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fought; that though he was a king, his kingdom was spiritual, his subjects being those who accepted the truth he taught. Pilate, though puzzled, saw that there was no attempt to be apprehended against the Roman dominion, and told the Jews he saw no fault in Jesus, asking them if he might release him. But they were not willing.

Pilate then had Jesus scourged and mocked with ensigns of royalty (a purple robe and a crown of thorns), and presented him, thus arrayed, to the chief Jews, saying, “Behold the man,” still, however, declaring him guiltless. But they clamoured for his crucifixion, because he made himself Son of God. This gave Pilate some uneasiness, and he questioned Jesus about his origin, but did not obtain an answer. Pilate, still trying to release him, was assailed by a covert threat from the Jewish rulers, implying that, if he persisted he would be accused of having shielded a pretender to the Jewish throne, and, consequently, of unfaithfulness to the empire. He therefore at last gave way, and sent Jesus to the death of the cross, writing thereon a mock title, in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews,” which was, in truth, his accusation.

By the cross stood Jesus' mother, her sister, and Mary the Magdalene. And when he saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he commended her to the care of that disciple, who henceforth took her to his own home.

In order to complete the fulfilment of Scripture, Jesus then complained of thirst; accordingly vinegar was given him to drink, and on receiving it he exclaimed, “It is finished !” and, bowing his head, he died.

This was on the day of preparation for the Passover, the day before the Sabbath. The Jews, therefore, wanted the removal of the bodies before the Sabbath (those of Jesus and of the two thieves who were crucified with him), and to that end wished them speedily killed.

The soldiers found Jesus already dead ; one of them piercing his side, there issued blood and water. They break the legs of the thieves, but, in the case of Jesus, two more Scriptures were fulfilled, viz. “They shall look on him whom they have pierced” (Zech. xii. 10); and, “Not a bone of him shall be broken ” (Ps. xxxiv. 20).

After the resurrection, Jesus showed himself first to Mary the Magdalene; and in the evening of the same day, the first of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled through fear of the Jews, he came and stood in their midst, pronouncing peace on them, and conferring apostleship. And he breathed on them, and said, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit; whosesoever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven to them; whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.”

Thomas, however, was not with them, and refused to believe the fact of the resurrection without seeing Jesus himself and obtaining tangible proof. This was granted him in presence of the other disciples, eight

days after, on which occasion Thomas exclaimed, My Lord and my God!”

This fourth Gospel does not profess to narrate all the miracles that Jesus did, but only enough to show that he is the Christ, the Son of God, and that those who believe in him as such may have life in his name (John xx. 31.) This verse appears to conclude the Gospel, the twenty-first chapter being an appendix, narrating the appearance of Jesus to his disciples in Galilee, and his prediction of the martyrdom of Peter; it explains also how the belief arose among the disciples, that the one whom Jesus so loved would never die. The twenty-fourth verse says, “This is the disciple which beareth witness of these things, and wrote these things, and we know that his witness is true.”




We have now given, in the foregoing chapters, a brief abstract of the life and teaching of Jesus—first, as described in the Gospels named after Matthew and Mark, and secondly, according to that named after John; and our next step shall be to notice some striking differences which exist between the two accounts, easily verifiable in any version by the average reader.

Some have deemed that the most important of these discrepancies is that concerning the day of Jesus' death, the Synoptics making it the day after the Passover, and the fourth Gospel making it the day of the Passover, so that Jesus was himself the Paschal Lamb slain. Dr. Farrar has dealt with this one particular at considerable length. “It must be admitted," he says (“Life of Christ,” vol. ii. p. 475 ; Appendix), "that the Synoptics are unanimous in the use of expressions which admit of no natural explanation except on the supposition that the Passover did begin on the evening of Thursday, and therefore that Thursday was Nisan 14, and that the Last Supper was in reality the ordinary Paschal Feast." But Dr. Farrar, notwithstanding, adheres to the Johannine account, for, he says, also in the Appendix, p. 482, “We conclude, then, that the last supper was not the Paschal meal.” The translator of Dollinger's “First Age of Christianity and the Church" (H. N. Oxenham, M.A.), in a note at p. 57 of that work, makes the following remark on this question :-“The author here supposes the supper described by St. John (ch. 13-17) to have taken place on the Wednesday evening, and to be distinct from that mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels, at which the Eucharist was instituted. But this method of reconciliation creates more difficulties than it removes.

And it is quite clear, however the difference be explained, that St. John assumes the Feast of the Passover to have commenced on the Friday evening, the day of the crucifixion (John xviii. 28), while the Synoptic Gospels make our Lord eat it on the Thursday evening, the day of the Last Supper (Matt. xxvi. 17, 19; Mark xiv. 12, 16; Luke xxii. 7, 13).

Another oft-noted difference between the fourth Gospel and the Synoptics is that respecting the duration of Jesus' public life, apparently about one year according to the synoptists, as Jesus only attended one Passover Feast, but about three years if we follow the indications of time given by the fourth Gospel. The most ancient opinion coincides with the Synoptic


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