Rosary Scriptural Mediations: Sorrowful

These Sorrowful Mysteries tell many stories. One important one is taught to us by Judas and Peter: both betrayed Christ for the sake of the opinions of those around them, but Peter repented, turned his heart to God, and eventually suffered martyrdom from those around him instead of denying Christ; whereas Judas repented to humans, not God, keeping his heart in the world. People were not forgiving and Judas, in despair, hung himself. God, unlike the world, is perfect Mercy: He was forgiving and made Peter into a great leader and a great saint.

Another is that it was arrogant religious, who were not humble before God, refusing to receive His grace, who killed God. They were hypocrites, handing God over to trial and demanding His death: they refused to themselves kill Him but by their actions, demanding His death, they did kill Him. (Zechariah ch. 11:16-12:10) Those same [Catholic and other Christian] religious today, who think of the world in black and white instead of praying for others and trying to lead them to God are like Pharisees who killed Jesus during His time. They do not have the mercy of God; they do not pull their hearts near Him in prayer and sacrifice and in the spiritual, but keep their hearts away from Him and in the world or with worldly spirits and current events, immersed in either complete intellect or complete emotions alone, instead of in spiritual goings on. Or those who draw only on rules and rituals while burdening the suffering without attempting to aid them in carrying their loads (Luke 11:46, Matthew 23:4) . Those are the same people who kill God today. Although rules and rituals aren't in and of themselves bad, when they are used by religious in an inflated, arrogant way, with a hard heart that isn't humbled, instead of in a way to find God, they kill God. Because those religious leaders who had God crucified weren't seeking God, which even religious leaders must constant do; they were jealous of His humility and goodness and mercy when they ran across Him and so they denied Him and killed Him.

We must not be like those people but instead help our brothers and sisters to reach God, by comforting them, giving them all forms of aid, company, friendship, charity of time, especially by praying for them, and by prothletising to them not with our words, but with our deeds, sympathy, kindness, and our own personal seeking of God's will in all things.

The Pharisees were not happy to have God among them, even though God wanted to share with them His glory and joy, share Himself, bring them life and joy in Him, make them His children; instead, they were jealous just as Satan was jealous of God before the fall (Revelation ch. 12). This jealousy isolated the Pharisees from God and killed God in their hearts. They didn't want God, they themselves wanted to be God. The same fate that befell Satan's angels will befall them and all those who are jealous of God and want Him dead. (This is why we must always pray for others, even up to the moment of their deaths, that they may be given graces, God's Light, even in this life.)

Furthermore, we can see the destructive power of all jealousy and envy. One of the most destructive and deadly sins. One of the most isolating and irrational for those who are weighed down by it. If we are ones weighed down by it, we must lay it at the foot of the Cross: we must pray, and God will heal us of the burden of its weight. He demands we give up this sin of jealousy, but He is also willing to carry the burden of it, alleviate us of its pain and isolation, if only we turn to Him with our sins.

Another lesson is the amoral Pilate, who, while lacking God's grace because he never sought it, has allowed injustice to take place, even though he himself can see that what is happening is injustice. He has given into peer pressure, popular opinion, in time of trial, because he was not fortified with God's grace. We also see from Pilate that God's prophesy and dominion extends not just to those who profess Him, acknowledge Him, or believe in Him, but to all peoples, for He is king of the whole world.

We also see in Pilate that he was able to recognize the injustice around him after speaking with Jesus. That He has that much of a transformative effect on others if they choose to interact with Him (unlike Herod who didn't question Him with any sincerity at all). That same effect, that same enlightenment of soul, will take place during and after prayer (praying being, speaking with God).

Herod wasn't sincerely seeking God but just wanted a show, some sort of magic trick, to be performed. He didn't see miracles and signs as a deeper sign of God's love or embrace Him or a deeper meaning to it, but saw it shallowly, insincerely, through the eyes of sensationalism and momentary entertainment. We see how Herod and Pilate bonded together over their shared sin, their rejection of Jesus, of Truth Himself.

We see with the crowd's rejection of Jesus wearing the crown of thorns that natural human emotion isn't strong enough, won't overcome heavy demonic influence: we need the fortification of God's graces in our souls to choose what is right.

