A Reading for Holy Saturday

An extra Quote of the Day for the Faithful Few.

 

The Holy Bible King James Version

The Gospel According to Saint Matthew

Matthew 27

27:1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and

elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:

 

27:2 And when they had bound him, they led him away,

and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

 

27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned,

repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

 

27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.

And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

 

27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple,

and departed, and went and hanged himself.

 

27:6 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said,

It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.

 

27:7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.

 

27:8 Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.

 

27:9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet,

saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him

that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;

 

27:10 And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.

 

27:11 And Jesus stood before the governor:

and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews?

And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

 

27:12 And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.

 

27:13 Then said Pilate unto him,

Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?

 

27:14 And he answered him to never a word;

insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.

 

27:15 Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.

 

27:16 And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

 

27:17 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them,

Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?

 

27:18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

 

27:19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying,

Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have

suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

 

27:20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude

that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

 

27:21 The governor answered and said unto them,

Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?

They said, Barabbas.

 

27:22 Pilate saith unto them,

What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?

They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

 

27:23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done?

But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

 

27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made,

he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying,

I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

 

27:25 Then answered all the people, and said,

His blood be on us, and on our children.

 

27:26 Then released he Barabbas unto them:

and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

 

27:27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall,

and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.

 

27:28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

 

27:29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head,

and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him,

saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

 

27:30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

 

27:31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him,

and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

 

27:32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene,

Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

 

27:33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

 

27:34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall:

and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

 

27:35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots:

that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet,

They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

 

27:36 And sitting down they watched him there;

 

27:37 And set up over his head his accusation written,

THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

27:38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him,

one on the right hand, and another on the left.

 

27:39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

 

27:40 And saying,

Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,

save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

 

27:41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

 

27:42 He saved others; himself he cannot save.

If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

 

27:43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him:

for he said, I am the Son of God.

 

27:44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

 

27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

 

27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying,

Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

 

27:47 Some of them that stood there,

when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

 

27:48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge,

and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

 

27:49 The rest said,

Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

 

27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

 

27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;

and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

 

27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

 

27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection,

and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

 

27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him,

watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done,

they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

 

27:55 And many women were there beholding afar off,

which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:

 

27:56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses,

and the mother of Zebedees children.

 

27:57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph,

who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:

 

27:58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.

Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

 

27:59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

 

27:60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock:

and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

 

27:61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.

 

27:62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation,

the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

 

27:63 Saying,

Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

 

27:64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day,

lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people,

He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

 

27:65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

 

27:66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 17 – One More Pallbearer

Paul Radin is a very rich man with a NYC skyscraper with his name on it.  In the sub-basement of this building (300 feet below the surface) he’s built a nuclear bomb shelter with eighteen-inch-thick concrete walls encased in six inches of lead.  And he’s installed an audio-visual system that can mimic the experience of a nuclear explosion outside of the bunker.  Mr. Radin is a devious man who has conquered the business world without any need for honor or a conscious.

He has invited three people to his shelter.  They are one of his old high school teachers, Mrs. Langsford, his former pastor Mr. Hughes and his commanding officer from the war, Col. Hawthorne.  When they arrive, he reminds each of them of the time when each had humiliated him.  His teacher had berated him for cheating and then trying to blame the incident on someone else.  Col. Hawthorne had him court-martialed for refusing to follow a direct order to join a battle.  And Mr. Hughes had exposed the fact that a girl committed suicide over Radin.

Then Radin reveals why they were invited.  He claims that he has classified information that a Russian nuclear attack will occur in a few minutes and New York will be obliterated, all except him in his shelter.  And he has invited them to share his bomb shelter and survive.  The proviso is that each beg his forgiveness for the offenses they committed against him.  When they ask to leave, he demands that they stop the pretense and realize that as soon as they leave, they will panic and come running back.  They leave undeterred and when he holds open the elevator door to give them one last chance the school teacher basically tells him that he is the one to be pitied because he will be trapped with himself.

After they leave, Radin feels the detonation of the nuclear bomb.  He takes the elevator to the surface and sees that the city is in rubble.  He breaks down and mourns for his own loneliness in the empty world that is left.  But then we see that all of this scene is in his imagination and that the city is untouched.  Radin is lying by the fountain in front of his building crying hysterically.  He’s gone insane from frustration and fear.

