Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

The Lord Provides

April 7, 2013

From time to time, the topic of the “Mark of the Beast” comes up in conversation.

According to Revelation chapter 13, the Satanic Beast will enforce his “mark” on everyone; all who do not accept this “mark” will be unable to buy or sell goods. (Revelation 13:17).

In other words, when this happens you will have a black-and-white choice:

  • Take the Satanic mark in order to be able to feed, clothe, and shelter your family.
  • Resist the mark, and rely on the Lord to feed, clothe, and shelter your family

If you take the mark, you are essentially looking to Satan to provide your physical needs.
If you resist the mark, you are looking to the Lord to provide your physical needs.

This will be a scary moment for all Christians.

The Satanic mark, and the results, are tangible: You will have the means to get what you need, and you can clearly see how, where, and when those needs can be met.

Relying on the Lord, however, doesn’t seem to be so clear-cut: You have no way of seeing how, where, or when your necessary provisions will come. There is nobody giving you a “game plan” for your family. You will be simply taking it day by day, or maybe even hour by hour.

Most people will accept the mark because they want a sense of security and tangibility in caring for their families.

These are the people who either don’t read their Bibles, or don’t trust in the Lord. The Bible is chock full of examples of how the Lord provides for our needs, even in the most unexpected of ways:

When the Israelites were wandering the wilderness for forty years, the Lord provided them with daily food: Manna
(Exodus 16:1-12 ).

When the Israelites ran out of water, the Lord provided that for them as well.
(Exodus 17:1-6 )

During a time of long drought, the Lord provided for the prophet Elijah by sending  him food by the use of ravens, and settling him by a source of water.
(1 Kings 17:1-6)

During this drought, he Lord miraculously provided for a poor widow who had run out of  food for herself and her young son.
(1 Kings  17: 7-16)

The Lord helped another poor widow who ran out of money to provide for her family by miraculously providing enough oil for her to sell.
(2 Kings 4:1-7)

Jesus Christ miraculously provided food for over 5,000 people with only two fish and five bread loaves.
(Matthew 14:14-21)

In fact, Jesus performed this miracle a second time, with over 4,000 people with a few fish and seven loaves.
(Matthew 15:32-38)

On yet another occasion, when the overnight fishermen caught nothing, Jesus miraculously gave them an overwhelmingly large netting of fish.
(Luke 5:4-9)

Clearly, the Lord can provide for your family’s needs on a moment’s notice. We don’t need to rely on the tangible things, especially  those which originate from Satan’s dominion. The Lord sees, and all you have to do is simply trust that He will provide, and He will. Strengthen your faith. Resist Satan’s world. Don’t let the things you can see with your eyes seduce you away from the Lord. Satan is a master trickster, and once he sucks you in, it will be impossible to get back out of it.

Come, Lord Jesus.


Gentle Caroling

December 19, 2012

And now, for some soothing Christmas music….

Angels We Have Heard On High (Sixpence None the Richer)

Away In A Manger (Celtic Woman)

Breath Of Heaven (Amy Grant)

First Noel, The (Natalie Cole)

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (Julie Andrews)

Mary Did You Know (Trent DeWhite)

Oh Holy Night (Celine Dion)

Silent Night (Sinead O’Connor)

What Child Is This (Mercy Me )

The Star of Bethlehem

December 13, 2012

It’s that time of year when we start hearing debates centering around the Star of Bethlehem.
Was it real?
Was it only a myth?
If it were real, then how did it happen?

Recently, my church’s adult Sunday School tackled this topic using the research provided by Rick Larson. I believe the information is compelling and convincing, and so I am sharing it with all of you.

All information in this post is a quick re-cap based on research performed by Rick Larson.
More information on Larson’s research is at the end of this post.

Before we get into the science of the matter, let’s first review what the Bible account says about this Star:

Matthew 2:1-10, New King James Version:

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’” Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

First, we have the question: What was it about this Star that signified to the magi that a King of the Jews had been born?

