13/04/2014 8:55 am
Jesus, then, was brought before the governor, and the governor put to him this question, 'Are you the king of the Jews?' Jesus replied, 'It is you who say it.'
But when he was accused by the chief priests and the elders he refused to answer at all.
Pilate then said to him, 'Do you not hear how many charges they have made against you?'
But to the governor's amazement, he offered not a word in answer to any of the charges.
At festival time it was the governor's practice to release a prisoner for the people, anyone they chose.
Now there was then a notorious prisoner whose name was Barabbas.
So when the crowd gathered, Pilate said to them, 'Which do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?'
For Pilate knew it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over.
Now as he was seated in the chair of judgement, his wife sent him a message, 'Have nothing to do with that upright man; I have been extremely upset today by a dream that I had about him.'
The chief priests and the elders, however, had persuaded the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas and the execution of Jesus.
So when the governor spoke and asked them, 'Which of the two do you want me to release for you?' they said, 'Barabbas.'
Pilate said to them, 'But in that case, what am I to do with Jesus who is called Christ?' They all said, 'Let him be crucified!'
He asked, 'But what harm has he done?' But they shouted all the louder, 'Let him be crucified!'
Then Pilate saw that he was making no impression, that in fact a riot was imminent. So he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd and said, 'I am innocent of this man's blood. It is your concern.'
And the people, every one of them, shouted back, 'Let his blood be on us and on our children!'
Then he released Barabbas for them. After having Jesus scourged he handed him over to be crucified.
Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus with them into the Praetorium and collected the whole cohort round him.
And they stripped him and put a scarlet cloak round him, and having twisted some thorns into a crown they put this on his head and placed a reed in his right hand. To make fun of him they knelt to him saying, 'Hail, king of the Jews!'
And they spat on him and took the reed and struck him on the head with it.
And when they had finished making fun of him, they took off the cloak and dressed him in his own clothes and led him away to crucifixion.
On their way out, they came across a man from Cyrene, called Simon, and enlisted him to carry his cross.
When they had reached a place called Golgotha, that is, the place of the skull, they gave him wine to drink mixed with gall, which he tasted but refused to drink.
When they had finished crucifying him they shared out his clothing by casting lots, and then sat down and stayed there keeping guard over him.
Above his head was placed the charge against him; it read: 'This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.'
Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left.
The passers-by jeered at him; they shook their heads and said, 'So you would destroy the Temple and in three days rebuild it! Then save yourself if you are God's son and come down from the cross!'
The chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him in the same way, with the words, 'He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the king of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He has put his trust in God; now let God rescue him if he wants him. For he did say, "I am God's son."'
Even the bandits who were crucified with him taunted him in the same way.
From the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.
And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'
When some of those who stood there heard this, they said, 'The man is calling on Elijah,' and one of them quickly ran to get a sponge which he filled with vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it him to drink.
But the rest of them said, 'Wait! And see if Elijah will come to save him.'
But Jesus, again crying out in a loud voice, yielded up his spirit.
And suddenly, the veil of the Sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, the rocks were split, the tombs opened and the bodies of many holy people rose from the dead, and these, after his resurrection, came out of the tombs, entered the holy city and appeared to a number of people.
The centurion, together with the others guarding Jesus, had seen the earthquake and all that was taking place, and they were terrified and said, 'In truth this man was son of God.'
© Darton, Longman and Todd