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Matthew 27

27
Judas Hangs Himself
1Early in the morning, all the chief priests and elders of the people met to plan how to put Jesus to death. 2They tied him up, took him away, and turned him over to Pilate, the governor.
3When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus had been sentenced to die, he felt deep shame and sadness for what he’d done. So he returned the 30 silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 4“I’ve sinned,” he told them. “I’ve handed over a man who isn’t guilty.”
“What do we care?” they answered. “That’s your problem.”
5So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
6The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It’s against the law to put this money into the temple fund because it’s blood money. It has paid for a man’s death.” 7So they decided to use the money to buy some land where foreigners could be buried. They chose the Potter’s Field. 8Because it was bought with the “blood money,” it has been called the Field of Blood ever since. 9In this way the words of Jeremiah the prophet came true. He had said, “They took the 30 silver coins, which was how much the people of Israel thought he was worth, 10and they used the coins to buy a potter’s field, just as the Lord commanded me.”
Jesus Is Brought to Pilate
11Meanwhile Jesus was being questioned publicly by the governor Pilate. He asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“You have said so,” Jesus replied.
12But when the chief priests and the elders brought their charges against him, he didn’t respond. 13Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the charges they’re bringing against you?” 14But Jesus didn’t answer a single charge. The governor was amazed.
15Every year at the Passover Feast the governor would let one prisoner go free. The people could choose the one they wanted. 16At that time there was a notorious prisoner named Jesus Barabbas. 17So when the crowd gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to set free? Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who’s called the Messiah?” 18Pilate knew that the leaders had handed Jesus over because they were jealous.
19Pilate also wanted to release Jesus because he’d gotten a message from his wife while he was judging the case. The message said, “Don’t do anything to that man. He’s innocent. I had a terrible nightmare about him last night.”
20But the chief priests and the elders talked the crowd into asking Pilate to set Barabbas free and put Jesus to death.
21“Which of the two do you want me to set free?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
22“Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23“Why? What wrong has he done?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted even more loudly, “Crucify him!”
24Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere. Instead, the crowd was starting to get angry. So he took water and washed his hands in front of them. “I’m not guilty of this man’s death,” he said. “You’re accountable for that!”
25All the people answered, “Put the blame for his death on us and our children!”
26Then to make the people happy Pilate set Barabbas free. He had Jesus whipped, and then he handed him over to be crucified.
The Soldiers Make Fun of Jesus
27The governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the palace, which was called the Praetorium, and there they gathered all the other soldiers around him. 28They took off his regular clothes and put a purple robe on him. 29They twisted thorny branches together to make a crown and forced it onto his head. They put a stick in his right hand to look like a royal scepter, and then they fell on their knees in front of him and made fun of him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30Then they spit on him and beat him on the head with the stick. 31After they had made fun of him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross
32On their way out of the city, they met a man from Cyrene named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33They came to a place called Golgotha (which means the Place of the Skull). 34There they mixed wine with bitter spices and offered it to Jesus to drink. But after he had tasted it, he wouldn’t drink it. 35When they had nailed him to the cross, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36Then they sat down to keep watch over him. 37Above his head they placed a written charge against him. It read,
this is Jesus, the king of the jews.
38Two men who had rebelled against Rome were crucified with him, one on his right and the other on his left. 39People who were passing by shouted insults at Jesus and made fun of him. They shook their heads 40and said, “So, you’re going to destroy the temple and build it again in three days? Then save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you’re the Son of God!” 41In the same way the chief priests, teachers of the law, and elders made fun of him. 42“He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s supposed to be the king of Israel. Let him come down from that cross, and we’ll believe in him! 43He trusts in God; let God rescue him now, if he’s so pleased with him. After all, he said, ‘I’m the Son of God.’ ” 44The rebels who were being crucified with Jesus also insulted him in the same way.
Jesus Dies
45From noon until three o’clock, the whole land was covered with darkness. 46At about three o’clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (That means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”)
47When some of those who were standing there heard Jesus cry out, they said, “He’s calling for Elijah!”
48Right away one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, lifted it up on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49But the others said, “Leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and then he died.
51At that moment the curtain in front of the Most Holy Place in the temple was torn in half from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split, 52and tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of their tombs after Jesus was raised from the dead, and they went into the holy city and appeared to many people there.
54When the Roman commander and those who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and everything that had happened, they were terrified and exclaimed, “He had to be the Son of God!”
55Many women were watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to take care of his needs. 56Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
Jesus Is Buried
57As evening approached, a rich man named Joseph from the town of Arimathea, who had become a follower of Jesus, 58went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60and then he placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and then went away. But 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary stayed there a while longer, sitting opposite the tomb.
The Guards at the Tomb
62The next day, which was the Sabbath day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63“Sir,” they said, “we remember something that this liar said while he was still alive. He claimed, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64So give an order to make the tomb secure until the third day. If you don’t, his disciples might come and steal his body. Then they’ll tell the people that Jesus has risen from the dead, and that last lie will be worse than the first.”
65“Take some guards,” Pilate answered, “and go and make the tomb as secure as you can.” 66So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a royal seal on the stone and posting guards on duty.
27
Jesus Is Taken to Pilate
1Early the next morning, all the leading priests and elders of the people decided that Jesus should die. 2They tied him, led him away, and turned him over to Pilate, the governor.
Judas Kills Himself
3Judas, the one who had given Jesus to his enemies, saw that they had decided to kill Jesus. Then he was very sorry for what he had done. So he took the thirty silver coins back to the priests and the leaders, 4saying, “I sinned; I handed over to you an innocent man.”
The leaders answered, “What is that to us? That’s your problem, not ours.”
5So Judas threw the money into the Temple. Then he went off and hanged himself.
6The leading priests picked up the silver coins in the Temple and said, “Our law does not allow us to keep this money with the Temple money, because it has paid for a man’s death.” 7So they decided to use the coins to buy Potter’s Field as a place to bury strangers who died in Jerusalem. 8That is why that field is still called the Field of Blood. 9So what Jeremiah the prophet had said came true: “They took thirty silver coins. That is how little the Israelites thought he was worth. 10They used those thirty silver coins to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”
Pilate Questions Jesus
11Jesus stood before Pilate the governor, and Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “Those are your words.”
12When the leading priests and the elders accused Jesus, he said nothing.
13So Pilate said to Jesus, “Don’t you hear them accusing you of all these things?”
14But Jesus said nothing in answer to Pilate, and Pilate was very surprised at this.
Pilate Tries to Free Jesus
15Every year at the time of Passover the governor would free one prisoner whom the people chose. 16At that time there was a man in prison, named Barabbas, who was known to be very bad. 17When the people gathered at Pilate’s house, Pilate said, “Whom do you want me to set free: Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Christ?” 18Pilate knew that they turned Jesus in to him because they were jealous.
19While Pilate was sitting there on the judge’s seat, his wife sent this message to him: “Don’t do anything to that man, because he is innocent. Today I had a dream about him, and it troubled me very much.”
20But the leading priests and elders convinced the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be freed and for Jesus to be killed.
21Pilate said, “I have Barabbas and Jesus. Which do you want me to set free for you?”
The people answered, “Barabbas.”
22Pilate asked, “So what should I do with Jesus, the one called the Christ?”
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23Pilate asked, “Why? What wrong has he done?”
But they shouted louder, “Crucify him!”
24When Pilate saw that he could do nothing about this and that a riot was starting, he took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. Then he said, “I am not guilty of this man’s death. You are the ones who are causing it!”
25All the people answered, “We and our children will be responsible for his death.”
26Then he set Barabbas free. But Jesus was beaten with whips and handed over to the soldiers to be crucified.
27The governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s palace, and they all gathered around him. 28They took off his clothes and put a red robe on him. 29Using thorny branches, they made a crown, put it on his head, and put a stick in his right hand. Then the soldiers bowed before Jesus and made fun of him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spat on Jesus. Then they took his stick and began to beat him on the head. 31After they finished, the soldiers took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.
Jesus Is Crucified
32As the soldiers were going out of the city with Jesus, they forced a man from Cyrene, named Simon, to carry the cross for Jesus. 33They all came to the place called Golgotha, which means the Place of the Skull. 34The soldiers gave Jesus wine mixed with gall to drink. He tasted the wine but refused to drink it. 35When the soldiers had crucified him, they threw lots to decide who would get his clothes. 36The soldiers sat there and continued watching him. 37They put a sign above Jesus’ head with a charge against him. It said: this is jesus, the king of the jews. 38Two robbers were crucified beside Jesus, one on the right and the other on the left. 39People walked by and insulted Jesus and shook their heads, 40saying, “You said you could destroy the Temple and build it again in three days. So save yourself! Come down from that cross if you are really the Son of God!”
41The leading priests, the teachers of the law, and the Jewish elders were also making fun of Jesus. 42They said, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself! He says he is the king of Israel! If he is the king, let him come down now from the cross. Then we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God, so let God save him now, if God really wants him. He himself said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 44And in the same way, the robbers who were being crucified beside Jesus also insulted him.
Jesus Dies
45At noon the whole country became dark, and the darkness lasted for three hours. 46About three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” This means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
47Some of the people standing there who heard this said, “He is calling Elijah.”
48Quickly one of them ran and got a sponge and filled it with vinegar and tied it to a stick and gave it to Jesus to drink. 49But the others said, “Don’t bother him. We want to see if Elijah will come to save him.”
50But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and died.
51Then the curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces, from the top to the bottom. Also, the earth shook and rocks broke apart. 52The graves opened, and many of God’s people who had died were raised from the dead. 53They came out of the graves after Jesus was raised from the dead and went into the holy city, where they appeared to many people.
54When the army officer and the soldiers guarding Jesus saw this earthquake and everything else that happened, they were very frightened and said, “He really was the Son of God!”
55Many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee to help him were standing at a distance from the cross, watching. 56Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of James and John were there.
Jesus Is Buried
57That evening a rich man named Joseph, a follower of Jesus from the town of Arimathea, came to Jerusalem. 58Joseph went to Pilate and asked to have Jesus’ body. So Pilate gave orders for the soldiers to give it to Joseph. 59Then Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60He put Jesus’ body in a new tomb that he had cut out of a wall of rock, and he rolled a very large stone to block the entrance of the tomb. Then Joseph went away. 61Mary Magdalene and the other woman named Mary were sitting near the tomb.
The Tomb of Jesus Is Guarded
62The next day, the day after Preparation Day, the leading priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63They said, “Sir, we remember that while that liar was still alive he said, ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ 64So give the order for the tomb to be guarded closely till the third day. Otherwise, his followers might come and steal the body and tell people that he has risen from the dead. That lie would be even worse than the first one.”
65Pilate said, “Take some soldiers and go guard the tomb the best way you know.” 66So they all went to the tomb and made it safe from thieves by sealing the stone in the entrance and putting soldiers there to guard it.