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27 It was early in the morning. All the chief priests and the elders of the people decided to put Jesus to death. 2They tied him up and led him away. Then they handed him over to Pilate, who was the governor.
3Judas, who had handed him over, saw that Jesus had been sentenced to die. He felt deep shame and sadness for what he had done. So he returned the 30 silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 4“I have sinned,” he said. “I handed over a man who is not guilty.”
“What do we care?” they replied. “That’s your problem.”
6The chief priests picked up the coins. They said, “It’s against the law to put this money into the temple fund. It is blood money. It has paid for a man’s death.” 7So they decided to use the money to buy a potter’s field. People from other countries would be buried there. 8That is why it has been called The Field of Blood to this very day. 9Then the words spoken by Jeremiah the prophet came true. He had said, “They took the 30 silver coins. That price was set for him by the people of Israel. 10They used the coins to buy a potter’s field, just as the Lord commanded me.” (Zechariah 11:12, 13; Jeremiah 19:1–13; 32:6–9)
11Jesus was standing in front of the governor. The governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“Yes. It is just as you say,” Jesus replied.
15It was the governor’s practice at the Passover Feast to let one prisoner go free. The people could choose the one they wanted. 16At that time they had a well-known prisoner named Barabbas. 17So when the crowd gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to set free? Barabbas? Or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18Pilate knew that the leaders were jealous. He knew this was why they had handed Jesus over to him.
19While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him a message. It said, “Don’t have anything to do with that man. He is not guilty. I have suffered a great deal in a dream today because of him.”
“Barabbas,” they answered.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
But they shouted even louder, “Crucify him!”
24Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere. Instead, the crowd was starting to get angry. So he took water and washed his hands in front of them. “I am not guilty of this man’s death,” he said. “You are accountable for that!”
27The governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the palace, which was called the Praetorium. All the rest of the soldiers gathered around him. 28They took off his clothes and put a purple robe on him. 29Then they twisted thorns together to make a crown. They placed it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand. Then they fell on their knees in front of him and made fun of him. “We honor you, king of the Jews!” they said. 30They spit on him. They hit him on the head with the stick again and again.
32On their way out of the city, they met a man from Cyrene. His name was Simon. They forced him to carry the cross.
33They came to a place called Golgotha. The word Golgotha means The Place of the Skull. 34There they mixed wine with bitter spices and gave it to Jesus to drink. After tasting it, he refused to drink it.
39Those who passed by shouted at Jesus and made fun of him. They shook their heads 40and said, “So you are going to destroy the temple and build it again in three days? Then save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”
41In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders made fun of him. 42“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! Then we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him. He’s the one who said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”
45From noon until three o’clock, the whole land was covered with darkness. 46About three o’clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice. He said, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” This means “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?” (Psalm 22:1)
48Right away one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar and put it on a stick. He offered it to Jesus to drink. 49The rest said, “Leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
51At that moment the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook. The rocks split. 52Tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs. After Jesus was raised to life, they went into the holy city. There they appeared to many people.
55Not very far away, many women were watching. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to take care of his needs. 56Mary Magdalene was among them. Mary, the mother of James and Joses, was also there. So was the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
57As evening approached, a rich man came from the town of Arimathea. His name was Joseph. He had become a follower of Jesus. 58He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate ordered that it be given to him.
59Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60He placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb. Then he went away.
62The next day was the day after Preparation Day. The chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63“Sir,” they said, “we remember something that liar said while he was still alive. He claimed, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64So give the order to make the tomb secure until the third day. If you don’t, his disciples might come and steal the body. Then they will tell the people that Jesus has been raised from the dead. This last lie will be worse than the first.”
About New International Reader’s Version
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
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