The Roman procurator declares the prisoner innocent for the second time, but, instead of setting Him free, gives the people the alternative to choose either Jesus or Barabbas for their paschal freedman. Pilate pronounced Jesus innocent for the third time with the more solemn ceremony of washing his hands; he had recourse to a third scheme of ridding himself of the burden of pronouncing an unjust sentence against his prisoner. He had the prisoner scourged, thus annihilating, as far as human means could do so, any hope that Jesus could ever attain to the royal dignity. But even this device miscarried, and Pilate allowed his political ambition to prevail over his sense of evident justice; he condemned Jesus to be crucified.
The Passion of Jesus: his death
Jesus carried His Cross to the place of execution. Simon of Cyrene is forced to assist Him in bearing the heavy burden. On the way Jesus addresses his last words to the weeping women who sympathized with His suffering. He is nailed to the Cross, his garments are divided, and an inscription is placed over His head. While His enemies mock Him, He pronounces the well-known “Seven Words”. Of the two robbers crucified with Jesus, one was converted, and the other died impenitent. The sun was darkened, and Jesus surrendered His soul into the hands of His Father. The veil of the Temple was rent into two, the earth quaked, the rocks were riven, and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose and appeared to many. The Roman centurion testified that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. The Heart of Jesus was pierced so as to make sure of His death. The Sacred Body was taken from the Cross by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, and was buried in the new sepulchre of Joseph, and the Sabbath drew near.
The glory of Jesus
After the burial of Jesus, the holy women returned and prepared spices and ointments. The next day, the chief priests and Pharisees made the sepulchre secure with guards, sealing the stone. When the Sabbath was passed, the holy women brought sweet spices that they might anoint Jesus. But Jesus rose early the first day of the week, and there was a great earthquake, and an angel descended from heaven, and rolled back the stone. The guards were struck with terror, and became as dead men.
On arriving at the sepulchre the holy women found the grave empty; Mary Magdalen ran to tell the Apostles Peter and John, while the other women were told by an angel that the Lord had arisen from the dead. Peter and John hasten to the sepulchre, and find everything as Magdalen has reported. Magdalen too returns, and, while weeping at the sepulchre, is approached by the arisen Saviour Who appears to her and speaks with her.
On the same day Jesus appeared to the other holy women, to Peter, to the two disciples on their way to Emmaus, and to all the Apostles excepting Thomas.