Death and burial

The governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and brought out the whole company to look at him. They removed his clothes and dressed him a scarlet robe. Then they made a crown of thorns and put it upon his head. Placing a staff in his hand, they knelt down in front of him and mocked him.

“Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. Then they spat on him, took the staff out of his hand and struck him on the head with it. When they had finished mocking him, they took off the robe, put his own clothes back on him and led him away to be crucified.

Along the way, the soldiers met a man from Cyrene named Simon, so they forced him to carry the cross. They came a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”) and here the soldiers offered Jesus wine mixed with gall. But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.

When they had crucified Jesus, the soldiers cast lots for his clothes. Then, sitting down, they kept watch over him. A sign was fastened above his head, announcing the charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. The people who passed by shouted abuse at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So you were going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, were you? Well then, save yourself! If you’re the Son of God, come down from the cross!”

The chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders also mocked him.

“He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel, is he? Well, if he comes down from the cross, we’ll believe in him! He trusts in God! Let God rescue him now – if he wants him – because he said, ‘I’m the Son of God.’”

And even the rebels who were crucified with him insulted him.

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until it was three o’clock. Then Jesus cried out in a loud voice: “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” This means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Some of the people standing nearby said: “He’s calling for Elijah.”

Then one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with wine vinegar and held it up to him on a staff so that he could drink. But the others said, “Leave him alone now. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

Then Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and gave up his spirit. At that very moment the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many good people who’d died were raised to life. They came out of their tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into Jerusalem, were they appeared to many people.

When the centurion and the other men with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified and said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy man who had become one of Jesus’ disciples, went to Pilate and asked for the body. Pilate gave orders to give the Jesus’ body to him, so he took it and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. Then he placed it in a tomb he had built for himself, cut out of the rock. He rolled a great stone to close the entrance and left. But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained there, sitting opposite the tomb.


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