Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011 Audio Homily

Fr. Roger J. Landry
St. Anthony of Padua Church, New Bedford, MA
Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord
April 17, 2011
Readings for the entrance procession: Mt 21:1-11, Psalm 24, Psalm 47
Readings for Mass: Is 50:4-7, Ps 22:8-9 17-20 23-24, Phil 2:6-11, Mt 26:14–27:66

To listen to an audio recording of today’s homily, please click at the bottom of the page. The following text guided this homily:

JESUS OF NAZARETH, KING OF THE JEWS

  • The two Gospels we heard today, first the Gospel of Palm Sunday and then the Passion of the Lord that took place on Good Friday, both focus on the kingship of Christ.
  • Palm Sunday
    • In the Palm Sunday Gospel, after Jesus sent two disciples to go to the village and find a tethered donkey alongside a colt and had them bring them to him, we’re told, ‘This happened so that what had been spoken through the prophet Zechariah, Say to daughter Zion, “Behold your King comes to you, meek and riding on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”’ Our King comes to us in that way.
    • Sitting on a mule is what David had Solomon do when he made him king.
    • The crowds start laying down their cloaks on the road, which is a royal gesture.
    • They started to use the words of Psalm 118, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!”
    • All of these things are signs of an enthronement in the tradition of the Davidic kingship and point to their hope for the fulfillment of the promises for a Messiah-king.
  • Passion account
    • In the Passion account, there are many other forceful accents on Jesus’ kingship, but in striking contrast to what everyone on Palm Sunday was expecting.
    • The second reading sets the stage for us: Even though Jesus was king, even though he was much more than a king — he is Lord! — he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men, and becoming obedient even to the point of death, death on the Cross. The Gospel shows us the full force of that self-emptying.
    • The people of the crowds were the first, but not the only ones, who were mistaken about Jesus’ kingship.
      • The apostles were.
        • St. Luke describes that “an argument broke out among them about which of them should be regarded as the greatest. He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors’; but among you it shall not be so. Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. For who is greater: the one seated at table or the one who serves? Is it not the one seated at table? I am among you as the one who serves.  It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” This kingdom, however, would be Jesus’ type of kingdom, not the one they imagined.
        • Jesus, to Peter with the sword, “Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than legions of angels? But how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say that it must come to pass in this way?”
      • The Jewish leaders
        • The Jewish leaders accused him of making himself to be a king, even though they claimed, mendaciously, that they had no king but Caesar.
        •  “We found this man misleading our people; he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar and maintains that he is the Messiah, a king.”
      • The Roman Soldiers
        • John 19:1-5: Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.  And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak,  and they came to him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly.  Once more Pilate went out and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”  So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, “Behold, the man!”
        • Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
      • Pontius Pilate
        • Pilate, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.”
        • Pilate answered, “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?”
        • So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”  …  Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants [would] be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”  So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. 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.”
        • ‘When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out and seated him on the judge’s bench in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha. It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your king!”  They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”‘
        • They placed over his head the written charge again him: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
    • The only one who seemed to have any glimpse at all was the Good Thief
      • 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.”
      • The last prayer of a dying man is that someone will remember him after he’s gone. But Jesus was going to die before he would. His word, “Lord,” some faith, that he didn’t think himself on the same level. How did the good thief know that the naked, wounded, grief-stricken, insulted, despised and crucified man beside him was a King and would enter, after death, into his kingdom? The Holy Spirit must have told him, much as God the Father helped Peter to know that Christ was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. He knew Jesus would be able to remember. That he was going to continue in life, even though Christ, humanly, would expire first. He asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom, knowing that Christ was going to a place he deserved, and likely the thief to a place he deserved. Kings reign during their lifetime; after their death, their kingdom is passed to someone else. The thief realized Jesus’ reign was truly about to begin. Jesus turned his aching head toward his companion in suffering. He spoke with that emphatic introduction which He had always been accustomed to use whenever he proclaimed a solemn truth. From his throne on Calvary he spoke and acted and bestowed his largess like a king: “Amen, I say to you, this day you shall be with me in paradise.”
