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Jesus Before Pilate

15 As soon as morning came, the chief priests held a council meeting with the elders, the legal experts, and the whole Sanhedrin. They bound Jesus, took him off to Pilate, and handed him over.

‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ asked Pilate.

‘You have said it,’ replied Jesus.

The chief priests laid many accusations against him.

Pilate again interrogated him: ‘Aren’t you going to make any reply? Look how many things they’re accusing you of!’

But Jesus gave no reply at all, which astonished Pilate.

The custom was that at festival time he used to release for them a single prisoner, whoever they would ask for. There was a man in prison named Barabbas, one of the revolutionaries who had committed murder during the uprising. So the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do what he normally did.

‘Do you want me’, answered Pilate, ‘to release for you “the king of the Jews”?’

10 He said this because he knew that the chief priests had handed him over out of envy. 11 The chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask for Barabbas instead to be released to them. So Pilate once again asked them, 12 ‘What then do you want me to do with the one you call “the king of the Jews”?’

13 ‘Crucify him!’ they shouted again.

14 ‘Why?’ asked Pilate. ‘What has he done wrong?’

‘Crucify him!’ they shouted all the louder.

15 Pilate wanted to satisfy the crowd; so he released Barabbas for them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

The Crucifixion

16 The soldiers took Jesus into the courtyard, that is, the Praetorium, and called together the whole squad. 17 They dressed Jesus up in purple; then, weaving together a crown of thorns, they stuck it on him. 18 They began to salute him: ‘Greetings, King of the Jews!’ 19 And they hit him over the head with a staff, and spat at him, and knelt down to do him homage. 20 Then, when they had mocked him, they took the purple robe off him, and put his own clothes back on.

Then they led him off to crucify him. 21 They compelled a man called Simon to carry Jesus’ cross. He was from Cyrene, and was coming in from out of town. He was the father of Alexander and Rufus.

22 They took Jesus to the place called Golgotha, which in translation means ‘Skull’s Place’. 23 They gave him a mixture of wine and myrrh, but he didn’t drink it.

24 So they crucified him; they ‘parted his clothing between them, casting lots’ to see who would get what. 25 It was about nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The inscription, giving the charge, read: ‘The King of the Jews’. 27 They also crucified two bandits alongside him, one on his right and one on his left.

29 People who were passing by abused him. They shook their heads at him.

‘Hah!’ they said. ‘You were going to destroy the Temple, were you? And build it again in three days? 30 Why don’t you rescue yourself, and come down from the cross?’

31 The chief priests and the lawyers were mocking him in the same way among themselves.

‘He rescued others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t rescue himself. 32 Messiah, is he? King of Israel, did he say? Well, let’s see him come down from the cross! We’ll believe him when we see that!’

The two who were crucified alongside him taunted him as well.

The Death of Jesus

33 At midday there was darkness over all the land until three in the afternoon. 34 At three o’clock Jesus shouted out in a powerful voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why did you abandon me?’

35 When the bystanders heard it, some of them said, ‘He’s calling for Elijah!’

36 One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a pole, and gave it him to drink.

‘Well then,’ he declared, ‘let’s see if Elijah will come and take him down.’

37 But Jesus, with another loud shout, breathed his last.

38 The Temple veil was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion who was standing facing him saw that he died in this way, he said, ‘This fellow really was God’s son.’

The Burial of Jesus

40 Some women were watching from a distance. They included Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome. 41 They had followed Jesus in Galilee, and had attended to his needs. There were several other women, too, who had come up with him to Jerusalem.

42 It was already getting towards evening, and it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath. 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a reputable member of the Council who was himself eagerly awaiting God’s kingdom, took his courage in both hands, went to Pilate, and requested the body of Jesus.

44 Pilate was surprised that he was already dead. He summoned the centurion, and asked whether he had been dead for some time. 45 When he learned the facts from the centurion, he conceded the body to Joseph.

46 So Joseph bought a linen cloth, took the body down, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb cut out of the rock. He rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was buried.

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