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 <<  Matius 27 >> 

1Very early in the morning, the leading priests and other leaders met again to discuss how to persuade the Roman government to sentence Jesus to death.

2Then they bound him and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.

3When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and other leaders.

4"I have sinned," he declared, "for I have betrayed an innocent man." "What do we care?" they retorted. "That’s your problem."

5Then Judas threw the money onto the floor of the Temple and went out and hanged himself.

6The leading priests picked up the money. "We can’t put it in the Temple treasury," they said, "since it’s against the law to accept money paid for murder."

7After some discussion they finally decided to buy the potter’s field, and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners.

8That is why the field is still called the Field of Blood.

9This fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah that says, "They took the thirty pieces of silver––the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel––

10and purchased the potter’s field, as the Lord directed."

11Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor. "Are you the King of the Jews?" the governor asked him. Jesus replied, "Yes, it is as you say."

12But when the leading priests and other leaders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent.

13"Don’t you hear their many charges against you?" Pilate demanded.

14But Jesus said nothing, much to the governor’s great surprise.

15Now it was the governor’s custom to release one prisoner to the crowd each year during the Passover celebration––anyone they wanted.

16This year there was a notorious criminal in prison, a man named Barabbas.

17As the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, "Which one do you want me to release to you––Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?"

18(He knew very well that the Jewish leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.)

19Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: "Leave that innocent man alone, because I had a terrible nightmare about him last night."

20Meanwhile, the leading priests and other leaders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death.

21So when the governor asked again, "Which of these two do you want me to release to you?" the crowd shouted back their reply: "Barabbas!"

22"But if I release Barabbas," Pilate asked them, "what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?" And they all shouted, "Crucify him!"

23"Why?" Pilate demanded. "What crime has he committed?" But the crowd only roared the louder, "Crucify him!"

24Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this man. The responsibility is yours!"

25And all the people yelled back, "We will take responsibility for his death––we and our children!"

26So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead–tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to crucify him.

27Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire battalion.

28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him.

29They made a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on his head, and they placed a stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery, yelling, "Hail! King of the Jews!"

30And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and beat him on the head with it.

31When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

32As they were on the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and they forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.

33Then they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means Skull Hill).

34The soldiers gave him wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.

35After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.

36Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there.

37A signboard was fastened to the cross above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews."

38Two criminals were crucified with him, their crosses on either side of his.

39And the people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery.

40"So! You can destroy the Temple and build it again in three days, can you? Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!"

41The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders also mocked Jesus.

42"He saved others," they scoffed, "but he can’t save himself! So he is the king of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross, and we will believe in him!

43He trusted God––let God show his approval by delivering him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’"

44And the criminals who were crucified with him also shouted the same insults at him.

45At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock.

46At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, " Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? " which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

47Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah.

48One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a stick so he could drink.

49But the rest said, "Leave him alone. Let’s see whether Elijah will come and save him."

50Then Jesus shouted out again, and he gave up his spirit.

51At that moment the curtain in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart,

52and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead

53after Jesus’ resurrection. They left the cemetery, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.

54The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, "Truly, this was the Son of God!"

55And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for him were watching from a distance.

56Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and Zebedee’s wife, the mother of James and John.

57As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who was one of Jesus’ followers,

58went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him.

59Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long linen cloth.

60He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance as he left.

61Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting nearby watching.

62The next day––on the first day of the Passover ceremonies ––the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate.

63They told him, "Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will be raised from the dead.’

64So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he came back to life! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first."

65Pilate replied, "Take guards and secure it the best you can."

66So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.

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