  • For Pope Benedict, the  “keyword” of the entire proclamation of Jesus is “Kingdom of God.” He continues:
    • He wrote a decade ago before he became Pope: “The the Kingdom of God is not a thing, a social or political structure, a utopia. The Kingdom of God is God. Kingdom of God means: God exists. God is alive. God is present and acts in the world, in our – in my life. God is not a faraway “ultimate cause”, God is not the “great architect” of deism, who created the machine of the world and is no longer part of it – on the contrary: God is the most present and decisive reality in each and every act of my life, in each and every moment of history.”
    • To enter in his kingdom means not only to acknowledge God’s existence but to exist with God.
    • “Everything changes, whether God exists or not. Unfortunately – we Christians also often live as if God did not exist. We live according to the slogan: God does not exist, and if He exists, He does not belong. … We must keep the practical aspect in mind. God cannot be made known with words alone. One does not really know a person if one knows about this person second handedly. To proclaim God is to introduce to the relation with God: to teach how to pray. Prayer is faith in action. And only by experiencing life with God does the evidence of His existence appear.”
  • He elaborates on these points in his new book, Jesus of Nazareth, which I’ve been reading during Lent. It focuses on the events of Holy Week. Pope Benedict says,
    • Jesus’ confession before Pilate “placed Pilate in an extraordinary situation.” Jesus “claims kingship and a kingdom, but yet underlines the complete otherness of his kingship and he even makes the particular point that must have been decisive for the Roman judge: no one is fighting for this kingship. …
    • With these words Jesus created a thoroughly new concept of kingship and kingdom, and he held it up to Pilate, the representative of classical worldly power.” In contrast to worldly power, Jesus proposed truth. “Dominion demands power; it even defines it. Jesus, however, defines as the essence of his kingship witness to the truth. …”
    • Bearing witness to the truth means giving priority to God and to his will over against the interests of the world and its powers. God is the criterion of being. In this sense, truth is the real ‘king’ that confers light and greatness upon all things. We may also say that bearing witness to the truth means making creation intelligible and its truth accessible from God’s perspective. … ‘If man lives without truth, life passes him by; ultimately he surrenders the field to whoever is the stronger. ‘Redemption’ in the fullest sense can only consist in the truth becoming recognizable. And it becomes recognizable when God becomes recognizable. He becomes recognizable in Jesus Christ. In Christ, God entered the world and set up the criterion of truth in the midst of history. Truth is outwardly powerless in the world, just as Christ is powerless by the world’s standards: he has no legions; he is crucified. Yet in his very powerlessness, he is powerful; only thus, again and again, does truth become power.”
    • We need to live in that truth.
  • That leads us to the Cross:
    • “The center of [Jesus’] message, all the way to the Cross — all the way to the inscription above the Cross — is the kingdom of God, the new kingship represented by Jesus. And this kingdom is centered on truth. The kingship proclaimed by Jesus, at first in parables and then at the end quite openly before the earthly judge, is none other than the kingship of truth. The inauguration of this kingship is man’s true liberation.
  • We’re called to follow Christ up close, and not just from the outside, but from the inside. The future Pope Benedict said back in 2000:
    • The Sequela of Christ – Christ offers Himself as the path of my life. Sequela of Christ does not mean: imitating the man Jesus. This type of attempt would necessarily fail.… The Sequela of Christ has a much higher goal: to be assimilated into Christ, that is to attain union with God. … The only path is communion with Christ, achieved in sacramental life. The Sequela of Christ is not a question of morality, but a “mysteric” theme – an ensemble of divine action and our response. Thus, in the theme on the sequela we find the presence of the other center of Christology, which is … the Paschal Mystery – the Cross and the Resurrection. … The cross belongs to the divine mystery – it is the expression of His love to the end (Jn 13:1). The Sequela of Christ is participation in the cross, uniting oneself to His love, to the transformation of our life, which becomes the birth of the new man, created according to God (cf. Eph 4:24). Whoever omits the cross, omits the essence of Christianity (cf. 1 Cor 2:2).
  • This is a week in which we’re called, like the Good Thief, to enter with Jesus into his Kingdom, which means to exist with him, to live the truth, to be assimilated into communion with Christ. As many others will mock Christ the King, let us do what the new banner at the front of the Church proclaims we’ve been doing for the past century coming here to Church and leaving transformed: Adoring Christ the King!

The readings for today’s Mass were:

At The Procession With Palms – Gospel MT 21:1-11

When Jesus and the disciples drew near Jerusalem
and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives,
Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them,
“Go into the village opposite you,
and immediately you will find an ass tethered,
and a colt with her.
Untie them and bring them here to me.
And if anyone should say anything to you, reply,
‘The master has need of them.’
Then he will send them at once.”
This happened so that what had been spoken through the prophet
might be fulfilled:
Say to daughter Zion,
“Behold, your king comes to you,
meek and riding on an ass,
and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them.
They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them,
and he sat upon them.
The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road,
while others cut branches from the trees
and strewed them on the road.
The crowds preceding him and those following
kept crying out and saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
blessed is the he who comes in the name of the Lord;
hosanna in the highest.”
And when he entered Jerusalem
the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?”
And the crowds replied,
“This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

At The Mass – Reading 1 IS 50:4-7

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

Responsorial Psalm PS 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24

R/ (2a) My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
All who see me scoff at me;
they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads:
“He relied on the LORD; let him deliver him,
let him rescue him, if he loves him.”
R/ My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Indeed, many dogs surround me,
a pack of evildoers closes in upon me;
They have pierced my hands and my feet;
I can count all my bones.
R/ My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
They divide my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
But you, O LORD, be not far from me;
O my help, hasten to aid me.
R/ My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I will proclaim your name to my brethren;
in the midst of the assembly I will praise you:
“You who fear the LORD, praise him;
all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him;
revere him, all you descendants of Israel!”
R/ My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Reading 2 PHIL 2:6-11

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel MT 26:14-27:66

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity
to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?”
He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”’”
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
“Surely it is not I, Lord?”
He said in reply,
“He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
“Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”
He answered, “You have said so.”

While they were eating,
Jesus took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and giving it to his disciples said,
“Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying,
“Drink from it, all of you,
for this is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed on behalf of many
for the forgiveness of sins.
I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine
until the day when I drink it with you new
in the kingdom of my Father.”
Then, after singing a hymn,
they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them,
“This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken,
for it is written:
I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed
;
but after I have been raised up,
I shall go before you to Galilee.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Though all may have their faith in you shaken,
mine will never be.”
Jesus said to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
this very night before the cock crows,
you will deny me three times.”
Peter said to him,
“Even though I should have to die with you,
I will not deny you.”
And all the disciples spoke likewise.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane,
and he said to his disciples,
“Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee,
and began to feel sorrow and distress.
Then he said to them,
“My soul is sorrowful even to death.
Remain here and keep watch with me.”
He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying,
“My Father, if it is possible,
let this cup pass from me;
yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep.
He said to Peter,
“So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again,
“My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass
without my drinking it, your will be done!”
Then he returned once more and found them asleep,
for they could not keep their eyes open.
He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time,
saying the same thing again.
Then he returned to his disciples and said to them,
“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?
Behold, the hour is at hand
when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.
Get up, let us go.
Look, my betrayer is at hand.”

While he was still speaking,
Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived,
accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs,
who had come from the chief priests and the elders
of the people.
His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying,
“The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.”
Immediately he went over to Jesus and said,
“Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him.
Jesus answered him,
“Friend, do what you have come for.”
Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.
And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus
put his hand to his sword, drew it,
and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.
Then Jesus said to him,
“Put your sword back into its sheath,
for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father
and he will not provide me at this moment
with more than twelve legions of angels?
But then how would the Scriptures be fulfilled
which say that it must come to pass in this way?”
At that hour Jesus said to the crowds,
“Have you come out as against a robber,
with swords and clubs to seize me?
Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area,
yet you did not arrest me.
But all this has come to pass
that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.”
Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Those who had arrested Jesus led him away
to Caiaphas the high priest,
where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
Peter was following him at a distance
as far as the high priest’s courtyard,
and going inside he sat down with the servants
to see the outcome.
The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin
kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus
in order to put him to death,
but they found none,
though many false witnesses came forward.
Finally two came forward who stated,
“This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God
and within three days rebuild it.’”
The high priest rose and addressed him,
“Have you no answer?
What are these men testifying against you?”
But Jesus was silent.
Then the high priest said to him,
“I order you to tell us under oath before the living God
whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“You have said so.
But I tell you:
From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of the Power’
and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.’”
Then the high priest tore his robes and said,
“He has blasphemed!
What further need have we of witnesses?
You have now heard the blasphemy;
what is your opinion?”
They said in reply,
“He deserves to die!”
Then they spat in his face and struck him,
while some slapped him, saying,
“Prophesy for us, Christ: who is it that struck you?”
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard.
One of the maids came over to him and said,
“You too were with Jesus the Galilean.”
But he denied it in front of everyone, saying,
“I do not know what you are talking about!”
As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him
and said to those who were there,
“This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.”
Again he denied it with an oath,
“I do not know the man!”
A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter,
“Surely you too are one of them;
even your speech gives you away.”
At that he began to curse and to swear,
“I do not know the man.”
And immediately a cock crowed.
Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken:
“Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.”
He went out and began to weep bitterly.

