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The Book of Jesus

Chapter Eighteen

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Copyright © 1997

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The Garden Of Gethsemane

NARRATOR.
They crossed the Kedron Valley and came to a same estate called Gethsemane and there was a garden there. When they reached the place, he went into it with his disciples and said to them:
JESUS.
Stay here while I go over there to pray.
NARRATOR.
He then took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, James and John with him and a sudden fear, sadness and great distress came over him and he said to them:
JESUS.
My soul is sorrowful to the point of death, stay here and watch with me. Pray that you aren't put to the test.
NARRATOR.
He then withdrew from them a little further, about a stone's throw. He threw himself to the ground and knelt. Falling to his face he prayed that if it were possible, this hour might pass him by.
JESUS.
My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Abba, Father; everything is possible for you. If you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let not my will but you will be done.
NARRATOR.
An angel then appeared to him from heaven to strengthen him. In his anguish he prayed even more earnestly and sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. When he got up from prayer he came back to the disciples and found them sleeping from sheer grief.
JESUS.
Why are you sleeping! Get up and pray not to be put to the test. Simon, are you asleep? Don't you have the strength to watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, in the eventuality that you are put to the test. Indeed the spirit is willing, but the flesh is week.
NARRATOR.
He went away a second time and prayed:
JESUS.
My Father, if this cup cannot pass from me except that I drink it, let your will be done.
NARRATOR.
He came back once more and found them sleeping for their eyes were very heavy and they could find no answer for him. Leaving them there, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. He then came back to the disciples a third time and said to them:
JESUS.
You can sleep on now and take your rest. It is all over. Look, the hour has come and the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up! Let's be going. Look, the man who betrays me is close at hand.

Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46; John 18:1

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The Arrest Of Jesus

NARRATOR.
While he was still speaking, a large number of men appeared, armed with swords and clubs. At the head of them was the man called Judas, one of the twelve. Judas, who had betrayed him, knew the place well since Jesus had often met there with his disciples. Judas brought the cohort to this place together with a detachment of guards all with lanterns, torches and weapons. These had been sent with him by the chief priests, Pharisees, Scribes and the elders of the people. Now Judas, who had betrayed him, had prearranged a signal for them.
JUDAS ISC.
The one I kiss, he is the man. Take him into custody and see that he is well guarded when you lead him away.
NARRATOR.
As soon as Judas arrived, he went right up to Jesus and said:
JUDAS ISC.
Greetings, Rabbi.
NARRATOR.
And he kissed him.
JESUS.
Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss? My friend, why did you come?
NARRATOR.
Knowing everything that was going to happen to him, Jesus came forward and said:
JESUS.
Who are you looking for?
COHORT.
Jesus of Nazareth!
JESUS.
I am he.
NARRATOR.
Judas, who had betrayed him, also stood with them. As soon as Jesus had said to them, 'I am he', they went backward and fell to the ground. He asked them a second time:
JESUS.
Who are you looking for?
COHORT.
Jesus of Nazareth.
JESUS.
I told you that I am he. If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go their own way.
NARRATOR.
This was to fulfill the words he had spoken: 'Not one of those you have given me have I lost'. His followers seeing what was going to happen said:
DISCIPLES.
Lord, shall we use our swords?
NARRATOR.
The mob came forward, seized Jesus and took him into custody. At that, one of the followers of Jesus who carried a sword, Simon Peter, stretched out his hand, drew his sword and struck one of the high priest's servant, wounding him by cutting off his right ear. The servants name was Malchus. But at this, Jesus spoke:
JESUS.
Stop it! That will do.
NARRATOR.
And touching the man's ear he healed him. Jesus then said to Peter:
JESUS.
Put your sword back in its' sheath, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Don't you think that I could appeal to my Father and he would promptly send me more than twelve legions of angels to my defence. But then, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say this is the way it must be? Am I not to drink the cup that my Father has given me to drink?
NARRATOR.
Then Jesus said to the crowds: the chief priests, captains of the Temple guard and elders who had come for him:
JESUS.
Am I a thief that you had to set out to capture me with swords and clubs? When I sat among you teaching in the Temple day after day, you never moved to lay hands on me. But all this was done, in order that the scriptures of the prophets be fulfilled. This is your hour and the reign of darkness.
NARRATOR.
Then all the disciples deserted him and ran away. However, there was a young man who followed him who had nothing on but a linen cloth wrapped around his naked body. The mob caught hold of him, but he left the cloth in their hands and ran away naked.

Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18: 2-11

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Peter's Denial

NARRATOR.
The cohort, its' captain and the Jewish guards seized Jesus and bound him. The men who had arrested Jesus led him off to Caiaphas, the high priest for that year. They took him to the high priest's house where the chief priests, elders and scribes were assembled. They took him first to Annas, because Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas. Now it was Caiaphas who had suggested to the Jews that it was better that one man die for the people. Simon Peter, with another disciple, followed Jesus at a distance. John [this disciple], who was known to the high priest, went in with Jesus into the palace of the High Priest, but Peter stayed outside the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the High Priest, went in and spoke to the woman who was keeping the door and brought in Peter. He went into the High Priest's palace and sat down in the courtyard with the servants to see the end of what was going to happen. Now it was cold and the servants and guards had lit a charcoal fire in the middle of the courtyard and were standing there warming themselves. Peter also stood there and warmed himself with the others. While Peter was down below in the courtyard sitting there by the fire, one of the High Priest's servant girls, the maid on duty at the door, came up and saw Peter warming himself there. She stared at him and said:
DOOR GIRL.
Aren't you also one of this man's disciples? You were too with Jesus the Galilean, the man from Nazareth! This man was also with him.
NARRATOR.
But he denied it in front of them all.
SIMON.
I am not. Woman, I don't even know him. I don't understand what you're talking about.
NARRATOR.
And he went out and the cock crowed. Meanwhile, the High Priest interrogated Jesus about his disciples and his teachings.
JESUS.
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 are you asking me? Ask the people that heard me what I said to them.
NARRATOR.
When he had spoken in this way, one of the guards standing by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand and said:
GUARD 1.
Is that the way to answer the High Priest?
JESUS.
If there is something wrong in what I said, point out what is wrong. But if there is no offence in it, why did you hit me?
NARRATOR.
Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the High Priest. Simon Peter again was standing by the fire when the servant girl, who stood duty at the door, saw him again and he went out to the gate of the forecourt. The servant girl again started telling the bystanders:
DOOR GIRL.
This man was with Jesus of Nazareth. This man is one of them. Aren't you also one of his disciples? You are another of them!
NARRATOR.
But Peter again, with an oath, denied it.
SIMON PETER.
I am not my friend. I don't know the man.
NARRATOR.
About an hour later, the bystanders themselves came up to Peter. One of the High Priest's servants, a relation of the man whose Peter had cut off said:
RELATIVE.
Didn't I see you in the garden with him?
MAN 1.
This man was certainly with him. You are one of them for sure. You're a Galilean! Your accent gives you away.
NARRATOR.
Again Peter denied it and started cursing and swearing.
SIMON PETER.
Man, I don't know what you're talking about! I don't know the man you're talking about.
NARRATOR.
At that instant while he was still speaking, the cock crowed for the second time. The Lord turned and looked straight at him and Peter remembered what the Lord had said to him. 'Before the cock crows today, you will have disowned me three times. And he burst into tears and went outside and wept bitterly.

Matthew 26:57,58;69-75; Mark 14:53,54;66-72; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:12-27

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Jesus Brought Before The Sanhedrin

NARRATOR.
When day broke, the elders of the people, the chief priests and the scribes came together and led Jesus into the Sanhedrin and said to him:
CHIEF PRIESTS, ELDERS and SCRIBES.
Are you the Christ? Tell us!
JESUS.
If I tell you, you won't believe me. And if I question you, you won't answer me or let me go. The time is coming when the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.
NARRATOR.
Then they all asked:
CHIEF PRIESTS, ELDERS and SCRIBES.
Are you then the Son of God?
JESUS.
You say that I am.
CHIEF PRIESTS, ELDERS and SCRIBES.
Why do we need any further testimony. We've heard it out of his own mouth.
NARRATOR.
Now the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for testimony that could be used against Jesus in order to have him put to death, but they didn't find any. However, many did give false testimony against him, but their statements conflicted with each other. Finally there came two false witnesses who said:
WITNESS 1.
This man said, "I am able to destroy the Temple of God and to rebuild it in three days".
WITNESS 2.
We heard him say, "I will destroy this Temple that is made with hands and within three days and I will build another made without hands".
NARRATOR.
But their testimony's also conflicted. The High Priest then stood before the whole assembly and said to Jesus:
HIGH PRIEST.
Aren't you going to say anything? What is it that these men are testifying against you?
NARRATOR.
But Jesus remained silent. Again the High Priest asked him and said:
HIGH PRIEST.
I put you on an oath by the Living God to tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God, the Son of the Blessed One.
JESUS.
You have said it, 'I am'! Nevertheless I tell you, the time is coming when you will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power of God and coming in the clouds of heaven.
NARRATOR.
At this the High Priest tore his robes and said:
HIGH PRIEST.
He has blasphemed! What do we need any further witnesses now. We have heard it for ourselves from his own lips. There, now we have heard his blasphemy. What is your finding?
NARRATOR.
And they all gave their verdict.
COUNCIL.
He deserves the death sentence!
NARRATOR.
The whole assembly then rose. Some of them began to spit in his face and hit him with their fists. The men who guarded Jesus mocked and beat him. And when they had blindfolded him they slapped him on the face, taunting him saying:
GUARDS.
Prophesy to us, you Christ! Which one of us hit you?
NARRATOR.
And they spoke many other blasphemous things against him and the servants struck him with the palm of their hands.

