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The Book of Jesus

Chapter Nineteen

The New Amsterdam Publishing Company
Copyright © 1997

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The Crucifixion

NARRATOR.
Carrying his own stake, he went out of the city to a place, called the place of the skull, or as it was called in Hebrew, Golgotha. Now as they were on their way out and leading him away they compelled a passerby, named Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the country and enlisted him to carry his stake. They put the stake on his shoulder and made him carry it behind Jesus. And a large crowd of people followed him and of women too, who mourned and lamented for him. But Jesus turned and said to them:
JESUS.
Daughters of Jerusalem, don't weep for me; weep rather for yourselves and for your children. Look, the days are coming when the people will say; 'Happy are those who are barren and the womb's that have never borne, the breasts that have never given succor.' Then they will say to the mountains, 'Fall on us!', to the hills, 'Cover us!' For if men do these things to a green tree, what will happen to a withered (and dry) one.
NARRATOR.
Now with him they were also leading two other criminals to be executed. When they reached the place called Calvary, the place of the Skull, they gave him wine to drink mixed with a narcotic, which when he tasted it, refused to drink. Then they crucified him there with the two other criminals, one on his right and the other on his left, with Jesus in the middle. And the scripture was fulfilled which said: 'He was counted among the criminals'. And Jesus spoke saying: JESUS. Father, forgive them, because they don't know what they're doing.
NARRATOR.
When the soldiers had finished crucifying him they took and divided his clothing into four parts, one for each soldier and cast lots to decide what each should take. His tunic however was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another:
SOLDIERS.
Let's not tear it, instead let's cast lots to decide who's to have it.
NARRATOR.
In this way the words of David, the prophet, in Psalm 22:18 was fulfilled: "They divided my clothing among them and cast lots for my tunic." It was the third hour when they crucified him. Pilate wrote a notice and had it affixed to the pole above his head. The charge read, 'This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.' This notice was read by many of the Jews as the place where Jesus was crucified was not far from the city and the writing was in Greek, Latin and Hebrew. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate:
CHIEF PRIESTS.
You shouldn't have written 'The King of the Jews'.
PILATE.
But this man said: 'I am the King of the Jews.' What I written, I have written!

Matthew 27:32-38; Mark 15:21-28; Luke 23:26-34,38; John 19:17-24

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Jesus And His Mother

NARRATOR.
Near the stake stood Jesus' mother and his mother's sister, the wife of Clopas and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to her:
JESUS.
Woman, behold your son!
NARRATOR.
Then to the disciple he said:
JESUS.
Behold your mother.
NARRATOR.
And from that hour, the disciple made a place for her in his own home.

John 19:25-27

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Jesus Is Mocked

NARRATOR.
Now the people that passed by jeered at him, shook their heads and said:
PEOPLE.
Aha, you who destroys the Temple and rebuilds it in three days, save yourself...If you're the Son of God, come down from the stake.
NARRATOR.
And people stood there watching. Likewise, the chief priests, scribes and elders stood there and mocked him themselves in the same way:
CHIEF PRIESTS, SCRIBES and ELDERS.
He saved others, but he can't save himself...Let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One...Let Christ, the King of Israel come down from the stake now for us to see it and we'll believe in him...If he is the King of Israel, let him come down from the stake and we'll believe him...He trusted in God, let Him deliver him now, if he'll have him, because he said: 'I am the Son of God'.
NARRATOR.
The soldiers also mocked him. They came up, offered him vinegar and said:
SOLDIERS.
If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!
NARRATOR.
Even the robbers who were crucified with him taunted him in the same way.

Matthew 27: 39-44; Mark 15:29-32; Luke 23:35-37

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The Repentant Thief

NARRATOR.
One of the criminals hanging there also blasphemed him:
THIEF 1.
If you are Christ, save yourself and us as well!
NARRATOR.
But the other criminal who had been crucified with Jesus, spoke up and rebuked him:
THIEF 2.
Don't you fear God, seeing that you got the same sentence as he did, but we deserved it and we're getting the due reward for our actions. But this man has done nothing. Jesus, Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.
JESUS.
Indeed, I promise you today, you will be with me in paradise.

