John 18-19 The Voice (VOICE)
18 When Jesus finished praying, He began a brief journey with His disciples to the other side of the Kidron Valley, a deep ravine that floods in the winter rains, then farther on to a garden where He gathered His disciples.
2-3 Judas Iscariot (who had already set his betrayal in motion and knew that Jesus often met with the disciples in this olive grove) entered the garden with an entourage of Roman soldiers and officials sent by the chief priests and Pharisees. They brandished their weapons under the light of torches and lamps. 4 Jesus stepped forward. It was clear He was not surprised because He knew all things.
Jesus: Whom are you looking for?
Judas’s Entourage: 5 Jesus the Nazarene.
Jesus: I am the One.
Judas, the betrayer, stood with the military force. 6 As Jesus spoke “I am the One,” the forces fell back on the ground. 7 Jesus asked them a second time:
Jesus: Whom are you searching for?
Judas’s Entourage: Jesus the Nazarene.
Jesus: 8 I have already said that I am the One. If you are looking for Me, then let these men go free.
9 This happened to fulfill the promise He made that none of those entrusted to Him will be lost.[a] 10 Suddenly Peter lunged toward Malchus, one of the high priest’s servants; and with his sword, Peter severed the man’s right ear.
Jesus (to Peter): 11 Put down your sword, and return it to the sheath. Am I to turn away from the cup the Father has given Me to drink?
12 So the Roman commander, soldiers, and Jewish officials arrested Jesus, cuffed His hands and feet, 13 and brought Him to Annas (the father-in-law of Caiaphas the high priest). 14 You may remember that Caiaphas counseled the Jews that one should die for all people. 15-16 Simon Peter and another disciple followed behind Jesus. When they arrived, Peter waited in the doorway while the other disciple was granted access because of his relationship with the high priest. That disciple spoke to the woman at the door, and Peter was allowed inside.
Servant Girl (to Peter): 17 You are one of this man’s disciples, aren’t you?
Peter: I am not.
18 All the servants and officers gathered around a charcoal fire to keep warm. It was a cold day, and Peter made his way into the circle to warm himself.
Annas (to Jesus): 19 Who are Your disciples, and what do You teach?
Jesus: 20 I have spoken in public where the world can hear, always teaching in the synagogue and in the temple where the Jewish people gather. I have never spoken in secret. 21 So why would you need to interrogate Me? Many have heard Me teach. Why don’t you question them? They know what I have taught.
22 While Jesus offered His response, an officer standing nearby struck Jesus with his hand.
Officer: Is that how You speak to the high priest?
Jesus: 23 If I have spoken incorrectly, why don’t you point out the untruths that I speak? Why do you hit Me if what I have said is correct?
24 Annas sent Jesus to Caiaphas bound as a prisoner. 25 As this was happening, Peter was still warming himself by the fire.
Servants and Officers: You, too, are one of His disciples, aren’t you?
Peter: No, I am not.
Initially, Pilate tells the Jewish leaders to take Jesus and try Him according to Jewish law, but when they hint at capital charges, Pilate agrees to interrogate Jesus as a traitor to the empire. Rome reserves the right to decide who lives and dies in the provinces. They don’t delegate that to the Jewish high council. The charge of blasphemy carries no weight in Roman jurisprudence, for it is a matter of Jewish religious law. Rome has no opinion on such matters. So a new charge must be concocted, a charge that Rome does care about. Rome does care about taxes, of course, and takes a dim view of anyone making royal claims under their noses.
Pilate agrees to hear the charge, not wasting a Roman minute. He takes Jesus inside and begins asking Him about these charges. Pilate can’t handle the truth when he asks, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus is the King of the Jews, and that is the truth. But as Jesus knows, the world doesn’t recognize His kingdom. That’s because it is sourced in heaven above, not in Rome. His authority comes from God the Father, Creator, Sustainer—not from the Roman senate.
26 One of the high priest’s servants who was related to Malchus—the person Peter attacked and cut off his ear—recognized Peter.
High Priest’s Servant: Didn’t I see you in the garden with Him?
27 Peter denied it again, and instantly a rooster crowed.
28 Before the sun had risen, Jesus was taken from Caiaphas to the governor’s palace. The Jewish leaders would not enter the palace because their presence in a Roman office would defile them and cause them to miss the Passover feast. Pilate, the governor, met them outside.