We see from the good thief how important it is to offer our suffering to God and ask that all our suffering, throughout all our life from the moment we meet Jesus until our death, help bring us to Him in paradise. And even all that we do, easy or hard, we must offer to God for His glory. We see how merciful God is to those who open their hearts to Him, to those who turn to Him with all their concerns. The good thief instantly loved God because he recognized that God looked on him with love, despite his sinfulness, and that thief wished he had lived his whole life with God instead of apart from Him. Also, we learn we must look on others with love and encourage them, not berate them, as Jesus did.

When Jesus gave Mary to John as his mother, He gave her to us all as our most loving mother. She is the mother of God and of every soul. She does not call down the fury of Heaven over the death of her Son but prays for those who persecute her and her Son, giving her heart and all its pain over to God, always submitting to His Will, however painful it is, trusting He only wants a greater glory for her and her Son, waiting for God's Word that said that her Son would rise again.

Many facets of Jesus's humanity and divinity are revealed during His Passion, where His great and inconceivable strength, princely personality, shows brightly in the face of so much slander, lies, demonic jealousy and intense, unimaginable hatred, manifested in the words, deeds, faces, and existing in the hearts of everyone near Him. We also see His great submission to the Will of God, His great trust in the Heavenly Father even in the face of suffering, realizing that His Father is active in everything that happens in His life.

We also see the teaching of Sirach at work, "do not quarrel with loud-mouths or heap wood upon their fire," (Sirach chapter 8) in Jesus' silence, which is so useful a teaching on how to deal with a dogmatic and opinionated, rude, even cruel, society or attack, which we see so frequently in current times.

We see His carrying of the Cross, His patience, is not an inactive one of sitting around and waiting, but that He is working as hard as possible (carrying the cross) to achieve His mission, the mission of our salvation. He is patient while He works very hard to solve the problem of our salvation.

We learn from mystics that His greatest suffering was not any of the physical sufferings, but was the suffering of His Heart, His Soul, His agony, broken spirit, immense sorrow, in the Garden of Gethsemane. We can meditate on Jesus' suffering and use that knowledge to know that when we comfort those around us, actually spend time to listen to them and not just dismiss them--console those who are suffering, who are agonizing, who are alone, befriend them when they need a friend and be loyal to them, even when it is difficult or inconvenient--we are comforting Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, where His suffering was the worst, the most painful.

By meditating on His Suffering, we learn to open ourselves up to the more sorrowful situations in our life and in others' lives, that people not fortified with God's grace would turn away from or be in denial about, so that we might face those challenges with optimism in God's grace and correct, fix, solve, or help a problem that others would normally try to shield themselves from or sweep under the rug. By doing this, we make our lives and the lives of those around us better and more truthful, sincere. By denying these problems and not solving them, they cripple us, grow worse, destroy lives, destroy the world.

Meditation on His suffering also opens our hearts to tenderness and sympathy, not just for Jesus' suffering, but for all of those around us who are suffering; those who reject or hide from this meditation, or shield themselves from His Passion, hide themselves from the suffering of those around them, and even from their own suffering, sweeping it under the rug or treating others' suffering brashly or without sympathy or without prayer, isolating themselves and others, not doing the Will of God which is to aid one another to Heaven through His grace.

There are many other lessons to be enlightened about in these mysteries: God is infinite, and the Light He sheds is endless on those who seek Him.

First Sorrowful Mystery: Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane
Spiritual Gift: Contrition for Sins

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives, as was his custom, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray. Pray that you may not undergo the test.” He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, and began to feel sorrow and distress.

Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.”

He advanced about a stone’s throw from them and fell prostrate in prayer, prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass by him saying, “Abba, Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”

When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!” Then he returned once more and found them asleep from grief, for they could not keep their eyes open and did not know what to answer him.

He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again. And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him. He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.

Then he returned to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners. Get up, let us go. Look, my betrayer is at hand.”

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people. His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely.” Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him.

Jesus answered him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss? Friend, do what you have come for.” So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards from the chief priests and the Pharisees and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.

Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?” They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.” He said to them, “I AM.” Judas his betrayer was also with them. When he said to them, “I AM,” they turned away and fell to the ground.

So he again asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” They said, “Jesus the Nazorean.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I AM. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill what he had said, “I have not lost any of those you gave me.”

