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The Paschal Mystery

The Paschal Mystery

• • • This is at the very center of the Gospel that must be proclaimed to all.

The word paschal means Passover and goes back to the Exodus.

Paschal therefore describes a journey from slavery to freedom.

Paschal Mystery cont.

• • It is a mystery because the meaning behind it was concealed until the end.

Today, the Paschal Mystery is commemorated through out Holy Week of Easter.

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Jesus’ Death: Historical

Historically Jesus died because the Jewish authorities feared losing their influence and power. Also, the Romans are held responsible as the physical executioners.

This unfortunately has led to modern day racism against Jews.

Jesus’ Death: Theological

• • Unlike the Historical explanation, when looked at from the bigger picture, Jesus’ death is caused by sinners.

This category of sinners applies to all of us, not just the Romans or the Jews because Jesus died for all of us.

Why Jesus Died

• • • Jesus died freely out of his love for mankind.

Jesus also died out of obedience to the Father.

Jesus knew that his death was the necessary sacrifice for the salvation of man.

Passion Narratives

• The Passion Narrative is the collection of events leading up to Jesus’ Resurrection.

• It is important to note that Jesus is complete control throughout the entire series of events.

• •

Last Supper

This was the Passover meal shared with the 12 Apostles where Jesus voluntarily presents an offering of thanks to God the father.

It is also here that Jesus declares on of the twelve will betray him and that Peter will deny him three times.


• Gethsemane is the garden that Jesus prayed in after the Last Supper and where he was arrested after being betrayed.

• His apostles fell asleep while on watch and when arrested, Jesus remained peaceful.

• • •

The Sanhedrin and Jesus

Jesus was interrogated by the high priest named Caiaphas.

Jesus acknowledged he was the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

The Sanhedrin accused him of blasphemy and called for his death.

Pontius Pilate Condemns

• • Under Roman rule, only the Roman Governor could give the death penalty.

Jesus was accused of blasphemy under Jewish Law and claiming to be a king under Roman Law (this is what allowed the death penalty).

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Crucifixion was a long and painful way to die. In addition to the hands, the feet were nailed to a small platform so that the person could support themselves and thus suffer longer.

Jesus was mocked and taunted with a sign that said “King of the Jews”.

• • •

Jesus’ Death

Jesus’ last words were “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Jesus’s death singled the end of his mission and the start of a new relationship between God and mankind.

Some sources say there was an earthquake around the time Jesus died.

Jesus’ Burial

• Joseph of Arimathea asked permission to bury Jesus. He was part of the Sanhedrin but secretly followed Jesus.

• A Pharisee named Nicodemus helped Joseph, Mary, Mary Magdalene, and John bury Jesus in a tomb.

• • •


The Paschal Mystery Worksheet covers what we have discussed today and also includes some review questions from Monday’s material.

You will have the rest of today and most of tomorrow to complete this.