The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.
Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
"But you--come here, you sons of a sorceress, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
Whom are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels, the offspring of liars?
You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree; you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging crags.
[The idols] among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion; they, they are your lot. Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings and offered grain offerings. In the light of these things, should I relent?
You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill; there you went up to offer your sacrifices.
Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked on their nakedness.
You went to Molech with olive oil and increased your perfumes. You sent your ambassadors far away; you descended to the grave itself !
You were wearied by all your ways, but you would not say, 'It is hopeless.' You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint.
"Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have been false to me, and have neither remembered me nor pondered this in your hearts? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me?
I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you.
When you cry out for help, let your collection [of idols] save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But the man who makes me his refuge will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain."
And it will be said: "Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people."
For this is what the high and lofty One says-- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.
I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me-- the breath of man that I have created.
I was enraged by his sinful greed; I punished him, and hid my face in anger, yet he kept on in his willful ways.
I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him,
creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace, to those far and near," says the LORD. "And I will heal them."
But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud.
"There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."
Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate.
And they began to accuse him, saying, "We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king."
So Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.
Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find no basis for a charge against this man."
But they insisted, "He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here."
On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean.
When he learned that Jesus was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle.
He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer.
The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him.
Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate.
That day Herod and Pilate became friends--before this they had been enemies.
Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people,
and said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him.
Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death.
Therefore, I will punish him and then release him. "
With one voice they cried out, "Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!"
(Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again.
But they kept shouting, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
For the third time he spoke to them: "Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him."
But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed.
So Pilate decided to grant their demand.
He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.
Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.29For the time will come when you will say, 'Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!'30Then " 'they will say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!" '31For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?"32
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.
When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals--one on his right, the other on his left.
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One."
The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar
and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."
There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence?
We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. "
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour,
for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.
The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man."
When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away.
But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man,
who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God.
Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body.
Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.
It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.
Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?
He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:
7'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' "
Then they remembered his words.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.
It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.
But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.
Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.
They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.
As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;
but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?" They stood still, their faces downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?"
19"What things?" he asked. "About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.
The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him;
but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.
In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning
but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.
Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see."
He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!26Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?"27
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther.
But they urged him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.
Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together
and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon."
Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."37
They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.
He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?39Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself ! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."40
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?"42
They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
and he took it and ate it in their presence.
He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."45
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.48You are witnesses of these things.49I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."
When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.
While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
"Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins.
For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.
'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?' "Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself ? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." The mouth of the LORD has spoken.