His disciples realized what was about to happen, and they asked, “Lord, shall we strike with a sword?” Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. But Jesus said in reply, “Stop, no more of this!” Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me? Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels? But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?” Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed him.

At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me? Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area, yet you did not arrest me. But all this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled; this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness.”

Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked. [Taken from the Gospel of Saint Mark; presumably the young man who shed his clothes to flee was Mark himself.]

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus, bound him, and brought him to Annas first. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.

Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
Spiritual Gift: Purity

Simon Peter and another disciple [John] followed Jesus. Now the other disciple was known to the high priest, and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus. But Peter stood at the gate outside.

They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter sat down with them. Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire that they had made, because it was cold, and were warming themselves. Peter was also standing there keeping warm. When a maid saw him seated in the light, she looked intently at him and said, “You too were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” But he denied it in front of everyone saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest, went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.

The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.”

When he had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

They led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward.

Many gave false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. Finally two came forward who stated, “This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God and within three days rebuild it.’”

The high priest rose and addressed him, “Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?”

But Jesus was silent and answered nothing.

Then the high priest said to him, “I order you to tell us under oath before the living God whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond. But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied to them, “You say that I am.”

Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need have we of witnesses? You have now heard the blasphemy from his mouth; what is your opinion?” They said in reply, “He deserves to die!” They all condemned him as deserving to die.

Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire that they had made, because it was cold, and were warming themselves. Peter was also standing there keeping warm.

Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm. And they said to him, “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it with an oath and said, “My friend, I am not. I do not know the man!” One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him? Assuredly, this man too was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

Again Peter denied it. Peter said, "My friend, I do not know what you are talking about." He began to curse and to swear.

And immediately the cock crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” Peter went out of the courtyard and began to weep bitterly.

The men who held Jesus in custody were ridiculing and beating him. They blindfolded him and questioned him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” And they reviled him in saying many other things against him.

Then the whole assembly of them arouse and brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium before Pilate. It was morning. And they themselves did not enter the praetorium, in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.

Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? Look to it yourself.”

Flinging the money into the temple, he departed and went off and hanged himself.

The chief priests gathered up the money, but said, “It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury, for it is the price of blood." After consultation, they used it to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood.

Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of a man with a price on his head, a price set by some of the Israelites, and they paid it out for the potter’s field just as the Lord had commanded me."

So Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring [against] this man?” They answered and said to him, “If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” At this, Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”

The Jews answered him, “We do not have the right to execute anyone,” in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled that he said indicating the kind of death he would die. They brought charges against him, saying, “We found this man misleading our people; he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar and maintains that he is the Messiah, a king.”

So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?” Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”

Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants [would] be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”

So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

And when Jesus was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?” But he did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

But they were adamant and said, “He is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to here.” On hearing this Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean; and upon learning that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time.

Herod was very glad to see Jesus; he had been wanting to see him for a long time, for he had heard about him and had been hoping to see him perform some sign.

He questioned him at length, but Jesus gave him no answer.

The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile, stood by accusing him harshly. [Even] Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him...

Herod and Pilate became friends that very day, even though they had been enemies formerly.

Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people and said to them, “You brought this man to me and accused him of inciting the people to revolt. I have conducted my investigation in your presence and have not found this man guilty of the charges you have brought against him, nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us. So no capital crime has been committed by him. Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.”

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.

(Scourging was a torture used as capital punishment reserved for criminals. The recipient was tied to a pillar and had his or her back flesh flogged, either to death or with wounds that were so severe they would cause death. There were lighter sentences in which the flogging was not intended to cause death. Jesus did not cry out nor verbally fight with his captors during any of His torments, fulfilling the prophesy of Isaiah: "Though harshly treated, he submitted and did not open his mouth; like a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep silent before shearers, he did not open his mouth.")

Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
Spiritual Gift: Courage
Compiled from Matthew Chapter 27Mark Chapter 15Luke Chapter 23John Chapter 19

Then the soldiers of the governor led Jesus away inside the palace, that is, the praetorium, and gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped off his clothes and threw a [purple] military cloak about him.

Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him. They began to salute him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and kept striking his head with a reed and spitting upon him.

