe in him. And, due to the fact that the Jews did not yet have the elevated concept of Christ that they ought to have had, St Paul says that 'he was heard', just as the Lord himself told his disciples, to console them, 'If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I' [...]. Such was the respect and reverence shown by the Son, that God the Father could not but take note and heed his Son and his prayers" ("Hom. on Heb", 11).
7. "In the days of his flesh", a reference to the Incarnation. "Flesh" is synonymous with mortal life; this is a reference to Christ's human nature--as in the prologue to St John's Gospel (elf. Jn 1:14) and many other places (Heb 2:14; Gal 2:20; Phil 1:22-24; 1 Pet 4:1-2) including where mention is made of Jesus being a servant and capable of suffering (cf. Phil 2:8; Mt 20:27-28). Jesus' human nature "in the days of his flesh" is quite different from his divine nature and also from his human nature after its glorification (cf. 1 Cor 15:50). "It must be said that the word 'flesh' is occasionally used to refer to the weakness of the flesh, as it says in 1 Cor 15:50: 'flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God'. Christ had a weak and mortal flesh. Therefore it says in the text, 'In the days of his flesh', referring to when he was living in a flesh which seemed to be like sinful flesh, but which was sinless" (St Thomas Aquinas, "Commentary on Heb", 5, 1). So, this text underlines our Lord's being both Victim and Priest.
"Prayers and supplications": very fitting in a priest. The two words mean much the same; together they are a form of words which used to be employed in petitions to the king or some important official. The plural tells us that there were lots of these petitions. The writer seems to have in mind the picture of the Redeemer who "going a little farther fell on his face and prayed, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Mt 26:39). St Thomas comments on this description of Christ's prayer as follows: "His action was indeed one of offering prayers and supplications, that is, a spiritual sacrifice: that was what Christ offered. It speaks of prayers in the sense of petitions because 'The prayer of a righteous man has great power' (Jas 5:16); and it speaks of supplications to emphasize the humility of the one who is praying, who falls on his knees, as we see happening in the case of him who 'fell on his face and prayed' (Mt 26:39)" ("Commentary on Heb", 5, 1).
To emphasize the force of Christ's prayer, the writer adds, "with loud cries and tears". According to rabbinical teaching, there were three degrees of prayer, each stronger than the last--supplications, cries and tears. Christian tradition has always been touched by the humanity of the Redeemer as revealed in the way he prays. "Everything that is being said here may be summed up in one word--humility: that stops the mouths of those who blaspheme against Christ's divinity saying that it is completely inappropriate for a God to act like this. For, on the contrary, the Godhead laid it down that [Christ's] human nature should suffer all this, in order to show us the extreme to which he truly became incarnate and assumed a human nature, and to show us that the mystery of salvation was accomplished in a real and not an apparent or fictitious manner" (Theodoret of Cyrus, "Interpretatio Ep. ad Haebreos, ad loc."). Christ's prayer, moreover, teaches us that prayer must 1) be fervent and 2) involve interior pain. "Christ had both [fervor and pain], for the Apostle by mentioning 'tears' intends to show the interior groaning of him who weeps in this way [...]. But he did not weep on his own account: he wept for us, who receive the fruit of his passion" (St Thomas, "Commentary on Heb., ad loc.").
"He was heard for his godly fear." St John Chrysostom's commentary is very apposite: "'He gave himself up for our sins', he says in Gal 1:4; and elsewhere (cf. 1 Tim 2:6) he adds, 'He gave himself as a ransom for all'. What does he mean by this? Do you not see that he is speaking with humility of himself, because of his mortal flesh? And, nevertheless, because he is the Son, it says that he was heard for his godly fear" ("Hom. on Heb.", 8). It is like a loving contention between Father and Son. The Son wins the Father's admiration, so generous is his self-surrender.
And yet Christ's prayer did not seem to be heeded, for his Father God did not save him from ignominious death--the cup he had to drink—nor were all the Jews, for whom he prayed, converted. But it was only apparently so: in fact Christ's prayer was heard. It is true that, like every one, the idea of dying was repugnant to him, because he had a natural instinct to live; but, on the other hand, he wished to die through a deliberate and rational act of his will, hence in the course of the prayer, he said, "not my will, but thine, be done" (Lk 22:42). Similarly Christ wanted to save all mankind--but he wanted them to accept salvation freely (cf. "Commentary on Heb., ad loc.").
8. In Christ there are two perfect and complete natures and therefore two different levels of knowledge--divine knowledge and human knowledge. Christ's human knowledge includes 1 ) the knowledge that the blessed in heaven have, that is, the knowledge that comes form direct vision of the divine essence; 2) the knowledge with which God endowed man before original sin (infused knowledge); and 3) the knowledge which man acquires through experience. This last-mentioned knowledge could and in fact did increase (cf. Lk 2:52) in Christ's case. Christ's painful experience of the passion, for example, increased this last type of knowledge, which is why the verse says that Christ learned obedience through suffering. There was a Greek proverb which said, "Sufferings are lessons." Christ's teaching and example raise this positive view of suffering onto the supernatural level. "In 'suffering there is concealed' a particular 'power that draws a person interiorly close to Christ', a special grace [...]. A result of such a conversion is not only that the individual discovers the salvific meaning of suffering but above all that he becomes a completely new person. He discovers a new dimension, as it were, 'of his entire life and vocation'" (John Paul II, "Salvifici Doloris", 26).
In our Lord's case, his experience of suffering was connected with his generosity in obedience. He freely chose to obey even unto death (cf. Heb 10:5-9; Rom 5:19; Phil 2:8), consciously atoning for the first sin, a sin of disobedience. "In his suffering, sins are canceled out precisely because he alone as the only-begotten Son could take them upon himself, accept them 'with that love for the Father which overcomes' the evil of every sin; in a certain sense he annihilates this evil in the spiritual space of the relationship between God and humanity, and fills this space with good" ("Salvifici Doloris", 17). Christ "learned obedience" not in the sense that this virtue developed in him, for his human nature was perfect in its holiness, but in the sense that he put into operation the infused virtue his human soul already possessed. "Christ knew what obedience was from all eternity, but he learned obedience in practice through the severities he underwent particularly in his passion and death" (St Thomas Aquinas, "Commentary on Heb., ad loc.").