To answer this, it is important to note that, in those ancient days, all heavenly bodies were viewable only by the naked eye because telescopes were not invented until 1600 years after Christ’s birth. This means that the ancients saw two kinds of stars in the sky: Fixed stars (which we now know are real stars), and wandering stars (which we now know are actually planets, whose positions change in the sky each night). From the vantage point of Earth, these planetary “wandering stars” are often observed making looped paths through the night sky through the course of each year. These magi were educated in the study of stars and understood the precision of the movements of these celestial objects.  So, at this point in time, what did they see?

Because the planets and stars all move in clockwork synchrony, it is possible for us today to know what the ancients saw at any given time. Rick Larson, the man who researched this Star, made use of  astronomy software, specifically “Starry Night“. There is also a similar program you can download for free, called Stellarium.  By adjusting the dates and coordinate features, this software can show you the exact positions of the celestial bodies, even from as long ago as Jesus Christ’s birth. This is what the ancients saw:

The “wandering star”, Jupiter, was known as a King star.   Thus, over a certain time period of time, the magi noticed the path of this wandering King star pass over Regulus, which was known as a fixed King star. The path of Jupiter seemed most unusual though: From the moving platform of Earth, the planet Jupiter appeared to loop back and forth over Regulus a few times, as though it were “crowning” Regulus (this movement would have happened over a period of weeks, not hours). From this, they deduced the announcement of a king.

Along with this phenomenon, that fixed King Star, Regulus, is one of the stars that makes the constellation of Leo, the lion. And, interestingly, the tribe of Judah (from which the word “Jew” originates) was often symbolized with a Lion (which is why Jesus Christ was called the Lion of Judah- Rev.5:5).  From this, the magi deduced the king was from among the Jews.

From the vantage point of Earth, as Jupiter continued it’s path across the night sky after “crowning” Regulus, the planet Venus — the “mother star” — seemed to catch up with Jupiter. The combined light from Jupiter and Venus added to each other, making them look like a very bright, single star in the sky to the naked eye. The magi deduced that the wandering King Star combined with the Mother Star signified the birth of said king. Ergo, they came to the understanding that a King of the Jews had just been born. Apparently this excited them enough that they decided to travel to Jerusalem — the royal city in Judah — to see this newborn king. It is thought that these Magi probably came from Babylon, meaning they had a journey of several hundred miles to undertake. Clearly, they were very intrigued by these heavenly signs.

After finishing with their visit with Herod, they continued to follow the “wandering star”, Jupiter, in hopes it would lead them to this newborn king they were seeking. According to Scripture, the Star appeared to stop over the place where Jesus was staying at the time. Notice that Scripture does not say the Christ child was still in a manger — at this point He was staying in a home. This signifies a certain passage of time since his birth — perhaps some months after the magi first recognized the signs in the sky, since it would take some time for the celestial bodies to complete these movements.

So now we have the big question: How did Jupiter actually STOP in the sky? Aren’t planets “wandering stars” that continually move? The thing is, when a planet is looking like it’s making a loop, it appears to be briefly stationary to the naked eye before it reverses position in the sky. It is this timing that made the Star appear to be stopped over the residence of the Christ child.


As I stated at the beginning of this post, this is only a quick review of the fascinating research done by Rick Larson.  I couldn’t go into the riveting details because the post would just simply be too long — there is MUCH more to this than what I’ve posted. I strongly recommend that you look at his presentation for yourself for it is scientifically sound and absolutely amazing. He released a DVD presentation of his work that, I believe, will convince you that this was no myth. For more information on obtaining his DVD click the following link:

May you have peace and blessings through this season of Advent, as we prepare to commemorate the first coming of Christ.

Cross vs. Crucifix

October 3, 2012

First things first:
A Cross is the representation of the structure upon which most Christians believe Jesus Christ was murdered.
A Crucifix, on the other hand, is a cross that includes a representation of Christ’s body still attached to it.

It has been my experience that Roman Catholic members tend to prefer the Crucifix, whereas Protestant members tend to prefer the Cross (full disclosure: I am in the “Protestant” group). Quite frequently, I hear Protestants reject the Crucifix because “That’s a dead Jesus, but my Jesus is alive!”