Now Caiaphas is high priest at this time. The sacred office he occupies has been corrupted for more than a century by Jewish collaboration with Greeks and Romans. Reformers are few, and they have been unable to cleanse the high office from its pollutants. Because of this, many Jews have stopped coming to the temple. How can God’s holy habitation on earth be pure if its primary representative is coddling the enemies of Israel? Caiaphas knows he needs friends in high places to put an end to Jesus, so he turns to Pilate, the Roman governor. It is Pilate’s job to look out for Roman interests in Judea. He is an irritable man, unnecessarily cruel and intentionally provocative. Many Jews will die on his watch. For Pilate, Jesus is just one more.
Pilate: 29 What charges do you bring against this man?
Priests and Officials: 30 If He weren’t a lawbreaker, we wouldn’t have brought Him to you.
Pilate: 31 Then judge Him yourselves, by your own law.
Jews: Our authority does not allow us to give Him the death penalty.
32 All these things were a fulfillment of the words Jesus had spoken indicating the way that He would die. 33 So Pilate reentered the governor’s palace and called for Jesus to follow him.
Pilate: Are You the King of the Jews?
Jesus: 34 Are you asking Me because you believe this is true, or have others said this about Me?
Pilate: 35 I’m not a Jew, am I? Your people, including the chief priests, have arrested You and placed You in my custody. What have You done?
Jesus: 36 My kingdom is not recognized in this world. If this were My kingdom, My servants would be fighting for My freedom. But My kingdom is not in this physical realm.
Pilate: 37 So You are a king?
Jesus: You say that I am king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the cosmos: to demonstrate the power of truth. Everyone who seeks truth hears My voice.
Pilate (to Jesus): 38 What is truth?
Pilate left Jesus to go and speak to the Jewish people.
Pilate (to the Jews): I have not found any cause for charges to be brought against this man. 39 Your custom is that I should release a prisoner to you each year in honor of the Passover celebration; shall I release the King of the Jews to you?
Jews: 40 No, not this man! Give us Barabbas!
You should know that Barabbas was a terrorist.
19 Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted thorny branches together as a crown and placed it onto His brow and wrapped Him in a purple cloth. 3 They drew near to Him, shouting:
Soldiers (striking at Jesus): Bow down, everyone! This is the King of the Jews!
Pilate (going out to the crowd): 4 Listen, I stand in front of you with this man to make myself clear: I find this man innocent of any crimes.
5 Then Jesus was paraded out before the people, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.
Pilate: Here is the man!
Chief Priests and Officers (shouting): 6 Crucify, crucify!
Pilate: You take Him and crucify Him; I have declared Him not guilty of any punishable crime!
Jews: 7 Our law says that He should die because He claims to be the Son of God.
8 Pilate was terrified to hear the Jews making their claims for His execution; 9 so he retired to his court, the Praetorium.
Pilate (to Jesus): Where are You from?
Jesus did not speak.
Pilate: 10 How can You ignore me? Are You not aware that I have the authority either to free You or to crucify You?
Jesus: 11 Any authority you have over Me comes from above, not from your political position. Because of this, the one who handed Me to you is guilty of the greater sin.
12 Pilate listened to Jesus’ words. Taking them to heart, he attempted to release Jesus; but the Jews opposed him, shouting:
Jews: If you release this man, you have betrayed Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king threatens Caesar’s throne.
13 After Pilate heard these accusations, he sent Jesus out and took his seat in the place where he rendered judgment. This place was called the Pavement, or Gabbatha in Hebrew. 14 All this occurred at the sixth hour on the day everyone prepares for the Passover.
Pilate (to the Jews): Look, here is your King!
Jews: 15 Put Him away; crucify Him!
Pilate: You want me to crucify your King?
Chief Priests: We have no king but Caesar!
16 Pilate handed Him over to his soldiers, knowing that He would be crucified. 17 They sent Jesus out carrying His own instrument of execution, the cross, to a hill known as the Place of the Skull, or Golgotha in Hebrew. 18 In that place, they crucified Him along with two others. One was on His right and the other on His left. 19 Pilate ordered that a plaque be placed above Jesus’ head. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Because the site was near an urban region, it was written in three languages (Greek, Latin, and Hebrew) so that all could understand.
Chief Priests (to Pilate): 21 Don’t write, “The King of the Jews.” Write, “He said, ‘I am King of the Jews’!”
