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Friday, April 03, 2015

Good Friday

The Death of Jesus
 

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
 

Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
 

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
 

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
 

When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
- Matthew 27:45-54



I was talking to my kids tonight about the Crucifixion. I found it interesting that to them, one of the most convincing and compelling aspects of the whole story is the presence of his younger brother James among his disciples after the Crucifixion.

Only a man without sin could die for the sins of Man. And who would know if a man was genuinely without sin or not better than his younger brothers and sisters.

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70 Comments:

Blogger Josh April 03, 2015 4:32 PM  

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Blogger Student in Blue April 03, 2015 4:49 PM  

Speaking of Good Friday, the recent spurts of absurdly angry atheists on twitter using the #GoodFriday hashtag just... well, it leaves me at a bit of a loss just how absurdly angry they are at everything - how steeped in lies and anger they are.

It's all frustrating, especially because they just yell and never want to hear anything in return. Then again, I'm not sure just how much that is Atheism™ and how much is Twitter.

That is a good point, about Jesus' family. I mean, if it was just his mother it could be handwaved away as being so common of mothers to ignore their son's shortcomings, but a younger brother? They remember. They remember very well.

Anonymous Daniel April 03, 2015 4:50 PM  

Kids relate to little brothers, even if they are the big one. At least mine do. I'll be sure to point this out tonight.

Blogger Mark Citadel April 03, 2015 4:54 PM  

Unable to attend an Orthodox Church due to my location, I will be going to my first Catholic mass on Sunday as a humble sojourner.

Have a blessed Easter, Vox!

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales April 03, 2015 4:54 PM  

"Only a man without sin could die for the sins of Man."

And this man could only have also been God Himself in the flesh... you dirty Arian. :P

Anonymous Tar Heel April 03, 2015 5:00 PM  

The Apostle James was a very good brother, indeed. The Lord Jesus died a very shameful death, and as a family member, he would've been the first to want to back away from such a "dishonorable" personage, but oh, not dear St. James. He knew who He was.

Thank you for your post, Vox. It gives all us disciples something to meditate on. I hope to be as good a sibling to my brother as St. James. Blessed Easter, Dread Ilk.

Anonymous Goodnight April 03, 2015 5:06 PM  

James was also the first of the apostles to be martyred - just a couple of years later. As John said..

"The Word became flesh and he lived among us, and we saw his glory".

Anonymous Jeigh Di April 03, 2015 5:06 PM  

Where did you get the idea that James was even there? He isn't mentioned in any of the accounts. If he was, he must have been pretty upset when Jesus gave the care of his mother into John's hands rather than his.

Anonymous Poli_Mis April 03, 2015 5:07 PM  

From the mouths of wise children. A blessed Easter to our host and the Dread Ilk.

Blogger Res Ipsa April 03, 2015 5:10 PM  

And who would know if a man was genuinely without sin or not better than his younger brothers and sisters.

That is an astute point to notice. Smart kids.

There is so little information about Jesus childhood recorded for us. I suspect that James and Jude were asked a great number of questions about Him. I wonder what they told people.

Anonymous smile April 03, 2015 5:16 PM  

Can you imagine Jesus as a child? No, you can't, because children see through falsehood much more adroitly than adults. Because they don't have a vested interest in believing the fantasy, and because their instincts haven't been dulled by years of self-deception.

Blogger Quadko April 03, 2015 5:20 PM  

One of my favorite (protestant?) jokes:

Mary, "James, you're in big trouble this time, young man. Why can't you be more like your brother Jesus?"
James, "Ah, mom, why can't you be?"

Blogger Res Ipsa April 03, 2015 5:24 PM  

Where did you get the idea that James was even there? He isn't mentioned in any of the accounts. If he was, he must have been pretty upset when Jesus gave the care of his mother into John's hands rather than his.

Vox didn't say James was at the cross only that he became one of the disciples. This is historically true and is recorded in the book of Acts (chapter1 ff), Paul also records this in at least one epistle, James himself records it as does Jude. It seems based on the gospel accounts that Jesus brothers didn't believe in Him prior to the resurrection but came to faith afterwards.

Blogger Mad Dok Rob April 03, 2015 5:24 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Mad Dok Rob April 03, 2015 5:26 PM  

Student in Blue-
Speaking of Good Friday, the recent spurts of absurdly angry atheists on twitter using the #GoodFriday hashtag just... well, it leaves me at a bit of a loss just how absurdly angry they are at everything - how steeped in lies and anger they are."

