The Son of Man (Lk 11:30-11:30)

“Just as Jonah

Became a sign

To the people

Of Nineveh,

So,

The Son of Man

Will be a sign

To this generation.”

 

καθὼς γὰρ ἐγένετο Ἰωνᾶς τοῖς Νινευείταις σημεῖον, οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh (καθὼς γὰρ ἐγένετο Ἰωνᾶς τοῖς Νινευείταις σημεῖον), so, too, the Son of Man will be a sign to this generation (οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ).  This saying about the sign of Jonah can also be found in Matthew, chapter 12:39-40.  Perhaps this was a Q source, going back to Hebrew scripture roots.  Jesus used this story of the prophet Jonah, chapter 1:17, where he was in the belly of the whale or the sea monster for 3 days and 3 nights.  The obvious comparison between the 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the fish and Jesus in the tomb was not lost on the early Christians.  Matthew was even more specific than Luke.  He indicated that Jesus said that the only sign they were going to get was the sign of the prophet Jonah, who had been in the belly of the sea monster or whale that swallowed him for 3 days and 3 nights.  Thus, the Son of Man would be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.  This was a clear allusion to the death of Jesus in the tomb for 3 days and 3 nights before his resurrection.  Luke was not as clear or specific.  What do you know about Jonah and the whale?

Jesus has risen (Mk 16:6-16:6)

“However,

This man said to them.

‘Do not be alarmed!

You are looking for

Jesus of Nazareth,

Who was crucified.

He has been raised!

He is not here!

Look!

There is the place

Where they laid him.”

 

ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐταῖς Μὴ ἐκθαμβεῖσθε· Ἰησοῦν ζητεῖτε τὸν Ναζαρηνὸν τὸν ἐσταυρωμένον· ἠγέρθη, οὐκ ἔστιν ὧδε· ἴδε ὁ τόπος ὅπου ἔθηκαν αὐτόν.

 

This text is similar to Matthew, chapter 28:5-6, where the angel told the women not to be alarmed because Jesus, the crucified one, had risen from the dead.  Luke, chapter 24:5-8, had the 2 men deliver a long soliloquy about Jesus and the resurrection.  John, chapter 20:13-14, had the 2 men turn into Jesus.  Mark remarked that this man with the white clothes said to the 3 women (ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐταῖς) that they were not to be afraid or amazed (Μὴ ἐκθαμβεῖσθε).  He knew that they were looking for or seeking Jesus of Nazareth (Ἰησοῦν ζητεῖτε τὸν Ναζαρηνὸν), who had been crucified (τὸν ἐσταυρωμένον).  He told them that Jesus had risen (ἠγέρθη).  He was not there (οὐκ ἔστιν ὧδε).  This man told them to look (ἴδε) and see the place where Jesus had been laid out in the tomb (ὁ τόπος ὅπου ἔθηκαν αὐτόν).

A young man dressed in white (Mk 16:5-16:5)

“As they entered the tomb,

They saw a young man,

Wearing a white robe.

He was sitting

On the right side.

They were amazed.”

 

καὶ εἰσελθοῦσαι εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον εἶδον νεανίσκον καθήμενον ἐν τοῖς δεξιοῖς περιβεβλημένον στολὴν λευκήν, καὶ ἐξεθαμβήθησαν.

 

Matthew, chapter 28:2-7, is the only gospel story to explicitly describe the actions and the angel at the tomb.  In Luke, chapter 24:4-7, there were 2 men in dazzling clothes standing in the tomb, who explained everything.  John, chapter 20:11-13, had 2 angels talk to Mary Magdalene in the tomb.  Here Mark said that as the 3 women entered the tomb (καὶ εἰσελθοῦσαι εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον), they saw a young man (εἶδον νεανίσκον) sitting on the right side in the tomb (καθήμενον ἐν τοῖς δεξιοῖς).  He was wearing a white robe (περιβεβλημένον στολὴν λευκήν).  Thus, these 3 women were astonished or greatly amazed (καὶ ἐξεθαμβήθησαν) at what they saw.  Where was the body of Jesus?

The stone was rolled back (Mk 16:4-16:4)

“When they looked up,

They saw

That the stone,

Which was very large,

Had already

Been rolled back.”

 

καὶ ἀναβλέψασαι θεωροῦσιν ὅτι ἀνακεκύλισται ὁ λίθος· ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα.

 

However, just like in the other gospel stories, Luke, chapter 24:2, and John, chapter 20:1, the stone had been removed when they got there.  Matthew, chapter 28:2, had the women watch as an earthquake and an angel rolled back the stone at the entrance to the tomb.  Mark said that when the 3 women looked up (καὶ ἀναβλέψασαι), they saw (θεωροῦσιν) that the stone had already been rolled away (ὅτι ἀνακεκύλισται ὁ λίθος), even though it was very large (ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα).  Thus, that was another problem solved.

Who will roll the stone away? (Mk 16:3-16:3)

“They had been saying

To one another.

‘Who will roll away

The stone

For us,

From the entrance

To the tomb?’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγον πρὸς ἑαυτάς Τίς ἀποκυλίσει ἡμῖν τὸν λίθον ἐκ τῆς θύρας τοῦ μνημείου;

 

This is unique to Mark.  There was no discussion about rolling back the stone in the other 3 gospel stories, since it had been rolled back by the time that the women got there.  However, Mark said that the 3 women had been saying to themselves or talking to one another (καὶ ἔλεγον πρὸς ἑαυτάς).  They wondered who would roll away the stone for them (ίς ἀποκυλίσει ἡμῖν τὸν λίθον) at the entrance to the tomb (ἐκ τῆς θύρας τοῦ μνημείου)?  This was a legitimate question for these 3 women.

