4 Matt. xx. 29-34 ; Mark x. 46-62 ; Luke xviii. 36 ; xix. 1. It is nnueceesary
to discus." the apparent discrepancy, the very existence of which is a proof
of the independence and honesty of the witnesses. Possible reconciliations
have been suggested, enough to show that there is no real contradiction.
THE PASSION OF OUR LORD. FROM PALM - SUNDAY TO EASTER.
EVE (APRIL IST TO APRIL TTII). A.D. 30.
TABLE OF THE ENSUING DATES.
"fhe Jewish days are to be reckoned from the preceding sunset.)
S. Nisfin 9. March 31. SABBATH at Bethany. Evening; Simon's Suppet
S. " 10. April 1. Palm-Sunday. Entry into Jerusalem.
M. " 11. " 2. Jesus again in the Temple.
To. " 12. " 3. Last visit to the Temple. Prophecy of his second
W. "13. " 4. Conspiracy of the rulers.
Th. " 14. " 5. Evening. The PASSOVEK and Lord's Supper.
F. " 15. " 6. Good-Friday. The CRUCIFIXION, and Entombment ,
8. "1C. " 7. SABBATH. Easter-Eve.
S. " IT. " 8. EASTER-DAY. The RESURRECTION.
S. Nisan 24. April 15. SUNDAY AFTER EASTER.
Th. Sivau 3. May 17. Holy Thursday. The ASCENSION.
S. Sivan 13. May 27. PENTECOST. WHITSUNDAY.
THE great events of the succeeding eight days, including the
"Pnssion Week" and "Easter-Day," must he viewed as one con-
A.D. 30. PALM-SUNDAY. 279
nected series ; and the Evangelists enable us to trace the incidents
of each day. St. Luke gives us this general description of our
Lord's proceedings on the first three days of the week: "In the
day-time he was teaching in the temple, and at night he went out
and abode in the Mount of Olives " (Luke xxi. 37).
1. Palm-Sunday, the }Qth of Nisan (April ls<). This was the
day on which the lamb for the Passover was selected, to be kept up
ill the time of slaying it. In fulfillment of the type, as himself
v ,he Lamb of God, Christ prepared to present himself in the temple
at Jerusalem. But he came to the people also in another charac-
ter, as the promised Son of David, their rightful King and Judge.
The prophet Zechariah had both foretold the manner and explained
the meaning of this, the great advent of the Messiah : " Rejoice
greatly, O daughter of Zion ; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem ; be-
hold thy KING cometh unto thee : He is just, and having salvation ;
lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass." 1
Two disciples, sent forward from Bethany to Bethphage, a village
higher up on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, found an ass
tied up to a door at the meeting of two roads, with her colt, on which
no man had yet ridden, and they had only to say to the owner, " The
Lord hath need of them," to obtain them. The trappings of the
ass were the coarse garments of the disciples, doubtless travel-stain-
ed and worn ; and so Jesus mounted the eastern slope of the Mount
of Olives with far less of outward pomp than even David when he
returned from exile. But he met with a reception apparently as
joyful and as worthy of a restored monarch. The multitude who
had come to the feast went forth to meet him, bearing in their hands
the fronds of the palm-tree, the well-known sign of victory, and
spreading their garments beneath his feet. As he began to de-
scend the Mount, in full view of the temple, all the disciples burst
forth into a shout of joy, praising God for all the wondrous works
that Christ had done, and the people took up the cry, in the pro-
phetic words of David himself, saying, "Hosanna to the Son of
David" that is, "The Lord preserve the Son of David." They
blessed him as the King of Israel, head of the kingdom of their
father David, coming in the name of Jehovah, and repeated the
welcome with which the angels had heralded his birth (comp.
PSR. cxviii. 25 ; Luke ii. 14). For the moment, the Pharisees
thought that all their plots were frustrated, and stiid to each oth-
er, "Perceive ye how we prevail nothing? Behold the world is
gone after him." Some of them took courage to address him in an
affected protest against the enthusiasm which endangered all con-
1 Zech. ix. 9. In the old times of Israel, judges and their sons, and after
wards the king's sons, rode upon nsee.
280 SCKIPTUKE HISTORY. CHAP. XXV.
cerned "Master, rebuke thy disciples!" And he answered, "I
tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would im-
mediately cry out!" (Matt. xxi. 1-16; Mark xi. 1-10; Luke xix.
