After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron
Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. Judas,
the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had gone there many times
with his disciples. The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas
a battalion of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now
with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive
Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to
him. Stepping forward to meet them, he asked, "Whom are you
"Jesus of Nazareth," they replied.
"I am he," Jesus said. Judas was standing
there with them when Jesus identified himself. And as he said, "I
am he," they all fell backward to the ground!
Once more he asked them, "Whom are you
And again they replied, "Jesus of
"I told you that I am he," Jesus said.
"And since I am the one you want, let these others go." He
did this to fulfill his own statement: "I have not lost a single
one of those you gave me."
Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the
right ear of Malchus, the high priest's servant. But Jesus said to
Peter, "Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink
from the cup the Father has given me?" So the soldiers, their
commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him
First they took him to Annas, the father-in-law of
Caiaphas, the high priest that year.
Inside, the high priest began asking Jesus about
his followers and what he had been teaching them. Jesus replied,
"What I teach is widely known, because I have preached regularly
in the synagogues and the Temple. I have been heard by people
everywhere, and I teach nothing in private that I have not said in
public. Why are you asking me this question? Ask those who heard me.
They know what I said."
One of the Temple guards standing there struck Jesus
on the face. "Is that the way to answer the high priest?" he
Jesus replied, "If I said anything wrong, you
must give evidence for it. Should you hit a man for telling the
Then Annas bound Jesus and sent him to Caiaphas, the
Jesus' trial before Caiaphas ended in the early
hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the
Roman governor. His accusers didn't go in themselves because it would
defile them, and they wouldn't be allowed to celebrate the Passover
feast. So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, "What
is your charge against this man?"
"We wouldn't have handed him over to you if he
weren't a criminal!" they retorted.
"Then take him away and judge him by your own
laws," Pilate told them.
"Only the Romans are permitted to execute
someone," the Jewish leaders replied. This fulfilled Jesus'
prediction about the way he would die.
Then Pilate went back inside and called for Jesus to
be brought to him. "Are you the King of the Jews?" he asked
Jesus replied, "Is this your own question, or
did others tell you about me?"
"Am I a Jew?" Pilate asked. "Your own
people and their leading priests brought you here. Why? What have you
Then Jesus answered, "I am not an earthly king.
If I were, my followers would have fought when I was arrested by the
Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world."
Pilate replied, "You are a king then?"
"You say that I am a king, and you are
right," Jesus said. "I was born for that purpose. And I came
to bring truth to the world. All who love the truth recognize that
what I say is true."
"What is truth?" Pilate asked. Then he
went out again to the people and told them, "He is not guilty of
any crime. But you have a custom of asking me to release someone from
prison each year at Passover. So if you want me to, I'll release the
King of the Jews."
But they shouted back, "No! Not this man, but
Barabbas!" (Barabbas was a criminal.)
Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped
whip. The soldiers made a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on
his head, and they put a royal purple robe on him. "Hail! King of
the Jews!" they mocked, and they hit him with their fists.
Pilate went outside again and said to the people,
"I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly
that I find him not guilty." Then Jesus came out wearing the
crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, "Here is
When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple
guards began shouting, "Crucify! Crucify!"
"You crucify him," Pilate said. "I
find him not guilty." The Jewish leaders replied, "By our
laws he ought to die because he called himself the Son of
When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than
ever. He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him,
"Where are you from?" But Jesus gave no answer. "You
won't talk to me?" Pilate demanded. "Don't you realize that
I have the power to release you or to crucify you?"
Then Jesus said, "You would have no power over
me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who
brought me to you has the greater sin."
Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish
leaders told him, "If you release this man, you are not a friend
of Caesar. Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against
When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to
them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform
that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). It was now
about noon of the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said
to the people, "Here is your king!"
"Away with him," they yelled. "Away
with him – crucify him!"
"What? Crucify your king?" Pilate asked.
"We have no king but Caesar," the leading
priests shouted back. Then Pilate gave Jesus to them to be
So they took Jesus and led him away. Carrying the
cross by himself, Jesus went to the place called Skull Hill (in
Hebrew, Golgotha). There they crucified him. There were two others
crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.
And Pilate posted a sign over him that read,
"Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." The place where
Jesus was crucified was near the city; and the sign was written in
Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it. Then the
leading priests said to Pilate, "Change it from 'The King of the
Jews' to 'He said, I am King of the Jews.'"
Pilate replied, "What I have written, I have
written. It stays exactly as it is." When the soldiers had
crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They
also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from the
top. So they said, "Let's not tear it but throw dice to see who
gets it." This fulfilled the Scripture that says, "They
divided my clothes among themselves and threw dice for my robe."
So that is what they did.
Standing near the cross were Jesus' mother, and his
mother's sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When
Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he
said to her, "Woman, he is your son."
And he said to this disciple, "She is your
mother." And from then on this disciple took her into his
Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to
fulfill the Scriptures he said, "I am thirsty." A jar of
sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on
a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it,
he said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and gave
up his spirit.
The Jewish leaders didn't want the victims hanging
there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath
at that, because it was the Passover), so they asked Pilate to hasten
their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies
could be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the
two men crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw
that he was dead already, so they didn't break his legs. One of the
soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water
flowed out. This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate
account; it is presented so that you also can believe. These things
happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, "Not one of
his bones will be broken," and "They will look on him whom
Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret
disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate
for permission to take Jesus' body down. When Pilate gave him
permission, he came and took the body away. Nicodemus, the man who had
come to Jesus at night, also came, bringing about seventy-five pounds
of embalming ointment made from myrrh and aloes. Together they wrapped
Jesus' body in a long linen cloth with the spices, as is the Jewish
custom of burial. The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where
there was a new tomb, never used before. And so, because it was the
day of preparation before the Passover and since the tomb was close at
hand, they laid Jesus there. (John 18 & 19, NLT)