Luke 23:39-43

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The Death Of Jesus

NARRATOR.
It was about the sixth hour and with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. At the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice:
JESUS.
Eli (Eloi), Eli (Eloi), La-ma Sa-bach-tha-ni?
NARRATOR.
This means when interpreted; 'My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? When some of those who were standing there heard this, they said:
PEOPLE.
Listen, this man is calling on Elijah.
NARRATOR.
After this, Jesus knew that all things were now accomplished and in order to fulfil scripture perfectly he said:
JESUS.
I'm thirsty.
NARRATOR.
A jar full of vinegar stood there and one of them ran quickly to get a sponge and dipped it in vinegar. Putting the sponge soaked in vinegar on a hyssop stick, they held it up to his mouth and gave it to him to drink. Then the rest of them said:
PEOPLE.
Wait! Let's see if Elijah will come to take him down and save him.
NARRATOR.
After Jesus had taken the vinegar he said:
JESUS.
It is finished.
NARRATOR.
But Jesus again crying out in a loud voice said:
JESUS.
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.
NARRATOR.
With these words, he breathed his last breath and bowing his head he gave up his spirit. At that, the curtain that secluded the Most Holy in the Temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom, right down the middle. The earth quaked, the rocks split, the tombs opened and the bodies of many Holy men who were sleeping in death rose. These after his resurrection, came out of the tombs, entered the Holy City and appeared to a number of people. Meanwhile, the centurion, who was standing in front, together with the others guarding Jesus, had seen how he cried out and died, the earthquake and all that was taking place, and they were terrified and said:
GUARDS.
This man was in truth the Son of God.
NARRATOR.
And the centurion gave praise to God and said:
CENTURION.
This was for certain a righteous man.
NARRATOR.
And when all the people who had gathered for the spectacle saw what had happened, they went home beating their breasts. All of Jesus' friends stood at a distance. Many woman were there, also watching from a distance. These were the same woman who had followed Jesus from Galilee. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary who was the mother of James the younger and Joseph, Salome and the Mother of Zebedee's sons. These used to follow him and look after him when he was in Galilee. There were also many other woman there who had come up with him to Jerusalem.

Matthew 27:45-56; Mark 15:33-44; Luke 23:44-49; John 19:28-30

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Jesus Is Pierced

NARRATOR.
It was Preparation Day and in order to prevent the bodies remaining on the stake during the Sabbath, since that Sabbath was a High Day, the Jews requested that Pilate have their legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently, the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus and then the other. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead , they did not brake his legs. One of the soldiers however, pierced his side with a spear and immediately there came out blood and water. This is the evidence of one who saw it and his record is true. He knows that he speaks the truth so that you might believe as well. All this happened in order that the scripture should be fulfilled: 'Not one bone of his will be broken' and again another scripture says: 'They will look upon the one whom they have pierced.'

John 19:31-37

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The Burial

NARRATOR.
When evening had come, there arrived a rich and prominent member of the Council, an upright and just man named Joseph from the Jewish town of Arimathaea and he also waited for the Kingdom of God. He had not consented to what the Council had planned and carried out. Now Joseph of Arimathaea who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews, boldly went to Pilate and begged for the body of Jesus since it was the Preparation, the day before the Sabbath.
Pilate, astonished that Jesus should have died so soon, summoned the centurion and enquired if he was already dead. Having been assured this by the centurion, Pilate gave his permission and ordered it to be handed over and granted the corpse to Joseph. Joseph then came and took Jesus down from the stake.
Nicodemus came as well, the same one who had first come to Jesus by night and he brought a mixture of Myrrh and aloes weighing about a hundred pounds. They then took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in a clean shroud of linen cloths, following the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden and in this garden there was a new tomb which had been hewn out of rock in which no one had yet been buried. Since it was the Jews' Preparation day and the Sabbath was imminent and the tomb was near at hand, Joseph laid the body of Jesus in his own new tomb. He then rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.
Meanwhile, the woman who had come from Galilee with Jesus were following behind. Mary of Magdala and the other Mary, the mother of Joseph were sitting opposite the sepulchre, watched and took note of the tomb where he had been laid and of the position of the body. They then returned and prepared spices and ointments and rested on the Sabbath day according to the commandment.

Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42

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The Guard at the Tomb

NARRATOR.
Now the next day that followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees came together and went to Pilate:
CHIEF PRIESTS and PHARISEES.
Your Excellency, we recall that this imposter said while he was still alive; 'After three days, I will rise again.' Therefore, give the order to have the sepulchre kept secure until the third day, for fear that his disciples should come by night and steal him away and tell the people, 'He has risen from the dead.' This last piece of fraud would be worse than what went before.
PILATE.
You may have your guard. Go and make it as secure as you can. NARRATOR. So they went and made the sepulchre, sealing the stone and setting a watch.

Matthew 27:62-66

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