21-40; John xii. 12-16). But he well knew the issue; and so,
pausing in his triumphal progress as he drew near to the city, he
once more bewailed its rejection of the day of grace, and predicted
its destruction. 2 Entering into Jerusalem and the temple, he still
met with the same reception, the people crying, "This is Jesus, the
prophet of Nazareth of Galilee !" and coming to him in the temple
to be healed. What most incensed the chief priests and scribes was
to hear the children crying in the temple, " Hosanna to the Son
of David," and, as before, they asked him to silence them ; but
he only reminded them of David's words, " Out of the mouths of
babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise." In the evening
he returned to Bethany (Matt. xxi. 10-17; Markxi. 11)
2. Monday, the llth of Nisan (April2d.) Having on the preced-
ing days shown himself in the temple as King in Zion, amidst tho
acclamations of the people, Jesus now proceeded to the practical
exertion of his authority by cleansing the temple, as he had already
done at the commencement of his ministry. There is, however, a
striking difference between the two scenes, in the greater severity
which he now used. While there was a hope of reformation, he
had been content with the language of remonstrance, " Make not
my Father's house a house of merchandise ;" but now he takes up
the stern language of the Judge, "It is written, My house shall be
called of all nations the house of prayer ; but ye have made it a den
of thieves" (Matt. xxi. 12, 13 ; Mark xi. 15-19; Luke xix. 45-48:
comp. John ii. 13-17).
On the same day, on his way from Bethany to Jerusalem in the
morning, had occurred the striking incident of his cursing the bar-
ren fig-tree, which was found dead the next morning a fit type of
that premature outward show of devotion with which ho was even
now welcomed by the people (Matt. xxi. 18, 19 ; Mark xi. 12-14,
20). 3 This was our Lord's only miracle of destmction.
3. Tuesday, the 11 th of Nisan (April 4<A), is memorable as the
last day of our Lord's public teaching ; and the story of it comprises
an epitome of his controversies with his enemies, his most solemn
lessons to his disciples and the people, and his prophecies and
9 Lnke xix. 39-44. That frequent repetition, which is esteemed the mark
of certainty, is to be observed in this prediction of our Lord ; first, on his
way to Jerusalem ; secondly, on this occasion ; thirdly, during; his last day
in the temple ; and finally, on his last farewell to the city.
3 The name of Bethphage, "House of Figs," points to the fig-trees thai
grew among the olives on the mount.
A.D. 30. LAST DAY OF CHRIST'S TEACHING. 281
warnings concerning the end of the Mosaic dispensation and of the
world itself, and his own final coming as the Judge of men.
On entering the temple, lie was met hy a new demand of the
chief priests and scribes for his authority, doubtless with the design
of hanging on his reply a charge of blasphemy. But he asked them
to tell him first whether the baptism of John was from heaven or
of man. If they confessed the former, they stood convicted as un-
believers ; but, if they maintained the latter, they themselves would
be exposed to the fury of the common people, who all held John to
be a prophet. So they were put to silence ; and Jesus pointed the
moral of the scene by the parable of the Two Sons and the Vineyard.
Still more striking pictures were given of their guilt in his rejec-
tion, and of God's purpose to transfer to others the privileges they
had forfeited, by the parables of the Wicked Husbandmen and of the
Weddiny Garment (Matt. xxi. 23-46 ; Mark xi. 27-xii. 12 ; Luke
xx. 1-19 ; Matt. xxii. 1-14).
Sonic effort must now be made to check the influence of all these
discourses on the people; and each party of his enemies tried in
turn both to gain a victory over him in argument, and to entrap
him out of his own mouth. The first scheme, concerted by the
Pharisees with the Herodians, who were friendly to the Roman pow-
er, was to convict him of treason to Caesar. But he pointed to the
fact that their money bore the image and superscription of Caesar,
as a proof that, by accepting the emperor's protection, they had
themselves decided the lawfulness of paying tribute, and he laid
down for all such cases the great law, " Render to Ca;sar the things
that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." So they
were put to silence (Matt. xxii. 15-22; Mark xii. 13-17 ; Luke xx.
