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(Aug 8, 2000)
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Saturday, June 27, 2020
The Gospels & Early History
I Thessalonians 1-3
II Kings 21-25
Then the whole company of them arose, and brought him before Pilate.
And they began to accuse him, saying, "We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ a king."
And Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" And he answered him, "You have said so."
And Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, "I find no crime in this man."
But they were urgent, saying, "He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place."
When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean.
And when he learned that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time.
When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him.
So he questioned him at some length; but he made no answer.
The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him.
And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then, arraying him in gorgeous apparel, he sent him back to Pilate.
And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.
Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,
and said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him;
neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Behold, nothing deserving death has been done by him;
I will therefore chastise him and release him."
But they all cried out together, "Away with this man, and release to us Barab'bas" --
a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city, and for murder.
Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus;
but they shouted out, "Crucify, crucify him!"
A third time he said to them, "Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no crime deserving death; I will therefore chastise him and release him."
But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed.
So Pilate gave sentence that their demand should be granted.
He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, whom they asked for; but Jesus he delivered up to their will.
And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyre'ne, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.
And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him.
But Jesus turning to them said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!'
Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us'; and to the hills, 'Cover us.'
For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?"
Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him.
And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.
And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments.
And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!"
The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar,
and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"
There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews."
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong."
And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour,
while the sun's light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last.
Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, and said, "Certainly this man was innocent!"
And all the multitudes who assembled to see the sight, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts.
And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance and saw these things.
Now there was a man named Joseph from the Jewish town of Arimathe'a. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man,
who had not consented to their purpose and deed, and he was looking for the kingdom of God.
This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud, and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb, where no one had ever yet been laid.
It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning.
The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid;
then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared.
And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
but when they went in they did not find the body.
While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel;
and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?
Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,
that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise."
And they remembered his words,
and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.
Now it was Mary Mag'dalene and Jo-an'na and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told this to the apostles;
but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emma'us, about seven miles from Jerusalem,
and talking with each other about all these things that had happened.
While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.
But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
And he said to them, "What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still, looking sad.
Then one of them, named Cle'opas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?"
And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,
and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him.
But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened.
Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive.
Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see."
And he said to them, "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?"
And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further,
but they constrained him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them.
And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight.
They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?"
And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them,
who said, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"
Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them.
But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit.
And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts?
See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have."
And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
and he took it and ate before them.
Then he said to them, "These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled."
Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,
and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,
and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high."
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.
While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven.
And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
and were continually in the temple blessing God.
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