November 11, Luke 23, John 18-19

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23 Then their whole assembly rose up and brought him before Pilate. They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation, opposing payment of taxes to Caesar, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.”

So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

He answered him, “You say so.”

Pilate then told the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no grounds for charging this man.”

But they kept insisting, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he started even to here.”

When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man was a Galilean. Finding that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem during those days. Herod was very glad to see Jesus; for a long time he had wanted to see him because he had heard about him and was hoping to see some miracle performed by him. So he kept asking him questions, but Jesus did not answer him. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod, with his soldiers, treated him with contempt, mocked him, dressed him in bright clothing, and sent him back to Pilate. 12 That very day Herod and Pilate became friends. Previously, they had been enemies.

13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, 14 and said to them, “You have brought me this man as one who misleads the people. But in fact, after examining him in your presence, I have found no grounds to charge this man with those things you accuse him of. 15 Neither has Herod, because he sent him back to us. Clearly, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will have him whipped and then release him.”

18 Then they all cried out together, “Take this man away! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (He had been thrown into prison for a rebellion that had taken place in the city, and for murder.)

20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate addressed them again, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify! Crucify him!”

22 A third time he said to them, “Why? What has this man done wrong? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore, I will have him whipped and then release him.”

23 But they kept up the pressure, demanding with loud voices that he be crucified, and their voices won out. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand 25 and released the one they were asking for, who had been thrown into prison for rebellion and murder. But he handed Jesus over to their will.

26 As they led him away, they seized Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, and laid the cross on him to carry behind Jesus. 27 A large crowd of people followed him, including women who were mourning and lamenting him. 28 But turning to them, Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children. 29 Look, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the women without children, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two others—criminals—were also led away to be executed with him. 33 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided his clothes and cast lots.

35 The people stood watching, and even the leaders were scoffing: “He saved others; let him save himself if this is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him. They came offering him sour wine 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!”

38 An inscription was above him: This Is the King of the Jews.

39 Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment? 41 We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43 And he said to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three, 45 because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. 46 And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.” Saying this, he breathed his last.

47 When the centurion saw what happened, he began to glorify God, saying, “This man really was righteous!” 48 All the crowds that had gathered for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, went home, striking their chests. 49 But all who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

50 There was a good and righteous man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, 51 who had not agreed with their plan and action. He was from Arimathea, a Judean town, and was looking forward to the kingdom of God. 52 He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’s body. 53 Taking it down, he wrapped it in fine linen and placed it in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever been placed. 54 It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed along and observed the tomb and how his body was placed. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

John 18

18 After Jesus had said these things, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas took a company of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees and came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.

Then Jesus, knowing everything that was about to happen to him, went out and said to them, “Who is it that you’re seeking?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered.

“I am he,” Jesus told them.

Judas, who betrayed him, was also standing with them. When Jesus told them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground.

Then he asked them again, “Who is it that you’re seeking?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.

“I told you I am he,” Jesus replied. “So if you’re looking for me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the words he had said: “I have not lost one of those you have given me.”

10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)

11 At that, Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword away! Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given me?”

12 Then the company of soldiers, the commander, and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13 First they led him to Annas, since he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be better for one man to die for the people.

15 Simon Peter was following Jesus, as was another disciple. That disciple was an acquaintance of the high priest; so he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard. 16 But Peter remained standing outside by the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the girl who was the doorkeeper and brought Peter in.

17 Then the servant girl who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?”

“I am not,” he said. 18 Now the servants and the officials had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold. They were standing there warming themselves, and Peter was standing with them, warming himself.

19 The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching.

20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus answered him. “I have always taught in the synagogue and in the temple, where all the Jews gather, and I haven’t spoken anything in secret. 21 Why do you question me? Question those who heard what I told them. Look, they know what I said.”

22 When he had said these things, one of the officials standing by slapped Jesus, saying, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?”

23 “If I have spoken wrongly,” Jesus answered him, “give evidence about the wrong; but if rightly, why do you hit me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?”

He denied it and said, “I am not.”

26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” 27 Peter denied it again. Immediately a rooster crowed.

28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They did not enter the headquarters themselves; otherwise they would be defiled and unable to eat the Passover.

29 So Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring against this man?”

30 They answered him, “If this man weren’t a criminal, we wouldn’t have handed him over to you.”

31 Pilate told them, “You take him and judge him according to your law.”

“It’s not legal for us to put anyone to death,” the Jews declared. 32 They said this so that Jesus’s words might be fulfilled indicating what kind of death he was going to die.

33 Then Pilate went back into the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

34 Jesus answered, “Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about me?”

35 “I’m not a Jew, am I?” Pilate replied. “Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”

36 “My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”

37 “You are a king then?” Pilate asked.

“You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

38 “What is truth?” said Pilate.

After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no grounds for charging him. 39 You have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at the Passover. So, do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?”

40 They shouted back, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

John 19

19 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers also twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on his head, and clothed him in a purple robe. And they kept coming up to him and saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” and were slapping his face.

Pilate went outside again and said to them, “Look, I’m bringing him out to you to let you know I find no grounds for charging him.” Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

When the chief priests and the temple servants saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

Pilate responded, “Take him and crucify him yourselves, since I find no grounds for charging him.”

“We have a law,” the Jews replied to him, “and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this statement, he was more afraid than ever. He went back into the headquarters and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus did not give him an answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Don’t you know that I have the authority to release you and the authority to crucify you?”

11 “You would have no authority over me at all,” Jesus answered him, “if it hadn’t been given you from above. This is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”

12 From that moment Pilate kept trying to release him. But the Jews shouted, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Anyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar!”

13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside. He sat down on the judge’s seat in a place called the Stone Pavement (but in Aramaic, Gabbatha). 14 It was the preparation day for the Passover, and it was about noon. Then he told the Jews, “Here is your king!”

15 They shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your king?”

“We have no king but Caesar!” the chief priests answered.

16 Then he handed him over to be crucified.

Then they took Jesus away. 17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha18 There they crucified him and two others with him, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate also had a sign made and put on the cross. It said: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The king of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the king of the Jews.’”

22 Pilate replied, “What I have written, I have written.”

23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, a part for each soldier. They also took the tunic, which was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. 24 So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it, to see who gets it.” This happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled that says: They divided my clothes among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing. This is what the soldiers did.

25 Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

28 After this, when Jesus knew that everything was now finished that the Scripture might be fulfilled, he said, “I’m thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was sitting there; so they fixed a sponge full of sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it up to his mouth.

30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.

31 Since it was the preparation day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a special day). They requested that Pilate have the men’s legs broken and that their bodies be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other one who had been crucified with him. 33 When they came to Jesus, they did not break his legs since they saw that he was already dead. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. 35 He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows he is telling the truth. 36 For these things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: Not one of his bones will be broken. 37 Also, another Scripture says: They will look at the one they pierced.

38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus—but secretly because of his fear of the Jews—asked Pilate that he might remove Jesus’s body. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and took his body away. 39 Nicodemus (who had previously come to him at night) also came, bringing a mixture of about seventy-five pounds of myrrh and aloes. 40 They took Jesus’s body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the fragrant spices, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41 There was a garden in the place where he was crucified. A new tomb was in the garden; no one had yet been placed in it. 42 They placed Jesus there because of the Jewish day of preparation and since the tomb was nearby.

What a dark day in human history. The Jews insisted that Jesus be crucified, and he was. The creation was crucifying the creator. But what a glorious unfolding of the plan of God before the foundation of the world to have Jesus slain for the remission of sin, even the sin of the ones who crucified him.

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