Christ's example of obedience is something we should copy. A Christian writer of the fifth century, Diadochus of Photike, wrote: "The Lord loved (obedience) because it was the way to bring about man's salvation and he obeyed his Father unto the cross and unto death; however, his obedience did not in any sense diminish his majesty. And so, having—by his obedience--dissolved man's disobedience, he chose to lead to blessed and immortal life those who followed the way of obedience" ("Chapters on Spiritual Perfection", 41).
9. Obviously Christ as God could not increase in perfection. Nor could his sacred humanity become any holier, for from the moment of his Incarnation he received the fullness of grace, that is, he had the maximum degree of holiness a man could have. In this connection Thomas Aquinas points out that Christ had union (that is, the personal union to the Son of God gratuitously bestowed on human nature): clearly this grace is infinite as the person of the Word is infinite. The other grace is habitual grace which, although it is received in a limited human nature, is yet infinite in its perfection because grace was conferred on Christ as the universal source of the justification of human nature (cf. "Summa Theologiae", III, q. 7, a. 11). In what sense, then, could Christ be "made perfect"? St Thomas provides the answer: Christ, through his passion, achieved a special glory—the impassibility and glorification of his body. Moreover, he attained the same perfections as we shall participate in when we are raised from the dead in glory, those of us who believe in him (cf. "Commentary on Heb., ad loc."). For this reason our Redeemer could exclaim before his death, "It is finished" (Jn 19:30)--referring not only to his own sacrifice but also to the fact that he had completely accomplished the redeeming atonement. Christ triumphed on the cross and attained perfection for himself and for others. In Hebrews the same verb is used for what is translated into English as "to be made perfect" and "to finish". Christ, moreover, by obeying and becoming a perfect victim, truly pleasing to the Father, is more perfectly positioned to perfect others. "Obedience" is essentially docility to what God asks of us and readiness to listen to him (cf. Rom 1:5; 16:26; 2 Cor 10:5; Heb 4:3). Christ's obedience is a source of salvation for us; if we imitate him we will truly form one body with him and he will be able to pass on to us the fullness of his grace.
"Now, when you find it hard to obey, remember your Lord: 'factus obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis": obedient even to accepting death, death on a cross!'" (St J. Escriva, "The Way", 628).
The Arrest of Jesus
 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples across the Kidron valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.  Now Judas who betrayed him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with his disciples.  So Judas, procuring a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.  Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall 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 he said to them, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground.  Again he asked them, "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 which he had spoken, "Of those whom thou gayest me I lost not one.'  Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's slave and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus.  Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?"
Jesus Before Annas and Caiaphas. Peter's Denials
 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews seized 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 given counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. As this disciple was known to the high priest, he entered the court of the high priest along with Jesus,  while Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the maid who kept the door, and brought Peter in.  The maid who kept the door said to Peter, "Are not you also one of this man's disciples?" He said, "I am not."  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 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 secretly.  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 this, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, "Is that how you answer the high priest?"  Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness to the wrong but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?  Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, "Are not you also one of his disciples? He denied it and said, "I am not."  0ne of the servants the high priest, a kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?  Peter again denied it; and at once the cock crowed.
The Trial before Pilate: Jesus is King
 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not enter the praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover.  So Pilate went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this man?"  They answered him, "If this man were not an evildoer, we would not have handed him over."  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 any man to death."  This was to fulfill the word which Jesus had spoken to show by what death he was to die.
 Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"  Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?"  Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?"  Jesus answered, "My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world."  Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice."  Pilate said to him, "'What is truth?"
After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again, and told them, "I find no crime in him.  But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover; will you have me release for you the King of the Jews?"  They cried out again, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber.
The Scourging at the Pillar and the Crowning with Thorns
 Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him.  And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and array him in a purple robe;  they came up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and struck him with their hands.  Pilate went out again, and said to them, "Behold, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no crime him."  So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!  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 crime in him."  The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God."  When Pilate heard these words, he was the more afraid;  he entered the praetorium again and said to Jesus, "Where are you from?" But Jesus gave no answer.  Pilate therefore said to him, "You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?"  Jesus answered him, "You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore he who delivered me to you has the greater sin."
Pilate Hands Jesus Over
 Upon this Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, "If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend; every one who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar."  When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at place called The Pavement, and in Hebrew, Gabbatha.  Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, "Here is 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."  Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.
The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus
 So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha.  There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.  Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."  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 then said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews."'  Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written."
 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom;  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, "They parted my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
 So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"  Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
 After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished said (to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst."  A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth.  When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said "It is finished"; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus' Side is Pierced. His Burial
 Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross of 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.  So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him;  but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.  But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.  He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth--that you also may believe.  For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, "Not a bone of him shall be broken."  And again another scripture says, "They shall look on him whom they have pierced."
 After this Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him leave. So he came and took away his body.  Nicodemus also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds' weight.  They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.  Now in the place where he was crucified there was garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one has ever been laid.  So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
1. The previous chapter, dealing as it did with the glory of the Son of God (cf. Jn 17:1, 4, 10,22,24), is a magnificent prologue to our Lord's passion and death, which St John presents as part of Christ's glorification: he emphasizes that Jesus freely accepted his death (14:31) and freely allowed himself to be arrested (18:4, 11). The Gospel shows our Lord's superiority over his judges (18:20-2 1) and accusers (19:8, 12); and his majestic serenity in the face of physical pain, which makes one more aware of the Redemption, the triumph of the Cross, than of Jesus' actual sufferings.
Chapters 18 and 19 cover the passion and death of our Lord--events so important and decisive that all the books of the New Testament deal with them, in some way or other. Thus, the Synoptic Gospels give us extensive accounts of what happened; in the Acts of the Apostles these events, together with the resurrection, form the core of the Apostles' preaching. St Paul explains the redemptive value of Jesus Christ's sacrifice, and the catholic epistles speak of his salvific death, as does the Apocalypse, where the Victor, enthroned in heaven, is the sacrificed Lamb, Jesus Christ. It should also be noted that whenever these sacred writings mention our Lord's death they go on to refer to his glorious resurrection.
St John's Gospel locates these events in five places. The first (18:1-12) is Gethsemane, where Jesus is arrested; after this (18:13-27) he is taken to the house of Annas, where the religious trial begins and Peter denies Jesus before the high priest's servants. The third scene is the praetorium (18:28-19:16), where Jesus is tried by the Roman procurator: St John gives an extensive account of this trial, highlighting the true character of Christ's kingship and his rejection by the Jews, who call for his crucifixion. He then goes on (19:17-37) to describe the events which occur after the procurator's unjust sentence; this scene centers on Calvary. St John then reports the burial of our Lord in the unused tomb near Calvary belonging to Joseph of Arimathea.