They knelt before him in homage. They spat upon him and took the reed and kept striking him on the head. And they struck him repeatedly. (Included further taunting, blows and kicks.)

Once more Pilate went out [of the praetorium] and said to [the crowd], “Look, I am bringing him out to you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”

So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And [Pilate] said to them, “Behold, the man!”

When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”

Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.”

Now on the occasion of the feast [of Passover] the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Jesus Barabbas. (*Jesus was a common Hebrew name meaning "God saves." There are many people named Jesus, alias Josue or Joshua, in the Old Testament.)

So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you, [Jesus] Barabbas, or Jesus called Messiah?” For he knew that it was out of envy that they had handed him over.

While [Pilate] was still seated on the [judge's] bench, his wife sent him a message, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man. I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”

The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.

The governor said to them in reply, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They answered, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us." Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion that had taken place in the city and for murder.

Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!”

But he said, “Why? What evil has he done?”

They only shouted the louder, “Let him be crucified!”

Again Pilate addressed them, still wishing to release Jesus, but they continued their shouting, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"

When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. Look to it yourselves.”

And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.”

The Jews answered, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”

Now when Pilate heard this statement, he became even more afraid, and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” Jesus did not answer him.

So Pilate said to him, “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” Jesus answered [him], “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you* has the greater sin.” [*Judas Iscariot and the Pharisees.]

Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out, “If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out and seated him on the judge’s bench in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha. It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.

And [Pilate] said to the Jews, “Behold, your king!”

They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!”

Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?”

The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar."

With loud shouts they persisted in calling for his crucifixion, and their voices prevailed. The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted.

So he released the man who had been imprisoned for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked, and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished.

Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: The Way of the Cross
Spiritual Gift: Patience
Compiled from Matthew Chapter 27Mark Chapter 15Luke Chapter 23John Chapter 19

And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him off to crucify him.

Now two others, both criminals, were led away with him to be executed.

As they led him away they took hold of a passer-by, a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus.

A large crowd of people followed Jesus [to taunt Him; but also] including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?”* [*If God who is so perfect can be abandoned and treated so hatefully by people, how much more hellish will they make life for other humans, who are not perfect?]

Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion
Spiritual Gift: Perseverance
Compiled from Matthew Chapter 27Mark Chapter 15Luke Chapter 23John Chapter 19

And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull),34o they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.* But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.35p After they had crucified him, they divided his garments* by casting lots;36then they sat down and kept watch over him there.37And they placed over his head the written charge* against him: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.38Two revolutionaries* were crucified with him, one on his right and the other on his left.39* q Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads40r and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, if you are the Son of God, [and] come down from the cross!”41Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,42“He saved others; he cannot save himself. So he is the king of Israel!* Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him.43* s He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he wants him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”44The revolutionaries who were crucified with him also kept abusing him in the same way.
The Death of Jesus.45* t From noon onward,u darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.46v And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?* which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”47* Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “This one is calling for Elijah.”48w Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink.49But the rest said, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”50* But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit.51x And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.* The earth quaked, rocks were split,52y tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.53And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.54* The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!”55There were many women there, looking on from a distance,* who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him.56z Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
They brought him to the place of Golgotha (which is translated Place of the Skull).23They gave him wine drugged with myrrh, but he did not take it.24* g Then they crucified him and divided his garments by casting lots for them to see what each should take.25It was nine o’clock in the morning* when they crucified him.26* The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”27With him they crucified two revolutionaries, one on his right and one on his left.h28*29* Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,i “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,30save yourself by coming down from the cross.”31Likewise the chief priests, with the scribes, mocked him among themselves and said, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.32Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also kept abusing him.j
The Death of Jesus.33At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.34And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?* which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”k35* Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “Look, he is calling Elijah.”36One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down.”37Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.38* The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.39* l When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”40* There were also women looking on from a distance.m Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome.41These women had followed him when he was in Galilee and ministered to him. There were also many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.
23* When the soldiers had crucified Jesus,k they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier.l They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down.24So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,” in order that the passage of scripture might be fulfilled [that says]:
“They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.”
This is what the soldiers did.25* m Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.26When Jesus saw his mother* and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”n27Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
28o After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled,* Jesus said, “I thirst.”p29There was a vessel filled with common wine.* So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth.30* When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.”q And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.