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5 Passion – Holy Week

Exploring the text
The Revised Common Lectionary’s decision to intersperse Mark’s Gospel with John’s Gospel is nowhere more frustrating than in Holy Week. As we noted in the Introduction, Mark’s Gospel builds from the moment that John the Baptist bursts on to the stage in chapter 1 to Jesus’ final cry on the cross. For obvious reasons, each of the Gospels focuses on the cross as the event in which Jesus’ ministry finally comes into focus. This is especially true of Mark. The second half of Mark’s Gospel lies under the shadow of the cross, and of what this will mean not only for Jesus but also for those who follow him. It is therefore frustrating that this vitally important part of Jesus’ life and ministry is covered in the Lectionary not in the words of Mark but in those of the fourth Gospel, whose theology of the cross is very different from Mark’s. Indeed the only place where Mark’s account of Jesus’ death is given as an option at all is in the reading of the Liturgy of the Passion which some churches use on Palm Sunday...

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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