The climax of all these events is the glorification of Jesus, of which he himself had spoken (cf. Jn 17:1-5)----his resurrection and exaltation to his Father's side.
Here is Fray Luis de Granada's advice on how to meditate on the passion of our Lord: "There are five things we can reflect on when we think about the sacred passion. [...] First, we can incline our heart to sorrow and repentance for our sins; the passion of our Lord helps us do this because it is evident that everything he suffered he suffered on account of sins, so that if there were no sins in the world, there would have been no need for such painful reparation. Therefore, sins--yours and mine, like everyone else's--were the executioners who bound him and lashed him and crowned him with thorns and put him on the cross. So you can see how right it is for you to feel the enormity and malice of your sins, for it was these which really caused so much suffering, not because these sins required the Son of God to suffer but because divine justice chose to ask for such great atonement. "We have here excellent motives, not only to abhor sin but also to love virtues: we have the example of this Lord's virtues, which so clearly shine out during his sacred passion: we can follow these virtues and learn to imitate then especially his great humility, gentleness and silence, as well as the other virtues for this is one of the best and most effective ways of meditating on the sacred passion--the way of imitation.
"At other times we should fix our attention on the great good the Lord does us here, reflecting on how much he loved us and how much he gave us and how much it cost him to do so. [...] At other times it is good to focus our attention on knowledge of God, that is, to consider his great goodness, his mercy, his justice, his kindness, and particularly his ardent charity, which shines forth in the sacred passion as nowhere else. For, just as it is a greater proof of love to suffer evils on behalf of one's friend than to do good things for him, and God could do both [...], it pleased his divine goodness to assume a nature which could suffer evils, very great evils, so that man could be quite convinced of God's love and thereby be moved to love him who so loved man.
"Finally, at other times one can reflect [...] on the wisdom of God in choosing this manner of atoning for mankind: that is, making satisfaction for our sins, inflaming our charity, curing our pride, our greed and our love of comfort, and inclining our souls to the virtue of humility [...], abhorrence of sin and love for the Cross" ("Life of Jesus Christ", 15).
1-2. "When Jesus had spoken these words": this is a formula often used in the fourth Gospel to indicate a new episode linked with what has just been recounted (cf. Jn 2:12; 3:22; 5:1; 6:1; 13:21; etc.).
The Kidron (etymologically "turbid") was a brook which carried water only during rainy weather, it divided Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, on slopes of which lay the garden of Gethsemane (cf. Mt 26:32; Lk 21:37; 22:39). The distance from the Cenacle, where the Last Supper took place, to the garden of Gethsemane was little more than a kilometer.
3. Because Judea was occupied by Romans, there was a garrison stationed at Jerusalem--a cohort (600 men) quartered in the Antonia tower, under the authority of a tribune. In the Greek what is translated here as "a band of soldiers" is "the cohort", the name for the whole unit being used though only part is meant: it does not mean that 600 soldiers came out to arrest Jesus. Presumably the Jewish authorities, who had their own temple guard--referred to here as "officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees"--must have sought some assistance from the military. Judas' part consisted in leading the way to where Jesus was and identifying the man to be arrested.
4-9. Only the fourth Gospel reports this episode prior to Jesus' arrest, recalling the words of the Psalm: "Then my enemies will be turned back in the day when I call" (Ps 56:9). Our Lord's majesty is apparent: he surrenders himself freely and voluntarily. This does not, however, mean that the Jews involved are free from blame. St Augustine comments on this passage: "The persecutors, who came with the traitor to lay hold of Jesus, found him whom they sought and heard him say, 'I am he'. Why did they not lay hold of him but fell back to the ground? Because that was what he wished, who could do whatever he wished. Had he not allowed himself to be taken by them, they would have been unable to effect their plan, but neither would he have done what he came to do. They in their rage sought him to put him to death; but he also sought us by dying for us. Therefore, after he displayed his power to those who had no power to hold him, they did lay hands on him and by means of them, all unwitting, he did what he wanted to do" ("In Ioann. Evang.", 112, 3).
It is also moving to see how Jesus takes care of his disciples, even though he himself is in danger. He had promised that none of his own should perish except Judas Iscariot (cf. Jn 6:39; 17:12); although his promise referred to protecting them from eternal punishment, our Lord is also concerned about their immediate safety, for as yet they are not ready to face martyrdom.
10-11. Once again we see Peter's impetuosity and loyalty; he comes to our Lord's defense, risking his own life, but he still does not understand God' plans of salvation: he still cannot come to terms with the idea of Christ dying--just as he could not when Christ first foretold his passion (Mt 16:21-22). Our Lord does not accept Peter's violent defense: he refers back to what he said in his prayer in Gethsemane (cf. Mt 26:39), where he freely accepted his Father' will, giving himself up to his captors in order to accomplish the Redemption.
We should show reverence to God's will with the same docility and meekness as Jesus accepting his passion. "Stages: to be resigned to the will of God; to conform to the will of God; to want the will of God; to love the will of God" (St J. Escriva, "The Way", 774).
13-18. Jesus is brought to the house of Annas, who, although he was no longer high priest, still exercised great religious and political influence (cf. note on Lk 3:2). These two disciples, St Peter and the other disciple, probably John himself, are disconcerted; they do not know what to do, so they follow Jesus at a distance. Their attachment to him was not yet sufficiently supernatural; discouragement has displaced bravery and loyalty--and will soon lead to Peter's triple denial. However noble his feelings, a Christian will be unable to live up to the demands of his faith unless his life has a basis of deep piety.
19-21. During this first interrogation--preliminary to his later examination by the Sanhedrin (Lk 22:66-71)--Jesus lays stress on the fact that he has always acted openly: everyone has had an opportunity listen to him and to witness his miracles--so much so that at times he has been acclaimed as the Messiah (cf. Jn 12:12-19 and par.). The chief priests themselves have seen him in the temple and in the synagogues; but not wishing to see (cf. Jn 9:39-41), or believe (cf. Jn 10:37-38), they make out that his objectives are hidden and sinister.
22-23. Again, we see Jesus' serenity; he is master of the situation, as he is throughout his passion. To the unjust accusation made by this servant, our Lord replies meekly, but he does defend his conduct and points to the injustice with which he is being treated. This is how we should behave if people mistreat us in any way. Well-argued defense of one's rights is compatible with meekness and humility (cf. Acts 22:25).