It is odd how upset they get with something they vehemently deny exists. It is almost like they are trying to convince themselves to the core of what they are saying. Never really see them shrieking about the tooth fairy with anywhere near the same vitriol. This is probably why I stay away from Twitter. Nothing profound coming out of 140 characters anyway.

Blogger Student in Blue April 03, 2015 5:34 PM  

It's not even just "upset", but this absolutely moronic, misguided belief that Christianity is the source of everything wrong in the world.

It would be more akin to them shrieking for some reason about how belief in the tooth fairy is the cause of all of society's ails and we should just kill everyone who believes in the tooth fairy.

Blogger Res Ipsa April 03, 2015 5:36 PM  

FWIW

It's likely that of the 12 only John was close to the cross. He is considered to be the youngest of the 12 and may have been the least threatening in the eyes of the Romans. The other disciples may have been kept back by the guards. Jesus was crucified as an insurrectionist and the Romans might not have wanted a mob of His disciples close up where they could cause problems.

We don't know as its not recorded but the words "at a distance" may refer to the fact that the Romans allowed whiteness but also had some form of crowd control to keep them back a bit so they couldn't interfere. No doubt a handful of women wailing and weeping at the execution was exactly the sort of scene the Romans wanted, but group of young men might turn violent. One young kid wouldn't cause much concern.

Blogger Mad Dok Rob April 03, 2015 5:39 PM  

@Student

The truth hurts. And Jesus is the Truth that they do not want to accept. It hurts them greatly (probably without them even realizing it). So they lash out at it, try to destroy it. They believe that if they can it will fill the void in them.

The problem is, they cannot destroy the Truth and it drives them nuts.

Anonymous zen0 April 03, 2015 5:41 PM  

well, it leaves me at a bit of a loss just how absurdly angry they are at everything - how steeped in lies and anger they are.

ROMANS 1

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice.

Blogger Mad Dok Rob April 03, 2015 5:56 PM  

And to Vox and the rest of the Ilk, have a blessed Easter. (Yes, I know it has not technically started yet, but just getting it in a bit early)

Christ is risen, Alleluia.

Blogger JDC April 03, 2015 5:58 PM  

“I asked Jesus, ‘How much do you love me?’ And Jesus said, ‘This much.’ Then He stretched out His arms and died.”

Author unknown.

Blogger S1AL April 03, 2015 5:59 PM  

Vox, I have to echo the above questions about James being a disciple prior to Christ's death.

Blogger Ken April 03, 2015 6:08 PM  

Happy Good Friday & Easter, Vox, to your family, and to the Evil League of Evil. He is Risen.

Anonymous Friend of Bill April 03, 2015 6:30 PM  

Happy Easter to one and all.

Blogger Ken April 03, 2015 6:39 PM  

WrightFan,

As Paul said in Romans, believers can observe a day or not, as they so choose, for we all have freedom in Christ. And it's quite easy for Protestants to gather together at church, remember the sacrifice, and go out rejoicing, knowing that He is risen.

Blogger JartStar April 03, 2015 6:40 PM  

Don't troll on Good Friday Wrightfan. Besides we are "separated brethren" now.

Blogger Markku April 03, 2015 6:41 PM  

I came here to see if there might be some CatholicAttack, and I was not disappointed.

OpenID cailcorishev April 03, 2015 6:48 PM  

How can you "celebrate" without Mass?

Catholics don't have Mass on Good Friday either, but we manage. (I'd like to say this troll must not be Catholic since he didn't know that, but unfortunately that's no proof.)

Anonymous Curlytop April 03, 2015 6:48 PM  

Out of the mouths of babes! :-)

Blessed Good Friday to all! Just returned from a very solemn and reverent Good Friday Service.

Blogger James Dixon April 03, 2015 6:54 PM  

> I didn't know you protestants celebrated Good Friday? How can you "celebrate" without Mass?

You do know there isn't a traditional Mass on Good Friday, don't you?

Blogger James Dixon April 03, 2015 6:55 PM  

I see I was too slow and cailcorishev beat me to it. :(

Anonymous JN April 03, 2015 6:58 PM  

If you wanna know how far my love can go
Just how deep
Just how wide
If you wanna see how much you mean to me
Look at my hands
Look at my side

Blogger Vox April 03, 2015 7:02 PM  

Vox, I have to echo the above questions about James being a disciple prior to Christ's death.

I may well have gotten that wrong.

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2015 April 03, 2015 7:13 PM  

seems like it won't be long now before we see Him face to face.
Live very long ... and more than prosper......