When it was morning,
all the chief priests and the elders of the people
took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.
They bound him, led him away,
and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.

Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned,
deeply regretted what he had done.
He returned the thirty pieces of silver
to the chief priests and elders, saying,
“I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.”
They said,
“What is that to us?
Look to it yourself.”
Flinging the money into the temple,
he departed and went off and hanged himself.
The chief priests gathered up the money, but said,
“It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury,
for it is the price of blood.”
After consultation, they used it to buy the potter’s field
as a burial place for foreigners.
That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah
the prophet,
And they took the thirty pieces of silver,
the value of a man with a price on his head,
a price set by some of the Israelites,
and they paid it out for the potter’s field
just as the Lord had commanded me.

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him,
“Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “You say so.”
And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,
he made no answer.
Then Pilate said to him,
“Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
But he did not answer him one word,
so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast
the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd
one prisoner whom they wished.
And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them,
“Which one do you want me to release to you,
Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?”
For he knew that it was out of envy
that they had handed him over.
While he was still seated on the bench,
his wife sent him a message,
“Have nothing to do with that righteous man.
I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds
to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.
The governor said to them in reply,
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They answered, “Barabbas!”
Pilate said to them,
“Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?”
They all said,
“Let him be crucified!”
But he said,
“Why? What evil has he done?”
They only shouted the louder,
“Let him be crucified!”
When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all,
but that a riot was breaking out instead,
he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd,
saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.
Look to it yourselves.”
And the whole people said in reply,
“His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
Then he released Barabbas to them,
but after he had Jesus scourged,
he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium
and gathered the whole cohort around him.
They stripped off his clothes
and threw a scarlet military cloak about him.
Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head,
and a reed in his right hand.
And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
They spat upon him and took the reed
and kept striking him on the head.
And when they had mocked him,
they stripped him of the cloak,
dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him off to crucify him.

As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon;
this man they pressed into service
to carry his cross.

And when they came to a place called Golgotha
¬—which means Place of the Skull —,
they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.
But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.
After they had crucified him,
they divided his garments by casting lots;
then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
And they placed over his head the written charge against him:
This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Two revolutionaries were crucified with him,
one on his right and the other on his left.
Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,
“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself, if you are the Son of God,
and come down from the cross!”
Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,
“He saved others; he cannot save himself.
So he is the king of Israel!
Let him come down from the cross now,
and we will believe in him.
He trusted in God;
let him deliver him now if he wants him.
For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The revolutionaries who were crucified with him
also kept abusing him in the same way.

From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
“This one is calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge;
he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed,
gave it to him to drink.
But the rest said,
“Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice,
and gave up his spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary
was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened,
and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection,
they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus
feared greatly when they saw the earthquake
and all that was happening, and they said,
“Truly, this was the Son of God!”
There were many women there, looking on from a distance,
who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him.
Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph,
and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

When it was evening,
there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph,
who was himself a disciple of Jesus.
He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus;
then Pilate ordered it to be handed over.
Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen
and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock.
Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb
and departed.
But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
remained sitting there, facing the tomb.

The next day, the one following the day of preparation,
the chief priests and the Pharisees
gathered before Pilate and said,
“Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said,
‘After three days I will be raised up.’
Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day,
lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people,
‘He has been raised from the dead.’
This last imposture would be worse than the first.”
Pilate said to them,
“The guard is yours;
go, secure it as best you can.”
So they went and secured the tomb
by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.