1 Early in the morning all the chief priests and the leaders of the people decided to execute Jesus. 2 They tied him up, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.
3 Then Judas, who had betrayed Jesus, regretted what had happened when he saw that Jesus was condemned. He brought the 30 silver coins back to the chief priests and leaders. 4 He said, “I’ve sinned by betraying an innocent man.”
They replied, “What do we care? That’s your problem.”
5 So he threw the money into the temple, went away, and hanged himself.
6 The chief priests took the money and said, “It’s not right to put it into the temple treasury, because it’s blood money.” 7 So they decided to use it to buy a potter’s field for the burial of strangers. 8 That’s why that field has been called the Field of Blood ever since. 9 Then what the prophet Jeremiah had said came true, “They took the 30 silver coins, the price the people of Israel had placed on him, 10 and used the coins to buy a potter’s field, as the Lord had directed me.”
Pilate Questions Jesus—Mark 15:1–5; Luke 23:1–4; John 18:28–38
11 Jesus stood in front of the governor, ⸤Pilate⸥. The governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“Yes, I am,” Jesus answered.
12 While the chief priests and leaders were accusing him, he said nothing. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear how many charges they’re bringing against you?”
14 But Jesus said absolutely nothing to him in reply, so the governor was very surprised.
The Crowd Rejects Jesus—Mark 15:6–15; Luke 23:18–25; John 18:39, 40
15 At every Passover festival the governor would free one prisoner whom the crowd wanted. 16 At that time there was a well-known prisoner by the name of Barabbas. 17 So when the people gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which man do you want me to free for you? Do you want me to free Barabbas or Jesus, who is called Christ?” 18 Pilate knew that they had handed Jesus over to him because they were jealous.
19 While Pilate was judging the case, his wife sent him a message. It said, “Leave that innocent man alone. I’ve been very upset today because of a dream I had about him.”
20 But the chief priests and leaders persuaded the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas and the execution of Jesus.
21 The governor asked them, “Which of the two do you want me to free for you?”
They said, “Barabbas.”
22 Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with Jesus, who is called Christ?”
“He should be crucified!” they all said.
23 Pilate asked, “Why? What has he done wrong?”
But they began to shout loudly, “He should be crucified!”
24 Pilate saw that he was not getting anywhere. Instead, a riot was breaking out. So Pilate took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. He said, “I won’t be guilty of killing this man. Do what you want!”
25 All the people answered, “The responsibility for killing him will rest on us and our children.”
26 Then Pilate freed Barabbas for the people. But he had Jesus whipped and handed over to be crucified.
The Soldiers Make Fun of Jesus—Mark 15:16–19; John 19:1–3
27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the palace and gathered the whole troop around him. 28 They took off his clothes and put a bright red cape on him. 29 They twisted some thorns into a crown, placed it on his head, and put a stick in his right hand. They knelt in front of him and made fun of him by saying, “Long live the king of the Jews!” 30 After they had spit on him, they took the stick and kept hitting him on the head with it.
The Crucifixion—Mark 15:20–32; Luke 23:33–38; John 19:16b–24
31 After the soldiers finished making fun of Jesus, they took off the cape and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
32 On the way they found a man named Simon. He was from the city of Cyrene. The soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.
33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 They gave him a drink of wine mixed with a drug called gall. When he tasted it, he refused to drink it. 35 After they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice. 36 Then they sat there and kept watch over him. 37 They placed a written accusation above his head. It read, “This is Jesus, the king of the Jews.”
38 At that time they crucified two criminals with him, one on his right and the other on his left.
39 Those who passed by insulted him. They shook their heads 40 and said, “You were going to tear down God’s temple and build it again in three days. Save yourself! If you’re the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 The chief priests together with the experts in Moses’ Teachings and the leaders made fun of him in the same way. They said, 42 “He saved others, but he can’t save himself. So he’s Israel’s king! Let him come down from the cross now, and we’ll believe him. 43 He trusted God. Let God rescue him now if he wants. After all, this man said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 44 Even the criminals crucified with him were insulting him the same way.
Jesus Dies on the Cross—Mark 15:33–41; Luke 23:44–49; John 19:28–30
45 At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 About three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” 47 When some of the people standing there heard him say that, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” 48 One of the men ran at once, took a sponge, and soaked it in some vinegar. Then he put it on a stick and offered Jesus a drink. 49 The others said, “Leave him alone! Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 Then Jesus loudly cried out once again and gave up his life.
51 Suddenly, the curtain in the temple was split in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split open. 52 The tombs were opened, and the bodies of many holy people who had died came back to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after he had come back to life, and they went into the holy city where they appeared to many people.
54 An army officer and those watching Jesus with him saw the earthquake and the other things happening. They were terrified and said, “Certainly, this was the Son of God!”
55 Many women were there watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee and had always supported him. 56 Among them were Mary from Magdala, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
Jesus Is Placed in a Tomb—Mark 15:42–47; Luke 23:50–56; John 19:38–42
57 In the evening a rich man named Joseph arrived. He was from the city of Arimathea and had become a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate ordered that it be given to him.
59 Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60 Then he laid it in his own new tomb, which had been cut in a rock. After rolling a large stone against the door of the tomb, he went away. 61 Mary from Magdala and the other Mary were sitting there, facing the tomb.
The Chief Priests and Pharisees Secure Jesus’ Tomb
62 The next day, which was the day of rest—a holy day, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together and went to Pilate. 63 They said, “Sir, we remember how that deceiver said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will be brought back to life.’ 64 Therefore, give the order to make the tomb secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may steal him and say to the people, ‘He has been brought back to life.’ Then the last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 Pilate told them, “You have the soldiers you want for guard duty. Go and make the tomb as secure as you know how.”
66 So they went to secure the tomb. They placed a seal on the stone and posted the soldiers on guard duty.
About GOD’S WORD Translation
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) communicates the saving, life-changing Good News about Jesus in clear, natural English. Translated directly from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek by a committee of scholars, GOD’S WORD is an exceptional Bible that consciously combines scholarly fidelity with natural English.
By implementing the translation principles of Closest Natural Equivalence, the translation committee seeks to translate the best available texts into English with the closest possible accuracy. This commitment to accurately translating the Bible includes expressing the meaning naturally and in a style that preserves the characteristics of the source text.
The combination of accuracy and readability makes GOD’S WORD ideally suited for the following:
Devotional reading and in-depth study
Preaching, teaching, and worship
Scripture references from GOD’S WORD are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.
Up to 500 verses from GOD’S WORD may be quoted in any form (printed, written, visual, electronic, or audio) without written permission, provided that no more than half of any one book is quoted, and the verses quoted do not amount to more than 25% of the text of the work in which they are quoted.
The designation (GOD’S WORD) must always appear after each quotation. In addition, if the quotation is used in a work that is not for sale, the work must bear the following notice either on the title page or reverse thereof of each copy, or in a location where it can be readily perceived by the reader:
GOD’S WORD is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission.
If used in a work that is for sale, the following copyright notice must be used:
GOD’S WORD is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.
For quotation of over 500 verses and/or questions about these policies, contact God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, P.O. Box 26343, Cleveland, Ohio 44126-0343, U.S.A.