Matthew 26:59-68; Mark 14:55-65; Luke 22:63-23:1...

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Jesus is Delivered to Pilate

NARRATOR.
When morning had come, all the chief priests had a meeting with the elders, scribes and the whole Sanhedrin to deliberate the plan to have Jesus put to death. They had him bound and led him from Caiaphas to deliver him to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor. Then Judas, who had betrayed him, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, was filled with remorse and brought the thirty silver pieces back to the chief priests and elders.
JUDAS ISC.
I have sinned. I have betrayed innocent blood.
CHIEF PRIESTS and ELDERS.
What is that to us? That is your concern.
NARRATOR.
He threw down the silver pieces in the Sanctuary, left and went and hung himself. The chief priests picked up the silver pieces and said:
CHIEF PRIESTS.
It is against the law to put this into the treasury; it is blood money.
NARRATOR.
So they discussed the matter and bought with the money a certain field where the clay was used by potters. This field, known as Potter's Field, was to be used as a cemetery to bury foreigners in. That is why the field is still called 'the field of blood' to this day. The words of the prophet Jeremiah were then fulfilled: 'And they took the thirty silver pieces, the price at which he was valued by the children of Israel, and they purchased a field from the potters, just as the Lord directed me.'

Matthew 27:1-10; Mark 15:1; Luke 23:...1

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Jesus Before Pilate

NARRATOR.
Meanwhile, they had brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the Hall of Judgement, called the Praetorium, and Pilate, it was still morning. But the Jews did not go into the Praetorium themselves or else they would be defiled and not be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate came outside to them and said:
PILATE.
What charge do you bring against this man?
JEWS.
We found this man inciting our people to revolt, forbidding to give the tribute to Caesar and claiming that he himself is Christ, a king. If he weren't a criminal we wouldn't have brought him to you.
PILATE.
Take him yourselves and try him by your own law.
JEWS.
According to Roman law, we are not allowed to put a man to death by crucifixion.
NARRATOR.
This was to fulfill the words Jesus had spoken indicating the way he was going to die. Pilate then went back into the Praetorium and called Jesus to him. As Jesus stood before the governor, Pilate put this question to him:
PILATE.
Are you the king of the Jews?
JESUS.
Do you ask this of your own accord or have others spoken to you about me?
PILATE.
Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me. What have you done?
JESUS.
My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world my followers would have fought to prevent my being my delivered into the hands of the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.
PILATE.
Are you a king then? Are you the King of the Jews?
JESUS.
It is you who have said I am a king. Yes, I am a king. To this end I was born and for this cause I came into the world that I should bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth hear my voice.
PILATE.
What is truth?
NARRATOR.
And with that he went out again to chief priests and the crowds and said:
PILATE.
I find no case against him.
NARRATOR.
But they fiercely persisted:
JEWS.
He is inflaming the people with his teaching all over Judaea; it has come all the way from Galilee, where he started, down to here.
NARRATOR.
When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man were a Galilean and finding that he came under Herod's jurisdiction , he passed him over to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time. Pilate then had Jesus taken away.

Matthew 27:11; Luke 23:2-7; John 18:28-38

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Jesus Before Herod

NARRATOR.
Now Herod was delighted to see Jesus as he had been waiting a long time to meet him. He had heard many things about him and hoped to see some miracle performed by Jesus. Herod questioned him at some length, but Jesus remained silent and didn't answer him. Meanwhile, the chief priests and the scribes stood there, hurling accusations at Jesus. Then Herod, together with his guards, treated him with contempt and made fun of him. They put a rich cloak on him and sent him back to Pilate. Although Herod and Pilate had previously been enemies, they were reconciled that same day and became friends.

