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.
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.