25-27. Peter's denials are treated in less detail here than in the Synoptic Gospels, but here, as there, we can see the Apostles' humility and sincerity which lead them to tell about their own weaknesses. Peter's repentance is not referred to here, but it is implied by the mention of the cock crowing: the very brevity of St John's account points to the fact that this episode was well known to the early Christians. After the resurrection the full scope of Jesus' forgiveness will be evidenced when he confirms Peter in his mission as leader of the Apostles (cf. Jn 21:15-17).
"In this adventure of love we should not be depressed by our falls, not even by serious falls, if we go to God in the sacrament of Penance contrite an resolved to improve. A Christian is not a neurotic collector of good behavior reports. Jesus Christ our Lord was moved as much by Peter's repentance after his fall as by John's innocence and faithfulness. Jesus understands our weakness and draws us to himself on an inclined plane. He wants us to make an effort to climb a little each day" (St J. Escriva, "Christ is Passing By", '75).
28. The Synoptics also report the trial before Pilate, but St John gives a longer and more detailed account: in 18:28-19:16 is the center of the five parts of his account of the Passion (cf. note on 18:1). He describes the events that take place in the praetorium, highlighting the majesty of Christ as the messianic King, and also his rejection by the Jews.
There are seven stages here, marked by Pilate's entrances and exits. First (vv. 29-32) the Jews indict Jesus in a general way as an "evildoer". Then follows the dialogue between Pilate and Jesus (vv. 36-37) which culminates in Christ stating that he is a King, after which Pilate tries to save our Lord (vv. 38-40) by asking the people if they want him to release "the King of the Jews".
The centerpoint of the account (19:1-3) is the crowning with thorns, with the soldiers mockingly doing obeisance to Christ as "King of the Jews". After this our Lord is led out wearing the crown of thorns and draped in the purple robe (vv. 4- 7)--the shameful scene of the Ecce Homo. The Jews' accusation now turns on Jesus' making himself the Son of God. Once again, Pilate, in the praetorium again, speaks with Jesus (vv.8-12) and tries to probe further into his divine origin. The Jews then concentrate their hatred in a directly political accusation: "Everyone who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar" (Jn 19:12). Finally (vv. 13-16), in a very formal way, stating time and place, St John narrates how Pilate points to Jesus and says: "Here is your King!" And the leaders of the Jews openly reject him who was and is the genuine King spoken of by the prophets.
"Praetorium": this was the Roman name for the official residence of the praetor or of other senior officials in the provinces of the Empire, such as the procurator or prefect in Palestine. Pilate's usual residence was on the coast, in Caesarea, but he normally moved to Jerusalem for the major festival periods, bringing additional troops to be used in the event of civil disorder. In Jerusalem, at this time and later, the procurator resided in Herod's palace (in the western part of the upper city) or else in the Antonia tower, a fortress backing onto the northeastern corner of the temple esplanade. It is not known for certain which of these two buildings was the praetorium mentioned in the Gospel; it was more likely the latter.
"So that they might not be defiled": Jewish tradition at the time ("Mishnah"; "Ohalot" treatise 7, 7) laid down that anyone who entered a Gentile or pagan house incurred seven days' legal defilement (cf. Acts 10:28); such defilement would have prevented them from celebrating the Passover. It is surprising that the chief priests had a scruple of this sort given their criminal inclinations against Jesus. Once more our Lord's accusation of them is seen to be well founded: "You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel" (Mt 23:24).
29-32. St John has omitted part of the interrogation which took place in the house of Caiaphas and which is reported in the Synoptics (Mt 26:57-66 and par.), which tell us that the meeting at Caiaphas' terminated with Jesus hem declared deserving of death for the blasphemy of proclaiming himself the Son of God (cf. Mt 26:65-66). Under the Law of Moses blasphemy was punishable by stoning (cf. Lev 24:16); but they do not proceed to stone him--which the certainly could have done, even though the Romans were in control: they were ready to stone the adulterous woman (cf.Jn 8:1-11) and a short time later they did stone St Stephen (cf. Acts 7:54-60)--because they wanted to bring the people along with them, and they knew that many of them regarded Jesus a Prophet and Messiah (cf. Mt 24:45-46; Mk 12:12; Lk 20:19). Not daring to stone him, they will shrewdly manage to turn a religious charge into a politics question and have the authority of the Empire brought to bear on their side they preferred to denounce Jesus to the procurator as a revolutionary who plotted against Caesar by declaring himself to be the Messiah and King of the Jews; by acting in this way they avoided risking the people's wrath and ensured that Jesus would be condemned by the Roman authorities to death by crucifixion.
Our Lord had foretold a number of times that he would die in this way (cf. Jn 3:14; 8:28; 12:32-33); as St Paul later put it, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, 'Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree"' (Gal 3:13; cf. Deut 21:23).
33-34. There is no onus on Pilate to interfere in religious questions, but because the accusation levelled against Jesus had to do with politics and public order, he begins his interrogation naturally by examining him on the main charge: "Are you the King of the Jews?"
By replying with another question, Jesus is not refusing to answer: he wishes to make quite clear, as he has always done, that his mission is a spiritual one. And really Pilate's was not an easy question to answer, because, to a Gentile, a king of the Jews meant simply a subverter of the Empire; whereas, to a Jewish nationalist, the King-Messiah was a politico-religious liberator who would obtain their freedom from Rome. The true character of Christ's messiahship completely transcends both these concepts--as Jesus explains to the procurator, although he realizes how enormously difficult it is for Pilate to understand what Christ's Kingship really involves.
35-36. After the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and the fish, Jesus refused to be proclaimed king because the people were thinking in terms of an earthly kingdom (cf. Jn 6:15). However, Jesus did enter Jerusalem in triumph, and he did accept acclamation as King-Messiah. Now, in the passion, he acknowledges before Pilate that he is truly a King, making it clear that his kingship is not an earthly one. Thus, "those who expected the Messiah to have visible temporal power were mistaken. 'The kingdom of God does not mean food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit' (Rom 14:17). Truth and justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. That is the kingdom of Christ: the divine activity which saves men and which will reach its culmination when history ends and the Lord comes from the heights of paradise finally to judge men" (St J. Escriva, "Christ is Passing By", 180).