Blogger Markku April 03, 2015 7:13 PM  

Yes, James indeed did not believe until afterwards:

Jhn 7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

Anonymous Newjerseythomas April 03, 2015 7:26 PM  

I don't think scripture refers to St. James as a younger brother. I always thought of him as St. Joseph's son from a previous marriage. Maybe St. James's mother passed in child birth, and St. Joseph quickly arrainged to marry Our Lady, so his son would have a mother. That would put Jesus, and St. James pretty close in age. Close enough for an older brother to defer to the leadership of a younger.

I have no basis for this, it's how I picture their relationship.

Anonymous A Visitor April 03, 2015 7:28 PM  

Happy Good Friday and a Happy Easter to all the Ilk! I just got back maybe an hour and twenty ago from a Catholic Good Friday service (only day of the year Mass is not said). I thought you all may appreciate this article on Jesus' death.

Blogger Rantor April 03, 2015 7:28 PM  

Attending Tenebrae service tonight, God bless all the Ilk as we prepare for Easter and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Anonymous automatthew April 03, 2015 7:28 PM  

16th century choral music for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday: Tenebrae Responsories by Tomas Luis de Victoria

Blogger ray April 03, 2015 7:33 PM  

That any created being could get through one day on this vile planet without sin, without doing something low and selfish, is just astonishing. But thirty three years is impossible... unless you actually DO represent God. And King Jeshua did, and does.


Those calling for Elijah should have read the scriptures left for them by their OWN PROPHETS, in which Malachi informed them that Elijah wouldn't show until the last days. This constituted the final message transmitted to them by God -- the instructions and warning that ended that portion of the Testament.


But of course they hated and rejected and persecuted the prophets, so why bother with God's word or will when they had their own wonderful ideas and interests and plans?



Very much looking forward to the King taking back his world. Nobody is going to keep it from him, either.

Blogger automatthew April 03, 2015 7:37 PM  

Vernard Eller makes a strong case for the Beloved Disciple being someone other than John the son of Zebedee. I don't want to spoil the detective work, so I'll only say that John was a Galilean, but the Beloved Disciple appears to have been a wealthy Judean.

Eller's book is available online.

Blogger Viisaus April 03, 2015 7:37 PM  

How many children do you have, Vox? I hope you will get a large family that is faithful to God and to each other.

Blogger James Dixon April 03, 2015 7:48 PM  

> I may well have gotten that wrong.

Can anyone imagine Scalzi saying that so lightly? One of the reasons I camp out here.

Anonymous The Spy April 03, 2015 7:51 PM  

Jesus Christ is alive an well and will return to this Earth at some appointed time that only the Father knows. Come quickly Lord.

Blogger wrf3 April 03, 2015 7:55 PM  

Hallelujah, it is finished!

Anonymous zen0 April 03, 2015 8:05 PM  

@ Markku

Yes, James indeed did not believe until afterwards:

Jhn 7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.


As far as I can research, James was present at pentecost and became the pastor of the Church in Jerusalem.

What I find puzzling is the fact that Joseph and Mary's children would be skeptical, after the experience of their parents.

What's up with that?

Unless it was more of a matter of not understanding the necessity of what was to come. The Apostles themselves seemed in the dark about the details of the necessary steps involved.

Blogger jay c April 03, 2015 8:10 PM  

Chag sameach! Have a great resurrection weekend.

Blogger Markku April 03, 2015 8:11 PM  

Familiarity breeds contempt:

Mat 13:55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

Same phenomenon, almost certainly.

Anonymous Ostar April 03, 2015 8:13 PM  

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

This is from Psalm 22:1. That psalm is about David feeling abandoned by God, but then putting his faith in God and trusting his will. And the Psalm also is a prophecy about Jesus, for it mentions piercing hands and feet and dividing clothes and casting lots for them.

I mention this in case some, like I when I was younger, misunderstand the use of the phrase and have some doubts about it.

Blogger ChicagoRefugee April 03, 2015 8:41 PM  

Today I'm thinking of all those who have died in His name over the last year - and in particular those who have died by crucifixion.

May God show mercy - and justice.

Anonymous Fp April 03, 2015 9:35 PM  

"That is a good point, about Jesus' family. I mean, if it was just his mother it could be handwaved away as being so common of mothers to ignore their son's shortcomings, but a younger brother? They remember. They remember very well."

Mary "kept many things in her heart" about Jesus the bible says. His family also thought he was crazy and tried to "take control of him" a very typical of response from family.

Anonymous zen0 April 03, 2015 9:44 PM  

It occurs to me that after Herod's attempt to kill the newborn, the family would be reticent about expounding on the identity of Jesus, ESPECIALLY with the other offspring. At least, not until the end. We found out things after our parents and their generation's death that we had no idea about before.

