Matthew 27
Chapter 27
The important Jews take Jesus to stand in front of Pilate
1Early the next morning, all the leaders of the priests and the important Jews had a meeting. They decided how to make the Roman rulers kill Jesus. 2They tied Jesus' hands and feet and then they took him to Pilate's house. They put him under the authority of Pilate, who was the Roman ruler. #27:2 Pilate ruled over this part of the Roman world for Caesar. Caesar ruled the whole Roman world.
Judas dies
3Judas heard that the Jewish leaders wanted the Roman rulers to kill Jesus. Judas was the man who had helped Jesus' enemies to take hold of him. Now he was very sorry about what he had done. So he took back the 30 silver coins to the leaders of the priests and the important Jews. 4He said to them, ‘I have done the wrong thing. I helped you to take hold of a man who has done nothing wrong.’
They said to Judas, ‘That is not important to us. That is your problem.’
5So, Judas took the money and he threw it down on the floor in God's Great House. Then he went away. He hung himself from a rope so that he died.
6The leaders of the priests picked up the coins. They said, ‘We used this money to catch and kill a man. So it is against our Law to use this same money for God's Great House.’ 7They decided to use the money to buy a field. They wanted to use the field to bury foreign people who died in the city. The field had been called ‘The Pot-maker's Field’. 8After this, it was called ‘The Field of Blood’. It is still called that even today. 9So the words that the prophet Jeremiah wrote long ago now became true. He had said, ‘Then they took the 30 silver coins. It was the amount of money the people of Israel had agreed to pay for the man. 10They used this money to buy the pot-maker's field. The Lord God had told me to do this.’
Pilate asks Jesus some questions
11Now Jesus stood in front of the Roman ruler, Pilate. The ruler asked Jesus, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’
Jesus replied, ‘You have said it.’
12The leaders of the priests and the important Jews spoke against Jesus. They said that he had done many bad things. Jesus did not answer them. 13So Pilate said to Jesus, ‘You hear what these men are saying against you. You should reply.’ 14But Jesus did not reply to what the men were saying against him, not even to one thing. Pilate was very surprised about this.
15Each year at the time for the Passover festival, the Roman ruler would let one person go free out of the prison. The people could choose which person should go free. 16At that time, there was a man called Barabbas in prison. Everyone knew about the bad things that he had done. 17When the crowd came together at Pilate's house, Pilate asked them, ‘Who do you want me to let go free? Should Barabbas go free? Or should it be Jesus, who is called the Messiah?’ 18Pilate knew why the Jewish leaders had brought Jesus to him. They were jealous because people liked Jesus so much.
19Pilate was sitting on his special seat as a judge. Then his wife sent a message to him. She said, ‘Do not do anything to that man. He has done nothing wrong. Last night I had a dream about him. It gave me a lot of trouble in my mind.’
20But the leaders of the priests and the important Jews talked to the crowds of people. They said, ‘You must ask Pilate to let Barabbas go free. Then ask him to make Jesus die.’
21Pilate asked the people again, ‘Which of these two men should go free?’ The people answered, ‘Barabbas.’
22Then Pilate asked the people, ‘So, what should I do with Jesus, who is called the Messiah?’ The people all shouted, ‘Take him and kill him on a cross!’
23So Pilate said, ‘Why should I kill him? What bad things has he done?’
But the people shouted even louder, ‘Kill him on a cross!’
24Then Pilate knew that he could not do anything to make them quiet. He thought that the people would start to fight his soldiers. So, he took a dish of water and he washed his hands in front of the people. He said, ‘It is not because of me that this man will die. You are the people who have caused it to happen.’
25All the people answered Pilate, ‘Yes, God should punish us and our children, if we have done the wrong thing.’
26Then Pilate let Barabbas go free, as the crowd wanted. But he said to his soldiers, ‘Hit Jesus many times with a whip. Then take him and fix him to a cross to die.’
27Then Pilate's soldiers took Jesus into the yard of the ruler's house. All the other soldiers in their group were there. 28They removed Jesus' clothes from him. Instead, they put a dark red coat on him, like a king wears. 29They used some sharp branches and they made a crown for him. Then they put it on his head. They put a long stick in his right hand. They went down on their knees in front of him. They laughed at him and they said, ‘Hello, King of the Jews, you are great!’ #27:29 A crown is a special hat that a king wears on his head. The dark red coat was like a coat that a king would wear. Roman soldiers also wore red coats.
30Then the soldiers spat into Jesus' face. They took the stick and they hit Jesus on his head with it many times. 31After they had finished laughing at him, they took the special coat off him. They put his own clothes back on him. Then they took him out to the place where they would kill him on a cross.
