By Richard Edmondson
Out of the four gospels, it is the Gospel of John’s portrayal of the resurrection that has probably most captured the human imagination, mainly for its depiction of the encounter outside the tomb between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Hinting at a strong emotional bond between the two, the scene is—in a word—titillating.
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him,objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
[ Ed. note – The Easter season is upon us. As we pause and reflect on the events of that week of 2000 years ago I thought it would be worthwhile to put up an article I first posted back in 2014. ]
The dogwood tree explodes into riotous bloom each year on Easter Week. Strangely, this remains true, year after year, regardless whether Easter falls in March or April–it is always, always Easter week that the dogwood petals reach their maximum opulence.
Millions of Orthodox Christians are celebrating Easter today. Happy Easter to all of our Orthodox friends!
Russian Patriarch Krill inaugurates the Holy Fire during Easter mass in Moscow:
John 18-20 (Revised Standard Version)
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
18 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples across the Kidron valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, procuring a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.”