37. This is what his kingship really is: his kingdom is "the kingdom of Truth and Life, the kingdom of Holiness and Grace, the kingdom of Justice, Love and Peace" (Preface of the Mass of Christ the King). Christ reigns over those who accept and practise the truth revealed by him--his Father's love for the world (Jn 3:16; 1 Jn 4:9). He became man to make this truth known and to enable men to accept it. And so, those who recognize Christ's kingship and sovereignty accept his authority, and he thus reigns over them in an eternal and universal kingdom.
For its part, "the Church, looking to Christ who bears witness to the truth, must always and everywhere ask herself, and in a certain sense also contemporary 'world', how to make good emerge from man, how to liberate the dynamism of the good that is in man, in order that it may be stronger than evil, than any moral, social or other evil" (John Paul II, "General Audience", February 1979).
"If we [Christians] are trying to have Christ as our king we must consistent. We must start by giving him our heart. Not to do that and still talk about the kingdom of Christ would be completely hollow. There would be no real Christian substance in our behavior. We would be making an outward show of a faith which simply did not exist We would be misusing God's name to human advantage. [...] If we let Christ reign in our soul, we will not become authoritarian. Rather we will serve everyone. How l like that word: service! To serve my king and, through him, all those who have been redeemed by his blood. I really wish we Christians knew how to serve, for only by serving can we know and love Christ and make him known and loved" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ is Passing By", 181-182).
By his death and resurrection, Jesus shows that the accusations laid against him were based on lies: it was he who was telling the truth, not his judges and accusers, and God confirms the truth of Jesus--the truth of his words, of deeds, of his revelation--by the singular miracle of his resurrection. To men Christ's kingship may seem paradoxical: he dies, yet he lives for ever; he is defeated and is crucified, yet he is victorious. "When Jesus Christ him appeared as a prisoner before Pilate's tribunal and was interrogated by him...did he not answer: 'For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth'? It was as if with these words [...] he was once more confirming what he had said earlier: 'You will know the truth, and truth will make you free'. In the course of so many centuries, of so many generations, from the time of the Apostles on, is it not often Jesus Christ himself that has made an appearance at the side of people judged for the sake of truth? And has he not gone to death with people condemned for the sake of truth? Does he ever cease to be the continuous spokesman and advocate for person who lives 'in spirit and truth'? (cf. Jn 4:23). Just as he does not cease to be it before the Father, he is it also with regard to the history of man" (J Paul II, "Redemptor Hominis", 12).
38-40. The outcome of the interrogation is that Pilate becomes convinced of Jesus' innocence (cf. Jn 19:4, 12). He probably realizes that the accusations made against Jesus were really an internal matter in which the Jews were trying to involve him; but the Jewish authorities are very irate. It is not easy for him to find away out. He tries to do so by making concessions: first, he has recourse to a passover privilege, offering them the choice between a criminal and Jesus, but this does not work; so he looks for other ways to save him, and here also he fails. His cowardice and indecision cause him to yield to pressure and commit the injustice of condemning to death a man he knows to be innocent.
"The mystery of innocent suffering is one of the most obscure points on the entire horizon of human wisdom; and here it is affirmed in the most flagrant way. But before we uncover something of this problem, there already grows up in us an unrestrained affection for the innocent one who suffers, for Jesus, [...] and for all innocent people--whether they be young or old--who are also suffering, and whose pain we cannot explain. The way of the cross leads us to meet the first person in a sorrowful procession of innocent people who suffer. And this first blameless and suffering person uncovers for us in the end the secret of his passion. It is a sacrifice" (Paul VI, "Address on Good Friday", 12 April 1974).
1-3. Christ's prophecy is fulfilled to the letter: the Son of Man "will be delivered to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon; they will scourge him and kill him, and on the third day he will rise" (Lk 18:32f; cf. Mt 20:18f).
Scourging was one of the most severe punishments permitted under Roman law. The criminal was draped over a pillar or other form of support, his naked back exposed to the lash or "flagellum". Scourging was generally used as a preliminary to crucifixion to weaken the criminal and thereby hasten his death.
Crowning with thorns was not an official part of the punishment; it was an initiative of the soldiers themselves, a product of their cruelty and desire to mock Jesus. On the stone pavement in the Antonia tower some drawings have been found which must have been used in what was called the "king game"; dice were thrown to pick out a mock king among those condemned, who was subjected to taunting before being led off for crucifixion.
St John locates this episode at the center of his narrative of the events in praetorium. He thereby highlights the crowning with thorns as the point which Christ's kingship is at its most patent: the soldiers proclaim him as King of the Jews only in a sarcastic way (of. Mk 15:15, 16-19), but the evangelist gives us to understand that he is indeed the King.
5. Wearing the insignia of royalty, Christ, despite this tragic parody, projects the majesty of the King of Kings. In Rev 5:12 St John will say: "Worth is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!"
"Imagine that divine face: swollen by blows, covered in spittle, torn by thorns, furrowed with blood, here fresh blood, there ugly dried blood. And, since the sacred Lamb had his hands tied, he could not use them to wipe away the blood running into his eyes, and so those two luminaries of heaven were eclipsed and almost blinded and made mere pieces of flesh. Finally, so figured was he that one could not make out who he was; he scarcely seemed human; he had become an altarpiece depicting suffering, painted by those cruel artists and their evil president, producing this pitiful figure to plead his before his enemies" (Fray Luis de Granada, "Life of Jesus Christ", 24).
6-7. When Pilate hears the Jews accuse Jesus of claiming to be the Son of God, he grows still more alarmed: his wife has already unnerved him by sending him a message, after a dream, not to have anything to do with this "righteous man". But the shouting (v. 12) orchestrated by the Jewish authorities pressurizes him into agreeing to condemn Jesus.
Although technically Jesus is crucified for supposedly committing a political crime (cf. note on Jn 18:29-32), in fact it is on clearly religious grounds that he is sent to death.
8-11. Pilate is impressed by Jesus' silence, by his not defending himself, and when the procurator says that he has power to release him or to condemn him, our Lord then says something quite unexpected--that all power on earth comes from God. This means that in the last analysis even if people talk about the sovereignty of the king or of the people, such authority is never absolute; it is only relative, being subject to the absolute sovereignty of God: hence no human law can be just, and therefore binding in conscience, if it does not accord with divine law.
"He who delivered me"--a reference to all those who have contrived our Lord's death, that is, Judas, Caiaphas, the Jewish leaders, etc. (cf. 18:30-35). They are the ones that really sent Christ to the cross; but this does not exonerate Pontius Pilate from blame.