The soldiers kill Jesus on a cross
32As they were going to that place, they met a man called Simon. He came from the city called Cyrene. The Roman soldiers told Simon that he must carry Jesus' cross. 33The soldiers took Jesus to the place that is called Golgotha. (Golgotha means the place of a skull.) #27:33 A skull is the bone inside a person's head.
34They tried to give Jesus some wine to drink. They had mixed some medicine into the wine. Jesus tasted it, but he would not drink it. 35Then the soldiers fixed Jesus on to the cross. They took his clothes for themselves. They played a game to find out who would receive each piece of his clothes. 36Then the soldiers sat down and they watched Jesus carefully. 37Above his head they fixed a notice. This showed the reason why they were killing him. It said, ‘This man is Jesus, the king of the Jews.’ 38Then the soldiers also fixed two robbers to crosses with Jesus. One robber was at Jesus' right side, and one was at his left side.
39The people who walked near there said bad things against Jesus. They laughed at him, 40and they said, ‘You said that you could destroy God's Great House and then build it again in three days. If you really are the Son of God, save yourself. Come down from the cross.’ #27:40 They moved their heads from one side to the other side. This showed what they thought. They thought that Jesus was a very bad or a very silly person.
41The leaders of the priests and the teachers of God's Law and the important Jews also laughed at him. 42They said, ‘This man saved other people, did he? But he cannot save his own life! He says that he is the king of Israel. So he should come down from the cross now. Then we will believe in him. 43He trusts God, does he? So if God wants him, God should save him now. He did say that he is the Son of God.’ 44Then the two robbers who were on the crosses next to Jesus also said bad things against him.
Jesus dies
45It was now midday. The whole country became dark for three hours. 46At about three o'clock in the afternoon, Jesus shouted loudly, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ That means, ‘My God, my God, why have you left me alone?’
47Some people who were standing there heard him. They said to each other, ‘He is shouting to Elijah.’
48One of these people ran quickly and he brought a piece of cloth. He poured cheap wine on it, and he put it on the end of a stick. He lifted it up to Jesus so that he could drink the wine from it. 49The other people said, ‘Wait! Now we will see if Elijah comes to save him.’
50Then Jesus shouted again with a loud voice, and after that he died.
51At that moment, the curtain inside God's Great House tore completely into two parts. It tore from the top down to the bottom. The ground moved about and rocks broke into pieces. 52Places in the ground where people had buried dead bodies opened up. Many of God's people who had died now became alive again. 53After Jesus became alive again, those people came up out of those places. They went into God's city, Jerusalem. Many people saw them there.
54The captain and his soldiers had been watching Jesus. They saw the ground moving. They saw everything that had happened. They were very frightened and they said, ‘It must be true! This man really was the Son of God.’
55There were also many women there. They were standing a long way away and they were watching these events. They had come with Jesus from Galilee to help prepare food for him. 56Mary from Magdala was there. Mary the mother of James and Joses, and Mary the mother of Zebedee's sons, were also there.
Joseph from Arimathea buries Jesus' body
57That evening a rich man who came from a town called Arimathea went to Pilate. The man's name was Joseph, and he had become a disciple of Jesus. 58Joseph said to Pilate, ‘I would like to take the dead body of Jesus and bury it.’ Pilate said to his soldiers, ‘Give Jesus' dead body to Joseph.’ 59So Joseph took Jesus' body. He put a clean piece of soft white cloth round it. 60Then he put the body in a large hole in a rock. He had made the hole to bury his own body when he died. After he put Jesus' body there, he rolled a very big stone across the front of the hole to shut it. Then he went away. 61Mary from Magdala and Mary the mother of James were there. They were sitting near the hole in the rock where Joseph put Jesus' body.
Soldiers watch the place where Joseph had buried Jesus
62The next day was the Jewish rest day. The leaders of the priests and the Pharisees met together with Pilate. 63They said to him, ‘Sir, that man told lies. When he was still living, he said, “3 days after I die, I will become alive again.” We know that is what he said. 64So you should put soldiers to watch the place where Joseph buried him. They should watch there for the next three days. Then his disciples cannot come to take his body away. If they did that, then they could say to the people, “God has caused Jesus to become alive again.” This will be worse than the lies that Jesus told when he was alive.’
65Pilate said to them, ‘OK. You may take a group of soldiers to watch the place. Let them fix the rock well, so that nobody can open it.’ 66So the Jewish leaders and the soldiers went to the rock where Joseph had buried Jesus. They fixed the big stone that closed the front of the hole with a seal. Then they would know if someone had moved it. The soldiers stayed there to watch the place very carefully.