Jesus withdrew to the garden of olives with disciples, Peter, James and John, and entered into his last agony of prayer and suffering.
Let us enter the Garden of Olives and accompany Jesus in prayer as he prepares for his death:
Peter, James and John, Jesus’ close companions, accompanied their Master to the Garden of Olives where they remained in prayer while he withdrew into solitude to invoke his Father’s assistance. “Father, if it is possible, spare me this cup; however, not my will but yours be done.” As he prayed more fervently, his struggle became intense and he began to sweat drops of blood. An angel came and ministered to him. Meanwhile, he found his disciples sleeping and asked, “Could you not watch one hour with me?”
Judas Betrays Jesus: Approaching Jesus in the Garden, Judas says: “Hail Master and kissed him.” Jesus responded: “Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
Peter tried to defend Jesus by cutting off a soldier’s right ear. Jesus intervened to prevent violence on his behalf and cured the wounded soldier.
To the Chief Priests/Mob, Jesus said: “As though to capture a bandit you came out armed with swords and clubs! Daily, I was in your midst in the Temple and you did not move a finger to arrest me. But then, this is your chance and the triumph of darkness.”
Jesus at Palace of High Priest Caiphas: Under strong escort, Jesus was marched to the Palace of the High Priest where his captors mocked and struck him, offering many insults. Here Peter, when asked about Jesus, denied knowing him and as the cock crowed, Jesus turned and looked at Peter, recalling how he had foretold his denial.
Jesus Declares Himself the Son of God: After a night of torture and isolation in the jail, Jesus is brought before the Supreme Council for interrogation: Asked: “If you are the Messiah, then, tell us so.” Jesus replied:“ If I tell you, you will not believe me.
…However, from this time forward the Son of Man will be enthroned at the right hand of Almighty God.” They all broke in: “Therefore, you are the Son of God.” “I am, as you say,” Then they said: “What further need have we of witnesses! Why we have heard it from his lips.”
Jesus Before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor: The Chief Priests presented Jesus before the Roman Governor with many accusations: “Inciting our nation to revolt; opposes paying taxes to Caesar, and passes himself off as the Messiah-King.”
Pilate asked Jesus: “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied: “I am, as you say. My kingdom does not belong to this world, otherwise, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
Pilate said, “Then you are a king.” Jesus answered, “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, “What is truth?”
Pilate Addressed the Crowd: “I find no guilt in this man.” They grew more insistent: “He stirs up the nation by his teachings throughout the whole Jewish country. He began in Galilee and ended here.”
Jesus Before Herod: Pilate, hearing that Jesus was a Galilean, decided to send him to his own jurisdiction. Herod, who had already beheaded John the Baptist, was anxious to see Jesus in hopes of witnessing some wonder in his presence; he posed many questions to him, but Jesus refused to answer him, for which he received blows and insults from the guard. After making a mockery of Jesus, Herod sent him back to Pilate and “Herod and Pilate became mutual friends again, after a period of enmity.”
Pilate Declares Jesus Innocent: Addressing the clamoring crowd, Pilate tried to save Jesus by offering to release a prisoner in his place. “Whom do you wish that I release, Jesus or Barabbas (a murderer/robber) The crowd shouted: “Release Barabbas.”
Pilate said, “Jesus has done nothing deserving death; I will have him scourged and set him free.”
Jesus is Scourged: According to the Roman form of scourging; and the soldiers, in mockery of his Kinship, dressed him in a purple robe, wove a wreath of thorns for his head and sent him back to Pilate.
Jesus’ Death Sentence: When Pilate presented Jesus with the words: “Behold the Man”, the mob cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him.”
Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.”
The reason for Jesus Death According to the Jews: The Jews cried out: “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because HE MADE HIMSELF THE SON OF GOD”.
Jesus is Led to Crucifixion: Taking the cross on his shoulders, Jesus is led through the streets of Jerusalem, amid great cruelty, falling exhausted several times, and finally receiving assistance from Simon of Cyrene. He also endured a painful encounter with his sorrowful Mother on the way to Calvary.
Crucifixion and Death of Jesus: Jesus, stripped of his garments is crucified between two thieves. Pilate placed an inscription on his cross: “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”
One of the thieves turned to Jesus and said: “Lord, remember me when you go into your Kingdom.” Jesus replied: “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.”
SEVEN LAST WORDS OF JESUS FROM THE CROSS
- “Father, forgive them, they know not what they are doing.”
- “To the Good Thief: “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”
- “Mother, behold your Son –John; John, behold your Mother.”
- My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
- “I thirst”
- “It is finished”.
- “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
It was NOON and darkness fell upon the whole land until 3:00 in the afternoon, the sun had ceased to shine. The veil of the temple was torn right through the middle, as Jesus gave a LOUD CRY: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
Burial of Jesus: Joseph of Arimathea, a supporter of Jesus, provided for his burial in his own new tomb, which was hewn from of a rock. A stone covered the entrance and because it was Sabbath Preparation Day, Jesus’ friends from Galilee and other mourners, withdrew, planning to return at a later time with aromatic spices/perfumes to complete the anointing of Jesus’ Body.