Loose lips sinks ships, eh?

Anonymous Curtis April 03, 2015 9:58 PM  

Unless it was more of a matter of not understanding the necessity of what was to come.

I am sure, that they also had their prejudicial beliefs, despite the truth standing before them and speaking to them. They just didn't want to hear it as it went against their patriotic narrative.

Blogger JaimeInTexas April 03, 2015 10:03 PM  

I remembered that many years ago, on crucifixion Friday, we used go and visit different churches and cathedrals and "cathedrals." I do not remember attending Mass.

Anonymous rrr April 03, 2015 10:14 PM  

There is James the son of Zebedee, James the brother of Jesus, and James the son of Alpheus. Three different people. The son of Zebedee is the first martyred apostle. James the brother of Jesus is mentioned in Josephus, martyred in the 60s, IIRC.

As for James the son of Alpheus, he is the object of some scholarly debate. The debate is over whether he should be identified as James the Lesser, brother of Joses, whose mother Mary was at the crucifixion (Mk 15). Contemporary scholarship of about any stripe considers the son of Alpheus to be distinct from the son of Zebedee and the brother of Jesus.

More than I've typed here in like three years!

Blogger Hrodgar April 03, 2015 10:38 PM  

Christ is traditionally held not to have had any siblings. According to St. Jerome, the word translated brother in most English versions also refers to other close kin, particularly cousins. Granted, there was some dispute; Epiphanius, a contemporary of Jerome, held that they were children of Joseph by a prior marriage. Both possibilities were put forward as ways of reconciling the passages with the perpetual virginity of Mary, a teaching which was put forward at least as early as Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle John, with whom Mary lived after Christ's death (which also brings up the question of why, if she had other sons, she would go to live with John). Said teaching was enshrined as dogma which all Catholics and Orthodox are bound in conscience to believe in, if I recall aright, 553 Ecumenical Council in Constantinople. I have also heard, though not confirmed, that said teaching was upheld among Protestants by Luther, Wesley, and a number of prominent Anglicans.

I realize that none of this will constitute proof for someone who rejects the infallibility of the doctrines proclaimed the first seven Ecumenical Councils (553 Constantinople was the 5th, I think). But I do think it is a mistake, given the widespread evidence of contrary teaching in the early church, to just assume that James was in fact the son of Mary and brother, as we commonly use the term, of Christ.

Of course, extended families were much closer then and there than they generally are in the West these days, so the main thrust of the post still stands.

Anonymous dc red dogs April 03, 2015 11:08 PM  

Hrodgar - thank you. Catholics believe that the Bible and tradition say that Jesus was the only son of Mary; many Protestants who know some Greek, or who respect their fellow Protestants who know some Greek, believe that it is possible, perhaps even likely, that Jesus was the only son of Mary. None of us now alive know why we were born so many centuries after the language in which our Lord spoke, when he became human, effectively vanished from the earth. Often, people have opinions on facts they have no foundation to know about, due to inordinate love for the people they have met in this world, and due to the corresponding inordinate desire that the facts they do not know might reflect the nice things they think about the people they have met in this world. I say, God bless them, but I also say, it is wrong for people to say things that are not true about people they have never met. The important thing is, Easter is a holiday for all of us, as long as we accept the Lord as our Savior.

Anonymous dc red dogs April 03, 2015 11:18 PM  

By the way, my best guess is that Jesus spoke to people in four languages - Aramaic, Latin, and Hebrew, which have not vanished from the face of the earth, and Koine Greek, which has. Of course he could have spoken in any language he wanted. The language that he spoke that has most effectively disappeared is, sadly, the Koine Greek in which the Gospels were written.

Anonymous LES April 03, 2015 11:31 PM  

It’s Friday

Anonymous rrr April 03, 2015 11:49 PM  

I'm sensing the above is directed at me. My only goal was to offer some clarity on the conflation of the various James that I thought I saw in the thread, not to get a backhanded slap in at Catholic tradition.

Does not the text of Mark 6:2 literally read, οὐχ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τέκτων, ὁ υἱὸς τῆς Μαρίας καὶ ἀδελφὸς Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωσῆτος καὶ Ἰούδα καὶ Σίμωνος? If I am quoting, in translation, the text, how have I run afoul of Catholic tradition? Does your English version read "cousin" for ἀδελφὸς? (Note: I only bring in Greek because it was brought in).

