Governor Pilate Questions Jesus
(Mt. 27:1–2, 11–14; Mk. 15:1–5; Jn. 18:28–38)
1Then the whole group stood up and led Jesus away to Pilate. 2They began to accuse Jesus and said to Pilate, “We caught this man trying to change the thinking of our people. He says we should not pay taxes to Caesar. He calls himself the Messiah, a king.”
3Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “Yes, what you say is true.”
4Pilate said to the leading priests and the people, “I find nothing wrong with this man.”
5But they kept on saying, “His teaching is causing trouble all over 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. 7He learned that 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 happy. He had heard all about him and had wanted to meet him for a long time. Herod wanted to see a miracle, so he was hoping that Jesus would do one. 9He asked him many questions, but Jesus said nothing. 10The leading priests and teachers of the law were standing there shouting things against Jesus. 11Then Herod and his soldiers laughed at him. They made fun of him by dressing him in clothes like kings wear. Then Herod sent him back to Pilate. 12In the past Pilate and Herod had always been enemies. But on that day they became friends.
Pilate Tries but Fails to Free Jesus
(Mt. 27:15–26; Mk. 15:6–15; Jn. 18:39–19:16)
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 he was trying to change the people. But I judged him before you all and have not found him guilty of the things you say he has done. 15Herod didn’t find him guilty either. He sent him back to us. Look, he has done nothing bad enough for the death penalty. 16So, after I punish him a little, I will let him go free.” 17#23:17 A few Greek copies add verse 17: “Every year at the Passover festival, Pilate had to release one prisoner to the people.”
18But they all shouted, “Kill him! Let Barabbas go free!” 19(Barabbas was a man who was in jail for starting a riot in the city and for murder.)
20Pilate wanted to let Jesus go free. So again Pilate told them that he would let him go. 21But they shouted again, “Kill him! Kill him on a cross!”
22A third time Pilate said to the people, “Why? What wrong has he done? He is not guilty. I can find no reason to kill him. So I will let him go free after I punish him a little.”
23But the people continued to shout. They demanded that Jesus be killed on a cross. Their shouting got so loud that 24Pilate decided to give them what they wanted. 25They wanted Barabbas to go free—the one who was in jail for starting a riot and for murder. Pilate let Barabbas go free. And he handed Jesus over to be killed. This is what the people wanted.
Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross
(Mt. 27:32–44; Mk. 15:21–32; Jn. 19:17–19)
26The soldiers led Jesus away. At that same time there was a man from Cyrene named Simon coming into the city from the fields. The soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross and walk behind him.
27A large crowd followed Jesus. Some of the women were sad and crying. They felt sorry for him. 28But Jesus turned and said to the women, “Women of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children too. 29The time is coming when people will say, ‘The women who cannot have babies are the ones God has blessed. It’s really a blessing that they have no children to care for.’ 30Then the people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ They will say to the hills, ‘Cover us!’#Quote from Hos. 10:8 31If this can happen to someone who is good, what will happen to those who are guilty?#23:31 If this can happen … guilty 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. 33They were led to a place called “The Skull.” There the soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross. They also nailed the criminals to crosses beside Jesus—one on the right and the other on the left.
34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”#23:34 Jesus said, “Father, … doing” Some early copies of Luke do not have these words.
The soldiers threw dice to divide Jesus’ clothes between them. 35The people stood there watching everything. The Jewish leaders laughed at Jesus. They said, “If he is God’s Chosen One, the Messiah, then let him save himself. He saved others, didn’t he?”
36Even the soldiers laughed at Jesus and made fun of him. They came and offered him some sour wine. 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 hanging there began to shout insults at Jesus: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Then save yourself, and save us too!”
40But the other criminal stopped him. He said, “You should fear God. All of us will die soon. 41You and I are guilty. We deserve to die because we did wrong. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you begin ruling as king!”
43Then Jesus said to him, “I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
(Mt. 27:45–56; Mk. 15:33–41; Jn. 19:28–30)
44It was about noon, but it turned dark throughout the land until three o’clock in the afternoon, 45because the sun stopped shining. The curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces. 46Jesus shouted, “Father, I put my life in your hands!”#23:46 “I put … hands!” Literally, “I put my spirit in your hands.” Quote from Ps. 31:5. After Jesus said this, he died.
47The army officer there saw what happened. He praised God, saying, “I know this man was a good man!”
48Many people had come out of the city to see all this. When they saw it, they felt very sorry and left. 49The people who were close friends of Jesus were there. Also, there were some women who had followed Jesus from Galilee. They all stood far away from the cross and watched these things.
Jesus Is Buried
(Mt. 27:57–61; Mk. 15:42–47; Jn. 19:38–42)
50-51A man named Joseph was there from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a good man, who lived the way God wanted. He was waiting for God’s kingdom to come. Joseph was a member of the Jewish council. But he did not agree when the other Jewish leaders decided to kill Jesus. 52He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53He took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in cloth. Then he put it in a tomb that was dug in a wall of rock. This tomb had never been used before. 54It 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. Inside they saw where he put Jesus’ body. 56Then they left to prepare some sweet-smelling spices to put on the body.
On the Sabbath day they rested, as commanded in the Law of Moses.