Matthew 27 (GOD'S WORD Translation)

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1 Early in the morning all the chief priests and the leaders of the people decided to execute Jesus. 2 They tied him up, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. 3 Then Judas, who had betrayed Jesus, regretted what had happened when he saw that Jesus was condemned. He brought the 30 silver coins back to the chief priests and leaders. 4 He said, "I've sinned by betraying an innocent man." They replied, "What do we care? That's your problem." 5 So he threw the money into the temple, went away, and hanged himself. 6 The chief priests took the money and said, "It's not right to put it into the temple treasury, because it's blood money." 7 So they decided to use it to buy a potter's field for the burial of strangers. 8 That's why that field has been called the Field of Blood ever since. 9 Then what the prophet Jeremiah had said came true, "They took the 30 silver coins, the price the people of Israel had placed on him, 10 and used the coins to buy a potter's field, as the Lord had directed me." 11 Jesus stood in front of the governor, [Pilate]. The governor asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "Yes, I am," Jesus answered. 12 While the chief priests and leaders were accusing him, he said nothing. 13 Then Pilate asked him, "Don't you hear how many charges they're bringing against you?" 14 But Jesus said absolutely nothing to him in reply, so the governor was very surprised. 15 At every Passover festival the governor would free one prisoner whom the crowd wanted. 16 At that time there was a well-known prisoner by the name of Barabbas. 17 So when the people gathered, Pilate asked them, "Which man do you want me to free for you? Do you want me to free Barabbas or Jesus, who is called Christ?" 18 Pilate knew that they had handed Jesus over to him because they were jealous. 19 While Pilate was judging the case, his wife sent him a message. It said, "Leave that innocent man alone. I've been very upset today because of a dream I had about him." 20 But the chief priests and leaders persuaded the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas and the execution of Jesus. 21 The governor asked them, "Which of the two do you want me to free for you?" They said, "Barabbas." 22 Pilate asked them, "Then what should I do with Jesus, who is called Christ?" "He should be crucified!" they all said. 23 Pilate asked, "Why? What has he done wrong?" But they began to shout loudly, "He should be crucified!" 24 Pilate saw that he was not getting anywhere. Instead, a riot was breaking out. So Pilate took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. He said, "I won't be guilty of killing this man. Do what you want!" 25 All the people answered, "The responsibility for killing him will rest on us and our children." 26 Then Pilate freed Barabbas for the people. But he had Jesus whipped and handed over to be crucified. 27 Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the palace and gathered the whole troop around him. 28 They took off his clothes and put a bright red cape on him. 29 They twisted some thorns into a crown, placed it on his head, and put a stick in his right hand. They knelt in front of him and made fun of him by saying, "Long live the king of the Jews!" 30 After they had spit on him, they took the stick and kept hitting him on the head with it. 31 After the soldiers finished making fun of Jesus, they took off the cape and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. 32 On the way they found a man named Simon. He was from the city of Cyrene. The soldiers forced him to carry Jesus' cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means "the place of the skull"). 34 They gave him a drink of wine mixed with a drug called gall. When he tasted it, he refused to drink it. 35 After they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice. 36 Then they sat there and kept watch over him. 37 They placed a written accusation above his head. It read, "This is Jesus, the king of the Jews." 38 At that time they crucified two criminals with him, one on his right and the other on his left. 39 Those who passed by insulted him. They shook their heads 40 and said, "You were going to tear down God's temple and build it again in three days. Save yourself! If you're the Son of God, come down from the cross." 41 The chief priests together with the scribes and the leaders made fun of him in the same way. They said, 42 "He saved others, but he can't save himself. So he's Israel's king! Let him come down from the cross now, and we'll believe him. 43 He trusted God. Let God rescue him now if he wants. After all, this man said, 'I am the Son of God.'" 44 Even the criminals crucified with him were insulting him the same way. 45 At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 About three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" 47 When some of the people standing there heard him say that, they said, "He's calling Elijah." 48 One of the men ran at once, took a sponge, and soaked it in some vinegar. Then he put it on a stick and offered Jesus a drink. 49 The others said, "Leave him alone! Let's see if Elijah comes to save him." 50 Then Jesus loudly cried out once again and gave up his life. 51 Suddenly, the curtain in the temple was split in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split open. 52 The tombs were opened, and the bodies of many holy people who had died came back to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after he had come back to life, and they went into the holy city where they appeared to many people. 54 An army officer and those watching Jesus with him saw the earthquake and the other things happening. They were terrified and said, "Certainly, this was the Son of God!" 55 Many women were there watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee and had always supported him. 56 Among them were Mary from Magdala, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and the mother of Zebedee's sons. 57 In the evening a rich man named Joseph arrived. He was from the city of Arimathea and had become a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60 Then he laid it in his own new tomb, which had been cut in a rock. After rolling a large stone against the door of the tomb, he went away. 61 Mary from Magdala and the other Mary were sitting there, facing the tomb. 62 The next day, which was the day of worship, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together and went to Pilate. 63 They said, "Sir, we remember how that deceiver said while he was still alive, 'After three days I will be brought back to life.' 64 Therefore, give the order to make the tomb secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may steal him and say to the people, 'He has been brought back to life.' Then the last deception will be worse than the first." 65 Pilate told them, "You have the soldiers you want for guard duty. Go and make the tomb as secure as you know how." 66 So they went to secure the tomb. They placed a seal on the stone and posted the soldiers on guard duty.
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