Conclusion: Passion, Resurrection and Great Commission

 

This gospel concluded with the events of the last week of Jesus, a main preoccupation of all four gospels.  Jesus had entered Jerusalem in triumph.  He held a last supper and prayed to be spared.  He was betrayed by Judas.  Then he was tried by the Jewish leaders and before The roman governor Pontius Pilate.  Jesus was crucified as king of the Jews and mocked by all.  At his death, there was an earthquake, when the veil of the Temple was cut in two, and the saints rose from their tombs.  Mary Magdalene and the other women discovered the empty tomb.  Jesus told them to tell the disciples to meet him in Galilee.

There was a plot to kill Jesus.  Jesus spoke to his disciples and gave his fourth prediction about the death of the Son of Man.  Then the chief priests and the elders gathered to plot the arrest of Jesus.  However, before that, there was an anointing by the unnamed women in Bethany as she poured oil on Jesus.  Others wanted to know why she was wasting oil.  Jesus said that she had done a good thing by anointing him for burial.  Thus, she would be remembered.  Meanwhile, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

Then they made the preparations for the Passover.  Where would the Passover be?  There was a house for the Passover meal, as the disciples prepared for the Passover evening meal.  Jesus announced the betrayal.  Who would betray Jesus?  This betrayer would be cursed, as Judas spoke out.  At the Last Supper Eucharist, Jesus said that this was his body and blood with eschatological implications.

They went to the Mount of Olives.  Jesus predicted that the apostles would scatter.  He was going to go to Galilee.  Peter said that he would never desert Jesus.  Then Jesus warned Peter about his desertion, but Peter was adamant that he would never deny Jesus.

They went to Gethsemane as Jesus took his three favorite apostles.  He prayed to his Father while these apostles slept.  There was a second prayer of Jesus, as he came a second time to the sleeping apostles.  He prayed a third time.  Then Jesus woke them up.

Judas arrived and kissed Jesus, as they then seized Jesus.  Someone cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave.  However, Jesus told them to put their swords away as the disciples fled.

Jesus went before Caiaphas the high priest, while Peter followed Jesus to the courtyard of the high priest.  They were looking for false testimony.  Finally, two witnesses came forward.  The high priest spoke and Jesus responded.  He called the words of Jesus blasphemy, as they mocked Jesus.  Peter’s denied Jesus three time and then he remembered Jesus’ words.

The elders and Pharisees planned to kill Jesus.  They would deliver Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor.  Meanwhile, Judas repented, but he hung himself.  He returned the pieces of silver to the Temple, but it was used to purchase a graveyard called the Field of Blood to fulfill a prophecy of Jeremiah.

Jesus went before Pilate as he asked him if he was the king of the Jews?  However, Jesus did not respond.  The governor was going to release one prisoner at the festival time.  However, the people wanted the prisoner Barabbas rather than Jesus.  Pilate got a warning from his wife.  Nevertheless, the crowd wanted to crucify Jesus.  Pilate claimed that he was innocent of his blood but the crowds said that his blood be on us.  Barabbas was then released.  Jesus went to the governor’s head quarters where the Roman soldiers mocked him.

They prepared Jesus for the crucifixion.  They got Simon of Cyrene to help with the cross as they went to Golgotha.  They divided his garments and wrote on the cross Jesus, King of the Jews.  There were two robbers who derided and and taunted Jesus, just like the Jewish religious leaders had mocked Jesus.

Darkness fell over the land as Jesus died.  The cry of Jesus was interpreted as a call to Elijah.  They gave him sour wine to drink.  Would Elijah save Jesus?  When Jesus died, the Temple curtain was torn in two.  Tombs opened and the dead rose and appeared in Jerusalem.  He truly was  the Son of God.

There were women from Galilee, especially the women called Mary.  Joseph of Arimathea got the body of Jesus and put it in his tomb as the women called Mary were vigilant.  Meanwhile, there was a gathering with Pilate, since the Jewish religious leaders wanted to have the tomb secure.  Thus, a custodial guard was set up at the tomb.

