From the book of Matthew …
Pilate Questions Jesus
(Mark 15.2-5; Luke 23.3-5; John 18.33-38)
11Jesus was brought before Pilate the governor, who asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“Those are your words!” Jesus answered. 12And when the chief priests and leaders brought their charges against him, he did not say a thing.
13Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear what crimes they say you have done?” 14But Jesus did not say anything, and the governor was greatly amazed.
The Death Sentence
(Mark 15.6-15; Luke 23.13-26; John 18.39—19.16)
15During Passover the governor always freed a prisoner chosen by the people. 16At that time a well-known terrorist named Jesus Barabbas was in jail. 17So when the crowd came together, Pilate asked them, “Which prisoner do you want me to set free? Do you want Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18Pilate knew the leaders had brought Jesus to him because they were jealous.
19While Pilate was judging the case, his wife sent him a message. It said, “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man. I have had nightmares because of him.”
20But the chief priests and the leaders convinced the crowds to ask for Barabbas to be set free and for Jesus to be killed. 21Pilate asked the crowd again, “Which of these two men do you want me to set free?”
“Barabbas!” they shouted.
22Pilate asked them, “What am I to do with Jesus, who is called the Messiah?”
They all yelled, “Nail him to a cross!”
23Pilate answered, “But what crime has he done?”
“Nail him to a cross!” they yelled even louder.
24 Pilate saw that there was nothing he could do and that the people were starting to riot. So he took some water and washed his hands in front of them and said, “I won’t have anything to do with killing this man. You are the ones doing it!”
25Everyone answered, “We and our own families will take the blame for his death!”
26Pilate set Barabbas free. Then he ordered his soldiers to beat Jesus with a whip and nail him to a cross.
Soldiers Make Fun of Jesus
(Mark 15.16-21; John 19.2,3)
27The governor’s soldiers led Jesus into the fortress and brought together the rest of the troops. 28They stripped off Jesus’ clothes and put a scarlet robe on him. 29They made a crown out of thorn branches and placed it on his head, and they put a stick in his right hand. The soldiers knelt down and pretended to worship him. They made fun of him and shouted, “Hey, you king of the Jews!” 30Then they spit on him. They took the stick from him and beat him on the head with it.
Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross
(Mark 15.22-32; Luke 23.27-43; John 19.17-27)
31When the soldiers had finished making fun of Jesus, they took off the robe. They put his own clothes back on him and led him off to be nailed to a cross. 32On the way they met a man named Simon who was from Cyrene, and they forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.
33They came to a place named Golgotha, which means “Place of a Skull.”34 There they gave Jesus some wine mixed with a drug to ease the pain. But when Jesus tasted what it was, he refused to drink it.
35 The soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross and gambled to see who would get his clothes. 36Then they sat down to guard him. 37Above his head they put a sign that told why he was nailed there. It read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38The soldiers also nailed two criminals on crosses, one to the right of Jesus and the other to his left.
39 People who passed by said terrible things about Jesus. They shook their heads and 40 shouted, “So you’re the one who claimed you could tear down the temple and build it again in three days! If you are God’s Son, save yourself and come down from the cross!”
41The chief priests, the leaders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses also made fun of Jesus. They said, 42“He saved others, but he can’t save himself. If he is the king of Israel, he should come down from the cross! Then we will believe him. 43 He trusted God, so let God save him, if he wants to. He even said he was God’s Son.” 44The two criminals also said cruel things to Jesus.
The Death of Jesus
(Mark 15.33-41; Luke 23.44-49; John 19.28-30)
45At noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until three o’clock. 46 Then about that time Jesus shouted, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?”
47Some of the people standing there heard Jesus and said, “He’s calling for Elijah.”48 One of them at once ran and grabbed a sponge. He soaked it in wine, then put it on a stick and held it up to Jesus.
49Others said, “Wait! Let’s see if Elijah will come and save him.” 50Once again Jesus shouted, and then he died.
51 At once the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, and rocks split apart. 52Graves opened, and many of God’s people were raised to life. 53They left their graves, and after Jesus had risen to life, they went into the holy city, where they were seen by many people.
54The officer and the soldiers guarding Jesus felt the earthquake and saw everything else that happened. They were frightened and said, “This man really was God’s Son!”
55 Many women had come with Jesus from Galilee to be of help to him, and they were there, looking on at a distance. 56Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of James and John were some of these women.
Jesus Is Buried
(Mark 15.42-47; Luke 23.50-56; John 19.38-42)
57That evening a rich disciple named Joseph from the town of Arimathea 58went and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate gave orders for it to be given to Joseph, 59who took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60Then Joseph put the body in his own tomb that had been cut into solid rock and had never been used. He rolled a big stone against the entrance to the tomb and went away.
61All this time Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb.
62On the next day, which was a Sabbath, the chief priests and the Pharisees went together to Pilate. 63 They said, “Sir, we remember what this liar said while he was still alive. He claimed in three days he would come back from death. 64So please order the tomb to be carefully guarded for three days. If you don’t, his disciples may come and steal his body. They will tell the people he has been raised to life, and this last lie will be worse than the first one.”
65Pilate said to them, “All right, take some of your soldiers and guard the tomb as well as you know how.” 66So they sealed it tight and placed soldiers there to guard it.
Jesus Is Alive
(Mark 16.1-8; Luke 24.1-12; John 20.1-10)
1The Sabbath was over, and it was almost daybreak on Sunday when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2Suddenly a strong earthquake struck, and the Lord’s angel came down from heaven. He rolled away the stone and sat on it. 3The angel looked as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards shook from fear and fell down, as though they were dead.
5The angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was nailed to a cross. 6He isn’t here! God has raised him to life, just as Jesus said he would. Come, see the place where his body was lying. 7Now hurry! Tell his disciples he has been raised to life and is on his way to Galilee. Go there, and you will see him. This is what I came to tell you.”
8The women were frightened and yet very happy, as they hurried from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and greeted them. They went near him, held on to his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid! Tell my followers to go to Galilee. They will see me there.”
Report of the Guard
11While the women were on their way, some soldiers who had been guarding the tomb went into the city. They told the chief priests everything that had happened. 12So the chief priests met with the leaders and decided to bribe the soldiers with a lot of money. 13They said to the soldiers, “Tell everyone that Jesus’ disciples came during the night and stole his body while you were asleep. 14If the governor hears about this, we will talk to him. You won’t have anything to worry about.” 15The soldiers took the money and did what they were told. The people of Judea still tell each other this story.
What Jesus’ Followers Must Do
(Mark 16.14-18; Luke 24.36-49; John 20.19-23; Acts 1.6-8)
16 Jesus’ eleven disciples went to a mountain in Galilee, where Jesus had told them to meet him. 17They saw him and worshiped him, but some of them doubted.
18Jesus came to them and said:
I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! 19 Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.