The Passion

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark

Performed in the Benefice Service in St Mary’s, Shrewton

Evangelist       It was two days before the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus.

Chief Priests    We cannot do it during the Festival or there may be a riot among the people.

Evangelist       While Jesus was at Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of precious ointment and poured the ointment on his head but, some objected.

1st Guest         Why was the ointment wasted in this way?

2nd Guest         It could have been sold for 300 denarii and the money given to the poor.

Jesus               Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.

Evangelist       Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. When they heard it they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So Judas began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

The first day of Unleavened Bread, when the lamb is sacrificed, his disciples asked:

Disciples         Where do you want us to go and make preparations for the Passover?

Jesus               Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, ask the owner of the house where the guest room is where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.

Evangelist       So the disciples set out and found everything as he had told them. They prepared the Passover meal. When it was evening he came with the twelve and when they had taken their places and were eating Jesus spoke to them.

Jesus               Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.

Disciples         Surely , not I, nor I……..

Jesus               It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him. But woe to that one by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.

Evangelist       While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it, gave it to them, and said,

Jesus               Take; this is my body.

Evangelist       Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them and all drank from it.

Jesus               This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Evangelist       When they had sung the hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives and Jesus said to them…

Jesus               You will all become deserters; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered’ But, after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.

Peter               Even though all become deserters, I will not.

Jesus               Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.

Peter               Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.

Evangelist       They went to a place called Gethsemane and he told his disciples to watch while he prayed. He took Peter, James and John with him and began to be distressed and agitated.

Jesus               Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet not what I want, but what you want.

Evangelist       Afterwards he came and found them sleeping.

Jesus               Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.

Evangelist       And once more he found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. He came a third time and said to them:-

Jesus               Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come: the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.

Evangelist       Immediately, Judas arrived; and with him was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, scribes and elders. The betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’ So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, ‘Rabbi’, and kissed him. Then they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards warming himself at the fire.

The chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. Some claimed they had heard him say that he would destroy the temple made by hands and build it again in three days not made by hands.

Jesus               I am; and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power coming with the clouds of heaven.

High Priest      Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?

Evangelist       All of them condemned him as deserving death. Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, ‘Prophecy! The guards also took him over and beat him.

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. She saw Peter warming himself by the fire.

Servant Girl    You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.

Peter               I do not know or understand what you are talking about

Servant Girl    This man is one of them

Bystander       Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.

Peter               I do not know this man you are talking about.

Evangelist       Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows twice you will have denied me three times’. And he broke down and wept.

As soon as it was morning, the chief priest held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.

Pilate               Are you the King of the Jews?

Jesus               You say that I am.

Evangelist       Then the chief priests accused him of many things

Pilate               Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.

Evangelist       Jesus made no further reply. Pilate was amazed.

At the festival Pilate always released a prisoner. A man named Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. The crowd asked Pilate to keep to his custom.

Pilate               Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?

Crowd              Crucify him. Release Barabbas. Crucify the King of the Jews. Crucify him. Crucify him. Crucify him.

Evangelist       So Pilate released Barabbas and, after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers led hi into the courtyard of the palace, clothed him in a purple cloak and, after twisting some thorns into a crown, put it on him. Then they began saluting him, Hail, King of the Jews! They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. After mocking him they stripped him of the purple cloak, put his own clothes on him and led him out to crucify him. The compelled Simon of Cyrene to carry his cross to Golgotha, the place of the skull. They offered him wine mixed with myrrh but he did not take it.

They crucified him at nine o’clock in the morning. The inscription of the charge against him read, ‘The King of the Jews’. Two bandits were crucified with him. The crowd mocked and taunted him.

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three o’clock when Jesus cried out.

Jesus               My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. A centurion observed, ‘Truly, this man was the Son of God’.

Women looked on from a distance, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and Salome.

When evening came Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. He wrapped it in linen cloth and laid it in a tomb hewed out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

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