Mary Magdalene goes to anoint Jesus (Mk 16:1-16:1)

“When the Sabbath

Was over,

Mary Magdalene,

And Mary,

The mother of James,

As well as Salome,

Brought spices,

So that they might go

And anoint him.”

 

Καὶ διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου καὶ Σαλώμη ἠγόρασαν ἀρώματα ἵνα ἐλθοῦσαι ἀλείψωσιν αὐτόν.

 

There is no confusion about the day of the week when the empty tomb was first found.  All 4 gospel stories have it take place after the Sabbath.  Thus, this would have been the 3rd day since the death of Jesus on Friday.  Luke, chapter 23:56-24:1, said that it was the women from Galilee who brought spices to anoint the body, but he did not mention Mary Magdalene.  John, chapter 20:1, said that it was Mary Magdalene alone who came to the tomb.  Matthew, chapter 28:1 had Mary Magdalene and the other Mary go to the tomb on the first day of the week.  In all these stories, there was either one or more women, no men, who came to the tomb.  Mark mentioned 3 women.  Mark said that when the Sabbath was over (Καὶ διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου), Mary Magdalene (Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ) and the other Mary (καὶ Μαρία), the mother of James (ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου), as well as Salome (καὶ Σαλώμη) probably the mother of the sons of Zebedee, James and John, came to the tomb.  This Salome may have been a sister of half-sister of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  These women brought spices (ἠγόρασαν ἀρώματα), so that they might go and anoint Jesus (ἵνα ἐλθοῦσαι ἀλείψωσιν αὐτόν).  The idea of visiting a tomb or grave site would not have been out of the question, since this was a common practice.

The body of John was put in a tomb (Mk 6:29-6:29)

“When John’s disciples

Heard about it,

They came.

They took his body.

They laid it

In a tomb.”

 

καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἦλθαν καὶ ἦραν τὸ πτῶμα αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔθηκαν αὐτὸ ἐν μνημείῳ.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 14:12.  Mark said that John’s disciples heard about this incident (καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ).  They came (ἦλθαν) and took his body (καὶ ἦραν τὸ πτῶμα αὐτοῦ).  They buried the body of John the Baptist in a tomb (καὶ ἔθαψαν αὐτὸ ἐν μνημείῳ), but there is no indication of where they buried John’s body.  Here, they did not go and tell Jesus about this, like in Matthew.

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.

The guards tell the chief priests (Mt 28:11-28:11)

“While they were going,

Some of the guards

Went into the city.

They told

The chief priests

Everything

That had happened.”

 

Πορευομένων δὲ αὐτῶν ἰδού τινες τῆς κουστωδίας ἐλθόντες εἰς τὴν πόλιν ἀπήγγειλαν τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν ἅπαντα τὰ γενόμενα.

 

This is unique to Matthew, who said that while the 2 women were going to the disciples of Jesus (Πορευομένων δὲ αὐτῶν), some of the custodial guards at the tomb went into the city (ἰδού τινες τῆς κουστωδίας ἐλθόντες εἰς τὴν πόλιν).  These guards told or reported to the chief priests (ἀπήγγειλαν τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν) everything that had happened (ἅπαντα τὰ γενόμενα).  Remember these were not the Roman soldiers, but the custodial guards hired by the Jewish leaders.  Once again, Matthew showed his bias against these Jewish leaders in Jerusalem.

Jesus appears to the women (Mt 28:9 -28:10)

“Then,

Jesus met them.

He said.

‘Greetings!’

They came

To him.

They took hold

Of his feet.

They worshiped him.

Then Jesus

Said to them.

‘Do not be afraid!

Go!

Tell my brothers

To go

To Galilee!

Where they will see me.’”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ Ἰησοῦς ὑπήντησεν αὐταῖς λέγων Χαίρετε. αἱ δὲ προσελθοῦσαι ἐκράτησαν αὐτοῦ τοὺς πόδας καὶ προσεκύνησαν αὐτῷ.

τότε λέγει αὐταῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Μὴ φοβεῖσθε· ὑπάγετε ἀπαγγείλατε τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς μου ἵνα ἀπέλθωσιν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν, κἀκεῖ με ὄψονται.

 

This is the first post-resurrection appearance of the risen Jesus to anyone and it is to these 2 women, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, the mother of James.  Mark, chapter 16:9, has this first appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene alone.  Luke, chapter 24, did not have an apparition to any women.  John, chapter 20:12-13, had Jesus appear to Mary Magdalene alone, while she was still at the tomb.  Matthew said that Jesus met them (καὶ ἰδοὺ Ἰησοῦς ὑπήντησεν αὐταῖς), assuming that it is the 2 women, with a rejoicing greeting (λέγων Χαίρετε).  They both came to him (αἱ δὲ προσελθοῦσαι).  They took hold of his feet (ἐκράτησαν αὐτοῦ τοὺς πόδας) and worshiped him (καὶ προσεκύνησαν αὐτῷ).  In John, chapter 20:17, Jesus warned Mary Magdalene that she should not touch him because he had not ascended to his Father, but there was no warning here.  Then Jesus told them to not be afraid (τότε λέγει αὐταῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  They were to go and tell his brothers (ὑπάγετε ἀπαγγείλατε τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς μου) to go to Galilee (ἵνα ἀπέλθωσιν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν), where they would see him (κἀκεῖ με ὄψονται).  The Byzantine Orthodox text had a beginning phrase, “that as they were on their way to tell the other disciples (Ὡς δὲ ἐπορεύοντο ἀπαγγεῖλαι τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ)” that was not in the other editions.  Obviously, that is where they were going.