The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

 

The Passion of Christ

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this he breathed his last.


- Luke 23: 39-46

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ refers not only to the Crucifixion, but to the entire chain of events, from the conspiracy against Jesus through the Crucifixion on Golgotha. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “The sufferings of Our Lord, which culminated in His death upon the cross, seem to have been conceived of as one inseparable whole from a very early period.” From an early time these collective events were referred to by the Latin term passus, stemming from pati, patior and meaning “to suffer” or “to happen.” The anglicized term 'Passion' has been in use since the Middle Ages.

The Passion begins at Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22 and John 12 with the conspiracy against Jesus, which then unfolds:

  • A meal a few days before Passover. A woman anoints Jesus. He says that for this she will always be remembered.

  • In Jerusalem, the Last Supper shared by Jesus and his disciples. Jesus gives final instructions, predicts his betrayal, and tells them all to remember him.

  • On the path to Gethsemane after the meal. Jesus tells them they will all fall away that night; after Peter protests he will not, Jesus says Peter will deny him three times before the cock crows.

  • Gethsemane, later that night. As the disciples rest, Jesus prays; then a mob led by Judas Iscariot arrests Jesus, and all the others run away.

  • The high priest’s palace, later that night. The mob brings Jesus to the Sanhedrin, the Jewish supreme court; they examine Jesus and determine he deserves to die. They send him to Pontius Pilate.

  • The courtyard outside the high priest’s palace, the same time. Peter has followed Jesus and joined the mob awaiting Jesus’ fate; they suspect he is a sympathizer, so Peter denies he knows Jesus. Suddenly the cock crows and Peter remembers what Jesus had said.

  • The governor’s palace, early morning. Pilate, the Roman governor, examines Jesus, decides he is innocent; the Jewish leaders and the crowd demand Jesus’ death; Pilate gives them the choice of saving Barabbas, a criminal, or saving Jesus. In response to the screaming mob Pilate sends Jesus out to be crucified. Judas, the betrayer, is filled with remorse and tries to return the money he was paid for betraying Jesus. When the high priests say that that is his affair, Judas throws the money into the temple, goes off, and hangs himself.

  • Golgotha, a hill outside Jerusalem, later morning through mid afternoon. After being mocked and whipped, Jesus was made to carry his own cross to Golgotha. Here, Jesus is crucified and dies, and he is then carried to be laid in the tomb.

- Adapted From the Catholic Encyclopedia and Wikipedia.

 

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