13. "The Pavement", in Greek "Iithostrotos", literally a "pavement", "flagged expanse", therefore a yard or plaza paved with flags. The Hebrew word "Gabbatha" is not the equivalent of the Greek "lithostrotos"; it means "height" or "eminence". But both words refer to the same place; however, its precise location is uncertain due to doubts about where the praetorium was located: cf. note on Jn 18:28.
Grammatically, the Greek could be translated as follows: "Pilate... brought Jesus out and sat him down on the judgment seat": in which case the evangelist implies that Pilate was ridiculing the Jewish leaders by a mock enthronement of the "King of the Jews". This would fit in with Pilate's attitude towards the Jewish leaders from this point onwards (vv. 14-22) and with the purpose of the inspired writer, who would see in this the enthronement of Christ as King.
14. "The day of Preparation", the Parasceve. The sixth hour began at midday. Around this time all leavened bread was removed from the houses and replaced by unleavened bread for the paschal meal (cf. Ex 12:15ff), and the lamb was officially sacrificed in the temple. St John notes that this was the time at which Jesus was condemned, thereby underlying the coincidence between the time of the death sentence and the time the lamb was sacrificed: Christ is the new Paschal Lamb; as St Paul says (cf. 1 Cor 5:7), "Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed".
There is some difficulty in reconciling what St John says about the sixth hour, with the information given in Mark 15:25 about Jesus being crucified at the third hour. Various explanations are offered, the best being that Mark is referring to the end of the third hour and John to the beginning of the sixth hour both would then be talking of around midday.
15. The history of the Jewish people helps us understand the tragic paradox of the attitude of the Jewish authorities at this point. The Jews were very conscious all along of being the people of God. For example, they proudly asserted that they had no Father but God (cf. Jn 8:4). In the Old Testament Yahweh is the true King of Israel (cf. Deut 33:5; Num 23:21; 1 Kings 22:19; Is 6:5); when they wanted to copy the neighboring peoples and asked Samuel for a king (cf. I Sam 8:5. 20), Samuel resisted, because Israel had only one absolute sovereign, Yahweh (1 Sam 8:6-9). But eventually God gave in to their request and himself designated who should be king over his people. His first choice, Saul, was given sacred anointing, as were David and his successors. This rite of anointing showed that the Israelite king was God's vicar. When the kings failed to meet the people's expectations, they increasingly yearned for the messianic king, the descendant or "Son" of David, the Anointed "par excellence" or Messiah, who would rule his people, liberate them from their enemies and lead them to rule the world (cf. 2 Sam 7:16; Ps 24:7; 43:5; etc.). For centuries they strove heroically for this ideal, rejecting foreign domination.
During Christ's time also they opposed Rome and Herod, whom, not being a Jew, they regarded as an illegitimate king. However, at this point in the Passion, they hypocritically accept the Roman emperor as their true and only king. They also reject the "easy yoke" of Christ (cf. Mt 11:30) and bring the full weight of Rome down upon him.
"They themselves submitted to the punishment; therefore, the Lord handed them over. Thus, because they unanimously rejected God's government, the Lord let them be brought down through their own condemnation: for, rejecting the dominion of Christ, they brought upon themselves that of Caesar" (St John Chrysostom, "Hom. on St John", 83).
A similar kind of tragedy occurs when people who have been baptized and therefore have become part of the new people of God, throw off the "easy yoke" of Christ's sovereignty by their obstinacy in sin and submit to the terrible tyranny of the devil (cf. 2 Pet 2:21).
17. "The place of a skull" or Calvary seems to have got its name from the fact that it was shaped like a skull or head.
St Paul points to the parallelism that exists between Adam's disobedience and Christ's obedience (cf. Rom 5:12). On the feast of the Triumph of the Cross the Church sings "where life was lost, there life has been restored", to show how, just as the devil won victory by the tree of paradise, so he was overpowered by Christ on the tree of the Cross.
St John is the only evangelist who clearly states that Jesus carried his own cross; the other three mention that Simon of Cyrene helped to carry it. See note on Mt 27:31 and Lk 23:26.
Christ's decisiveness in accepting the cross is an example which we should follow in our daily life: "You yourself must decide of your own free will to take up the cross; otherwise, your tongue may say that you are imitating Christ, but your actions will belie your words. That way, you will never get to know the Master intimately, or love him truly. It is really important that we Christians convince ourselves of this. We are not walking with our Lord unless we are spontaneously depriving ourselves of many things that our whims, vanity, pleasure or self-interest clamor for" (St J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 129).
As Simeon had prophesied, Jesus would be a "sign that is spoken against" (Lk 2:34)--a standard raised on high which leaves no room for indifference, demanding that every man decide for or against him and his cross: "he was going therefore to the place where he was to be crucified, bearing his own Cross. An extraordinary spectacle: to impiety, something to jeer at; to piety a great mystery. [...] Impiety looks on and laughs at a king bearing, instead of a scepter, the wood of his punishment; piety looks on and sees the King bearing that cross for himself to be fixed on, a cross which would thereafter shine on the brow of kings; an object of contempt in the eyes of the impious, but something in which hereafter the hearts of the saints should glorify, as St Paul would later say, But God forbid that I should glory; save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (St Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 117, 3).
18. Knowing what crucifixion in ancient times entailed will help us understand much better the extent of the humiliation and suffering Jesus bore for love of us. Crucifixion was a penalty reserved for slaves, and applied to the most serious crimes; it was the most horrific and painful form of death possible; it was also an exemplary public punishment and therefore was carried out in a public place, with the body of the criminal being left exposed for days afterwards. These words of Cicero show how infamous a punishment it was: "That a Roman citizen should be bound is an abuse; that he be lashed is a crime; that he be put to death is virtually parricide; what, then, shall I say, if he be hung on a cross? There is no word fit to describe a deed so horrible" ("In Verrem", II, 5,66).
A person undergoing crucifixion died after a painful agony involving loss of blood, fever caused by his wounds, thirst, and asphyxiation, etc. Sometimes the executioners hastened death by breaking the person's legs or piercing him with a lance, as in our Lord's case. This helps us understand better what St Paul says to the Philippians about Christ's humiliation on the Cross: "he emptied himself, taking the form of a servant [or slave], being born in the likeness of men... ; he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross (Phil 2:7-8).
St John says little about the other two people being crucified, perhaps because the Synoptic Gospels had already spoken about them (see notes on Lk 23:39-43).