It always makes me cringe when I hear that.
First of all, it’s just a Crucifix, it isn’t a real Jesus on a real Cross — it’s only a representation of the enormous Sacrifice He made for us, and nothing more. Secondly, Jesus wasn’t raised from the Cross, He was actually raised from the grave…. three days later. This means that there was an empty Cross with a dead Jesus in the grave for three entire days before He was raised up again, ergo, a Cross can represent a dead Jesus just as much as a Crucifix can. In fact, since the whole purpose of the Cross was death, I’m not sure how it can be seen as anything other than a representation of a dead Jesus. If one wants to represent a living Jesus, one should have a depiction of an opened tomb instead. Therefore, both Crosses and Crucifixes actually represent a dead Jesus and not a living one; neither is all that different from the other.

This should not be offensive.
It’s a Scriptural fact: Jesus Christ was required to suffer death in order to give us Salvation, there was no other way. His death is something we should keep in mind because without that event we would be forever damned!  But does keeping mindful of a dead Jesus mean that we worship a dead Jesus?

Of course not!

To begin with, one should not be worshipping a Cross or Crucifix in the first place. The Bible is very clear that we shouldn’t worship sacred pillars, poles, idols, or any other physical object. To pray or bow to a Cross or Crucifix is worship, and that is not what a Christian is called to do. If you are doing these things, then you are worshipping a dead Jesus, whether you are Roman Catholic or Protestant. But merely having such an object simply for decoration to express your Christian viewpoint is not any act of worship at all. And, since it is not an act of worship, it shouldn’t be twisted to mean that you worship a dead Jesus just for the mere possession of such items. To put it another way, if you aren’t directing your worship to the Cross or Crucifix, then you aren’t worshipping a dead Jesus. Period.

Having such objects in your home shouldn’t be a bone of contention for others — having a simple reminder of what Jesus did for you is no different than having a photograph of a dead loved one in your home as a simple reminder of that person. Just as viewing the photograph of the loved one shouldn’t be misconstrued as worship of the dead person, likewise having a Cross or Crucifix shouldn’t be misconstrued as worship of a dead Jesus.

Let’s stop being judgmental of those who prefer a Crucifix over a Cross because the argument is really twisted.

Peace, and Amen.

Jesus Didn’t Hate The Sinners

August 23, 2012

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, lived only a few short decades as a human among us.
And, even though He was the Son of God Himself, and even though He was sinless and perfect in every way, He still didn’t feel entitled to hate the sinners of this world. Instead of hating the sinners He showed mercy, peace, and love towards them: He forgave the adulteress who was facing the death penalty. He healed the crippled, even on the Sabbath. He taught that people should love each other in spite of their differences. He didn’t hesitate to reach out to those who were lost in their sins: He healed those possessed of demons, He forgave immoral women, He ate with tax collectors…  He even showed tolerance towards Judas, fully knowing he was going to betray Him.  Parallel to this, He did not tolerate arrogance, self-righteousness, or mercilessness. And He did not play favorites in any of these things.

Yeah, so?

So, we need to take a lesson from this:
Jesus Christ, who never sinned, did not hate the sinners.

We, as human beings, lose that lesson — instead, we tend to hate those who sin differently from ourselves.
We see people tolerating unmarried heterosexual couples living together while hating the gays who marry. We see people tolerating Atheism while hating the Muslims. We see people tolerating violent video games while hating drug addicts.

In reality,  there is no sin which doesn’t carry the death penalty.
The Bible doesn’t mince words: The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).  There are no exceptions and no loopholes: Sin = death. In other words, that unmarried couple is just as deserving of death as that married gay couple. The lover of violence is just as deserving of death as the drug addict. The drunken slob is just as deserving of death as the crooked politician.

And yet, Jesus Christ died for them (us!), so that we may not remain dead in our sins.

