But they kept shouting back, "Crucify! Crucify him!
He tried a third time. "But for what crime? I've found nothing in him deserving death. I'm going to warn him to watch his step and let him go."
But they kept at it, a shouting mob, demanding that he be crucified. And finally they shouted him down.
Pilate caved in and gave them what they wanted.
He released the man thrown in prison for rioting and murder, and gave them Jesus to do whatever they wanted.
As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus.
A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on.
At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, don't cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children.
The time is coming when they'll say, 'Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!'
Then they'll start calling to the mountains, 'Fall down on us!' calling to the hills, 'Cover us up!'
If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they'll do with deadwood?"
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)