Pilate: 22 I have written what I have written.
23 As Jesus was being crucified, the soldiers tore His outer garments into four pieces, one for each of them. They wanted to do the same with His tunic, but it was seamless—one piece of fabric woven from the top down. 24 So they said,
Soldier (to other soldiers): Don’t tear it. Let’s cast lots, and the winner will take the whole thing.
This happened in keeping with the Hebrew Scriptures, which said, “They divided My outer garments and cast lots for My clothes.”[b] These soldiers did exactly what was foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures. 25 Jesus’ mother was standing next to His cross along with her sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 Jesus looked to see His mother and the disciple He loved standing nearby.
Jesus (to Mary, His mother): Dear woman, this is your son (motioning to the beloved disciple)! 27 (to John, His disciple) This is now your mother.
Now you know who “the beloved disciple” is: the last eyewitness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Mary has become family to John, fulfilling the dying wish of Jesus, his Savior. For those who are gathered at the foot of the cross, family is less about blood kinship than it is about covenant obedience.
The mother of the Lord will serve the redemptive purposes of her son and the Savior of the world until her last day on earth. Anyone feeling sorry for himself should think about Jesus. He spent all this time before His death, and through His death, demonstrating how to love and how to serve. He is asking John to do no more in serving Mary than He did in serving us.
From that moment, the disciple treated her like his own mother and welcomed her into his house. 28 Jesus knew now that His work had been accomplished, and the Hebrew Scriptures were being fulfilled.
Jesus: I am thirsty.
29 A jar of sour wine had been left there, so they took a hyssop branch with a sponge soaked in the vinegar and put it to His mouth. 30 When Jesus drank, He spoke:
Jesus: It is finished!
In that moment, His head fell; and He gave up the spirit. 31 The Jews asked Pilate to have their legs broken so the bodies would not remain on the crosses on the Sabbath. It was the day of preparation for the Passover, and that year the Passover fell on the Sabbath. 32 The soldiers came and broke the legs of both the men crucified next to Jesus. 33 When they came up to Jesus’ cross, they could see that He was dead; so they did not break His legs. 34 Instead, one soldier took his spear and pierced His abdomen, which brought a gush of blood and water.
35 This testimony is true. In fact, it is an eyewitness account; and he has reported what he saw so that you also may believe. 36 It happened this way to fulfill the Hebrew Scriptures that “not one of His bones shall be broken”;[c] 37 and the Hebrew Scriptures also say, “They will look upon Him whom they pierced.”[d]
38 After all this, Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple who kept his faith a secret for fear of the Jewish officials, made a request to Pilate for the body of Jesus. Pilate granted his request, and Joseph retrieved the body. 39 Nicodemus, who first came to Jesus under the cloak of darkness, brought over 100 pounds of myrrh and ointments for His burial. 40 Together, they took Jesus’ body and wrapped Him in linens soaked in essential oils and spices, according to Jewish burial customs.
41 Near the place He was crucified, there was a garden with a newly prepared tomb. 42 Because it was the day of preparation, they arranged to lay Jesus in this tomb so they could rest on the Sabbath.
John 18-19 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
18 After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” 5 They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.”[a] Jesus replied, “I am he.”[b] Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus[c] said to them, “I am he,”[d] they stepped back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”[e] 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he.[f] So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. 11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
Jesus before the High Priest
12 So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.
Peter Denies Jesus
15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. 17 The woman said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.
The High Priest Questions Jesus
19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. 20 Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Peter Denies Jesus Again
25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.
Jesus before Pilate
28 Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters.[g] It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters,[h] so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The Jews replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” 32 (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)
33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters[i] again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” 35 Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” 37 Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”
Jesus Sentenced to Death
After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him. 39 But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 40 They shouted in reply, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a bandit.
19 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. 3 They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.”
8 Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. 9 He entered his headquarters[j] again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” 12 From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.”
13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat[k] on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew[l] Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.” 16 Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
So they took Jesus; 17 and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew[m] is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth,[n] the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew,[o] in Latin, and in Greek. 21 Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” 23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. 24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says,
“They divided my clothes among themselves,
25 And that is what the soldiers did.
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, 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 own home.
28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus’ Side Is Pierced
31 Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, 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[p] that he tells the truth.) 36 These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” 37 And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”
The Burial of Jesus
38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. 39 Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.