When the dawn arrived, the chief priests and leaders consulted together against Jesus, so that they might effect His death. And having manacled Him, they led Him away, and delivered Him over to Pontius Pilate, the governor.
The Conscience-stricken Judas
(When Judas, who betrayed Him, saw that He was condemned, he was horrified, and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and leaders, exclaiming, "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood."
"What is that to us?" was their reply; "look out for yourself!"
He accordingly flung down the silver in the temple, ran away, and departing, he hanged himself. And the chief priests, picking up the money, said, "It is not allowable to add it to the sacred gifts, seeing that it is the price of blood." Then having consulted respecting it, they bought with it the potter's field, for the purpose of burying foreigners. That field has consequently been called, "The Blood Field" down to the present time. Thus was fulfilled the statement-delivered through Zechariah the prophet, which says, And I took the thirty pieces of silver—the amount of the valuation at which I was valued by the children of Israel — and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me.1)
Before Pontius Pilate
At festival-time, it was customary for the Governor to liberate one prisoner lor the people, whomsoever they desired. And they had then a notorious prisoner, named Barabbas. Pilate addressing them, therefore, asked, "Whom do you wish me to discharge? Barabbas, or Jesus, Whom they call the Messiah?" For he saw clearly that it was merely on account of malice that they had delivered Him. And while he was sitting in the court of justice, his own wife sent a message to him, saying, "Have nothing to do with this just Man; for I have endured much in a dream this morning on account of Him." The chief priests and elders, however, incited the mob to demand Barabbas, and execute Jesus. But the Governor, addressing them, asked, "Which of the two shall I set free for you?"
"Barabbas!" was their reply.
"Let Him be crucified I" was their unanimous reply.
"Why?" he asked; "what crime has He committed?"
In reply, they yelled out more savagely than before, "Let Him be crucified!"
Pilate then seeing that he gained nothing by it, but, on the contrary, that the riot increased, took water, and washed his hands in the presence of the mob, saying, "See, I am innocent of the blood of this just Man; look to it yourselves!"
Mocked by the Soldiers
The Governor's soldiers then taking Jesus into the Praetorium, mustered all the troops. And dressing Him up, they robed Him in a scarlet cloak; and platting a crown of thorns, they placed it upon His head, and put a cane in His right hand. Then kneeling before Him, they shouted out in ridicule "Long live the King of the Jews!" They also spat upon Him; and taking the cane, they struck Him with it upon the head. Then when they had scorned Him, they took the cloak from off Him, and clothed Him in His own garments, and led Him away to be crucified.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
When they were going out, they met a Cyrenian, Simon by name; whom they forced into their service, in order that he might carry His cross. On arriving at a place known by the name of Golgotha, which means Skullfield, they offered Him sour wine to drink, mixed with gall; but tasting it, He would not drink. Then, having crucified Him, they cast lots for the division of His garments among themselves. And sitting down they kept guard over Him there.
The passers-by also insulted Him, wagging their heads, and calling out, "You demolisher of the temple, and rebuilder of it in three days, now save Yourself, if You can! If You are a son of a god, come down from the cross!" In the same way, the chief priests, with the professors and elders, derided Him, saying, "He saved others; He cannot save Himself! If He is the King of Israel, let Him come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him! He trusted upon God, let Him now rescue Him, if He wants Him; for He asserted, 'I am a Son of God.'" And even the robbers who were crucified along with Him reproached Him in the same way.
Then from mid-day until three o'clock in the afternoon darkness spread over all the land; and about three o'clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, exclaiming, "Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani? "that is, "O My God! My God! to what have You forsaken Me?" And some of the by- standers, on hearing that, remarked, "He seems to call for Elijah." And at once one from among them ran, and taking a sponge, filled it with sour wine; and placing it upon a cane, gave Him a drink. But the others called out, "Let Him alone! Let us see whether Elijah will come and save Him!" But another taking a spear pierced His side, when blood and water came out. Jesus, however, having again called out with a loud voice, resigned His spirit.
The Sequel to the Crucifixion
And then the veil of the temple was torn into two from the top to the bottom; while the earth was shaken, and the rocks were split. [The tombs were also opened, and many bodies of the saintly sleepers were raised; and coming out of the tombs, after His resurrection, they entered the holy city, and were seen by many.]2
Then the captain, and those who were along with Him, guarding Jesus, perceiving the earthquake and these other events became dreadfully frightened, exclaiming, "In very truth this was a son of a god!" And many women, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, attending to Him, were looking on from a distance. Among these were Mary, the Magdalene; and Mary, the mother of James and Joses; as well as the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
When the evening arrived, there came from Arimathaea, a rich man, named Joseph, who had himself also been taught by Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered the body to be given up. Joseph accordingly taking the corpse, wrapped it in a fine linen shroud, and placed it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and having rolled a large stone to the door of the tomb, he went away. Mary, the Magdalene, and the other Mary, however, kept sitting opposite the tomb.
Making Assurance Doubly Sure
Now on the morning following the preparation for the festival, the chief priests and the Pharisees assembled before Pilate, stating, "Sir, we remember that this Impostor said when He was alive, 'After three days I shall rise again.' Order, therefore, the tomb to be secured until the third day; for fear His disciples, coming, should steal Him, and say to the mob, 'He arose from the dead.' Thus the last imposture will be worse than the first."
- Zech. 11:12
- Ch. 27 vers. 52 — are evidently an early note of a transcriber, and not a part of the original text.—F.F.
Transcribed by Mark Hicks on 01-02-2015