We continue to turn the tables of our understanding
Luke 22 66 At daybreak the nation’s leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses got together and brought Jesus before their council. 67 They said, “Tell us! Are you the Messiah?”
Jesus replied, “If I said so, you wouldn’t believe me. 68 And if I asked you a question, you wouldn’t answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right side of God All-Powerful.”
70 Then they asked, “Are you the Son of God?”
Jesus answered, “You say I am!”
71 They replied, “Why do we need more witnesses? He said it himself!”
Luke 23 Everyone in the council got up and led Jesus off to Pilate. 2 They started accusing him and said, “We caught this man trying to get our people to riot and to stop paying taxes to the Emperor. He also claims that he is the Messiah, our king.”
3 Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“Those are your words,” Jesus answered.
4 Pilate told the chief priests and the crowd, “I don’t find him guilty of anything.”
5 But they all kept on saying, “He has been teaching and causing trouble all over Judea. He started in Galilee and has now come all the way here.”
6 When Pilate heard this, he asked, “Is this man from Galilee?” 7 After Pilate learned that Jesus came from the region ruled by Herod, he sent him to Herod, who was in Jerusalem at that time.
8 For a long time Herod had wanted to see Jesus and was very happy because he finally had this chance. He had heard many things about Jesus and hoped to see him work a miracle.
9 Herod asked him a lot of questions, but Jesus did not answer. 10 Then the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses stood up and accused him of all kinds of bad things.
11 Herod and his soldiers made fun of Jesus and insulted him. They put a fine robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. 12 That same day Herod and Pilate became friends, even though they had been enemies before this.
13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people. 14 He told them, “You brought Jesus to me and said he was a troublemaker. But I have questioned him here in front of you, and I have not found him guilty of anything that you say he has done. 15 Herod didn’t find him guilty either and sent him back. This man doesn’t deserve to be put to death! 16-17 I will just have him beaten with a whip and set free.”
18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Kill Jesus! Give us Barabbas!” 19 Now Barabbas was in jail because he had started a riot in the city and had murdered someone.
20 Pilate wanted to set Jesus free, so he spoke again to the crowds. 21 But they kept shouting, “Nail him to a cross! Nail him to a cross!”
22 Pilate spoke to them a third time, “But what crime has he done? I have not found him guilty of anything for which he should be put to death. I will have him beaten with a whip and set free.”
23 The people kept on shouting as loud as they could for Jesus to be put to death. 24 Finally, Pilate gave in. 25 He freed the man who was in jail for rioting and murder, because he was the one the crowd wanted to be set free. Then Pilate handed Jesus over for them to do what they wanted with him.
26 As Jesus was being led away, some soldiers grabbed hold of a man named Simon who was from Cyrene. He was coming in from the fields, but they put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
27 A large crowd was following Jesus, and in the crowd a lot of women were crying and weeping for him. 28 Jesus turned to the women and said:
Women of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me! Cry for yourselves and for your children. 29 Someday people will say, “Women who never had children are really fortunate!” 30 At that time everyone will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” They will say to the hills, “Hide us!” 31 If this can happen when the wood is green, what do you think will happen when it is dry?
32 Two criminals were led out to be put to death with Jesus. 33 When the soldiers came to the place called “The Skull,” they nailed Jesus to a cross. They also nailed the two criminals to crosses, one on each side of Jesus.
34-35 Jesus said, “Father, forgive these people! They don’t know what they’re doing.”
While the crowd stood there watching Jesus, the soldiers gambled for his clothes. The leaders insulted him by saying, “He saved others. Now he should save himself, if he really is God’s chosen Messiah!”
36 The soldiers made fun of Jesus and brought him some wine. 37 They said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!”
38 Above him was a sign that said, “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals hanging there also insulted Jesus by saying, “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and save us!”
40 But the other criminal told the first one off, “Don’t you fear God? Aren’t you getting the same punishment as this man? 41 We got what was coming to us, but he didn’t do anything wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Remember me when you come into power!”
43 Jesus replied, “I promise that today you will be with me in paradise.”
44 Around noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until the middle of the afternoon. 45 The sun stopped shining, and the curtain in the temple split down the middle. 46 Jesus shouted, “Father, I put myself in your hands!” Then he died.
47 When the Roman officer saw what had happened, he praised God and said, “Jesus must really have been a good man!”
48 A crowd had gathered to see the terrible sight. Then after they had seen it, they felt brokenhearted and went home. 49 All of Jesus’ close friends and the women who had come with him from Galilee stood at a distance and watched.
from margaret of antioch 289-304 CE)
O Lord God, Ruler of heaven and of the earth, Creator of things visible and invisible, Giver of eternal life and Consoler of the sorrowful, make me to stand firm in the confession of they name that as with thine aid I have begun the good fight, so with thine aid I may be deemed worthy to gain the victory, lest the adversary spitefully mock at me saying: “Where is now her God in whom she trusted?”… Amen.
Egeria in the Holy land, c. 380 CE
Egeria was a nun from France who was touring the Holy Land in the late 4th century. She was in Jerusalem during Holy Week and provides the only eye witness account of how the early church celebrated.
… following the dismissal from the Cross which occurs before sunrise, everyone now stirred up goes immediately to Sion to pray at the pillar where the Lord was whipped. Returning from there then, everyone rests for a short time in his own house, and soon all are ready. A throne is set up for the bishop on Golgotha behind the Cross, which now stands there. The bishop sits on his throne, a table covered with a linen cloth is set before him, and the deacons stand around the table. The gilded silver casket containing the sacred wood of the cross is brought in and opened. Both the wood of the cross and the inscription are taken and placed on the table. As soon as they have been placed on the table, the bishop, remaining seated, grips the ends of the sacred wood with his hands, while the deacons, who are standing about, keep watch over it. There is a reason why it is guarded in this manner. It is the practice here for all the people to come forth one by one, the faithful as well as the catechumens, to bow down before the table, kiss the holy wood, and then move on. It is said that someone (I do not know when) took a bite and stole a piece of the holy cross. Therefore it is now guarded by the deacons standing around, lest there be anyone who dare come do that again… All the people pass through one by one; all of them bow down, touching the cross and the inscription, first with their foreheads, then with their eyes; and after kissing the cross they move on. No one, however, puts out his hand to touch the cross… When the sixth hour is at hand, everyone goes before the Cross, regardless of whether it is raining or whether it is hot. This place has no roof, for it is a sort of very large and beautiful courtyard lying between the Cross and the Anastasis. The people are so clustered together there that it is impossible for anything to be opened. A chair is placed for the bishop before the Cross, and from the sixth to the ninth hours nothing else is done except the reading of the passages from Scripture… There is no one young or old, who on this day does not sob more than can be imagined for the whole three hours, because the Lord suffered all this for us. After this, when the ninth hours is at hand, the passage is read from the Gospel according to Saint John where Christ gave up His spirit. After this reading, a prayer is said and the dismissal is given… After the dismissal from the Martyrium, everyone comes to the Anastasis, and after they have arrived there, the passage from the Gospel is read where Joseph seeks from Pilate the body of the Lord and places it in a new tomb… And so, those among the people who wish, or rather those who are able, to keep the vigil do so until dawn… The greater part of the people keep watch, some from evening on, others from midnight, each one doing what he can.