It is the central event of Christianity: Jesus Christ surrendered to the Romans, was briefly tried by Pontius Pilate, and sent to be crucified. Once up on the cross, he died in an unusually short time (crucifixion is a slow and painful death). In his last words, he called on his heavenly father, saying “Eli Eli lama sabachthani?” (in English “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). (At least, he did according to the Gospels of Mark and Matthew – John and Luke each tell different stories.)
When the Romans came by to break the legs of the crucified (a measure that hastens death), they discovered that Jesus was already dead. He was taken down and buried, rising from the dead on the third day (somewhat undermining the “last words” thing, but he’s the Son of God. Different rules apply.)
Today, these events are commemorated by the eating of chocolate (not introduced to Europe, Asia and Africa until 14 centuries later) delivered by a rabbit (because… I have no idea why).
Judas Iscariot is a complex and contradictory character in the gospels. He did betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, repent too late, and commit suicide. But how much did he act from his own volition, and how much in fulfillment of God’s grand design? How much was he an independent actor responsible for his own deeds, and how much was he a puppet dancing on divine strings? The only thing we know for sure is that we’ll never get a straight answer out of any church on the subject.
Assuming that Jesus did have a child (and there is, in fact, some textual evidence to suggest this in some versions of the Bible, although it is more an implication than a statement), the chances are that the boy – variously named, most interestingly as Merovee, the legendary founder of the Merovingian dynasty that later ruled France – was born in either 33 or 34 CE, after his father’s death.
However, much to the disappointment of fans of Dan Brown, there is little enough historical evidence to confirm the existence of Jesus, let alone that of any children of his. To say nothing of the fact that Mary Magdalene is not the only woman identified in legend as a wife of Jesus, nor of the legends that their child was actually a girl named Sarah.
Known to Christians as the “Agony in the Garden”, Christ’s prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives are mentioned in John 18:1, Matthew 26:36-45 (the only account to name the garden) and Luke 22:39-46. Accompanied by three of the Apostles – Peter, John and James – Christ retired to the garden to pray that God would permit him to not go through with his sacrifice and Crucifixion the following day.
The agony here is, of course, spiritual and emotional rather than physical. That would follow very shortly, however: immediately upon leaving the garden, Christ encounters Judas, a meeting which will result in the deaths of both men before the following sunset.
It’s a well-known story. At the Last Supper, after Jesus bluntly tells his twelve closest friends that one of them will betray him, they all protest that they would never do such a thing. And no one protests louder or longer than Simon Peter (not so-named for the rocks in his head, although you could be forgiven for thinking so).
Jesus calmly tells Peter that Peter will deny him three times, which is met with still more protestations by Peter.
In a shocking plot twist, it turns out that everything Jesus predicted came to pass. Peter should have asked him for the lotto numbers.