The Sadducees tried next; but their subtle argument against the
resurrection was met by exposing their ignorance of the spirituality
of a future state, and by the words of a part of Scripture which they
received ; for when God calls himself the God of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob, he is "not a God of the dead, but of the living; for all
live unto him" (Matt. xxii. 15-22; Mark xii. 13-17 ; Luke xx. 20-
26 ; comp. Exod. iii. G). On learning the discomforture of their ri-
vals, the Pharisees met in council to propose an unanswerable ques-
tion ; and it was this, " Master, which is the great commandment of
the law?" or, as St. Mark puts it, " Which is the first commandment
of all ?" And Jesus replied in the very words in which Moses
himself had summed up the claims of the Two Tables on the whole
nature of man, " Thou shalt love the LOUD THY GOD with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy
strength : this is the first commandment. And the second is liko
282 SCRIPTURE HISTORY. OHAI>. XXV.
unto it, Thoj shalt love thy neighbor as thyself?" The reply was
our Lord's final triumph over error, and the central truth of all his
doctrine. He had begun his public teaching by declaring that
" He came to fulfill the law and the prophets:" He closed it by an-
nouncing that " Love is the fulfilling of the law." The very scribe
who had put the question confessed the spiritual meaning of the
answer with such earnest eloquence as to draw from our Lord the
approval, "Thou art not far from the kingdom of heaven" (Matt.
xxii. 34, 40 ; Mark xii. 28-34).
Meanwhile our Lord's reply had finally silenced nil the cavillers:
"No man after that durst ask him any question." And now the
time was come for him to question them, and to make a last ex-
posure of their destructive system of hypocrisy, as a warning to his
disciples and the people. Looking upon the Scribes and Pharisees,
who had assembled in the temple to enjoy their expected triumph,
he proposed a question, which at once implied his own double
claim to the throne of David and of God, and left those who re-
jected it in either part without excuse : How could Christ be at
the same time David's Son, and his Lord, seated at the right hand
of the throne of God ? (2 Sam. xxiii. 2 ; Psa. ex. 1 : comp. Acts ii.
34, 35 ; 1 Cor. xv. 25). The only possible answer was that full ad-
mission of the spiritual nature of the kingdom of Clirist r which
would have identified him in all points with Jesus ; and, rather
than confess this, their obstinate silence rejected the last oppor-
tunity of offered grace (Matt. xxii. 41-4G; Mark xii. 35-37; Luke
Then ensued our Lord's final outpouring of just indignation on
the false and profligate teachers who had long led on the people,
like the blind leading the blind, to the ruin they were soon to con-
summate. The woes denounced on the "Scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites," by the voice of God's own Son in his holy temple, in
the character of a Judge, and as a foretaste of the last judgment,
stand in a striking contrast to the blessings uttered on his humble
disciples from the mount, as the crimes that called them down were
the very opposite to the virtues there inculcated : saying and not
doing binding grievous burdens for other men's shoulders, while
they would not so much as touch them loving all marks of out-
ward honor, even in the house where God only should be honored,
and displaying all forms of ostentatious devotion, while their lives
were full of rapacity and vice ; converting proselytes to the law, only
to make them twofold more the children of hell than themselves ;
frittering away the most solemn obligations, and at the same time
extenuating the greatest crimes by their false casuistry; cleansing
the outside of cup and dish, which reeked within with abominations
A D. 30. DEPARTURE FROM THE TEMPLE. 283
that they swallowed as their daily food, "straining out the gnat,
and swallowing the camel" their hypocrisy could find no fitter
image than the whited sepulchres, which they were so fond of gar-
nishing without, while the mass of corruption was still festering
within. Aye ! and the fact that their chiefest care was bestowed
on the sepulchres of those prophets whom their fathers slew suggesU
ed the climax of the denunciation. In their affected care to wash
their hands of their fathers' deed, they confessed themselves the
children of those who slew the prophets, and were about to surpass
their worst crimes by an act which should bring on them the guilt
of all the blood shed under the Old Covenant. At last the utter-
ance of wrath dies away in tones of the deepest pity, as he repeats
his lamentation over Jerusalem and her doom of desolation at his
coming (Matt, xxiii. 13-39 ; Mark xii. 40; Luke xx. 47).
Our Saviour's praise of the poor widow who cast two mites all
she had into the treasury, as having given more than all the sums
that the rich cast in from their abundance, is the last event of this
day in the temple, according to the first three Evangelists. St.
John, who passes over the other incidents of this and the preceding
day, relates the coming of certain Greeks, who were introduced by
Philip and Andrew to Jesus, and the declaration of our Lord that
the hour was now come for the Son of Man to he glorified, and for
the Father's name to be glorified by his death, followed by the ap-
proving voice of God from heaven. A brief conversation ensued,
after which Jesus departed finally from the temple, uttering his last
words of promise to believers, and of warning to those who rejected
him words addressed especially to many of the chief rulers, who
believed in secret, but feared to confess him, "for they loved the
praise of men more than the praise of God" (John xii. 20-50).
