Bible History for the Use of Catholic Schools - R. Gilmour

The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ

64.—The Paschal Lamb.

1. On the first day of the Azymes the Jews were commanded by the law of Moses to sacrifice the Paschal lamb, and for eight days to eat unleavened bread. On that day Jesus told Peter and John to go and prepare the Pasch for Him and His disciples.

2. They went into the city, and, as Jesus had bidden them, prepared the Pasch. When the evening was come Jesus sat down to table with His twelve apostles, declaring how much and how long He had desired to eat that supper with them.

3. The Jewish Paschal lamb was a figure of Jesus Christ, the true Paschal Lamb; for this reason Christ was by His own will put to death on the cross on the same day and at the very hour that year by year the Jewish Paschal lamb was offered in the Temple.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 64.—What was done on the first day of the Azymes?

65.—The Washing of Feet.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When they had all eaten, Jesus rose from the table and girded Himself with a towel. Then pouring water into a basin, He began to wash the feet of His disciples and to wipe them with the towel.

2. When He came to Peter, the brave apostle declared never should his word wash his feet; but when Jesus told him it was necessary, if he would have share with Him, Peter yielded.

3. After Jesus had washed the feet of the apostles, He again sat down and began to discourse to them on what He had done. "The servant," said He, "is not greater than the master; and if I, who am Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."

4. When Jesus said the washing of feet was necessary, He wished to show how necessary Baptism and Penance were. By these, sins are washed away through the merits of Christ; so was the washing of feet at the Last Supper a symbol of these sacraments.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 65.—Describe the washing of feet by Jesus. What did Peter do and say? Of what was the washing of feet a symbol?

66.—Christ Institutes the Blessed Sacrament.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After the washing of the apostles' feet came that sacred and solemn moment Christ had so long desired. He was about to enter on His Passion, and must fulfil that promise He had before made, that "He would give His body to eat and His blood to drink."

2. Therefore, while they were all sitting at the table, Jesus took of the bread that was before Him, and, holding it in His sacred hands, lifted up His eyes to heaven; then He gave thanks, and, blessing the bread, gave it to His disciples, saying: "Take ye and eat; THIS IS MY BODY, which is given for you." By these words Jesus changed the bread into His adorable body.

3. Then He took the chalice, in which was a part of the wine that had been used at the supper, and, giving thanks, blessed it, and gave it also to His disciples, saying: "Drink ye all of this, FOR THIS IS MY BLOOD of the new testament which shall be shed for many for the remission of sins. Do this for a commemoration of Me."

4. By these words Jesus changed the wine into His blood; and by the words, "Do this for a commemoration of Me,'' He ordained the apostles priests, and instituted for all time the august Sacrament of the Altar.

Jesus is the Melchisedech of the New Law, who, as King and Priest, offered Himself under the appearances of bread and wine.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 66.—Describe the institution of the Blessed Sacraments. What did Christ do? What did He say? What is Jesus in the New Law?

67.—Jesus Foretells the Treason of Judas and the Denial of Peter.

1. After the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus became depressed and very much troubled. He knew that Judas Iscariot was about to betray Him for the paltry sum of thirty pieces of silver.

2. That the traitor might have no excuse, Jesus publicly declared "one of them was about to betray Him." Instantly there was a commotion among the apostles, and each began to ask: "Is it I?"

3. John, whom Jesus loved most tenderly, was sitting by His side. Peter made a sign to him to ask Jesus of whom He spoke. John, leaning on the bosom of Jesus, did so. Jesus answered: "It is he to whom I shall reach bread dipped;" and, immediately dipping the bread, He handed it to Judas. As soon as Judas had eaten the morsel, Satan entered into him, and, going out, he consummated his treason.

4. When Judas was gone Jesus said, in a very solemn manner: "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; I will be with you only a little while." Peter, hearing this, asked "where He would go." Jesus answered: "Where I go, thou canst not follow now." Peter became very much excited, and, with great vehemence, asked "why he could not follow now, as he was ready to lay down his life for Him."

5. But Jesus, turning to him, said: "Amen, amen, I say to thee, this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny Me thrice."

Joseph was sold by his brothers, that he might save them in the time of famine; Jesus was sold by Judas, that He might redeem and save mankind.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 67.—After the institution of the Blessed Sacrament what happened to Jesus? How did Jesus act towards Judas Iscariot? What did Judas do? What did Jesus say to Peter?

