When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:…
The dread of death is universal and instinctive; and yet how many rush into its arms! Suicide is a most impressive fact in this connection. The disappointed lover, the discouraged adventurer, the suspected clerk, the child wounded in its self-love or fearful of punishment, faces the great enemy and invites his blow. Every now and then the community is shocked by suicides so unprovoked and so frequent as almost to persuade us that the natural fear of death is passing away. The inconsistency is easily explained. Bacon says there is no passion that will not overmaster the terror of death. For passion is thoughtless; occupied wholly with an immediate suffering it makes no estimate of any other kind of pain; absorbed in an instantaneous sorrow it takes no other sorrow into account. The mind entertains but one passion at a time, whether it be joy or fear. But men are not always or generally under the influence of passion. Ordinary life is calm, calculating, considerate, and it is to ordinary life that death is terrible. It is the thought of death that is terrible, not death. Death is gentle, peaceful, painless; instead of bringing suffering it brings an end of suffering. It is misery's cure. Where death is, agony is not. The processes of death are all friendly. The near aspect of death is gracious. There is a picture somewhere of a frightful face, livid and ghastly, which the beholder gazes on with horror, and would turn away from, but for a hideous fascination that not only rivets his attention, but draws him closer to it. On approaching the picture the hideousness disappears, and the face is that of an angel. It is a picture of death, and the artist's object was to impress the idea that the terror of death is an apprehension. Death is an ordinance of nature, directed by beneficent laws to beneficent ends.
(O. B. Frothingham.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: