The Thorn Crown of the King 19 1So Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. 2The soldiers, having braided a crown from thorns, set it on his head, threw a purple robe over him, 3and approached him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they greeted him with slaps in the face. 4Pilate went back out again and said to them, “I present him to you, but I want you to know that I do not find him guilty of any crime.” 5Just then Jesus came out wearing the thorn crown and purple robe. Pilate announced, “Here he is: the Man.” 6When the high priests and police saw him, they shouted in a frenzy, “Crucify! Crucify!” Pilate told them, “You take him. You crucify him. I find nothing wrong with him.” 7The Jews answered, “We have a law, and by that law he must die because he claimed to be the Son of God.” 8When Pilate heard this, he became even more scared. 9He went back into the palace and said to Jesus, “Where did you come from?” Jesus gave no answer. 10Pilate said, “You won’t talk? Don’t you know that I have the authority to pardon you, and the authority to—crucify you?” 11Jesus said, “You haven’t a shred of authority over me except what has been given you from heaven. That’s why the one who betrayed me to you has committed a far greater fault.” 12At this, Pilate tried his best to pardon him, but the Jews shouted him down: “If you pardon this man, you’re no friend of Caesar’s. Anyone setting himself up as ‘king’ defies Caesar.” 13When Pilate heard those words, he led Jesus outside. He sat down at the judgment seat in the area designated Stone Court (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). 14It was the preparation day for Passover. The hour was noon. Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your king.” 15They shouted back, “Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him!” Pilate said, “I am to crucify your king?” The high priests answered, “We have no king except Caesar.” 16Pilate caved in to their demand. He turned him over to be crucified. The Crucifixion They took Jesus away. 17Carrying his cross, Jesus went out to the place called Skull Hill (the name in Hebrew is Golgotha), 18where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, Jesus in the middle. 19Pilate wrote a sign and had it placed on the cross. It read: jesus the nazarene the king of the jews. 20Many of the Jews read the sign because the place where Jesus was crucified was right next to the city. It was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. 21The Jewish high priests objected. “Don’t write,” they said to Pilate, “ ‘The King of the Jews.’ Make it, ‘This man said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’ ” 22Pilate said, “What I’ve written, I’ve written.” 23When they crucified him, the Roman soldiers took his clothes and divided them up four ways, to each soldier a fourth. But his robe was seamless, a single piece of weaving, 24so they said to each other, “Let’s not tear it up. Let’s throw dice to see who gets it.” This confirmed the Scripture that said, “They divided up my clothes among them and threw dice for my coat.” (The soldiers validated the Scriptures!) While the soldiers were looking after themselves, 25Jesus’ mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross. 26Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her. He said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27Then to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that moment the disciple accepted her as his own mother. 28Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, “I’m thirsty.” 29A jug of sour wine was standing by. Someone put a sponge soaked with the wine on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. 30After he took the wine, Jesus said, “It’s done . . . complete.” Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit. 31Then the Jews, since it was the day of Sabbath preparation, and so the bodies wouldn’t stay on the crosses over the Sabbath (it was a high holy day that year), petitioned Pilate that their legs be broken to speed death, and the bodies taken down. 32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man crucified with Jesus, and then the other. 33When they got to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. 34One of the soldiers stabbed him in the side with his spear. Blood and water gushed out. 35The eyewitness to these things has presented an accurate report. He saw it himself and is telling the truth so that you, also, will believe. 36These things that happened confirmed the Scripture, “Not a bone in his body was broken,” 37and the other Scripture that reads, “They will stare at the one they pierced.” 38After all this, Joseph of Arimathea (he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, because he was intimidated by the Jews) petitioned Pilate to take the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission. So Joseph came and took the body. 39Nicodemus, who had first come to Jesus at night, came now in broad daylight carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy–five pounds. 40They took Jesus’ body and, following the Jewish burial custom, wrapped it in linen with the spices. 41There was a garden near the place he was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been placed. 42So, because it was Sabbath preparation for the Jews and the tomb was convenient, they placed Jesus in it.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About