Luke 23

1Then the whole group stood up and led Jesus to Pilate. 2They began to accuse Jesus. They told Pilate, “We caught this man trying to change the thinking of our people. He says we should not pay taxes to Caesar. He calls himself the Christ, a king.” 3Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Yes, that is right.” 4Pilate said to the leading priests and the people, “I find nothing wrong with this man.” 5They said again and again, “But Jesus is making trouble with the people! He teaches all around Judea. He began in Galilee, and now he is here!” 6Pilate heard this and asked if Jesus was from Galilee. 7Pilate learned that Jesus was under Herod’s authority. Herod was in Jerusalem at that time, so Pilate sent Jesus to him. 8When Herod saw Jesus, he was very happy. Herod had heard all about Jesus. So he had wanted to meet Jesus for a long time. Herod wanted to see a miracle. So he hoped that Jesus would do a miracle. 9Herod asked Jesus many questions, but Jesus said nothing. 10The leading priests and teachers of the law were standing there. They were shouting things against Jesus. 11Then Herod and his soldiers laughed at Jesus. They made fun of Jesus by dressing him in clothes like kings wear. Then Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate. 12In the past, Pilate and Herod had always been enemies. But on that day Herod and Pilate became friends. 13Pilate called all the people together with the leading priests and the ˻Jewish˼ leaders. 14Pilate said to them, “You brought this man ˻(Jesus)˼ to me. You said that he was trying to change the people. But I judged him before you all. I found no wrong that he had done. Jesus is not guilty of the things you say. 15Also, Herod found nothing wrong with him; Herod sent Jesus back to us. Look, Jesus has done nothing wrong. He should not be killed. 16So, after I punish him a little, I will let him go free.” 18But all the people shouted, “Kill him! Let Barabbas go free!” 19(Barabbas was a man that was in jail because he started a riot in the city. He had also killed some people.) 20Pilate wanted to let Jesus go free. So again Pilate told them that he would let Jesus go. 21But they shouted again, “Kill him! Kill him on a cross!” 22A third time Pilate said to the people, “Why? What wrong has he done? He is not guilty. I can find no reason to kill him. So I will let him go free after I punish him a little.” 23But the people continued to shout. They demanded that Jesus be killed on the cross. Their shouting became so loud that 24Pilate decided to give them what they wanted. 25The people wanted Barabbas to go free. Barabbas was in jail for starting a riot and for killing people. Pilate let Barabbas go free. And Pilate gave Jesus to the people to be killed. This is what the people wanted. 26The soldiers led Jesus away ˻to be killed˼. At that same time, there was a man coming into the city from the fields. His name was Simon. Simon was from the city of Cyrene. The soldiers forced Simon to carry Jesus’ cross and walk behind Jesus. 27Many, many people followed Jesus. Some of the women were sad and crying. They felt sorry for Jesus. 28But Jesus turned and said to the women, “Women of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children too! 29The time is coming when people will say, 'Happy are the women that cannot have babies! Happy are the women that have no children to care for.’ 30Then the people will say to the mountain, 'Fall on us!’ The people will say to the hills, 'Cover us!’ 31If people act like this now when life is good, what will happen when bad times come?” 32There were also two criminals led out with Jesus to be killed. 33Jesus and the two criminals were led to a place called “The Skull.” There the soldiers nailed Jesus to his cross. They also nailed the criminals to their crosses. They put one criminal beside Jesus on the right, and they put the other criminal beside Jesus on the left. 34Jesus said, “Father, forgive these people ˻that are killing me˼. They don’t know what they are doing.” The soldiers gambled with dice to decide who would get Jesus’ clothes. 35The people stood there watching ˻Jesus˼. The Jewish leaders laughed at Jesus. They said, “If he is God’s Chosen One, the Christ, then let him save himself. He saved other people, didn’t he?” 36Even the soldiers laughed at Jesus and teased him. They came to Jesus and offered him some wine. 37The soldiers said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!” 38(At the top of the cross these words were written: “this is the king of the jews.”) 39One of the criminals began to shout very bad things at Jesus: “Aren’t you the Christ? Then save yourself! And save us too!” 40But the other criminal stopped him. He said, “You should fear God! All of us will die soon! 41You and I are guilty; we should be killed because we did wrong. But this man ˻(Jesus)˼ has done nothing wrong!” 42Then this criminal said to Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you begin ruling as king!” 43Then Jesus said to him, “Listen! What I say is true: Today you will be with me in Paradise!” 44It was about noon, but the whole area became dark until three o’clock in the afternoon. 45There was no sun! The curtain in the temple was torn into two pieces. 46Jesus shouted, “Father, I give you my life.” After Jesus said this, he died. 47The army officer there saw what happened. He praised God, saying, “I know this man was a good man!” 48Many people had come out of the city to see this thing. When the people saw it, they felt very sorry and left. 49The people who were close friends of Jesus were there. Also, there were some women that had followed Jesus from Galilee. They all stood far away from the cross and watched these things. 50- 51A man was there from the Jewish town of Arimathea. His name was Joseph. He was a good man, who lived the way God wanted. He was waiting for God’s kingdom to come. Joseph was a member of the Jewish council. But he did not agree when the other Jewish leaders decided to kill Jesus. 52Joseph went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. ˻Pilate let Joseph have the body.˼ 53So Joseph took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in cloth. Then he put Jesus’ body in a tomb ˻(grave)˼ that was dug in a wall of rock. This tomb had never been used before. 54This was late on Preparation day. When the sun went down, the Sabbath day would begin. 55The women that had come from Galilee with Jesus followed Joseph. They saw the tomb. Inside they saw where the body of Jesus was put. 56Then the women left to prepare some sweet-smelling spices ˻to put on Jesus’ body˼. On the Sabbath day they rested. The law of Moses commanded all people to do thi s. )

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