19-22. The "title" was the technical term then used in Roman law to indicate the grounds on which the person was being punished. It was usually written on a board prominently displayed, summarizing the official document which was forwarded to the legal archives in Rome. This explains why, when the chief priests ask Pilate to change the wording of the inscription, the procurator firmly refuses to do so: the sentence, once dictated, was irrevocable: that is what he means when he says, "What I have written I have written." In the case of Christ, this title written in different languages proclaims his universal kingship, for it could be read by people from all over the world who had come to celebrate the Passover--thus confirming our Lord's words: "I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world" (Jn 18:37).
In establishing the feast of Christ the King, Pope Pius XI explained: "He is said to reign 'in the minds of men', both by reason of the keenness of his intellect and the extent of his knowledge, and also because he is Truthitself and it is from him that truth must be obediently received by all mankind. He reigns, too, in the wills of men, for in him the human will was perfectly and entirely obedient to the holy will of God, and further by his grace and inspiration he so subjects our free will as to incite us to the most noble endeavors. He is King of our hearts, too, by reason of his 'charity which surpasseth all knowledge', and his mercy and kindness which draw all men to him; for there never was, nor ever will be a man loved so much and so universally as Jesus Christ" (Pius XI, "Quas Primas").
23-24. And so the prophecy of Psalm 22 is fulfilled which describes accurately the sufferings of the Messiah: "They divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots" (Ps 22:19). The Fathers have seen this seamless tunic a symbol of the unity of the Church (cf. St Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 118,4).
25. Whereas the Apostles, with the exception of St John, abandon Jesus in the hour of his humiliation, these pious women, who had followed him during his public life (cf. Lk 8:2-3) now stay with their Master as he dies on the cross (cf. note on Mt 27:55-56).
Pope John Paul II explains that our Lady's faithfulness was shown in four ways: first, in her generous desire to do all that God wanted of her (cf. Lk 1:34); second, in her total acceptance of God's Will (cf. Lk 1:38); third, in the consistency between her life and the commitment of faith which she made; an finally, in her withstanding this test. "And only a consistency that lasts throughout the whole of life can be called faithfulness. Mary's 'fiat' in the Annunciation finds its fullness in the silent 'fiat' that she repeats at the foot of the Cross" ("Homily in Mexico Cathedral", 26 January 1979).
The Church has always recognized the dignity of women and their important role in salvation history. It is enough to recall the veneration which from the earliest times the Christian people have had for the Mother of Christ, the Woman "par excellence" and the most sublime and most privileged creature ever to come from the hands of God. Addressing a special message to women, the Second Vatican Council said, among other things: "Women in trial, who stand upright at the foot of the cross like Mary, you who so often in history have given to men the strength to battle unto the very end and to give witness to the point of martyrdom, aid them now still once more to retain courage in their great undertakings, while at the same time maintaining patience and an esteem for humble beginnings" (Vatican II, "Message to Women", 8 December 1965).
26-27. "The spotless purity of John's whole life makes him strong before the Cross. The other apostles fly from Golgotha: he, with the Mother of Christ, remains. Don't forget that purity strengthens and invigorates the character" (St. J. Escriva, "The Way", 144).
Our Lord's gesture in entrusting his Blessed Mother to the disciple's care, has a dual meaning (see p. 19 above and pp. 35ff). For one thing it expresses his filial love for the Virgin Mary. St Augustine sees it as a lesson Jesus gives us on how to keep the fourth commandment: "Here is a lesson in morals. He is doing what he tells us to do and, like a good Teacher, he instructs his own by example, that it is the duty of good children to take care of their parents; as though the wood on which his dying members were fixed were also the chair of the teaching Master" (St Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 119, 2).
Our Lord's words also declare that Mary is our Mother: "The Blessed Virgin also advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, associating herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim who was born of her. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross as a mother to his disciple" (Vatican 11, "Lumen Gentium", 58).
All Christians, who are represented in the person of John, are children of Mary. By giving us his Mother to be our Mother, Christ demonstrates his love for his own to the end (cf. Jn 13:1). Our Lady's acceptance of John as her son shows her motherly care for us: "the Son of God, and your Son, from the Cross indicated a man to you, Mary, and said: 'Behold, your son' (Jn 19:26). And in that man he entrusted to you every person, he entrusted everyone to you. And you, who at the moment of the Annunciation, concentrated the whole program of your life in those simple words: 'Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word' (Lk 1:38): embrace everyone, draw close to everyone, seek everyone out with motherly care. Thus is accomplished what the last Council said about your presence in the mystery of Christ and the Church. In a wonderful way you are always found in the mystery of Christ, your only Son, because you are present wherever men and women, his brothers and sisters, are present, wherever the Church is present" (John Paul II, "Homily in the Basilica of Guadalupe", 27 January 1979).
"John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, brought Mary into his home, into his life. Spiritual writers have seen these words of the Gospel as an invitation to all Christians to bring Mary into their lives. Mary certainly wants us to invoke her, to approach her confidently, to appeal to her as our mother, asking her to 'show that you are our mother"' (St J. Escriva, "Christ is Passing By", 140).
John Paul II constantly treats our Lady as his Mother. In bidding farewell to the Virgin of Czestochowa he prayed in this way: "Our Lady of the Bright Mountain, Mother of the Church! Once more I consecrate myself to you 'in your maternal slavery of love'. "Totus tuus"! I am all yours! I consecrate to you the whole Church--everywhere and to the ends of the earth! I consecrate to you humanity; I consecrate to you all men and women, my brothers and sisters. All peoples and all nations. I consecrate to you Europe and all the continents. I consecrate to you Rome and Poland, united, through your servant, by a fresh bond of love. Mother, accept us! Mother, do not abandon us! Mother, be our guide!" ("Farewell Address" at Jasna Gora Shrine, 6 June 1979).
28-29. This was foretold in the Old Testament: "They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink" (Ps 69:21). This does not mean that they gave Jesus vinegar to increase his suffering; it was customary to offer victims of crucifixion water mixed with vinegar to relieve their thirst. In addition to the natural dehydration Jesus was suffering, we can see in his thirst an _expression of his burning desire to do his Father's will and to save a souls: "On the Cross he cried out "Sitio"!, 'I thirst'. He thirsts for us, for our love, for our souls and for all the souls we ought to be bringing to him along the way of the Cross, which is the way to immortality and heavenly glory" (St. J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 202).
