The Gospel according to Matthew

27:1At dawn, a council convened with all the ruling priests and elders of the people to decide how to have Jesus executed.27:2Then they tied him up and handed him over to the governor.27:3When the traitor Judas saw this, he was filled with remorse and tried to return the thirty pieces of silver to the ruling priests and elders:27:4“I have betrayed innocent blood!”

“What is that to us?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”27:5So Judas flung the silver into the temple, then went off and hanged himself.1

27:6The ruling priests picked up the silver but said, “We can’t use this as a gift offering, because it’s blood money.”227:7So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field, which would then serve as a graveyard for foreigners.27:8So it was known from then on as The Field of Blood.27:9This fulfilled what was said by the prophet Jeremiah: “They took the thirty pieces of silver— the price agreed upon by the people of Israel—27:10and bought the potter’s field, as my Master instructed.”

27:11Now Jesus was standing before the governor, and he asked him, “Are you the king of the Judeans?”

“You said it yourself,” replied Jesus.

27:12The ruing priests and elders were hurling many accusations, but Jesus made no responses.27:13So Pilate said, “Don’t you hear all the charges they’re making?”27:14Yet he still said nothing, which mystified the governor.

27:15Now the governor had a custom of releasing one prisoner of the crowd’s choosing during the Festival.27:16There happened to be a notorious prisoner called Bar-Abbas,27:17so when everyone was assembled Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Bar-Abbas or Jesus who is called Anointed?”27:18He knew very well that it was out of envy that Jesus had been handed over.27:19And while Pilate was holding court, his wife sent a message to him: “Have nothing to do with that righteous person, because I have had suffered terribly in a dream about him!”

27:20The ruling priests and elders had persuaded the crowd to ask for Bar-Abbas and have Jesus put to death.27:21So when the governor asked them, “Which of the two do you choose to be released to you?” they said, “Bar-Abbas!”

27:22“So what should I do with Jesus who is called the Anointed?” asked Pilate.

“Crucify him!” they replied.

27:23“But why?” asked Pilate. “What crime has he committed?”

Yet they only shouted louder, “Crucify him!”27:24And when Pilate saw that it was pointless and that the people were on the verge of rioting, he took some water and washed his hands in front of them all and said, “I hereby declare to you that I am not guilty of this person’s blood!”

27:25And all the people said, “May his blood be on our hands, and on the hands of our children!”

27:26Then he released Bar-Abbas to them and handed Jesus over to be scourged and crucified.27:27So the soldiers took Jesus from the governor to their headquarters. They got the whole company of soldiers together,27:28stripped him, dressed him in a crimson cloak,27:29and put a braided wreath of thorns on his head. Then they put a stick in his right hand and dropped to their knees and mocked, “Hail, King of the Judeans!”27:30And they spat on him, then took the stick and hit him in the head with it.27:31After they had their fun, they put his own clothes back on him and led him away to be crucified.

27:32On their way out they conscripted a Cyrenian named Simon to carry Jesus’ cross.27:33When they got to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”),27:34they offered him wine with pain-killer mixed in. But after tasting it, he wouldn’t drink it.327:35So they crucified him, and they threw dice to see who would get which articles of his clothing.27:36Then they sat down to guard him,27:37and above his head they posted the charge against him: “This is Jesus, the King of the Judeans.”27:38Two robbers were also crucified with him, one to his right and the other to his left.

27:39Those who passed by slandered him, shaking their heads27:40and saying, “So you were going to demolish the temple and then rebuild it in three days? Then save yourself, if you’re the God-Man! Come down off the cross!”

27:41The ruling priests and scripture scholars jeered at him as well:27:42“He saved others, but he can’t save himself! If he’s the King of Israel, let him come down from the cross right now and we’ll put our trust in him!27:43Let God get him out of this if he wants. After all, he said, ‘I am the God-Man!’ ”27:44Then even the robbers being crucified joined in the shameful mockery.

27:45Darkness came upon the whole land from about noon until three in the afternoon.27:46Then Jesus cried out loudly, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?”).27:47Some standing there said, “Look, he’s calling for Elijah!”27:48So one of them immediately ran and soaked a sponge with wine-vinegar and put it on the end of a stick, then lifted it to him to drink.27:49And they said, “Now leave him alone; let’s see if Elijah comes to save him!”

27:50Then Jesus gave one more loud shout and breathed his last.27:51Suddenly the curtain in the temple split in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook and the rocks split apart.27:52Then the graves opened up and the bodies of many righteous people woke from the dead.27:53After Jesus’ resurrection, they left their graves and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.27:54When the Roman army captain and those guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and everything else, they were terrified and exclaimed, “Surely this was the God-Man!”

27:55There were many women watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee and attended to his needs.27:56Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

27:57When it was getting late, a rich person from Arimathea by the name of Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus,27:58approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate granted the request,27:59so Joseph took the body and wrapped it in clean linen,27:60then placed it in a new tomb that he had quarried out of rock. Then he rolled a very large stone in front of the tomb’s opening and went away.27:61Now Mary of Magdala and the other Mary were sitting in front of the tomb.

27:62The next day following the Preparation, the ruling priests went with the Pharisees to Pilate27:63and said, “Sir, we remember that while he was still alive, that deceiver said, ‘I will arise after three days.’27:64So give the order to secure the grave until the three days are past. Then his disciples cannot steal his body and tell people he rose from the dead. The second con would be worse than the first!”

27:65“You have guards,” replied Pilate. “Secure it to your satisfaction.”27:66So they went off and secured the grave by sealing it, and the guard was posted.

  1. 1The accounts of Judas’ death as described here and in Acts 1:18 are not in conflict. The two together paint a picture of the priests buying the field after Judas apparently did a poor job of hanging himself. It was the priests who called it “blood money” and then used it to buy the land as a place to bury strangers.
  2. 2There is deep irony in the priests’ fear of breaking rules here (and later when they stayed out of Pilate’s palace in order to remain ‘clean’ for the Passover), since they were continuing to break many of them in having Jesus condemned.
  3. 3Jesus had told his disciples that he would never drink wine until he was in the new kingdom, and he held to that even when it would have helped alleviate his excruciating pain.