Jesus is condemned by the Jewish authorities, so they march him over to Pilate for a trial.
“What’s his crime?”
“He said not to pay our taxes and claims to be the Messiah, a king.”
Pilate: Jesus, are you the king of the Jews?
Pilate: Not guilty.
Priests: He is stirring up the people for rebellion from Galilee to Judea.
Pilate: Huh. Galilee? That would make him Herod’s problem, not mine.
They lead Jesus to Herod.
Herod: Come on, show me a trick.
Herod: Okay, beat him up a bit and send him back to Pilate, my new bestie.
Pilate: Seems like a weird thing to bond over, but alright. Okay, priests, I’ve examined him, Herod has examined him, we find him not guilty… even though he sort of admitted he was the king of the Jews. But hey, let’s not let the Roman authorities think we blame them for the death of Jesus. So I’m going to have him beaten up a bit more and then release him.
Priests: Yeah, no. We want the other guy. The one actually guilty of insurrection and murder.
Pilate: Huh. Well, I guess I have no choice. Oh wait. I have all the choices. But sure, take Barabbas and crucify Jesus.
They grab Simon the Cyrene to carry the cross, and the women following Jesus cry and weep at his fate.
Jesus: Yeah, save your tears for Jerusalem. It’s getting destroyed.
So they nail Jesus to the cross and hoist it up in the middle between two thieves.
Jesus: Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.
Everyone mocks him and tells him to get off the cross if he’s really the Messiah. One of the thieves mocks him to, but the other one tells him to shut up and asks Jesus to remember him when He receives His kingdom.
Jesus: You will be with me in Paradise today.
Darkness falls over the land, the temple veil is torn in two, and Jesus cries out in a loud voice and releases his spirit. The centurion is convinced that Jesus was innocent. The crowd realizes what’s happened and start to mourn and return to the city. The women who followed him stay and keep watch. Joseph of Arimathea asks Pilate for Jesus body and receives it. He does a quick preparation on the body for burial and puts it in a tomb.
“Luke” makes mention to assure us that the women saw the tomb where Jesus was laid, probably to counter the argument that they showed up to the wrong tomb and found it empty.
And everyone goes home and crashes on Saturday.
The women return to the tomb and find it empty. Two men appear this time instead of one and tell the women that Jesus rose from the dead. There’s no mention of going to Galilee to see him again. And this time, the women go back to the disciples and report the incident, instead of keeping silent as they did in Mark. The disciples don’t believe them, but Peter goes to the tomb and finds it empty.
Now we have a story about two men going to the village Emmaus and Jesus shows up and travels with them, but they don’t recognize him. They relate everything that happened in the last two chapters, and Jesus says, “You of little faith, the Old Testament totally says that the Messiah would have to die.” Then Jesus gives them a bible study on the topic that isn’t related, but probably should have been.
They ask Jesus to spend the night, and he eventually agrees, but as they sit down to eat, he breaks the bread and they recognize Jesus and he vanishes.
They return to Jerusalem, find the disciples, and tell their story. Apparently, during this time, Jesus also appeared to Peter.
It’s interesting how we’ve moved from a simple empty tomb in Mark to a brief appearance in Matthew to extended appearance narratives in Luke. John, the last gospel chronologically written, will have even more appearances of Jesus tacked on both in Judea and in Galilee.
Jesus appears to the disciples again and says, “Hey, I’m flesh and blood.”
“You’re a ghost!”
“Do you have any food?”
So they give fish and he eats it and they’re convinced he’s not a ghost.
Jesus: Yeah, all this was supposed to happen. Let me share the bible study I did earlier with you, but we’re totally not going to write it down. Then Jesus opens their minds so they understand the Old Testament, which… he probably could have saved himself and them a lot of trouble if he did that earlier.
This time, instead of telling them to go to Galilee to see him, Jesus tells them to stay in Jerusalem until they receive power from God.
And then Jesus ascends into heaven and they go back to Jerusalem happy and praising God.