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Showing posts with the label #Stations

Jesus getting abused by his guards.

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And how this should provoke us to get rid of prisoner abuse… and why it doesn’t.Mark 14.65 • Matthew 26.67-68 • Luke 22.63-65 • John 18.22-23I’d already mentioned Jesus getting slapped by one of his guards:John 18.22-23 KWL22 Once he said these things, one of the bystanding underlings gave Jesus a slap,saying, “You answer the head priest this way?”23 Jesus answered him, “If I speak evil, testify about the evil. If I speak good, why rough me up?”The other gospels likewise tell of how the people in charge of him began to abuse him. In Mark it was after he’d been found guilty. But in both Matthew and Luke, it was before his actual trial before the Judean senate. They didn’t care to wait for a trial; they’d already judged him guilty themselves.Mark 14.65 KWLCertain people began to spit on Jesus; to cover his face and punch him,to tell him, “Prophesy! Which underling gave that punch?”Matthew 26.67-68 KWL67 Then they spat in Jesus’s face and punched him.Those who hit him68 were saying, “Pro…

Jesus’s pre-trial trial.

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Before his trial, Jesus had an audience with the previous head priest.John 18.12-14, 19-24In the synoptic gospels, right after Jesus’s arrest, the crowd took him to the head priest’s house. But John stated they actually took him to the former head priest’s house; that of Khánan bar Seth, whom historical records call Ananus, and whom the KJV calls Annas.There, the Gospel of John relates, the courtyard was where Simon Peter denied Jesus, and inside the house there was also a bit of a pre-trial trial. Annas wanted to check out this reported Messiah for himself. After all, what if he actually was Messiah? What if he suddenly called down 12 legions of angels Mt 26.53 and took his kingdom by force? Annas may have already made up his mind about Jesus, but he wasn’t stupid; he still needed to meet the man.John 18.12-14 KWL12 So the 200 men, the general, and the Judean servants arrested Jesus and tied him up.13 They brought Jesus to Annas first:Annas was the father-in-law of Joseph Caiaphas, w…

Jesus dies. And takes our sin with him.

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From Psalm 22, to not having his bones broken.Mark 15.33-39 • Matthew 27.45-54 • Luke 23.44-48 • John 19.28-37Around noon on 3 April 33, it got dark, and stayed that way till Jesus died. Obviously God was behind it, but we don’t know how. No solar eclipses in that part of the world, that time of year, so that’s out. Volcanoes have been known to darken the sky. So has weather. Regardless of how he pulled it off, God decided he wanted his Son’s death to happen in the dark.As he was hanging on the cross, various folks were taunting him, and Matthew describes the head priests, scribes, and elders even taunting him with a bit of Psalm 22:Matthew 27.43 KWLHe follows God? God has to rescue him now, if he wants him—for he said ‘I’m God’s son.’ ”Psalm 22.8 LXX (KWL)He hopes for the Lord, who has to release him,who has to save him because he wants him.Considering this psalm was so obviously getting fulfilled by Jesus’s death, taunting him with it just showed how far the Judean leaders’ unbelief…

Jesus’s crucifixion.

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The most obvious example of his suffering.Mark 15.22-32 • Matthew 27.33-38 • Luke 23.32-38 • John 19.17-24Ever bang your funny bone? That’s the ulnar nerve. The equivalent in the leg is the tibial nerve.
Crucifixion (Распятие), by Nikolai Ge, 1892. [From Gallerix.] About 26 to 24 centuries ago, humans in the middle east figured out the most painful way to kill someone: Take four nails. Put one through each of these nerves, and hang a victim by these nails to whatever—a wall, a tree, a pole, a cross. If you stretch out their limbs, it’ll squeeze their lungs and they’ll find it really hard to breathe. Can’t inhale unless they push themselves up by their pierced ankles, pull themselves up on their pierced wrists—and each pull feels like they’ve crushed the nerve all over again. With a hammer.There’s no way to stop the constant pain, and no way to keep from generating fresh pain without suffocating—which is eventually what’d kill you. After days. The pain is so intense, Latin-speakers inven…

Simon the Cyrenian, the man who carried Jesus’s cross.

