Matthew 271When it was morning, all the chief priests and the leaders of the people made a plan against Jesus. They wanted to kill him. 2They tied him and took him away. They took him to Pilate, the ruler. 3Judas was the man who helped them take Jesus. He saw that they had judged Jesus and were going to kill him. He was sorry for what he had done, so he brought the thirty pieces of silver money back to the chief priests and leaders. 4He said, ‘I have done wrong. I have helped you take a good man who should not be killed.’ They said, ‘What do we care? You look after that!’ 5Judas threw the silver money into the temple. He went away and hanged himself. 6The chief priests took the money. They said, ‘It is not right to put this money in the money box of the temple. It has been used to buy a man’s death.’ 7They talked the matter over and bought a field that belonged to a man who made pots. They bought it for a place in which to bury strangers. 8That is why that field has been called ‘The field of blood’ until now. 9What Jeremiah the prophet said long ago, then came true at that time. He said, ‘They took thirty pieces of silver money. That is what the people of Israel said he was worth. 10They paid for the potter’s field. That is what the Lord told me to do.’ 11Jesus stood before the ruler. The ruler asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus said, ‘Yes, I am.’ 12When the chief priests and leaders brought their complaints, Jesus said nothing. 13Then Pilate said to him, ‘Do you not hear what these people say against you?’ 14But Jesus did not answer him, not even one word. Pilate was very much surprised about this. 15At the feast Pilate used to let one prisoner free. He let the people choose the man they wanted to go free. 16In the prison at that time was a very bad man named Barabbas. 17So while the people were there Pilate asked them, ‘Which one do you want me to let free for you, Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ?’ 18Pilate knew that the chief priests did not like Jesus. He knew that was why they had brought Jesus to him. 19While Pilate was sitting in the court to judge the case, his wife sent a message to him. She said, ‘Do nothing to that good man. I have been troubled very much in a dream about him today.’ 20The chief priests and leaders talked to the people. They told them to ask Pilate to let Barabbas go free, but to kill Jesus. 21The ruler said to the people, ‘Which of these two do you want me to let go free for you?’ They said, ‘Barabbas.’ 22Pilate said to them, ‘Then what shall I do with Jesus, who is called Christ?’ They all said, ‘Nail him to a cross!’ 23The ruler said, ‘What wrong thing has he done?’ But they shouted even more, ‘Nail him to a cross!’ 24Pilate saw that he was not doing any good. And the people were making a lot of loud noise. So he washed his hands in water in front of the people. Then he said, ‘I will not say this man must be killed. You must do that.’ 25Then all the people answered, ‘We and our children will do that.’ 26Then Pilate let Barabbas go free. He told the soldiers to beat Jesus and nail him to a cross. 27Then Pilate’s soldiers took Jesus to a room. They called all the soldiers together. 28They took off his clothes, and they put a red gown on him. 29They made a big ring of thorns like a crown and put it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand. Then they kneeled down in front of him and made fun of him. They shouted, ‘Greetings, King of the Jews!’ 30They spat on him. And they took the stick and hit him on the head with it. 31After they had made fun of him, they took off the red gown. They put his own clothes on him. Then they took him away to nail him to a cross. 32As they were going, they met a man named Simon. He was born in the country of Cyrene. They made him carry Jesus’ cross. 33They came to a place called Golgotha. That means, ‘The place of a head bone.’ 34They wanted Jesus to drink wine mixed with something bitter. Jesus tasted it but he would not drink it. 35Then they nailed him to a cross. They gambled to see how they should divide Jesus’ clothes. 36Then the soldiers sat down on the ground and watched him there. 37They put the complaint against Jesus above his head. These words were written there: ‘This is Jesus the King of the Jews.’ 38Two bad men were also nailed to crosses. They had stolen money. One man was put on the right side of Jesus and one was put on the left side of him. 39The people who passed by said bad things about him. They shook their heads. 40They said, ‘You are the man who said you could break down the temple and build it again in three days. Save yourself! If you are really God’s Son, come down from the cross.’ 41The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders also made fun of him. 42They said, ‘He saved other people but he cannot save himself! If he is the King of the people of Israel, he should come down from the cross now. Then we will believe in him. 43He trusted in God. If God wants him, he can save him now. He said, "I am God’s Son." ‘ 44The bad men who were also nailed to crosses with him said the same things to him. 45About midday, the whole land became dark and stayed dark for three hours. 46About three o’clock, Jesus called out loud, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ That means, ‘My God, my God, why have you left me alone?’ 47Some of the people standing there heard what Jesus said. They said ‘This man is calling for Elijah.’ 48Right away, one of them ran to get something called a sponge. He made it wet with sour wine and put it on the end of a stick. With it he gave Jesus a drink. 49The other people said, ‘Wait. We will see if Elijah will come and save him.’ 50Jesus called out loud again. Then he died. 51At that time the thick cloth that hung in the temple was torn into two pieces. It was torn from the top down to the bottom. The earth shook and big rocks broke. 52The graves opened. Many of God’s people who had died rose from death. 53They came out of their graves after Jesus rose from death. They went into Jerusalem. Many people saw them there. 54The Roman captain and some of his soldiers were guarding Jesus on the cross. When they saw the earth shake and the other things happen, they were very much afraid. They said, ‘Surely this man was God’s Son.’ 55Many women were there watching from far away. They had come with Jesus from Galilee and had helped him. 56Among these women were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. 57In the evening, a rich man came. He was Joseph from the town of Arimathea. He also believed in Jesus. 58He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate said that it should be given to him. 59Joseph took the body and wrapped a clean linen cloth around it. 60He put the body in his own new grave which had been cut in a rock. He rolled a very big stone to close the grave. Then he went away. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there. They sat where they could see the grave. 62The next day was the Sabbath day. The chief priests and Pharisees went to Pilate together. 63They said, ‘Sir, that man fooled people. We remember what he said when he was still living. He said that he would rise after three days. 64So give orders that the grave must be guarded for three days. Then his disciples cannot come in the night to carry away his body, and tell people he rose from death. This last trick would be worse than the first.’ 65Pilate said to them, ‘Take soldiers. Go and guard the grave as well as you can.’ 66So they went and shut the grave tight. They put a government mark on the big stone. And the soldiers stayed to guard it. This was to make sure the grave would stay shut.
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