On Friday, Jesus was brought before the governor.
“Are you the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked him.
“You have said so,” Jesus replied.
When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer.
“Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” Pilate asked him.
Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.
It was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas.
“Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked the crowd that had gathered.
He knew it was that the Council had handed Jesus over to him out of self interest. While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message:
Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” the people answered.
“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
“Crucify him!” they all answered.
“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
“Crucify him!” they shouted all the louder.
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd.
“I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
“His blood is on us and on our children!” all the people answered.
Pilate released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and the whole company gathered around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand, then they knelt in front of him and mocked him.
“Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.
They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha, the place of the skull. There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall. After tasting it, he refused to drink it.
When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written 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. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads.
“You said you would destroy the temple and build it in three days. Save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” they said.
In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.
“He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”
In the same way, the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. At three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice.
“Eli, Eli, why have you forsaken me?”
“He’s calling Elijah,” said some of those standing there when they heard this.
One of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.
“Leave him alone,” the rest said. “Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of their tombs and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified.
“Surely he was the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
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.