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In being forced to alleviate Jesus’s physical suffering, he added to Jesus’s mental suffering.Mark 15.21 • Matthew 27.32 • Luke 23.26Enroute to Golgotha, leading Jesus to the place they’d crucify him, the Romans decided he was inadequate to carry his crossbeam. Movies and art, following St. Francis’s lists of the stations of the cross, depict Jesus falling over a bunch of times. The gospels don’t, but who knows?—maybe he did. He had been up all night and flogged half to death. Between sleep deprivation and blood loss, carrying a hundred-pound crossbeam would’ve been too much for anyone. (No, not the 300-pound full cross we see in paintings, such as the El Greco painting in my “Stations of the Cross” banner. Even healthy convicts would’ve found that unmanageable.)The Roman Senate had made it legal for soldiers to draft conquered peoples—basically anyone in the Roman Empire who lacked citizenship—into temporary service. Jesus referred to this law when he taught us to go the extra mile.…

Jesus confuses Pontius Pilatus.

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Governments exist to establish justice, but government didn’t do that in Jesus’s day.Mark 15.1-5 • Matthew 27.1-2, 11-14 • Luke 23.1-4 • John 18.28-38When Herod 1 died, Augustus Caesar took advantage of his heirs’ power struggle and took over Judea. The Caesars left local governance in the hands of the locals: The Judean senate ran all the local matters and enforced laws. (Namely the Law.) The one thing the Judeans weren’t permitted was the death penalty: The Romans reserved that power for themselves. Understandable; if the senate executed someone whom Rome wanted alive (say, if they executed Roman soldiers for idolatry), it could spark war.So when the senate decided Jesus deserved death, they couldn’t execute him themselves. (I know; Stephen’s martyrdom in Acts suggests they could. Ac 8.57-60 That stoning was actually illegal, by Roman standards; somebody paid for it eventually, but Acts doesn’t tell that story.) Only the Romans could execute anyone, so the Judeans had to go convince…

Simon Peter pretends he doesn’t know Jesus.

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Yep, even Jesus’s best student tried to cover his butt and abandon his Lord.Mark 14.66-72 • Matthew 26.69-75 • Luke 22.54-62 • John 18.15-18, 25-27Earlier that night, during dinner, Jesus told his students they weren’t gonna follow him much longer; they’d scatter. At this point Jesus’s best student, Simon Peter, got up and foolhardily claimed this prediction didn’t apply to him. He wouldn’t scatter. He’d never lose heart. He’d stick with Jesus, fight his arrest, and die for him if he had to. Mk 14.26-31And y’know, Peter wasn’t kidding. I’ve heard way too many sermons which mock Peter for this, who claim he was all talk. Thing is, he really wasn’t. When Jesus was arrested, Peter was packing a mákhaira/“machete” (KJV “sword”) and used it. Slashed the ear right off one of the slaves in the mob. You don’t start swinging a long knife at a mob unless you’re willing to risk life and limb. Peter really was ready to fight to the death for Jesus.I already wrote about that bit, y’know. First Jes…

Jesus’s arrest: His abuse begins.

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He went peacefully. His followers and accusers, as usual, had other ideas.Mark 14.45-52 • Matthew 26.50-56 • Luke 22.49-54 • John 18.4-12The second station, in John Paul’s list of stations of the cross, is where Judas betrayed Jesus and Jesus was arrested. Same station for both. But different forms of suffering: Judas was about when your friends or confidants turn on you, and the rest was about the pain and dread people feel when their enemies have ’em right where they want ’em.Let’s go to the gospels. Mark 14.45-52 KWL45 Immediately going to Jesus, he told him, “Rabbi!” and kissed him hello.46 So they grabbed and arrested him.47 One of the bystanders, pulling out a machete,struck the head priest’s slave, and cut off his ear.48 In reply, Jesus told them, “You come out with machetes and sticksto snatch me away, like I’m an insurgent.49 Daytime, I was with you in the temple, teaching. You didn’t arrest me then.But this—it’ll fulfill the scriptures.”50 Abandoning Jesus, everyone fled.51…

Judas Iscariot sells Jesus out to the authorities.

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The traitor’s motivations—and whether he really repented in the end.Mark 14.41-46 • Matthew 26.45-50 • Luke 22.47-48 • John 18.1-3In John Paul’s list of stations of the cross, the second station combined Judas Iscariot’s betrayal and Jesus of Nazareth’s arrest. ’Cause they happened simultaneously. (Well, perhaps broken up a bit by Simon Peter slashing one of the head priest’s slaves.) But I want to look at the two events separately, ’cause getting betrayed and getting arrested are two different kinds of suffering.So first, right after Jesus Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, this happened.Mark 14.41-46 KWL41 When he came back a third time, he told them, “Oh, sleep the rest of the time; stop it.Stay back, for look: The Son of Man is arrested by sinful hands.42 Get up, so we can go. Look, the one who sold me out has come.”43 And just as Jesus was speaking, Judas Iscariot approached the Twelve.With Judas was a crowd carrying machetes and sticks,with the head priests, scribes, and elders.44 The …