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Chapter 23

1Then they arose in a body and took him to Pilate, 2and they made this charge against him:

“Here is a man whom we have found misleading our nation, and forbidding the payment of taxes to the emperor, and claiming to be an anointed king himself.”

3And Pilate asked him,

“Are you the king of the Jews?”

He answered,

“Yes.”

4And Pilate said to the high priests and the crowd,

“I cannot find anything criminal about this man.”

5But they persisted and said,

“He is stirring up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He began in Galilee and he has come here.”

6When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man were a Galilean 7and learning that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction he turned him over to Herod, for Herod was in Jerusalem at that time. 8When Herod saw Jesus he was delighted, for he had wanted for a long time to see him, because he had heard about him and he hoped to see some wonder done by him. 9And he questioned him at some length, but he made him no answer. 10Meanwhile the high priests and the scribes stood by and vehemently accused him. 11And Herod and his guards made light of him and ridiculed him, and they put a gorgeous robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. 12And Herod and Pilate became friends that day, for they had been at enmity before.

13Pilate summoned the high priests and the leading members of the council and the people, 14and said to them,

“You brought this man before me charged with misleading the people, and here I have examined him before you and not found him guilty of any of the things that you accuse him of. 15Neither has Herod, for he has sent him back to us. You see he has done nothing to call for his death. 16So I will teach him a lesson and let him go.”

18But they all shouted out,

“Kill him, and release Barabbas for us!”

19(He was a man who had been put in prison for a riot that had taken place in the city and for murder.) 20But Pilate wanted to let Jesus go, and he called out to them again. 21But they kept on shouting,

“Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22And he said to them a third time,

“Why, what has he done that is wrong? For I have found nothing about him to call for his death. So I will teach him a lesson and let him go.”

23But they persisted with loud outcries in demanding that he be crucified, and their shouting won. 24And Pilate pronounced sentence that what they asked for should be done. 25He released the man they asked for, who had been put in prison for riot and murder, and handed Jesus over to their will.

26As they led Jesus away, they seized a man named Simon, from Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and put the cross on his back, for him to carry behind Jesus. 27He was followed by a great crowd of people and of women who were beating their breasts and lamenting him. 28But Jesus turned to them and said,

“Women of Jerusalem, do not weep for me but weep for yourselves and for your children, 29for a time is coming when they will say, ‘Happy are the childless women, and those who have never borne or nursed children!’ 30Then people will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ 31For if this is what they do when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32Two criminals were also led out to execution with him.

33When they reached the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, with the criminals one at his right and one at his left. 34And they divided up his clothes among them by drawing lots for them, 35while the people stood looking on. Even the leading councilors jeered at him, and said,

“He has saved others, let him save himself, if he is really God’s Christ, his Chosen One!”

36The soldiers also made sport of him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37saying,

“If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!” 38For there was a notice above his head, “This is the king of the Jews!”

39One of the criminals who were hanging there, abused him, saying,

“Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us too!”

40But the other reproved him and said,

“Have you no fear even of God when you are suffering the same penalty? 41And we are suffering it justly, for we are only getting our deserts, but this man has done nothing wrong.”

42And he said,

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!”

43And he said to him,

“I tell you, you will be in Paradise with me today!”

44It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole country, and lasted until three in the afternoon, 45as the sun was in eclipse. And the curtain before the sanctuary was torn in two. 46Then Jesus gave a loud cry, and said,

“Father, I intrust my spirit to your hands!”

With these words he expired.

47When the captain saw what had happened he praised God, and said,

“This man was really innocent!”

48And all the crowds that had collected for the sight, when they saw what happened, returned to the city beating their breasts. 49And all his acquaintances and the women who had come with him from Galilee, stood at a distance looking on.

50Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the council, a good and upright man, 51who had not voted for the plan or action of the council. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea and lived in expectation of the Kingdom of God. 52He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 53Then he took it down from the cross and wrapped it in linen and laid it in a tomb hewn in the rock, where no one had yet been laid. 54It was the Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was just beginning. 55The women who had followed Jesus from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was put there. 56Then they went home, and prepared spices and perfumes. On the Sabbath they rested in obedience to the commandment,

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