Then the whole assembly rose and brought Him to Pilate, and began to accuse Him.
"We have found this man," they said, "an agitator among our nation, forbidding the payment of tribute to Caesar, and claiming to be himself an anointed king."
Then Pilate asked Him, "You, then, are the King of the Jews?" "It is as you say," He replied.
Pilate said to the High Priests and to the crowd, "I can find no crime in this man."
But they violently insisted. "He stirs up the people," they said, "throughout all Judaea with His teaching--even from Galilee (where He first started) to this city."
On hearing this, Pilate inquired, "Is this man a Galilaean?"
And learning that He belonged to Herod's jurisdiction he sent Him to Herod, for he too was in Jerusalem at that time.
To Herod the sight of Jesus was a great gratification, for, for a long time, he had been wanting to see Him, because he had heard so much about Him. He hoped also to see some miracle performed by Him.
So he put a number of questions to Him, but Jesus gave him no reply.
Meanwhile the High Priests and the Scribes were standing there and vehemently accusing Him.
Then, laughing to scorn the claims of Jesus, Herod (and his soldiers with him) made sport of Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous costume, and sent Him back to Pilate.
And on that very day Herod and Pilate became friends again, for they had been for some time at enmity.
Then calling together the High Priests and the Rulers and the people, Pilate said,
"You have brought this man to me on a charge of corrupting the loyalty of the people. But, you see, I have examined him in your presence and have discovered in the man no ground for the accusations which you bring against him.
No, nor does Herod; for he has sent him back to us; and, you see, there is nothing he has done that deserves death.
I will therefore give him a light punishment and release him."
Then the whole multitude burst out into a shout. "Away with this man," they said, "and release Barabbas to us"
--Barabbas! who had been lodged in jail for some time in connexion with a riot which had occurred in the city, and for murder.
But Pilate once more addressed them, wishing to set Jesus free.
They, however, persistently shouted, "Crucify, crucify him!"
A third time he appealed to them: "Why, what crime has the man committed? I have discovered in him nothing that deserves death. I will therefore give him a light punishment and release him."
But they urgently insisted, demanding with frantic outcries that He should be crucified; and their clamour prevailed.
So Pilate gave judgement, yielding to their demand.
The man who was lying in prison charged with riot and murder and for whom they clamoured he set free, but Jesus he gave up to be dealt with as they desired.
As soon as they led Him away, they laid hold on one Simon, a Cyrenaean, who was coming in from the country, and on his shoulders they put the cross, for him to carry it behind Jesus.
A vast crowd of the people also followed Him, and of women who were beating their breasts and wailing for Him.
But Jesus turned towards them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
For a time is coming when they will say, `Blessed are the women who never bore children, and the breasts which have never given nourishment.'
Then will they begin to say to the mountains, `Fall on us;' and to the hills, `Cover us.'
For if they are doing these things in the case of the green tree, what will be done in that of the dry?"
They brought also two others, criminals, to put them to death with Him.
When they reached the place called `The Skull,' there they nailed Him to the cross, and the criminals also, one at His right hand and one at His left.
Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing." And they divided His garments among them, drawing lots for them;
and the people stood looking on. The Rulers, too, repeatedly uttered their bitter taunts. "This fellow," they said, "saved others: let him save himself, if he is God's Anointed, the Chosen One."
And the soldiers also made sport of Him, coming and offering Him sour wine and saying,
"Are *you* the King of the Jews? Save yourself, then!"
There was moreover a writing over His head: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Now one of the criminals who had been crucified insulted Him, saying, "Are not you the Christ? Save yourself and us."
But the other, answering, reproved him. "Do you also not fear God," he said, "when you are actually suffering the same punishment?
And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving due requital for what we have done. But He has done nothing amiss."
And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come in your Kingdom."
"I tell you in solemn truth," replied Jesus, "that this very day you shall be with me in Paradise."
It was now about noon, and a darkness came over the whole country till three o'clock in the afternoon.
The sun was darkened, and the curtain of the Sanctuary was torn down the middle,
and Jesus cried out in a loud voice, and said, "Father, to Thy hands I entrust my spirit." And after uttering these words He yielded up His spirit.
The Captain, seeing what had happened, gave glory to God, saying, "Beyond question this man was innocent."
And all the crowds that had come together to this sight, after seeing all that had occurred, returned to the city beating their breasts.
But all His acquaintances, and the women who had been His followers after leaving Galilee, continued standing at a distance and looking on.
There was a member of the Council of the name of Joseph, a kind-hearted and upright man,
who came from the Jewish town of Arimathaea and was awaiting the coming of the Kingdom of God. He had not concurred in the design or action of the Council,
and now he went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
Then, taking it down, he wrapped it in a linen sheet and laid it in a tomb in the rock, where no one else had yet been put.
It was the Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was near at hand.
The women--those who had come with Jesus from Galilee--followed close behind, and saw the tomb and how His body was placed.
Then they returned, and prepared spices and perfumes. On the Sabbath they rested in obedience to the Commandment.