15:1First thing in the morning, the ruling priests consulted with the elders, the scripture scholars, and the whole Sanhedrin. Then they handcuffed Jesus and sent him away to be handed over to Pilate.15:2And Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Judeans?”
“It is as you say,” he replied.15:3And the ruling priests hurled many accusations at him.
15:4“Have you nothing to say in your defense?” asked Pilate. “Look at how many things they’re accusing you of!”15:5Yet Jesus stopped responding, which greatly puzzled Pilate.
15:6Now it was the custom to release a prisoner during the festival, whomever the people chose.15:7One such prisoner, called Bar-Abbas, had been jailed along with some rebels who had committed murder during the revolts.15:8So when the crowd came up to ask for the usual prisoner release,15:9Pilate said to them, “Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Judeans’?”15:10(He knew the ruling priests had handed him over out of envy.15:11But the ruling priests had incited the crowd to ask for Bar-Abbas to be released to them.)
15:12So Pilate asked them again, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call ‘the king of the Judeans’?”
15:13“Crucify him!” they shouted again.
15:14“But why?” Pilate asked. “What crime has he committed?”
And they only shouted louder: “Crucify him!”
15:15Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he released Bar-Abbas to them and handed Jesus over to be scourged1 and crucified.
15:16The soldiers led him away to the inner courtyard of their headquarters. They called the whole garrison together,15:17dressed Jesus in purple, and put a wreath made of braided thorns on him.15:18They saluted him and mockingly said, “Hail, king of the Judeans!”,15:19hitting him in the head with a stick and spitting on him. Then they knelt before him and pretended to worship him.15:20And after they had finished jeering, they removed the purple robe and put his own clothing back on him. Then they took him out and crucified him.
15:21Along the way they conscripted someone who had come in from the fields, a Cyrenian named Simon (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to carry Jesus’ cross.15:22They took Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”),15:23and though they offered him wine with pain-killer mixed in, he refused it.215:24Then they crucified him, throwing dice to see who would get his articles of clothing.15:25It was almost noon.
15:26The inscription listing the charges against him was, “The King of the Judeans.”15:27Two robbers were crucified along with him, one on either side.15:2815:29Passers-by slandered him, shaking their heads and saying, “Ha! The one who was going to demolish the temple and rebuild it in three days!15:30Come down off the cross and save yourself!”15:31The ruling priests and scripture scholars jeered at him as well, saying to each other, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself!15:32Let the Anointed, the King of Israel, come down from the cross right now, so that we can believe him!” Even the others being crucified treated him with contempt.
15:33Darkness came upon the whole land from about noon until three in the afternoon.15:34Then Jesus cried out loudly, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?”).15:35Some standing there said, “Look, he’s calling for Elijah!”15:36So they ran and soaked a sponge with wine-vinegar and put it on the end of a stick, then lifted it to him to drink. And they said, “Now leave him alone; let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down!”
15:37But Jesus let out a loud sound and breathed his last,15:38and the curtain in the temple was split in two from top to bottom.15:39Seeing how he died, the Roman army captain standing opposite Jesus exclaimed, “Surely this person was the God-Man!”15:40There were also women there, watching from a distance. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James the Small and Joses, and Salome.15:41These are the ones who had followed Jesus in Galilee and provided for his needs. And there were many others who had accompanied him to Jerusalem.
15:42Since it was nearly evening on Preparation Day before the Sabbath,15:43Joseph of Arimathea boldly went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (He was a respected counselor who had been expecting the kingdom of God.)15:44Pilate was surprised that Jesus had already died, so he called for the Roman army captain to see how long ago it had happened.15:45And when he found out, he released the corpse to Joseph.
15:46Joseph took down Jesus’ body and wrapped it in some fine linen that he had bought. Then he put the body in a tomb that had been quarried out of the rock, and he rolled the stone in front of the tomb’s entrance.15:47And Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joses noted where it was placed.
- 1The scourging was done with a flagellum, a handle with several leather straps hanging off the end. Each strap was embedded with pieces of bone or metal, so it caused extreme bleeding and shredding of the skin. The punishment often continued to the point where the victim’s internal organs were visible.
- 2Jesus had said 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.