Luke 23:8-12

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Jesus Returned To Pilate

NARRATOR.
Pilate then called the chief priests and the leading men of the people and said to them:
PILATE.
You have brought this man to me as a political agitator, look, I have gone into the matter myself in your presence and have found no case against this man in respect to all the allegations you have brought against him. Neither has Herod, since he sent him back to us. But according to a custom of yours, I am under obligation to release one prisoner at the Passover. Would you like me then to release the King of the Jews. As you can see, the man has not done anything that deserves death. I will then, discipline him and release him.
NARRATOR.
And the cried out all to once.
CROWD.
Away with him... release Barabbas to us!...not this man, but Barabbas.
NARRATOR.
Now Barabbas was a thief and had been thrown in prison for causing a riot in the city and for murder. Pilate, willing to release Jesus, spoke to them but they cried:
CROWD.
Crucify him, crucify him!
PILATE.
Why, what evil has he done? I have found no reason to have him put to death. I will discipline him and let him go!
NARRATOR.
But they kept on shouting at the top of their voices demanding that he should be crucified and the shouts of them and the chief priests were growing louder. Pilate then took Jesus and had him flogged. The governor's soldiers took Jesus with them into the inner part of the Palace, called the Praetorium. They called the whole cohort together and gathered around Jesus. They then stripped him and put a purple robe on him. And when they had braided some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head and placed a reed in his right hand. And the soldiers mocked Jesus and came up to him and saluted him saying:
GUARDS.
Hail, King of the Jews!
NARRATOR.
And they spit on him, slapped him with their hands and took a reed and struck him on the head with it. They also went down on their knees and pretended to worship him. Pilate then went out again and said to them:
PILATE.
Look, I'm going to bring him out to you so that you know I don't find any fault in him.
NARRATOR.
Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.
PILATE.
Look at the man!
NARRATOR.
When they saw him, the chief priests and the guards shouted:
CHIEF PRIESTS and GUARDS.
Crucify him, crucify him!
PILATE.
You take him and crucify him. For I can find no fault in him.
NARRATOR.
And the chief priests and the elders brought many accusations against him.
JEWS.
We have a law and according to that law he ought to die, because he has claimed to be the Son of God.
NARRATOR.
When Pilate heard what they were saying, his fears increased. Reentering the Praetorium he said to Jesus:
PILATE.
Don't you hear how many charges they have brought against you? Aren't you going to say anything?
NARRATOR.
But to Pilate's complete amazement, Jesus didn't say a word.
PILATE.
Where do you come from?
NARRATOR.
But Jesus made no reply.
PILATE.
Are you refusing to speak to me? Don't you know that I have the power to release you and I have the power to crucify you?
JESUS.
You could have no power over me, unless it had been given you from above, that is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater guilt.
NARRATOR.
From that moment on, Pilate was anxious to set Jesus free, but the Jews shouted:
JEWS.
If you set this man free, you are no friend of Caesars'. Anyone who makes himself a king is defying Caesar.
NARRATOR.
Hearing these words, Pilate brought Jesus out again and seated himself on the chair of judgement at a place called the Pavement, in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the Passover Preparation day about noon. Pilate then said to the Jews:
PILATE.
Here is you king.
JEWS.
Take him away...Away with him...Crucify him!
PILATE.
Do you want me to crucify you king?
JEWS.
We have no king but Caesar!
NARRATOR.
Now at the feast it was the governor's practice to release a prisoner for the people, anyone they asked for. He was therefore under obligation to release one man for them. Now there was at that time a notorious prisoner whose name was Barabbas. Barabbas was at this time bound in prison with the rioters who had committed murder during the insurrection. So when the crowd gathered to ask the customary favor, Pilate said to them:
PILATE.
Who do you want me to release for you? Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ? Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?
NARRATOR.
For Pilate realized that they had delivered Jesus to him out of jealousy. And while he was sitting in the chair of Judgement, his wife sent him a message.
WIFE.
Have nothing to do with that righteous man; I have been upset all day by a dream I had about him.
NARRATOR.
But the chief priests and elders persuaded the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas for them and to have Jesus executed. So the governor spoke and asked them:
PILATE.
Which one of the two do you want me to release for you?
JEWS.
Barabbas!
PILATE.
But if I do that, what am I going to do with Jesus who is called Christ? What am I to do with the man you call king of the Jews.
JEWS.
Let him be crucified!...crucify him!
PILATE.
Why? What evil has he done?
NARRATOR.
But they shouted all the louder:
JEWS.
Let him be crucified...Crucify him!
NARRATOR.
Pilate saw that he was making no impression and that in fact a riot was imminent. So he tool some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd and said:
PILATE.
I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man. It is your concern!
NARRATOR.
And all the people answered and said:
CROWD.
His blood be on us and on our children.
NARRATOR.
Pilate then gave his verdict: their demand was to be granted. So in the end Pilate, anxious to placate the crowd, released the man they asked for, Barabbas, who had been imprisoned for rioting and murder and handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they pleased. He released Barabbas to them, but Jesus, he had flogged and delivered him to them to be crucified. When the guards had finished mocking him, they took off the cloak and dressed him in his own clothes and led him away to be crucified.

Matthew 27:12-31; Mark 15:2-20; Luke 23:13-25; John 18:39-19:16

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