Governor Pilate Questions Jesus
1Then the whole group stood up and led Jesus to Pilate.# Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea from 26 to 36. 2They began to accuse Jesus. They told Pilate, “We caught this man telling things that were confusing our people. He says that we should not pay taxes to Caesar. He calls himself the Christ, a king.”
3Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “Yes, that is right.”
4Pilate said to the leading priests and the people, “I find nothing wrong with this man.”
5They said again and again, “But Jesus is making trouble with the people! He teaches all around Judea. He began in Galilee, and now he is here!”
Pilate Sends Jesus to Herod
6Pilate heard this and asked if Jesus was from Galilee. 7If so, Jesus was under Herod’s authority. Herod was in Jerusalem at that time; so Pilate sent Jesus to him. 8When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad. He had heard about Jesus and had wanted to meet him for a long time. Herod was hoping to see Jesus work a miracle. 9Herod asked Jesus many questions, but Jesus said nothing. 10The leading priests and teachers of the law were standing there. They were shouting things against Jesus. 11Then Herod and his soldiers made fun of Jesus. They dressed him in a kingly robe and then sent him back to Pilate. 12In the past, Pilate and Herod had always been enemies. But on that day they became friends.
Jesus Must Die
13Pilate called all the people together with the leading priests and the Jewish leaders. 14He said to them, “You brought this man to me. You said that he was making trouble among the people. But I have questioned him before you all, and I have not found him guilty of the things you say. 15Also, Herod found nothing wrong with him; he sent him back to us. Look, he has done nothing for which he should die. 16So, after I punish him, I will let him go free.” 17[Every year at the Passover Feast, Pilate had to release one prisoner to the people.]# Some Greek copies do not contain the bracketed text.
18But all the people shouted, “Kill him! Let Barabbas go free!” 19(Barabbas was a man who was in prison because he started a riot in the city. He was guilty of murder.)
20Pilate wanted to let Jesus go free. So he told this to the crowd. 21But they shouted again, “Kill him! Kill him on a cross!”
22A third time Pilate said to them, “Why? What wrong has he done? I can find no reason to kill him. So I will have him punished and set him free.”
23But they continued to shout. They demanded that Jesus be killed on the cross. Their yelling became so loud that 24Pilate decided to give them what they wanted. 25They wanted Barabbas to go free, the man who was in jail for starting a riot and for murder. Pilate let Barabbas go free and gave Jesus to them to be killed.
Jesus Is Killed on a Cross
26The soldiers led Jesus away. At that time, there was a man coming into the city from the fields. His name was Simon, and he was from the city of Cyrene. The soldiers forced Simon to carry Jesus’ cross and walk behind him.
27A large crowd of people was following Jesus. Some of the women were sad and crying. 28But Jesus turned and said to them, “Women of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children too! 29The time is coming when people will say, ‘Happy are the women who cannot have children! Happy are the women who have no babies to nurse.’ 30Then people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ And they will say to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ 31If they act like this now when life is good, what will happen when bad times come?”# Literally, “If they do these things in the green tree, what will happen in the dry?”
32There were also two criminals led out with Jesus to be killed. 33Jesus and the two criminals were taken to a place called the Skull. There the soldiers nailed Jesus to his cross. They also nailed the criminals to their crosses, one beside Jesus on the right and the other beside Jesus on the left. 34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”# Some Greek copies do not have this part of verse 34.
The soldiers threw lots to decide who would get his clothes. 35The people stood there watching. The leaders made fun of Jesus. They said, “If he is God’s Chosen One, the Christ, then let him save himself. He saved other people, didn’t he?”
36Even the soldiers made fun of him. They came to Jesus and offered him some vinegar. 37They said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!” 38(At the top of the cross these words were written: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”)
39One of the criminals began to shout insults at Jesus: “Aren’t you the Christ? Then save yourself! And save us too!”
40But the other criminal stopped him. He said, “You should fear God! You are getting the same punishment as he is. 41We are punished justly; we should die. But this man has done nothing wrong!” 42Then this criminal said to Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!”
43Then Jesus said to him, “Listen! What I say is true: Today you will be with me in paradise!”# A place where good people go when they die.
44It was about noon, and the whole land became dark until three o’clock in the afternoon. 45There was no sun! The curtain in the Temple# A curtain divided the Most Holy Place from the other part of the Temple. This was the special building in Jerusalem where God commanded the Jews to worship him. was torn into two pieces. 46Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, I give you my life.” After Jesus said this, he died.
47The army officer there saw what happened. He praised God, saying, “I know this was a good man!”
48Many people had gathered there to watch this thing. When they saw what happened, they returned home. They beat their chests because they were so sad. 49Those who were close friends of Jesus were there. Some were women who had followed Jesus from Galilee. They all stood far away from the cross and watched.
Joseph of Arimathea
50-51A man from the Jewish town of Arimathea was there, too. His name was Joseph. He was a good, religious man. He wanted the kingdom of God to come. Joseph was a member of the Jewish council, but he had not agreed when the other leaders decided to kill Jesus. 52Joseph went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. 53So Joseph took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in cloth. Then he put Jesus’ body in a tomb that was cut in a wall of rock. This tomb had never been used before. 54This was late on Preparation Day. When the sun went down, the Sabbath day would begin.
55The women who had come from Galilee with Jesus followed Joseph. They saw the tomb and saw inside where the body of Jesus was laid. 56Then the women left to prepare perfumes and spices.
On the Sabbath day they rested, as the law of Moses commanded.