68.—Christ's Last Discourse to His Apostles.

1. After Judas left the supper-room, Jesus, turning to the other apostles, said: "I am about to leave you, but before I go I give you a new commandment: Love one another. Be not troubled: I will not entirely leave you; at present I go to prepare a place for you in My Father's house; I will come again and take you with Me.

2. "I will also ask My Father to give you another Paraclete, who will teach you all things, and abide with you forever. I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one can come to the Father but through Me. I am the vine; My Father is the husbandman: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, shall bear much fruit. My peace I leave you; My peace I give you."

3. When Jesus had finished with these grave and affectionate words, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said: "Father, the hour is come, glorify Thy Son. I pray for Mine; sanctify them. I pray not for Mine only, but for those also who, through their word, shall believe in Me, that they may be one with Me, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 66.—What was Christ's last discourse to His apostles?

69.—Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When Jesus had finished His prayer, He went with His disciples to the garden of Gethsemane, near Mount Olivet. Having entered, He bade His disciples sit down and rest, while He went to pray. Taking with Him Peter and James and John, He went away a little distance. Oppressed with grief, He said: "My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay here and watch."

2. Leaving the three apostles, He went forward a little distance, and, falling fiat on the ground, prayed thus: "O My Father! if it is possible, let this chalice pass from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt." Then, rising, He came to the apostles; but they were asleep. Jesus left them, and went again and prayed as He had done before. For the third time He prayed in the same manner, saying the same words.

3. When Jesus had finished His prayer, and for the third time had submitted Himself to the will of his Father, He began His agony. Oppressed with the load of sin that was placed upon Him, and overwhelmed with grief, His sweat became as drops of blood trickling on the ground. His Father sent an angel to comfort Him. When His agony was over, Jesus rose, and, coming to His disciples, said, "Arise, let us go; he that shall betray Me is at hand."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 69.—What happened in the garden of Gethsemane? What was Christ's prayer? What is said of His agony?

70.—Jesus Delivered up to His Enemies.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Whilst Jesus was still speaking to His apostles, a great multitude of the priests and people came into the garden. Some carried swords in their hands; others carried clubs and torches. Judas Iscariot walked at their head. When Judas came to Jesus he said, "Hail, Rabbi," and kissed Him.

2. Jesus advanced towards the multitude and asked them whom they sought. They said, "Jesus of Nazareth." He simply answered, "I am He;" when the multitude, overcome with fear, went back and fell to the ground. Then Jesus said, "You have come to seize Me as if I were a thief: whilst I was daily in the Temple, you did not touch Me."

3. As soon as Jesus had said this, the soldiers advanced and seized Him. Peter, seeing what was done to his Master, drew his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus, the servant of the high priest; but Jesus bade him put back his sword into the scabbard, saying that, if He needed help, His Father Would send Him more than twelve legions of angels.

4. Jesus touched the ear of Malchus and healed it; then He delivered Himself into the hands of the soldiers, who bound Him. The disciples, seeing this, fled; Peter and John alone following at a distance.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 70.—Who betrayed Jesus? With what? When the soldiers seized Jesus what did Peter do? Who alone followed Jesus?

71.—Jesus before the High Priest.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. The multitude led Jesus to the house of Annas, one of the priests. There He was asked concerning His doctrines and disciples. Jesus simply answered, He had taught openly; His words and actions were well known. For this, one of the servants struck Him, asking how He dared to answer thus.

2. After much abuse, Annas sent Jesus to Caiaphas the high priest. Here were assembled the priests and the Scribes and a great multitude of the people. Christ was led into their midst; false witnesses were brought in, and all manner of accusations were made against Him; they were determined to put Him to death.

3. When the witnesses had been examined, Caiaphas rose and asked Jesus if He had anything to say; but Jesus held His peace.

Again Caiaphas rose, and adjured Him by the living God to tell whether He was the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus answered, "I am."

4. The high priest, hearing of this, rent his garments, and declared there was no need of further evidence: all had heard the blasphemy, and, by their law, He who made Himself God, deserved death. He then asked what they thought. They all cried out, "He is worthy of death."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 71.—Where was Jesus led? What was Jesus asked? What was done to Him? What was done at the house of Caiaphas?

72.—Peter Denies Jesus

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Whilst Jesus was before the tribunal of the high priest, Peter remained in the hall, among the soldiers, warming himself. One of the servants of the high priest came to him and accused him of being not only a follower of Jesus, but of having been in the garden with Him. Peter declared he knew Him not; and the cock crew.

