Then the whole group stood up and led Jesus to Pilate.
They began to accuse Jesus, saying, "We caught this man telling things that mislead our people. He says that we should not pay taxes to Caesar, and he calls himself the Christ, a king."
Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Those are your words."
Pilate said to the leading priests and the people, "I find nothing against this man."
They were insisting, saying, "But Jesus makes trouble with the people, teaching all around Judea. He began in Galilee, and now he is here."
Pilate heard this and asked if Jesus was from Galilee.
Since Jesus was under Herod's authority, Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, who was in Jerusalem at that time.
When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, because he had heard about Jesus and had wanted to meet him for a long time. He was hoping to see Jesus work a miracle.
Herod asked Jesus many questions, but Jesus said nothing.
The leading priests and teachers of the law were standing there, strongly accusing Jesus.
After Herod and his soldiers had made fun of Jesus, they dressed him in a kingly robe and sent him back to Pilate.
In the past, Pilate and Herod had always been enemies, but on that day they became friends.
Pilate called the people together with the leading priests and the Jewish leaders.
He said to them, "You brought this man to me, saying he makes trouble among the people. But I have questioned him before you all, and I have not found him guilty of what you say.
Also, Herod found nothing wrong with him; he sent him back to us. Look, he has done nothing for which he should die.
So, after I punish him, I will let him go free."
But the people shouted together, "Take this man away! Let Barabbas go free!"
(Barabbas was a man who was in prison for his part in a riot in the city and for murder.)
Pilate wanted to let Jesus go free and told this to the crowd.
But they shouted again, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
A third time Pilate said to them, "Why? What wrong has he done? I can find no reason to kill him. So I will have him punished and set him free."
But they continued to shout, demanding that Jesus be crucified. Their yelling became so loud that
Pilate decided to give them what they wanted.
He set free the man who was in jail for rioting and murder, and he handed Jesus over to them to do with him as they wished.
As they led Jesus away, Simon, a man from Cyrene, was coming in from the fields. They forced him to carry Jesus' cross and to walk behind him.
A large crowd of people was following Jesus, including some women who were sad and crying for him.
But Jesus turned and said to them, "Women of Jerusalem, don't cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children.
The time is coming when people will say, 'Happy are the women who cannot have children and who have no babies to nurse.'
Then people will say to the mountains, 'Fall on us!' And they will say to the hills, 'Cover us!'
If they act like this now when life is good, what will happen when bad times come?"
There were also two criminals led out with Jesus to be put to death.
When they came to a place called the Skull, the soldiers crucified Jesus and the criminals -- one on his right and the other on his left.
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, because they don't know what they are doing." The soldiers threw lots to decide who would get his clothes.
The people stood there watching. And the leaders made fun of Jesus, saying, "He saved others. Let him save himself if he is God's Chosen One, the Christ."
The soldiers also made fun of him, coming to Jesus and offering him some vinegar.
They said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!"
At the top of the cross these words were written: this is the king of the jews.
One of the criminals on a cross began to shout insults at Jesus: "Aren't you the Christ? Then save yourself and us."
But the other criminal stopped him and said, "You should fear God! You are getting the same punishment he is.
We are punished justly, getting what we deserve for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong."
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Jesus said to him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
It was about noon, and the whole land became dark until three o'clock in the afternoon,
because the sun did not shine. The curtain in the Templen was torn in two.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, I give you my life." After Jesus said this, he died.
When the army officer there saw what happened, he praised God, saying, "Surely this was a good man!"
When all the people who had gathered there to watch saw what happened, they returned home, beating their chests because they were so sad.
But those who were close friends of Jesus, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance and watched.
There was a good and religious man named Joseph who was a member of the Jewish council.
But he had not agreed to the other leaders' plans and actions against Jesus. He was from the Jewish town of Arimathea and was waiting for the kingdom of God to come.
Joseph went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus.
He took the body down from the cross, wrapped it in cloth, and put it in a tomb that was cut out of a wall of rock. This tomb had never been used before.
This was late on Preparation Day, and when the sun went down, the Sabbath day would begin.
The women who had come from Galilee with Jesus followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how Jesus' body was laid.
Then the women left to prepare spices and perfumes. On the Sabbath day they rested, as the law of Moses commanded.
Very early on the first day of the week, at dawn, the women came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared.
They found the stone rolled away from the entrance of the tomb,
but when they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were wondering about this, two men in shining clothes suddenly stood beside them.
The women were very afraid and bowed their heads to the ground. The men said to them, "Why are you looking for a living person in this place for the dead?
He is not here; he has risen from the dead. Do you remember what he told you in Galilee?
He said the Son of Man must be handed over to sinful people, be crucified, and rise from the dead on the third day."
Then the women remembered what Jesus had said.
The women left the tomb and told all these things to the eleven apostles and the other followers.
It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and some other women who told the apostles everything that had happened at the tomb.
But they did not believe the women, because it sounded like nonsense.
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Bending down and looking in, he saw only the cloth that Jesus' body had been wrapped in. Peter went away to his home, wondering about what had happened.
That same day two of Jesus' followers were going to a town named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.
They were talking about everything that had happened.
While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and began walking with them,
but they were kept from recognizing him.
Then he said, "What are these things you are talking about while you walk?" The two followers stopped, looking very sad.
The one named Cleopas answered, "Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who does not know what just happened there?"
Jesus said to them, "What are you talking about?" They said, "About Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet who said and did many powerful things before God and all the people.
Our leaders and the leading priests handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would free Israel. Besides this, it is now the third day since this happened.
And today some women among us amazed us. Early this morning they went to the tomb,
but they did not find his body there. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels who said that Jesus was alive!
So some of our group went to the tomb, too. They found it just as the women said, but they did not see Jesus."
Then Jesus said to them, "You are foolish and slow to believe everything the prophets said.
They said that the Christ must suffer these things before he enters his glory."
Then starting with what Moses and all the prophets had said about him, Jesus began to explain everything that had been written about himself in the Scriptures.
They came near the town of Emmaus, and Jesus acted as if he were going farther.
But they begged him, "Stay with us, because it is late; it is almost night." So he went in to stay with them.
When Jesus was at the table with them, he took some bread, gave thanks, divided it, and gave it to them.
And then, they were allowed to recognize Jesus. But when they saw who he was, he disappeared.
They said to each other, "It felt like a fire burning in us when Jesus talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us."
So the two followers got up at once and went back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven apostles and others gathered.
They were saying, "The Lord really has risen from the dead! He showed himself to Simon."
Then the two followers told what had happened on the road and how they recognized Jesus when he divided the bread.
While the two followers were telling this, Jesus himself stood right in the middle of them and said, "Peace be with you."
They were fearful and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost.
But Jesus said, "Why are you troubled? Why do you doubt what you see?
Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have a living body as you see I have."
After Jesus said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
While they still could not believe it because they were amazed and happy, Jesus said to them, "Do you have any food here?"
They gave him a piece of broiled fish.
While the followers watched, Jesus took the fish and ate it.
He said to them, "Remember when I was with you before? I said that everything written about me must happen -- everything in the law of Moses, the books of the prophets, and the Psalms."
Then Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
He said to them, "It is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day
and that a change of hearts and lives and forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all nations, starting at Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
I will send you what my Father has promised, but you must stay in Jerusalem until you have received that power from heaven."
Jesus led his followers as far as Bethany, and he raised his hands and blessed them.
While he was blessing them, he was separated from them and carried into heaven.
They worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem very happy.
They stayed in the Temple all the time, praising God.