The Layman's Gospel Harmony

Period 9 -- To the Cross

Two Days in April, 30 AD
From the Garden to the Tomb

As reported by:

Mark 14:26 - 15:47
Matthew 26:30 - 27:66
Luke 22:31 - 23:56
John 18:1 - 19:42

8,202 KJV Words

The graphic below, derived from a similar map found in The Layman's Gospel Harmony, charts the chronological sequence of events and locations reported in the Gospels for about the last 18 hours of Christ's earthly life upon departing the Upper Room of the Last Supper. That 18 hours will take him, the Second Adam, from the Garden of Betrayal to the Garden Tomb.

As the harmonized Gospel proceeds through the way points listed below, in the dark of night and while the great crowds of Jewish (and Gentile) followers of Jesus sleep, the small clique of Temple elites loyal to power-mongering High Priest Caiaphas orchestrate Christ's execution. Doing so, they must violate the Torah's sacred precepts of just law and force the hand of Pontius Pilate, Rome's Prefect of Judea, with the threat of career-ending black mail to Caesar in order to achieve their agenda of murder.

One of the revelatory benefits of proper harmonization and cogent literary analysis of the Gospels is the complete explosion of the anti-Semitic myth that all Jews are under blood guilt for the murder of Christ. No one other belief in the history of Christianity has been more destructive to the Christian witness than the false premise originating in certain sectors of the early Church that the Jewish people were the "Christ Killer" to be collectively blamed for Christ's murder. Even the "great reformer" Martin Luther must be reassessed in the light of the rabid antisemitism which tainted his later years and writings. One of the severest negative consequences of Luther's 16th century antisemitism is modern Christianity's deplorable illiteracy of the Gospels as accurate histories.

Christian educational reform must teach that the Godhead itself demanded an adequate atoning sacrifice to restore the fallen Creation and all living things in it. Jesus himself understood this. Just as the High Priest was commanded to slaughter the Passover Lamb, this one man must also commit the Messiah to death. The corrupt High Priest Caiaphas, acting to protect his family's multi-generational control of Temple enterprise, power, and profit, made that commitment, supported by a small clique of Temple elite loyalists. Only when the bitter, 2,000 year old leaven of antisemitism is completely cleansed from Christianity will the Gospels be fully comprehended as the astounding, historically accurate records of the Jewish Christ's life and messianic witness.

Then will open the new era of 21st century discipleship of Christ. This historically, knowledge grounded faith will be a refreshed, much needed new relational form of Christianity. Through it, the stewards of God's relational covenant will live and breath by Christ's declaration of the Great Commandment spoken three days before his death on the cross: that they should love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and their neighbors (globally) as themselves (Mark 12:30-31, Matthew 22:37-39 per Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18).