The two Marys visited the tomb, where there was another earthquake with an angel at the tomb.  The guards were afraid, but the angel speaks to the women to tell them to let the disciples know what happened.  The women left the tomb and Jesus appeared to them.  Meanwhile, the guards told the chief priests in Jerusalem what had happened.  These religious leaders paid the guards to tell everyone that someone stole the body of Jesus while they were sleeping.  Thus, this stolen body story spread.

After the resurrection, the remaining eleven disciples returned to an unnamed mountain in Galilee.  There the post-resurrection Jesus gave them authority in heaven and on earth with his great commission:  They were to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them with a Trinitarian formula.  They were to follow his commandments because Jesus would be with them until the end of time.

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The plague on the animals (Zech 14:15-14:15)

“A plague,

Like this plague,

Shall fall on

The horses,

The mules,

The camels,

The donkeys,

Whatever animals

May be in those camps.”

The domestic animals would not be spared.  This plague would hit the horses, the mules, the camels, the donkeys, and whatever other animals that were in the camps of the people.  These animals would not be immune from this plague.

Yahweh will be a guard (Zech 9:8-9:8)

“Then I will encamp

At my house

As a guard.

Thus,

No one shall march to and fro.

No oppressor

Shall again overrun them.

Now I see

With my own eyes.”

Yahweh was going to be the guard of his house.  People would not be able to move around or overtake it.  Perhaps, this is an allusion to a visit of Alexander the Great to Jerusalem on some of his exploits.  He obviously spared the city.  Thus, no oppressor would be able to overrun them.  Yahweh was going to see all this with his own eyes.

Yahweh was going to destroy Gog and his army (Ezek 38:3-38:4)

“Say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I am against you!

O Gog!

Chief prince

Of Meshech

With Tubal.

I will turn you around!

I will put hooks

Into your jaws.

I will lead you out

With all your army,

Horses,

Horsemen,

All clothed

In full armor,

A great company,

All of them

With bucklers,

With shields,

Wielding swords.’”

Yahweh wanted Ezekiel to give Gog a message. How he was going to do this is not clear. Nevertheless, Yahweh God was against Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Yahweh was going to turn back Gog and put hooks into his jaws. This was not only going to happen to him, but also his whole army, their horses, their cavalry, their armored soldiers, and those with bucklers, shields, and swords. No one would be spared.

Warn the wicked (Ezek 33:8-33:9)

“If I say

To the wicked,

O wicked ones!

You shall surely die!’

If you do not speak

To warn

The wicked ones

To turn

From their ways,

The wicked ones

Shall die

In their iniquity.

But I will require

Their blood

At your hand.

However,

If you warn

The wicked ones

To turn

From their ways,

But they do not turn

From their ways,

The wicked ones

Shall die

In their iniquity.

But you will have saved

Your life.”

Yahweh explained to Ezekiel that if he said the wicked ones would die, and Ezekiel did not warn them, it was his fault. If Ezekiel did not warn these wicked ones to turn from their wicked ways of iniquity, their blood would be on his hands. On the other hand, if he warned them to turn from their wicked ways, and they did not, it was not his fault. The wicked ones would die, but Ezekiel’s life would be spared. He would not have any of their blood on his hands, since he had warned them.

For the sake of his name (Ezek 20:13-20:14)

“Then I thought

I would pour out

My wrath

Upon them

In the wilderness,

To make an end

Of them.

But I acted

For the sake

Of my name.

Thus it should not be

Profaned

In the sight

Of the nations.

In whose sight

I had brought them out.”

Once again, Yahweh was angry, like he had been in Egypt. This time he thought about putting an end to these Israelites in the wilderness. However, once again, he thought about his name. He did not want to profane the name of Yahweh in the sight of other countries. These other countries had seen him take the people of the house of Israel out of Egypt. Thus for the sake of his name, he spared them.