2. A short time after this, another servant, seeing Peter, said to those that were standing about: "This man was also with Jesus." Peter again denied, and swore with an oath that he knew not Jesus.

3. About an hour after this, a friend of Malchus, whose ear Peter had cut off, also charged him with being a disciple of Jesus; but Peter began to swear he knew not the man. The cock crew the second time.

4. At that moment Jesus was led through the hall. Turning, He looked at Peter, who remembered what Christ had said to him in the early part of the evening: "Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny Me thrice." Peter went out and wept bitterly.

It is related in history that after his denial of Christ Peter always wept when he heard a cock crow, and so frequent were his tears that they made furrows in his cheeks.

5. Man is very week: Peter saw his Master on Thabor, and yet denied Him in the judgment hall. Had he prayed in the garden, he would not have been so timid in trial: let us, therefore, watch and pray.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 72.—Tell how Peter denied Jesus. What is said of Peter's after-life?

73.—The Despair of Judas.

1. When Judas saw that Jesus was condemned to death, he repented of what he had done. Going to the chief priests, he threw down the thirty pieces of silver, declaring he had betrayed innocent blood; then he went out and hanged himself.

2. The priests, taking the money, bought with it a potter's field, in which to bury strangers, for it was not lawful to put blood-money in the treasury of the Temple. This field was called by the Jews Haceldama; that is, the field of blood.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 73.—How did Judas act? What was done with the money?

74.—Jesus Insulted.

After Jesus was condemned by the great council, the soldiers took him into a large hall, and there began to mock Him and to spit upon Him. Blindfolding Him, they buffeted Him, and then tauntingly asked who struck Him; yet, in the midst of their blasphemies, their jeers, and their scoffs, Jesus remained silent—a wonder to men and angels.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 74.—What insults were heaped upon Jesus? How did Jesus act?

75.—Jesus Before Pilate and Herod.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. As soon as it was day the great council of the Jews assembled, and again condemned Jesus to death. But Judea being at that time a Roman province, the Jews were forbidden to inflict punishment of death on anyone until they had received the permission of the governor. They therefore, dragged Jesus before Pontius Pilate, who was then governor of Judea.

2. When Jesus was brought before him, Pilate asked what was the accusation against Him. The multitude cried out, "He is a seditious man; He forbids the people to pay tribute to Caesar, and, moreover, declares He is Christ, the King."

3. Pilate asked Jesus if He were a king. He declared He was, but that His kingdom was not of this world. When Pilate heard this he said to the people, "I find no fault in the man." But they only cried out the more, "He is a disturber of the peace, from Galilee even to Jerusalem."

4. Pilate, hearing of Galilee, asked if Jesus were a Galilean. Learning He was, Pilate sent Him to Herod, governor of Galilee, who was then in Jerusalem attending the Paschal feast. When Herod saw Jesus he was very much pleased. He had heard a great deal about Him, and now hoped to see some miracle.

5. But, when questioned, Jesus remained silent. Herod, seeing that his idle curiosity would not be gratified, mocked Our Savior, and, in derision, clothing Him in a white garment, sent Him back to Pilate. That same day Herod and Pilate were reconciled to each other, having before been enemies.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 75.—What did the great council do? What could the Jews not do? Why? Before whom was Christ dragged? What accusations were made against Him? To whom did Pilate send Jesus? How did Herod treat Jesus?

76.—Jesus and Barabbas.

1. During the whole of Christ's trial, Pilate strove to save Him, because he saw Jesus was innocent. But Pilate was a weak man, and feared to resist popular opinion. To add to his embarrassment, his wife had a dream which frightened her very much, and, while Pilate was sitting in the judgment-hall, she sent him a message to have nothing to do with Jesus, because He was a just man.

2. There was a custom among the Jews that, on the feast of the Pasch, the governor should release any prisoner whom the people chose. Pilate, hoping to save Jesus, presented for their choice Jesus or Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a thief and an assassin.

3. The priests and the ancients persuaded the people to demand the release of Barabbas and the death of Jesus; so, when Pilate again asked whom would he release, they cried out, "Barabbas;" and when he asked what he would do with Jesus, they cried out, "Crucify Him."

4. Barabbas is a picture of sin. Man disobeys, and, by his sin, drives the grace of God from his soul, thus, in a certain sense, killing the soul. Jesus came to free man from sin, and, by His sufferings, pay the ransom for all sin.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 76.—Tell the story of Jesus and Barabbas.

