26 As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. 27 A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. 28 At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. 29 The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ 30 Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, ‘Fall down on us!’ calling to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ 31 If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they’ll do with deadwood?”
32 Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution. 33 When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” 35 The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God – ha! The Chosen – ha!” 36 The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: 37 “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!” 38 Printed over him was a sign: this is the king of the jews. 39 One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!” 40 But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. 41 We deserve this, but not him – he did nothing to deserve this.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.” 43 He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.”
44 By now it was noon. The whole earth became dark, the darkness lasting three hours – 45 a total blackout. The Temple curtain split right down the middle. 46 Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!” Then he breathed his last. 47 When the captain there saw what happened, he honored God: “This man was innocent! A good man, and innocent!” 48 All who had come around as spectators to watch the show, when they saw what actually happened, were overcome with grief and headed home. 49 Those who knew Jesus well, along with the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a respectful distance and kept vigil.
50 There was a man by the name of Joseph, a member of the Jewish High Council, a man of good heart and good character. 51 He had not gone along with the plans and actions of the council. His hometown was the Jewish village of Arimathea. 52 He lived in alert expectation of the kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Taking him down, he wrapped him in a linen shroud and placed him in a tomb chiseled into the rock, a tomb never yet used. 54 It was the day before Sabbath, the Sabbath just about to begin. 55 The women who had been companions of Jesus from Galilee followed along. They saw the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed. 56 Then they went back to prepare burial spices and perfumes. They rested quietly on the Sabbath, as commanded.
1 When Jacob learned that there was food in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you sit around here and look at one another? 2 I’ve heard that there is food in Egypt. Go down there and buy some so that we can survive and not starve to death.” 3 Ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to Egypt to get food. 4 Jacob didn’t send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with them; he was afraid that something bad might happen to him. 5 So Israel’s sons joined everyone else that was going to Egypt to buy food, for Canaan, too, was hit hard by the famine. 6 Joseph was running the country; he was the one who gave out rations to all the people. When Joseph’s brothers arrived, they treated him with honor, bowing to him.
7 Joseph recognized them immediately, but treated them as strangers and spoke roughly to them. He said, “Where do you come from?” “From Canaan,” they said. “We’ve come to buy food.” 8 Joseph knew who they were, but they didn’t know who he was. 9 Joseph, remembering the dreams he had dreamed of them, said, “You’re spies. You’ve come to look for our weak spots.” 10 “No, master,” they said. “We’ve only come to buy food. 11 We’re all the sons of the same man; we’re honest men; we’d never think of spying.” 12 He said, “No. You’re spies. You’ve come to look for our weak spots.” 13 They said, “There were twelve of us brothers – sons of the same father in the country of Canaan. The youngest is with our father, and one is no more.” 14 But Joseph said, “It’s just as I said, you’re spies. 15 This is how I’ll test you. As Pharaoh lives, you’re not going to leave this place until your younger brother comes here. 16 Send one of you to get your brother while the rest of you stay here in jail. We’ll see if you’re telling the truth or not. As Pharaoh lives, I say you’re spies.” 17 Then he threw them into jail for three days. 18 On the third day, Joseph spoke to them. “Do this and you’ll live. I’m a God-fearing man. 19 If you’re as honest as you say you are, one of your brothers will stay here in jail while the rest of you take the food back to your hungry families. 20 But you have to bring your youngest brother back to me, confirming the truth of your speech – and not one of you will die.” They agreed.
21 Then they started talking among themselves. “Now we’re paying for what we did to our brother – we saw how terrified he was when he was begging us for mercy. We wouldn’t listen to him and now we’re the ones in trouble.” 22 Reuben broke in. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t hurt the boy’? But no, you wouldn’t listen. And now we’re paying for his murder.” 23 Joseph had been using an interpreter, so they didn’t know that Joseph was understanding every word. 24 Joseph turned away from them and cried. When he was able to speak again, he took Simeon and had him tied up, making a prisoner of him while they all watched. 25 Then Joseph ordered that their sacks be filled with grain, that their money be put back in each sack, and that they be given rations for the road. That was all done for them. 26 They loaded their food supplies on their donkeys and set off. 27 When they stopped for the night, one of them opened his sack to get food for his donkey; there at the mouth of his bag was his money 28 He called out to his brothers, “My money has been returned; it’s right here in my bag!” They were puzzled – and frightened. “What’s God doing to us?”
29 When they got back to their father Jacob, back in the land of Canaan, they told him everything that had happened, saying, 30 “The man who runs the country spoke to us roughly and accused us of being spies. 31 We told him, ‘We are honest men and in no way spies. 32 There were twelve of us brothers, sons of one father; one is gone and the youngest is with our father in Canaan.’ 33 “But the master of the country said, ‘Leave one of your brothers with me, take food for your starving families, and go. 34 Bring your youngest brother back to me, proving that you’re honest men and not spies. And then I’ll give your brother back to you and you’ll be free to come and go in this country.'” 35 As they were emptying their food sacks, each man came on his purse of money. On seeing their money, they and their father were upset. 36 Their father said to them, “You’re taking everything I’ve got! Joseph’s gone, Simeon’s gone, and now you want to take Benjamin. If you have your way, I’ll be left with nothing.” 37 Reuben spoke up: “I’ll put my two sons in your hands as hostages. If I don’t bring Benjamin back, you can kill them. Trust me with Benjamin; I’ll bring him back.” 38 But Jacob refused. “My son will not go down with you. His brother is dead and he is all I have left. If something bad happens to him on the road, you’ll put my gray, sorrowing head in the grave.”
1 Good people, cheer God! Right-living people sound best when praising. 2 Use guitars to reinforce your Hallelujahs! Play his praise on a grand piano! 3 Invent your own new song to him; give him a trumpet fanfare. 4 For God’s Word is solid to the core; everything he makes is sound inside and out. 5 He loves it when everything fits, when his world is in plumb-line true. Earth is drenched in God’s affectionate satisfaction. 6 The skies were made by God’s command; he breathed the word and the stars popped out. 7 He scooped Sea into his jug, put Ocean in his keg. 8 Earth-creatures, bow before God; world-dwellers – down on your knees! 9 Here’s why: he spoke and there it was, in place the moment he said so. 10 God takes the wind out of Babel pretense, he shoots down the world’s power-schemes. 11 God’s plan for the world stands up, all his designs are made to last.
12 Blessed is the country with God for God; blessed are the people he’s put in his will. 13 From high in the skies God looks around, he sees all Adam’s brood. 14 From where he sits he overlooks all us earth-dwellers. 15 He has shaped each person in turn; now he watches everything we do. 16 No king succeeds with a big army alone, no warrior wins by brute strength. 17 Horsepower is not the answer; no one gets by on muscle alone. 18 Watch this: God’s eye is on those who respect him, the ones who are looking for his love. 19 He’s ready to come to their rescue in bad times; in lean times he keeps body and soul together. 20 We’re depending on God; he’s everything we need. 21 What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own his holy name. 22 Love us, God, with all you’ve got – that’s what we’re depending on.