I wrote nothing in the post above contrary to Jerome's understanding. I may not agree with him, but my attention was not directed there. Further, even my comment that James the son of Alpheus is not James the brother of Jesus isn't that odd, even in Catholic scholarship (hence my statement "all stripes"). Daniel Harrington said nothing different than I did (though he did admit that equating the son of Alpheus with the brother of Jesus was "tempting"). I seriously doubt that Raymond Brown would have batted an eye at what I wrote, though I don't have his stuff handy from where I'm sitting at the moment.

Anonymous dc red dogs April 04, 2015 12:06 AM  

rrr - as for me, my comments were not directed to you, and I would never imply that someone who has honestly thought about these issues, as you apparently have, is wrong for having an opinion differing from mine. While I may disagree with it, your stated opinion does not appear to me to be reflexive and uninformed (and even if it did appear to me to be that way - so what? I have no special knowledge ... although it is kind of a give-away when you call Christian tradition of a millennium and a half "Catholic tradition" - but I digress).If you are reading, I was wondering about something; why do so many of us not rejoice at 3:02 on Good Friday, when the human sufferings of our Lord appear to be over? Are we so selfish that we have to wait a couple days until he rises from the dead to celebrate the end of his human sufferings?

Blogger Nate April 04, 2015 12:32 AM  

When hearing the lament of Jesus we must remember... this is actually a psalm... a stick how that psalm ends

Blogger Expendable Faceless Minion April 04, 2015 12:55 AM  

I wish you all a very happy and uplifting Easter.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza April 04, 2015 1:38 AM  

Glory to Lord Jesus, by his wounds we were healed.

Anonymous Rufus April 04, 2015 4:04 AM  

What struck me earlier this year studying John was how cleverly John composed His Gospel. Time and time again pointing the reader to Who Jesus was, and why He came. John recounts what Jesus claimed about Himself, and what he did to prove that He was Whom He claimed to be.

The spectacle of the Pharisees being pawns on the board amused me.

John 11:49 "Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. "

They thought they were sorting out a political problem, a threat to their rule and authority.

Little did they know they were carrying out their part of the Plan. Caiaphas didn't know how prescient he was - one Man would die to save many.

Have a blessed Easter.

Anonymous zen0 pedant0 April 04, 2015 5:39 AM  

If James was a son of Mary and Joseph, he would only be a half-brother of Jesus, because they did not share the same Father.

Anonymous bub April 04, 2015 9:17 AM  

the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom

I recall somewhere that the curtain was about 3 feet thick and 40 feet tall - quite a feat. The barrier to the Holy of Holies was ripped open and made accessible to man.

Anonymous DavidKathome April 04, 2015 12:13 PM  

Christ is traditionally held not to have had any siblings. According to St. Jerome, the word translated brother in most English versions also refers to other close kin, particularly cousins.

Anyone can confirm this for themselves by looking at Genesis. In Genesis 14:14 Lot is referred to as Abraham's brother, despite their relationship being that of uncle and nephew. There is no Hebrew word for nephew, which is why in Genesis 11:26-28 the relationship is explained as Lot being the son of Haran who is the actual sibling/brother of Abraham. Jacob and Laban have the same situation.

Blogger Quadko April 04, 2015 2:32 PM  

Anyone can confirm this for themselves by looking at Genesis.
Without weighing in on the much discussed issue between Catholics and Protestants and Orthodox, since the New Testament was written in Greek by Greek speakers who knew the relationship details far better than we do, and Greek most definitely has words for nephew and cousin, an appeal to Hebrew's grammatical lack doesn't clarify the issue and isn't a helpful argument. Long term, it's more like to confuse than resolve the issue. :)


Happy Easter, everyone! Reconciled to God through His death, saved through His life!

Anonymous DavidKathome April 04, 2015 5:35 PM  

Without weighing in on the much discussed issue between Catholics and Protestants and Orthodox, since the New Testament was written in Greek by Greek speakers who knew the relationship details far better than we do, and Greek most definitely has words for nephew and cousin, an appeal to Hebrew's grammatical lack doesn't clarify the issue and isn't a helpful argument.

I chose to speak about Genesis because I was deliberately avoiding the New Testament. Despite the fact that Greek does have a word for nephew(and cousin), the Hellenistic Jews who translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek(the Septuagint) about a century or longer the before time of Christ chose not to use the Greek word for nephew in Genesis 14:14. They instead used the Greek word which had the much more narrow meaning for brother.

Hebrew's lack of a vocabulary word to distinguish between brother, cousin and nephew does tell us something important about the people that used the language. Such distinctions were unimportant to them. If they were important, they would have coined a different word to allow for such distinctions.

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