77.—Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Pilate still hoped to save Jesus from death, and, at the same time, satisfy the people; He, therefore, ordered Jesus to be scourged. The soldiers led our blessed Savior out of the hall into a courtyard. There they stripped Him, and, tying Him to a pillar, scourged Him.

2. After this, mocking Him, they put a purple garment on him, and, platting a crown of thorns, put it on His head. For a sceptre they put a reed in His hand, and, coming, bowed the knee before Him, saying: "Hail, King of the Jews." They also spat on Him, and, taking the reed, struck Him with it, thus driving the thorns deeper into His head.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 77.—Tell how Christ was scourged. After scourging May what was done?

78.—Jesus is Condemned to Death.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Pilate, seeing the pitiable condition to which Jesus was reduced, thought the sight of Him would appease the malice of the Jews. For this reason he led the Son of God out on a high balcony, and, presenting Him in all His misery, said, "Behold the Man." But the barbarous, blood-thirsty people only cried out the more, "Crucify Him, crucify Him."

2. Pilate still continued irresolute, and hesitated what to do. But when the leaders of the people came and said to him, if he released Jesus he was no friend of Caesar's, he seems to have made up his mind. Hoping to quiet the stings of his conscience, he took a basin of water and, going before the multitude, washed his hands, saying: "I am innocent of the blood of this just man." But the people cried out, "His blood be upon us, and upon our children."

3. For eighteen hundred years has the blood of Christ been upon the Jews. Driven from Judea—without country, without home—strangers amongst strangers—hated, yet feared—have they wandered from nation to nation, bearing with them the visible signs of God's curse. Like Cain, marked with a mysterious sign, they shall continue to wander till the end of the world.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 78.—What did Pilate do with Jesus on the balcony? What did the people say? What argument did the leaders use to persuade Pilate to condemn Jesus? What is said of the blood of Jesus, and the Jews?

79.—The Journey to Calvary.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Pilate, seeing he could not prevail upon the people, at last passed sentence of death upon Jesus. Then the soldiers took Him, and, placing a heavy cross on His wounded shoulders, led Him forth to Calvary. This was the usual place for the execution of criminals.

2. As Jesus passed through the streets, His strength Niles and He fell several times. His executioners, seeing He could not carry the cross any further, compelled Simon the Cyrene, whom they met on the way, to take it up and carry it to Calvary. Together with Jesus, two thieves were also led fort to be crucified.

3. Amongst the crowd that accompanied Jesus were many women, weeping and lamenting. Turning to them, He strove to console them, and, in the kindest words, bade them not weep for Him, but for themselves and for their children.

4. What a sublime example of patience Christ gave in His Passion! Condemned unjustly, He nevertheless, without a murmur, takes His cross; treated with the utmost cruelty and inhumanity, He complains not. So ought we to act when trials are sent to us, or men persecute us.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 79.—Who passed sentence of death on Jesus? What was placed on Christ's shoulders? What happened on the way to Calvary? Who carried the cross? Who were in the crowd? What did Jesus say to the women?

80.—Jesus is Nailed to the Cross.

1. When Jesus reached Calvary the soldiers offered Him wine mixed with gall. This draught helped to render the agony of crucifixion less keen, by deadening the feeling of sense. But Jesus refused to drink, being determined to suffer unshrinkingly all His Father had decreed.

2. He was then stripped of His garments and nailed to the cross. On each side of Jesus was crucified one of the thieves that had been led forth with Him. The soldiers divided His garments amongst them, but for His coat they cast lots.

3. This coat of Our Savior was a figure of His Church. Woven from top to bottom without seams: so is the Church without division—one and indivisible.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 80.—What was done to Jesus on Calvary? Who were crucified with Jesus? What was done with his garments?

81.—Jesus on the Cross.

1. At length Jesus was raised up, and hung suspended by His wounds. How cruel were his torments, whilst His blood ran in streams to the ground! But the Jews remained unmoved; nay, they even mocked Him, and, in derision, cried out, "Vah! You, who said You could destroy the Temple of God, and in three days rebuild it, come down form the cross, if You be the Son of God." The only answer Jesus made was a prayer for their forgiveness: "Father," said He, "forgive them, for they know not what they do."