But the greatest words of this eventful day were uttered by our
Lord to his disciples after he had left Jerusalem. They had call-
ed his attention, as he departed from the temple, to the magnifi-
cence of its buildings ; and he had replied that the time was com-
ing when not one stone would be left upon another. The eastern
valley was no sooner crossed, than they began to ask him when
these things would happen, and what would be the signs of his com
ing and of the end of the world. The threefold form of this inquiry
is an important guide to the momentous discourse which Jesus ut-
tered as he sat. upon the slope of Olivet, in full view of the temple.
Here he is seen as the great Prophet of the new dispensation, briefly
recounting the warnings long before uttered by Daniel, and yet to
be more fully revealed through St. John.
The first part of the discourse describes the taking of Jerusalem
by Titus, the destruction of the temole, and perhaps the fearful
284 SCRIPTURE HISTORY. CHAP. XXV
calamities which attended the final dispersion of the Jews by Ha-
drian. Equally clear is the reference of the last part, though tho
point of transition is very difficult to fix, to the scenes preceding
and attending the end of the world and the final judgment ; and to
these a practical application is given by the parables of the faithful
and unfaithful Servant, and of the wise and foolish Virgins ; while
the whole concludes with a plain description of the judgment-day
(Matt, xxiv., xxv. ; Mark xiii. ; Luke xxi. 5-36).
On that very evening, he warned his disciples finally that it
wanted now but two days to the time when, on the coming Pass-
over, he should be betrayed and crucified (Matt. xxvi. 1, 2); and
we can imagine Judas Iscariot slinking out to plot his treason, as,
when more plainly denounced, he left the Paschal table to carry it
out. But why "must the Son of Man be betrayed?" Simply be-
cause his enemies dared not touch him in presence of the people.
Nor, in stating this historic reason, let us forget that " in all points
it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren " whose great-
est earthly trial is perhaps the treachery of friends. " Yea, mine
own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread,
hath lifted up his heel against me " are the prophetic wordsin which
David, from his own experience, foretold the sufferings of Christ
(Psa. xli. 9 ; comp. Iv. 12-14, 20, 21). The plan was to seize him
by treachery in his retirement ; and for this an opportunity was un-
expectedly offered this very night. JUDAS ISCARIOT, whom Jesus
had foreknown as the traitor from the first, came to the chief priests,
and agreed to place his Master in their hands for the paltry bribe
of thirty pieces of silver, the very sum fixed in the law as compen-
sation for the life of a slave (Exod. xxi. 32 ; comp. Zech. xi. 12,
13; Matt, xxvii. 9). Judas stands alone in sacred history as a
man devoted by name, by the voice of the Lord himself, to perdi-
tion. How, then, did he obtain this awful pre-eminence ? Simply
by love of the world. He is the most marked type of those false
disciples who joined Christ in the expectation of an earthly kingdom;
and when our Lord's repeated announcements of his sufferings and
death showed this to be a vain hope, he prepared to sell himself and
his Master to the rulers. He seems to have had that practical tal-
ent for business which gains confidence, and he was made the treas-
urer of the little band ; and this position became a snare to him.
In that character he raised his hypocritical objection to the waste-
fulness of Mary's act of self-devotion, contemplating the securing
the common purse for himself in the approaching end: "This he
said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and
had the bag, and bare what was put therein " (John xii. 6). The
reply of Jesus, implying his knowledge that Judas cared as little
A.D. 30. DAY OF THE PASSOVER. 285
for the poor as for him, seems to have set the seal to the traitor's
purpose ; for Matthew and Mark place his communication to the
chief priests immediately after the feast in Bethany. Whether that
feast be rightly placed after the Sabbath (on Saturday evening), or
on the Tuesday evening, as some prefer, it seems clear from the
three Evangelists that the latter was the date of Judas's bargain,
two days before the Passover (Matt. xxvi. 14-16; Mark xiv. 1,2,
10, 11 ; Luke xxii. 1-6).
4. Wednesday, the 13th of Nisan (April 4th). Our Lord remain-
ed at Bethany till the afternoon of Thursday, and a solemn silence
rests over this period of his life. At all events, the lesson is most
impressive that, in the very last week of his ministry, after three
days of incessant activity, our Lord secured this unbroken interval
of holy contemplation, as the fittest preparation for his Passion.
The idea that he may have spent the day in converse with his dis-
ciples seems to be excluded by the silence of St. John, who is so
full in his relation of the next day's scenes.
