More than any other section of the gospels, the stories of Jesus’s arrest, trial, condemnation, execution, and burial have captured the attention and imagination of dramatists, artists, musicians, and moviemakers. The passion stories are the centerpieces of the most sacred time in the church year, Lent and Holy Week, containing the keys to understanding the Christian hope of justification, redemption and salvation for all.
The stories in each of the four gospels do not offer identical pictures of the crucifixion of Jesus. While there is one Jesus at the font of the four canonical Gospels, each evangelist knows a different facet of him and presents a different picture. The Jesus in Mark and Matthew plumbs the depths of abandonment only to be vindicated; the Jesus in Luke worries about others and gently dispenses forgiveness; the Jesus in John reigns victoriously from the cross in control of all that happens. No one of these perspectives exhausts the meaning of Jesus. It is as if one walks around a large diamond to look at it from three different angles.
In this series, we explore and illuminate these diverse views of the crucified Jesus, opening up possibilities for people with very different spiritual needs to find meaning in the cross. Our primary source is A Crucified Christ in Holy Week. Essays on the Four Gospel Passion Narratives, by Raymond E. Brown, supplemented with information from Father Brown's magisterial two volume commentary, The Death of the Messiah. From Gethsemane to the Grave: A Commentary on the Passion Narratives in the Four Gospels.
Presentations were by David Monyak.
A Crucified Christ in Holy Week. Essays on the Four Gospel Passion Narratives, Raymond E. Brown, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1986, ISBN 0-8146-1444-2
The Death of the Messiah. From Gethsemane to the Grave: A Commentary on the Passion Narratives in the Four Gospels (Volumes 1 and 2), Raymond E Brown, Doubleday, New York, 1994. ISBN 0-385-49448-3 (Vol. 1) and 0-385-49449-1 (Vol. 2)