2. One of the thieves who was hanging at His side also began to blaspheme, and, chiding, bad Him, if He were the Christ, to save Himself and them. But the other thief remonstrated: "We," said he, "suffer justly, but this man unjustly." Then he turned to Jesus and asked to be remembered by Him. Jesus said, "This day thou shalt be with Me in paradise."

3. In this history of the penitent thief we have one of the best examples of the power of prayer—one repentant word, and he is saved. In the desert, Moses set up a brazen serpent, upon which those who were bitten looked and were cured; on Calvary, Jesus hung upon the cross, that those who look upon Him in faith and love may be cured of the wounds of the soul.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 81.—What is said of Jesus on the cross? How did the Jews act? How did Jesus answer them? What happened to one of the thieves? What example does the penitent thief give us? What is said of the brazen serpent and the cross?

82 —Mary at the Foot of the Cross.

1. Whilst Jesus was hanging upon the cross, Mary, His mother, and John the apostle, came and stood at its foot. When Jesus saw then He said to His mother, "Woman, behold thy son!" then He said to John, "Behold thy mother!" and from that hour John took the Blessed Virgin under his care.

2. As formerly the heroic mother of the Maccabees stood encouraging her seven sons to die bravely for their religion, so did Mary stand at the foot of the cross. Then indeed was Simeon's prophecy fulfilled: truly, a sword of sorrow pierced her heart. In John, every Christian was given as a child to Mary.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 82.—What is said of Mary and John at the foot of the Cross?

83.—Jesus Dies upon the Cross.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. About noon of the day on which Christ was crucified, the whole earth was covered with darkness. This continued for three hours. In the midst of this general gloom, and as life was ebbing away, Jesus, seeing that God had withdrawn His consolations from Him, cried out, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

2. After this Jesus said, "I thirst." A soldier dipped a sponge in vinegar, and, putting it on a reed, gave Him to drink. When Jesus had tasted the vinegar, He said, "It is consummated," and, bowing down His head, died.

3. At the moment Christ died, nature shook to her centre; the earth trembled, the rocks were split, the graves were opened, and the dead arose; the veil of the Temple was rent from the top to the bottom. When the centurion and the guard of soldiers that stood round the cross saw this, they cried out, "Indeed this was the Son of God." The multitude returned to Jerusalem, striking their breasts, and wondering at what they had seen.

4. At length man's redemption is accomplished; Christ has triumphed. His extended arms show the extent of His love, and His wounds are the fountains from whence grace flows to pay the debt of sin. With Christ's death ended the law of Moses; hence the veil of the Temple, which had heretofore separated the people from the sanctuary, was torn, as a sign that Christ had opened the way to heaven. The bloody sacrifices of Moses had passed away,—the shadow was gone,—and in their stead was substituted the only true and real sacrifice, Jesus Christ.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 83.—What happened at noon of the day Christ was crucified? What did Jesus say just before He died? What happened when Christ died?

84.—Jesus is Laid in the Tomb.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Christ was crucified on the eve of the Sabbath. That the bodies of the criminals might not remain exposed to view during the Paschal solemnities, the soldiers broke the legs of the two thieves, that they might die the sooner. Bat when they came to Jesus, He was already dead; so they did not break His legs, but one of them opened His side with a spear. Immediately there ran forth blood and water.

2. Towards evening, Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the great Jewish council, but a secret believer in Christ, came to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate having granted his prayer, Joseph and Nicodemus came and took the body from the cross. They then embalmed it with precious perfumes, and, wrapping it in white linen cloths, laid it in a sepulchre. This sepulchre was cut in a rock, and situated in a garden near Calvary.

3. The chief priests and Pharisees, though they had apparently conquered, were not at ease. They remembered well that Jesus had foretold His death, and how He would rise again on the third day. Fearing that, possibly, the apostles might steal the body and declare that He had risen, they came to Pilate and asked him to place his seal upon the, tomb, and set a guard to watch it. He did so.

4. Eve, the mother of mankind was taken from Adam's side; so the Church, our spiritual mother, came forth from the side of Christ. It was forbidden to break the bones of the Paschal lamb; neither were the bones of Jesus Christ, the true Paschal Lamb, broken. In all things, even the smallest, we see the fulfilment not only of the prophecies, hut of the types and figures that foretold the life and death of Christ.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 84.—What was done to the thieves? What did one of the soldiers do? What ran from Christ's side? Who asked for Christ's body? What was done with it? How was the tomb guarded? What is said of Eve and the March?