Saturday, 26 April 2008

Gospel Reading 4 of the Twelve Gospels of Good Friday

They then led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the Praetorium. It was morning. And they, then, did not enter the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled but eat the Passover. Pilate, then, came out to them and said, ‘What charge do you bring against this man?’ They answered and said to him, ‘If this man were not an evildoer we would not hand him over to you.’ Pilate, then, said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and judge him under your own law.’ The Jews then said to him, ‘It is not permitted to us to condemn anyone to death,’ so that Jesus’ word would be fulfilled, which he had said, indicating by what death he would die. So Pilate again entered into the Praetorium, and called Jesus and said to him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Of your own accord do you say this or have others said it concerning me?’ Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? Your own nation and High Priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My Kingdom is not from this world. If my Kingdom were from this world, my servants would struggle so that I not be handed over to the Jews. Now, then, my Kingdom is not from here.’ Pilate then said to him, ‘Therefore you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say so, that I am a King. For this have I been born and for this have I come into the world, to bear witness in the truth. Everyone who is from the truth hears my voice.’ Pilate said to him, ‘What is truth?’ And, saying this, he again went out to the Jews and said to them, ‘I find no guilt in him. There is, then, a custom among you that I release someone to you during the Passover. Do you therefore wish me to release to you the King of the Jews?’ They, then, all shouted, saying, ‘Not this one, but Barabbas.’ Barabbas, then, was a bandit.

At that time Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. And the soldiers, weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on his head and put a purple robe on him. And they said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews.’ And they gave him slaps to the face. Pilate then went out again and said to them, ‘Behold, I lead him out to you so that you know that I find no guilt in him.’ Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe and Pilate said to them, ‘Behold the man!’ When, then, the High Priests and the servants saw him they shouted, saying, ‘Crucify, crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and crucify him for I find no guilt in him.’ The Jews said to him, ‘We have a law and by our law he must die for he has made himself Son of God.’ When Pilate, then, heard this statement he was rather frightened. And he again entered into the Praetorium and said to Jesus, ‘Where are you from?’ Jesus, then, did not give him an answer. Pilate, then, said to him, ‘Do you not talk to me? Do you not know that I have the authority to crucify you and the authority to release you?’ Jesus answered, ‘You would have no authority over me unless it were given to you from on High. For this reason he who handed me over to you has the greater sin.’ At that, Pilate sought to release him. The Jews, however, shouted, ‘If you release this man you are not a friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king commits sedition against Caesar.’ Pilate, then, having heard this statement, led Jesus outside and sat on the tribunal, at the place called Lithostraton, in Hebrew, then, Gabbatha. It was the Friday before the Passover, around the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, ‘Behold your King!’ They then shouted, ‘Away with him, away with him, crucify him.’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The High Priests answered, ‘We have no king except Caesar.’ Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

(John 18, 28 – 19, 16)

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