30. Jesus, nailed on the cross, dies to atone for all the sins and vileness of man. Despite his sufferings he dies serenely, majestically, bowing his head now that he has accomplished the mission entrusted to him. "Who can sleep when he wishes to, as Jesus died when he wished to? Who can lay aside his clothing when he wishes to, as he put off the flesh when he chose to?...What must be hope or fear to find his power when he comes in judgment, if it can be seen to be so great at the moment of his death!" (St Augustine, "ln loann. Evang.", 119, 6).
"Let us meditate on our Lord, wounded from head to foot out of love for us. Using a phrase which approaches the truth, although it does not express its full reality, we can repeat the words of an ancient writer: 'The body of Christ is a portrait in pain'. At the first sight of Christ bruised and broken--just a lifeless body taken down from the cross and given to his Mother--at the sight of Jesus destroyed in this way, we might have thought he had failed utterly. Where are the crowds that once followed him, where is the kingdom he foretold? But this is victory, not defeat. We are nearer the resurrection than ever before; we are going to see the glory which he has won with his obedience" (St J. Escriva, "Christ is Passing By", 95).
31-33. Jesus dies on the Preparation day of the Passover—the Parasceve--that is, the eve, when the paschal lambs were officially sacrificed in the Temple. By stressing this, the evangelist implies that Christ's sacrifice took the place of the sacrifices of the Old Law and inaugurated the New Alliance in his blood (cf. Heb 9:12).
The Law of Moses required that the bodies should be taken down before nightfall (Deut 21:22-23); this is why Pilate is asked to have their legs broken, to bring on death and allow them to be buried before it gets dark, particularly since the next day is the feast of the Passover.
On the date of Jesus' death see "The Dates of the Life of our Lord Jesus Christ" in "The Navarre Bible: St Mark" pp. 48ff.
34. The outflow of blood and water has a natural explanation. Probably the water was an accumulation of liquid in the lungs due to Jesus' intense sufferings.
As on other occasions, the historical events narrated in the fourth Gospel are laden with meaning. St Augustine and Christian tradition see the sacrament and the Church itself flowing from Jesus' open side: "Here was opened wide the door of life, from which the sacraments of the Church have flowed out, without which there is no entering in unto life which is true life....Here the second Adam with bowed head slept upon the cross, that thence a wife might be formed of him, flowing from his side while he slept. 0 death, by which the dead come back to life! is there anything purer than this blood, any wound more healing!" (St Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 120, 2).
The Second Vatican Council, for its part, teaches: "The Church--that is, the kingdom of Christ--already present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world. The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 3).
"Jesus on the cross, with his heart overflowing with love for men, is such an eloquent commentary on the value of people and things that words only get in the way. People, their happiness and their life, are so important that the very Son of God gave himself to redeem and cleanse and raise them up" (St. J. Escriva, "Christ is Passing By", 165).
35. St John's Gospel presents itself as a truthful witness of the events of our Lord's life and of their spiritual and doctrinal significance. From the words of John the Baptist at the outset of Jesus' public ministry (1:19) to the final paragraph of the Gospel (21:24-25), everything forms part of a testimony to the sublime phenomenon of the Word of Life made Man. Here the evangelist explicitly states that he was an eyewitness (cf. also Jn 20:30-31; 1 Jn 1:1-3).
36. This quotation refers to the precept of the Law that no bone of the paschal lamb should be broken (cf. Ex 12:46): again St John's Gospel is telling, us that Jesus is the true paschal Lamb who takes away the sins of the world (cf. Jn 1:29).
37. The account of the Passion concludes with a quotation from Zechariah (12:10) foretelling the salvation resulting from the mysterious suffering and death of a redeemer. The evangelist thereby evokes the salvation wrought by Jesus Christ who, nailed to the cross, has fulfilled God's promise of redemption (cf. Jn 12:32). Everyone who looks upon him with faith receives the effects of his Passion. Thus, the good thief, looking at Christ on the cross, recognized his kingship, placed his trust in him and received the promise of heaven (Cf. Lk 23:42-43).
In the liturgy of Good Friday the Church invites us to contemplate and adore the cross: "Behold the wood of the Cross, on which was nailed the salvation of the world", and from the earliest times of the Church the Crucifix has been the sign reminding Christians of the supreme point of Christ's love, when he died on the Cross and freed us from eternal death.
"Your Crucifix— As a Christian, you should always carry your Crucifix with you. And place it on your desk. And kiss it before going to bed and when you wake up: and when your poor body rebels against your soul, kiss it again" (St. J. Escriva, "The Way", 302).
38-39. Our Lord's sacrifice produces its firstfruits: people who were previously afraid now boldly confess themselves disciples of Christ and attend to his dead Body with exquisite refinement and generosity. The evangelist mentions that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus used a mixture of myrrh and aloes in lavish amount. Myrrh is a very expensive aromatic resin, and aloes a juice extracted from the leaves of certain plants. They were used as an expression of veneration for the dead.
40. The Fourth Gospel adds to the information on the burial given by the Synoptics. Sacred Scripture did not specify what form burial should take, with the result that the Jews followed the custom of the time. After piously taking our Lord's body down from the cross, they probably washed it carefully (cf. Acts 9:37), perfumed it and wrapped it in a linen cloth, covering the head with a sudarium or napkin (cf. Jn 20:5-6). But because of the imminence of the sabbath rest, they were unable to anoint the body with balsam, which the women planned to do once the sabbath was past (cf. Mk 16:1; Lk 24:1). Jesus himself, when he praised Mary for anointing him at Bethany, had foretold in a veiled way that his body would not be embalmed (cf. note on Jn 12:7).
41. Many of the Fathers have probed the mystic meaning of the garden--usually to point out that Christ, who was arrested in the Garden of Olives and buried in another garden, has redeemed us superabundantly from that first sin which was committed also in a garden, the Garden of Paradise They comment that Jesus' being the only one to be buried in this new tomb meant that there would be no doubt that it was he and not another that rose from the dead. St Augustine also observes that "just as in the womb of the Virgin Mary none was conceived before him, none after him, so in this tomb none before him, none after was buried" ("In Ioann. Evang.". 120, 5).
Among the truths of Christian doctrine to do with Christ's death and burial are these: "one, that the body of Christ was in no degree corrupted in the sepulchre, according to the prediction of the Prophet, 'Thou wilt not give thy holy one to see corruption' (Ps 16:10; Acts 2:31); the other... that burial, passion and death apply to Christ Jesus not as God but as man, yet they are also attributed to God, since, as is clear, they are predicated with propriety of that Person who is at once perfect God and perfect man" ("St Pius V Catechism", I 5, 9).
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