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 <<  Lukas 23 >> 

1THEN they rose up in a body and took him off to Pilate,

2and began their accusation in these words, "Here is this man whom we have found corrupting our people, and telling them that it is wrong to pay taxes to Caesar, claiming that he himself is Christ, a king."

3But Pilate addressed his question to Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "That is what you say," he replied.

4Then Pilate spoke to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find nothing criminal about this man."

5But they pressed their charge, saying, "He's a troublemaker among the people. He teaches through the whole of Judaea, all the way from Galilee to this place."

6When Pilate heard this, he enquired whether the man were a Galilean,

7and when he discovered that he came under Herod's jurisdiction, he passed him on to Herod who happened to be in Jerusalem at that time.

8When Herod saw Jesus, he was delighted, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time. He had heard a lot about Jesus and was hoping to see him perform a miracle.

9He questioned him thoroughly, but Jesus gave him absolutely no reply,

10though the chief priests and scribes stood there making the most violent accusations.

11So Herod joined his own soldiers in scoffing and jeering at Jesus. Finally, they dressed him up in a gorgeous cloak, and sent him back to Pilate.

12On that day Herod and Pilate became firm friends, though previously they had been at daggers drawn.

13Then Pilate summoned the chief priests, the officials and the people

14and addressed them in these words, "You have brought this man to me as a mischiefmaker among the people, and I want you all to realize that, after examining him in your presence, I have found nothing criminal about him, in spite of all your accusations.

15And neither has Herod, for he has sent him back to us. Obviously, then, he has done nothing to deserve the death penalty.

16I propose, therefore, to teach him a sharp lesson and let him go."

18But they all yelled as one man, "Take this man away! We want Barabbas set free!"

19(Barabbas was a man who had been put in prison for causing a riot in the city and for murder.)

20But Pilate wanted to set Jesus free and he called out to them again,

21but they shouted back at him, "Crucify, crucify him!"

22Then he spoke to them, for the third time, "What is his crime, then? I have found nothing in him that deserves execution; I am going to teach him his lesson and let him go."

23But they shouted him down, yelling their demand that he should be crucified. Their shouting won the day,

24and Pilate gave the decision that their request should be granted.

25He released the man for whom they asked, the man who had been imprisoned for rioting and murder, and surrendered Jesus to their demands.

26And as they were marching him away, they caught hold of Simon, a native of Cyrene in Africa, who was on his way home from the fields, and put the cross on his back for him to carry behind Jesus.

27A huge crowd of people followed him, including women who wrung their hands and wept for him.

28But Jesus turned to them and said, "Women of Jerusalem, do not shed your tears for me, but for yourselves and for your children!

29For the days are coming when men will say, 'Lucky are the women who are childlessthe bodies which have never borne, and the breasts which have never given nourishment.'

30Then men will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall upon us!' and will say to the hills, 'Cover us up!'

31For if this is what men do when the wood is green, what will they do when it is seasoned?"

32Two criminals were also led out with him for execution,

33and when they came to the place called The Skull, they crucified him with the criminals, one on either side of him.

34But Jesus himself was saying, "Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing." Then they shared out his clothes by casting lots.

35The people stood and stared while their rulers continued to scoff, saying, "He saved other people, let's see him save himself, if he is really God's Christhis chosen!"

36The soldiers also mocked him by coming up and presenting sour wine to him,

37saying, "If you are the king of the Jews, why not save yourself?"

38For there was a placard over his head which read, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

39One of the criminals hanging there covered him with abuse, and said, "Aren't you Christ? Why don't you save yourselfand us?"

40But the other one checked him with the words, "Aren't you afraid of God even when you're getting the same punishment as he is?

41And it's fair enough for us, for we've only got what we deserve, but this man never did anything wrong."

42Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

43And Jesus answered, "I tell you truly, this very day you will be with me in paradise."

44It was now about midday, but darkness came over the whole countryside until three in the afternoon,

45for the sun's light was eclipsed. The veil in the Temple sanctuary was split in two.

46Then Jesus gave a great cry and said, "Father, I commend my spirit into your hands." And with these words, he expired.

47When the centurion saw what had happened, he exclaimed reverently, "That was indeed a good men!"

48And the whole crowd who had collected for the spectacle, when they saw what had happened, went home in deep distress.

49And all those who had known him, as well as the women who had followed him from Galilee, remained standing at a distance and saw these things happen.

50Now there was a man called Joseph, a member of the Jewish council. He was a good and just man,

51and had neither agreed with their plan nor voted for their decision. He came from the Jewish city of Arimathaea and was awaiting the kingdom of God.

52He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body.

53He took it down and, wrapped it in linen and placed it in a rockhewn tomb which had not been used before.

54It was now the day of the preparation and the Sabbath was beginning to dawn,

55so the women who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph, noted the tomb and the position of the body,

56and then went home to prepare spices and perfumes. On the Sabbath they rested, in obedience to the commandment.

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