Between this episode and the earlier third season episode called “The Shelter,” I get the idea that Rod Serling is miffed that some people had bomb shelters.  I suppose he felt it wasn’t egalitarian that some would survive.  All that aside, this is a pretty weak episode.  It doesn’t seem very likely that a narcissist would crack up because some people didn’t like him.  I’ll go with a C.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – Discussion on Death and Dying

Now scientists say you do know when you have died and your brain works for a short time after your heart stops beating. Most who have survived a death experience say they were not at all afraid. Perhaps this is a mercy given to us to ease the transition. That’s why I believe in hospice and palliative care. Humans don’t always die peacefully so I’m all for them dying on their own terms when they can.

My good friend’s brother had brain cancer. Very painful. But just before he died he entered a state of grace where the pain was gone and he could thank his sister for taking care of him in his final weeks at home instead of dying alone in a hospital bed.

My dear wife’s mother said the day that she died that her husband of many years was at the foot of the bed, beckoning her to go with him. He had been dead for four years by then.

My own mother said my father, who had been gone for 16 years, appeared before her in her room at the nursing home a week before she died. She said he was dressed in the clothes he wore as a plant supervisor at Rocketdyne during the moonshot program. That was when he was happiest. He had important work and he was in charge. She was also seeing cars from the 50s and 60s driving through her room that week before she passed. She wasn’t at all afraid. When she passed on, she was in a hospital room but in my daughter’s hospital with me, my brother, his family, my daughters and my grandson with her. She finally told the nurses to remove the PAP breathing machine. They told her if they did, she would die. She said that was already decided and it the mask was uncomfortable. So she passed on her own terms.

My wife passed when she took a nap with a headache. Died peacefully from an undiagnosed aneurysm.

I hope I am given the grace to go so peacefully as they.

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 16 – Nothing in the Dark

A very old woman lives alone in a condemned building in a run-down area of a city.  And she is afraid of every one she meets so she won’t open her door to anyone.

Outside her apartment she sees a policeman in the alley so she hides in her room.  Shots are fired and a car speeds away.  She hears the voice of a man crying for help.  She tells him to go away and leave her alone.  He tells her that he’s been shot and his name is Officer Harold Beldon and he needs a doctor right away.

The old woman is in a panic.  She is frightened to death of the man but she is moved to help an injured person.  She overcomes her fear and goes to him.  When she touches his shoulder, she is amazed.  She says aloud, “how am I still alive?”  The old lady helps the Officer into her apartment and tries to make him comfortable on the bed and makes him some tea.  Now that she is safe back in her room, she tells the Officer about herself.  She says that one time on a bus she saw a man come up to a very old woman and in the course of picking up something she dropped, he touched her hand and a little while later she died.  At that point she concluded that the man was actually Death there to take the old woman away.  The old woman tells the Officer that a few more time she saw Death take away old people.  Now she avoids everyone because Death can take any form.  But she is miserable.  She loves the sunlight but now lives always in darkness.

Later on, a knock comes at the door and she refuses to open it.  The man at the door says he is a contractor responsible for demolishing the condemned buildings that include the one the old lady lived in.  When she refused to open the door, he brakes it down.  When he enters the room the old lady collapses to the floor.  When she comes to, she is once again amazed that Death has not gotten her.  The contractor tries to comfort her and explains that his job is not evil.  He’s clearing the ground so new homes can be built to replace the worn-out buildings.  The old lady asks Officer Beldon to help her explain to the contractor that she needs to stay inside but the contractor is confused by her words and leaves warning her she must go.

When she thinks about what happened she realizes that the contractor couldn’t see the Officer.  Beldon tells her to look in the mirror and when she does, she can’t see him in the mirror.  Now she knows that he is indeed Death.  In confusion she asks him why he did not kill her when she let him in.  He explains to her that he is not there to hurt or frighten her.  He is only there to guide her to the next phase of her existence.  He implores her lovingly to take his hand and after initial fear she does.  When nothing seems to happen, she is relieved and she asks him when she will die and he asks her to look at the bed.  There she sees her own body in repose.  And now Death says to her, “What you feared would come like an explosion is like a whisper. What you thought was the end is the beginning.”  Death leads the old lady out of the darkness into the sunlight.

Gladys Cooper as the old lady and Robert Redford as Death are very good.  The drama is sentimental and emotionally charged but effective.  I enjoyed it.  B+