So, just as Jesus did not hate the sinners, neither should we. Instead, we should take a cue from Him and throw love at these people we don’t happen to like. My sin, your sin, her sin, and his sin may all be different sins, but we all remain in the same boat, and that boat is sinking without the love of Christ. If  He had hated the sinners, none of us would be Saved. Instead of hating on others, it’s better to do what you can to share the Love of Christ, so that they too may receive Salvation through Him.


All In Moderation

July 17, 2012

Sunlight is a wonderful thing.
It synthesizes vitamin D in our skins.
It is a key element in photosynthesis, necessary for the growth of food plants.
It is vital for keeping our planet warm enough to support life.
It provides us with light for us to see by.

Without the sun, ours would be a cold, barren rock of a planet without a single living thing on it. We need the sun, no question about that. But we also must be careful that we don’t get too much sun: Excessive sun exposure causes painful sunburns, heat stroke, and skin cancers. The very thing that keeps us alive can kill us if we don’t take it in moderation. As with anything in life, balance is the key.

And, just as we need balance in how much sun exposure we receive in our physical lives, we must also have balance with how much Son exposure we get in our spiritual lives. We have no life without the Son, we would be as dead men without HIm (Matthew 8:22 ), much like the Earth would be dead without the sun. Is it equally true that we could also have too much Son exposure as well?

In a manner of speaking, YES.

There are some believers who go a bit overboard in their Christian journey. These ones are so afraid that they might do something wrong that they add on rule upon rule in an attempt to keep members in line with Him. For example, Old Order Amish members do not believe in having their photograph taken because they believe it is a violation of the second commandment which  states “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Exodus 20:4). Old Order Amish women are not allowed to wear make up or shave their legs/armpits due to Scripture regarding vanity and outward appearances. Older Order Amish men cannot have a mustache because of its historical connection to the military.

And it’s not just the Old Order Amish who go overboard:

Jehovah’s Witness members must answer a series of over one hundred questions, correctly (according to their doctrines) before being allowed baptism. Mormons believe you must have a MORMON baptism (even if you had been baptized previously in another denomination). Certain Baptist churches believe in using ONLY the King James Version Bible.  Most Messianic Jews believe male members must wear beards to be right with God. It goes on and on.

How can we know when something is biblical, versus something going overboard? Obviously you test the teaching with the Scriptures, but in most cases these groups believe they have scriptural support for their rules. For example:

The Messianic Jews point to the Scripture which instructs men to refrain from shaving their beards (Leviticus 19:27). This is all well and nice, but they are missing a key point: This is spoken in the Old Jewish Law as a command, and when Jesus Christ died His death finished that Law so that it was no longer an obligation (Click here for details).

By piling on extra rules and regulation in the attempt for purifying one’s worship, such ones tend to make worship a burdensome thing, and Jesus Christ Himself stated that His load is NOT heavy and NOT wearisome (Matthew 11:29-30). God doesn’t want us to worship under fear of slipping up, He wants us to worship in the freedom of forgiveness through Christ’s blood. Although it is a good thing to be careful that you do not offend Him, we must also be careful that we aren’t being required to hold to things that are beyond what is instructed in the Scriptures (Romans 16:17-18).

Not only it is an unnecessary burden to try too hard, but it can also be a snare to our spirituality. One of the most common snares is the sin of pride: Oftentimes, those who are involved in such groups become puffed up, believing that they are more righteous than all other denominations due to their uber-pious living. Closely related to pride is the sin of being overly-judgmental of others, also due to the fostering of a self-righteous attitude. We must remember that “Pride goeth before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18), and that we have no business judging others, as we all will stand in the judgement seat before God (Romans 14:10-12).

So, getting back to the original illustration, we must remember that even though Son Light is essential for our very living, it is important that we don’t overdo it, because the sins of pride, judgmental attitudes, and self-righteousness are the cancers that can kill us spiritually.


** This post is in no way accusing any denominations mentioned as being under the sins of pride or self-righteous judgmental attitudes. Each individual in each denomination must make his or her own accounting of such matters. 

Friday, At The Cross

May 27, 2012

Friday: At the Cross
Gloom, the grey dread dreary darkness
Settles starkly on God’s fair land.
Cold, the wind of death blows sadness
Through my heart, tis evil’s madness.
Dead, my Lord, evil’s plan.