5. Thursday, the 14th of Nisan ; the evening belonging to the 15th
(April 5*A). " Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the
Passover must be killed." 4 The exact time appointed in the law
for killing the Paschal Lamb was on the 14th of Nisan " between
the evenings," or about sunset ; and it seems to have been actually
killed between the hour of the evening sacrifice (the 9th hour=3
P.M.) and sunset. Attempts have been made to show that " Christ
our Passover was slain for us " on the same afternoon on which
the Paschal Lamb was killed. But the true view seems to be that
our Lord observed this, the greatest sacrifice of the Old Covenant,
before he offered the one great sacrifice of the New Covenant, that
is, himself, upon the cross, and by so doing he exactly fulfilled the
As the day advanced, the disciples, well aware of the danger of
ft return to the city, asked the Master where they should prepare
the Passover. He sent Peter and John into the city to a certain
man, whom they were to recognize by a sign, and who, at the sim-
ple intimation of the Lord's will, showed them to a large upper
room furnished and in proper order, where they prepared the feast.
Entering the city privately, while the people were similarly engaged
in their several households, Jesus sat down with the twelve apostles
to eat the Passover before sunset. We must now be content to in-
dicate the several events of this memorable feast, which are fully
related in the Gospels ; and the whole meaning of which is an ob-
ject for much future study : Our Lord's refusal of the cup of wine ;
4 Luke rrii. 7. The " Passover" means here the Paschal Lamb. The im
purtance of noticing this will appear presently.
28G SCRIPTURE HISTORY. CHAT XXV.
his rebuke of the controversy which broke out even then for the
highest place in his expected kingdom ; his lesson of humility by
washing the disciples' feet, followed by the warning, "Ye are not
all clean ;" the overpowering sorrow with which he plainly de-
clared that the traitor was one of them, and the agonizing questions,
" Lord, is it I ? Is it I ?" answered by the sign which marked
out the traitor, though to John alone, and the words so piercing-
ly clear to the traitor, though misunderstood by the rest which sent
Judas forth in haste to concert his measures with the rulers, under
cover of the night, which had now set in.
Then Christ announced to those who were left, that the hour
was come for the Son of Man to be glorified, and for God to be
glorified in him ; that he was going before them on a path by which
they should soon follow him, but that they were not yet ready ;
and meanwhile he gave them the pew commandment, that they
should love one another. The impatient zeal of Peter rebelled at
the thought of not following his Master now ; and his self-deceiv-
ing readiness to lay down his life for Christ's sake was rebuked by
the prediction that he would deny him thrice on that very night be-
fore the crowing of the cock ; while the other disciples, who might ba
beginning to think themselves above the weakness of Peter as well
us the treachery of Judas, were warned that they too would aban-
don him that night and be scattered abroad ; but he appointed to
meet them in Galilee after his resurrection (John xiii. 3G-38 ;
Matt. xxvi. 31-35 ; Mark xiv. 27-31).
Either just before or just after this scene, as the supper was
drawing to an end, Christ took a loaf of the unleavened bread, and,
having given thanks, he brake it and gave it them to eat, as the
emblem of his body, broken for men. Then, the supper being
ended, he took a cup, the third of those usually partaken of at the
Paschal feast, and divided it in like manner among them, as the
pledge of the new covenant in his blood, shed for the remission of
sins. Thus he instituted the LORD'S SUPPER, to be observed to all
f'Uure time, in remembrance of him (Matt. xxvi. 26-29 ; Mark xiv.
22-25; Luke xxii. 19, 20; 1 Cor. xi. 23-25).
Between the end of the meal and the hymns of praise which fol-
lowed it, there was an interval of most solemn and delightful con-
verse, in which occurs the great promise of the Paraclete, the Holy
Spirit of truth. The exquisite chapters of St. John which contain
this discourse conclude with that most solemn and affecting of all
the utterances of human language, our Lord's intercessory prayer*
John xiv., xvii. The break at xiv. 31 is only apparent. It indicates the
first movement towards departure ; but the discourse is resumed and con
eluded before they leave the house.
A.D. 30. DAY OF THE PASSOVER. 287
in presence of his disciples. The singing of a hymn, probably the
" Great Hallel" (Psa. cxv.-cxviii.), concluded the Paschal celebra-
tion, and then they went out together to the first scene of suffer-
ing on the Mount of Olives (Matt. xxvi. 30 ; Mark xiv. 26 ; Luke
Going down into the ravine which divides Jerusalem from the