23Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor.2They began to state their case: "This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming he is the Messiah, a king."3So Pilate asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus replied, "You have said it."4Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, "I find nothing wrong with this man!"5Then they became insistent. "But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!"6"Oh, is he a Galilean?" Pilate asked.7When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod's jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.8Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle.9He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer.10Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations.11Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate.12(Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day)13Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people,14and he announced his verdict. "You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent.15Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty.16So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him."1718Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, "Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!"19(Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.)20Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus.21But they kept shouting, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"22For the third time he demanded, "Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him."23But the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed.24So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded.25As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he turned Jesus over to them to do as they wished.26As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.27A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women.28But Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, don't weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.29For the days are coming when they will say, `Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.'30People will beg the mountains, `Fall on us,' and plead with the hills, `Bury us.'31For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?"32Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him.33When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.34Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.35The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. "He saved others," they said, "let him save himself if he is really God's Messiah, the Chosen One."36The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine.37They called out to him, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"38A sign was fastened to the cross above him with these words: "This is the King of the Jews."39One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, "So you're the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you're at it!"40But the other criminal protested, "Don't you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die?41We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn't done anything wrong."42Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."43And Jesus replied, "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise."44By this time it was noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o'clock.45The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle.46Then Jesus shouted, "Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!" And with those words he breathed his last.47When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, "Surely this man was innocent."48And when all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow.49But Jesus' friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching.50Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph. He was a member of the Jewish high council,51but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.52He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body.53Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock.54This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin.55As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed.56Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law.