Monthly Archives: March 2013

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28 (NIV)


The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

Matthew 27:62-66 (NIV)

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”

Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

“Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”

This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,

“They divided my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.”

So this is what the soldiers did.

John 19:16-24 (NIV)

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Like 23:35-43 (NIV)

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

Matthew 27:45-61 (NIV)

This post by Caitlin reminds me of something I said in the Discussion Group on

If I may add a few more verses:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
Romans 3:23 (NIV)

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23 (NIV).

Also, 1 Corinthians 15:1-23.

Over the next few days, I will be posting the Easter story. Watch for it!

Easter is coming very soon! Before I present the comics, may I remind you about the reason we celebrate Easter: it is the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.

1 Corinthians 15:3-5 (NIV)

Now, for the comics:

If you haven’t already done so, please read the backstory.
Update: for more Oku Hanako, visit Thoughts on Oku Hanako, my blog dedicated to her.

I got another “attack” of the “Predicament” back in January, and it was sparked by stumbling upon Solarblade’s reviews on Oku Hanako’s singles and albums. He recommended many songs, all of which I probably listened to. I don’t agree with his takes on some of the songs, though, and that’s probably because I actually like her piano ballads; Solarblade seems to be more of the pop type.

Later on, I found Oku Hanako’s JpopAsia page and discography, giving me more songs to look up. Of course, the only official discography is on her official website, but that’s in Japanese and doesn’t include her really early indies works (most of which can be found on her album [2005]). I found that the only comprehensive discography is at the fan site 奥華子さんの歌詞を掲載するサイト (, which also includes the lyrics for almost all her songs.

As a result, I ended up increasing my song count from 14 to 36, and then to 47 about four weeks later. Heh heh….
Recall that I had the condition that for every Oku Hanako song I get, I would get one of Peter Cetera. I changed it. Instead of one-for-one, the condition is now that Oku Hanako’s songs cannot outnumber Peter Cetera’s solo works, partly because I started running out of his songs and partly because Oku Hanako had become a welcomed artist in my music library.

Perhaps part of the initial appeal was that her songs reminded me of those by some of my favourite artists: Peter Cetera, Phil Collins, Side A, Jim Brickman, Jose Mari Chan, Les Horribles Cernettes, and a few others.

Guess what? March 20 is Oku Hanako’s birthday! This playlist is just in time!

Listening Advice:
Since you most likely don’t understand Japanese, my recommendation for the best listening experience is to listen for the subtleties: the layering, the quiet notes, etc. The music students should know what I mean. Just don’t strain yourself in doing so. Also, it helps if your surroundings are quiet and you have good speakers/headphones, especially with the slow songs.
In short, just immerse yourself in the song.

  1. Garnet (Hikigatari) / ガーネット (弾き語り) (2006)
    Garnet is the theme song for the movie The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. It is what most Westerners who listen to her start with. Actually, even for the Japanese: Garnet is the song that got her famous!
    There’s also an arranged version with strings and drums, but I think the added flourish is a bit distracting.
    By the way, Hikigatari means that it’s just her and her piano; it means “singing to one’s own accompaniment“.

Intrigued? Listen to the rest of the playlist… →