His hands tacked tight, Oh mocking praise
His glazed eyes gaze to heaven’s void
While at his feel the jester’s raise
Their chilling cheers; their rage filled craze.
All goodness, there, destroyed.

Saturday: Alive in hell
“There is no help for you in God,”
Within the subtle voice speaks clear.
Awake, fatigued, in darkness shod
Through night’s drear path alone, He trod,
With no friend to be near.

This anguish deeper enters in,
Piercing past all sense and reason.
The screeching laughter mocks within,
“You have no friend; you’re wrapped in sin.
Hell is your new season.”

Christ my Lord, to this has fallen.
Here into this hell He’s chosen
To descend in isolation.
Here the damned in sleepless calling
Moan their godless mock and cursing,
Forever here now frozen?

Christ the Lord to hell descended
Lost the radiance; holy glory.
We the guilty, we offended,
We who are on sin dependant
We, in shame, now tarry.

Descended here in godless hell
Into our drear when joys are few,
The savior comes, Emmanuel.
With loving whispers, now he tells,
“In hell I stand with you.”

Warm this morning sun is rising
Breaks the grip of cold and darkness
More than metaphor this rising
Life from death is now surprising
Jesus our forgiveness

A different dread now fills my mind
As at death’s door I stand alone
For coming to the grave I find
The door of death is opened wide
Nothing is in rhyme

(Written by Rev. Dr. James W. Kerr)

The Garbage Collectors

May 11, 2012

Today is “trash collection day” in our neighborhood.
It’s the day when everyone sets their garbage and recyclables at the curbside for the garbage collection trucks to pick up.
And it happens every week, like clockwork.

And I stopped for a few moments to think about what would happen if the garbage collection trucks stopped coming to take our trash away. I mean, obviously, we’d all be more careful about how much trash we generate because it would be up to us to take it to the dumping ground ourselves. We’d start using re-fillable bottles for our beverages and re-fillable containers for our foods. We’d begin using more packaging which composts quickly — we’d use the cardboard ice-cream containers instead of the plastic ones. We’d use refillable glass milk bottles instead of the plastic throw-away jugs. We’d eat more fresh fruits and vegetables in order to do away with canned waste.We’d use baking soda instead of toothpaste to do away with some of the plastic waste.

But no matter how hard we tried, we’d still generate some amount of trash no matter what: We’d still have the cardboard remnants and the rinds from the fresh produce. These things don’t compost in a day, ergo there would always be some kind of build up around on a continuous basis, continuing to attract flies and other insects.  And that wouldn’t be all of it: We’d still have leftover “dead” electronic components, and used motor oil. We’d still have broken refrigerators and junked cars. And if there were nobody to eliminate these useless things we’d all be buried in them.

We could never be truly trash-free, not even for a small moment.

But, thankfully, we don’t live in that kind of world. We have someone who is there for us on a regular basis to clean up our trash and puts it where it belongs. And this frees us from becoming inundated with our trash, allowing us to live with a high level of “clean” in spite of our continued generation of garbage.

And then I thought of how this garbage situation is so much like our sinful nature.

Our sinful nature is the garbage that we accumulate as we live our daily lives. We add to our sins every day, and sin threatens to overwhelm us, bury us. They would eventually kill us due to the increasing level of decay and filth and stench.We’d grow more and more spiritually sick as time went on, until we die buried in the trash heaps of sin.

But Jesus Christ has filled a important role for us: He takes out our trash, on a continual basis, so that we can continue to live clean lives. As continuously as we generate our “trash”, He continuously takes it away from us, allowing us to be a clean people. But this can only happen if we accept Him as our “trash collector” . If we don’t let Him take away our trash, we will die in our sins, buried in them. And He doesn’t care how much trash you have to take out: The moment you accept Him as your trash collector, He takes away everything that you’ve buried yourself in. He doesn’t take breaks. He doesn’t take a day off. He doesn’t confine Himself to working only during certain hours. His Grace is on call, 24 /7 , and takes away all the mounds of trash you’ve generated.

And THAT, is something profound to think about.

The Biblical Account of Christ’s Resurrection, Part III

April 6, 2012

It occurs to us that we’ve posted the Christmas Story from the Bible, but we have yet to post the “Easter Story” from the Bible. Although we realize that many of you already own a Bible, we also realize that many of you do NOT happen to own one, therefore we are posting the entirety of the Bible’s account regarding Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection as written in the King James Version. Because this is a rather long reading, we will break it up into three parts, taken from the World English Bible (a public domain version):

Mark 16

1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 for it was very big. Looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back.
5 Entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed. 6 He said to them, “Don’t be amazed. You seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen. He is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him! 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He goes before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you.’”
8 They went out,* and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come on them. They said nothing to anyone; for they were afraid. 9 Now when he had risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 When they heard that he was alive, and had been seen by her, they disbelieved. 12 After these things he was revealed in another form to two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country. 13 They went away and told it to the rest. They didn’t believe them, either.
14 Afterward he was revealed to the eleven themselves as they sat at the table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they didn’t believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will in no way hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
19 So then the Lord, after he had spoken to them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 They went out, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.

The Biblical Account of Christ’s Resurrection, Part II

April 6, 2012

It occurs to us that we’ve posted the Christmas Story from the Bible, but we have yet to post the “Easter Story” from the Bible. Although we realize that many of you already own a Bible, we also realize that many of you do NOT happen to own one, therefore we are posting the entirety of the Bible’s account regarding Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection as written in the King James Version. Because this is a rather long reading, we will break it up into three parts, taken from the World English Bible (a public domain version):

Mark 15

1 Immediately in the morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him up to Pilate. 2 Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
He answered, “So you say.”
3 The chief priests accused him of many things. 4 Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they testify against you!”
5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate marveled.
6 Now at the feast he used to release to them one prisoner, whom they asked of him. 7 There was one called Barabbas, bound with those who had made insurrection, men who in the insurrection had committed murder. 8 The multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do as he always did for them. 9 Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that for envy the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the multitude, that he should release Barabbas to them instead. 12 Pilate again asked them, “What then should I do to him whom you call the King of the Jews?”
13 They cried out again, “Crucify him!”
14 Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?”
But they cried out exceedingly, “Crucify him!”
15 Pilate, wishing to please the multitude, released Barabbas to them, and handed over Jesus, when he had flogged him, to be crucified. 16 The soldiers led him away within the court, which is the Praetorium; and they called together the whole cohort. 17 They clothed him with purple, and weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 They began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 They struck his head with a reed, and spat on him, and bowing their knees, did homage to him. 20 When they had mocked him, they took the purple off of him, and put his own garments on him. They led him out to crucify him. 21 They compelled one passing by, coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go with them, that he might bear his cross. 22 They brought him to the place called Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, “The place of a skull.” 23 They offered him wine mixed with myrrh to drink, but he didn’t take it.
24 Crucifying him, they parted his garments among them, casting lots on them, what each should take. 25 It was the third hour,* and they crucified him. 26 The superscription of his accusation was written over him, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 27 With him they crucified two robbers; one on his right hand, and one on his left. 28 The Scripture was fulfilled, which says, “He was numbered with transgressors.”
29 Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who destroy the temple, and build it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!”
31 Likewise, also the chief priests mocking among themselves with the scribes said, “He saved others. He can’t save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe him.” Those who were crucified with him insulted him.
33 When the sixth hour§ had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.** 34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is, being interpreted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.”
36 One ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Let him be. Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down.”
37 Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and gave up the spirit. 38 The veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. 39 When the centurion, who stood by opposite him, saw that he cried out like this and breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
40 There were also women watching from afar, among whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and served him; and many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
42 When evening had now come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent council member who also himself was looking for the Kingdom of God, came. He boldly went in to Pilate, and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate marveled if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead long. 45 When he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 He bought a linen cloth, and taking him down, wound him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb which had been cut out of a rock. He rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, saw where he was laid.

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