The Passion Translation
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
18 After Jesus finished this prayer; he left with his disciples and went across the Kidron Valley[a] to a place where there was a garden.[b] 2 Judas, the traitor, knew where this place was, for Jesus had gone there often with his disciples. 3 The Pharisees and the leading priests had given Judas a large detachment[c] of Roman soldiers and temple police to seize Jesus. Judas guided them to the garden, all of them carrying torches and lanterns and armed with swords and spears.[d] 4 Jesus, knowing full well what was about to happen, went out to the garden entrance to meet them. Stepping forward, he asked, “Who are you looking for?”
5 “Jesus of Nazareth,”[e] they replied. (Now Judas, the traitor, was among them.)
He replied, “I am he.”
6 And the moment Jesus spoke the words, “I am he,” the mob fell backward to the ground![f]
7 So once more, Jesus asked them, “Who are you looking for?”
As they stood up, they answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
8 Jesus replied, “I told you that I am the one you’re looking for, so if you want me, let these men go home.”[g]
9 He said this to fulfill the prophecy he had spoken, “Father, not one of those you have given me has been lost.”[h]
11 Jesus ordered Peter, “Put your sword away! Do you really think I will avoid the suffering[k] which my Father has assigned to me?”
Jesus Is Taken before Annas
12 Then the soldiers and their captain, along with the Jewish officers, seized Jesus and tied him up. 13 They took him first to Annas,[l] as he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.[m] 14 Caiaphas was the one who had persuaded the Jewish leaders that it would be better off to have one person die for the sake of the people.[n]
Peter’s First Denial
15 Peter and another disciple followed along behind them as they took Jesus into the courtyard of Annas’ palace. Since the other disciple was well known to the high priest, he entered in,[o] 16 but Peter was left standing outside by the gate. Then the other disciple came back out to the servant girl who was guarding the gate and convinced her to allow Peter inside. 17 As he passed inside, the young servant girl guarding the gate took a look at Peter and said to him, “Aren’t you one of his disciples?”
He denied it, saying, “No! I’m not!”
18 Now because it was cold, the soldiers and guards made a charcoal fire and were standing around it to keep warm. So Peter huddled there with them around the fire.
Jesus Interrogated by Annas
19 The high priest interrogated Jesus concerning his disciples[p] and his teachings.
20 Jesus answered Annas’ questions by saying, “I have said nothing in secret. At all times I have taught openly and publicly in a synagogue, in the temple courts, and wherever the people assemble. 21 Why would you ask me for evidence to condemn me? Ask those who have heard what I’ve taught. They can tell you.”
22 Just then one of the guards standing near Jesus punched him in the face with his fist[q] and said, “How dare you answer the high priest like that!”
23 Jesus replied, “If my words are evil, then prove it. But if I haven’t broken any laws, then why would you hit me?”
24 Then Annas sent Jesus, still tied up, across the way to the high priest Caiaphas.
Peter’s Second and Third Denials
25 Meanwhile, Peter was still standing in the courtyard by the fire. And one of the guards standing there said to him, “Aren’t you one of his disciples? I know you are!” Peter swore[r] and said, “I am not his disciple!” 26 But one of the servants of the high priest, a relative to the man whose ear Peter had cut off, looked at him and said, “Wait! Didn’t I see you out there in the garden with Jesus?” 27 Then Peter denied it the third time and said, “No!”—and at that very same moment, a rooster crowed nearby.
Pilate Questions Jesus’ Arrest
28 Before dawn they took Jesus from his trial before Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s palace.[s] Now the Jews refused to go into the Roman governor’s residence to avoid ceremonial defilement before eating the Passover meal. 29 So Pilate came outside where they waited and asked them pointedly, “Tell me, what exactly is the accusation[t] that you bring against this man? What has he done?”
30 They answered, “We wouldn’t be coming here to hand over[u] this ‘criminal’ to you if he wasn’t guilty of some wrongdoing!”
31 Pilate said, “Very well, then you take him yourselves and go pass judgment on him according to your Jewish laws!”
But the Jewish leaders complained and said, “We don’t have legal authority to put anyone to death. You should have him crucified!”[v] 32 (This was to fulfill the words of Jesus when he predicted the manner of death that he would die.)
Pilate Interrogates Jesus
33 Upon hearing this, Pilate went back inside his palace and summoned Jesus. Looking him over, Pilate asked him, “Are you really the king of the Jews?”
34 Jesus replied, “Are you asking because you really want to know,[w] or are you only asking this because others have said it about me?”
35 Pilate responded, “Only a Jew would care about this; do I look like a Jew? It’s your own people and your religious leaders that have handed you over to me. So tell me, Jesus, what have you done wrong?”
36 Jesus looked at Pilate and said, “The royal power of my kingdom realm doesn’t come from this world. If it did, then my followers would be fighting to the end to defend me from the Jewish leaders. My kingdom realm authority is not[x] from this realm.”[y]
37 Then Pilate responded, “Oh, so then you are a king?”
“You are right.” Jesus said, “I was born a King, and I have come into this world to prove what truth really is. And everyone who loves the truth[z] will receive my words.”
38 Pilate looked at Jesus and said, “What is truth?”[aa]
As silence filled the room, Pilate went back out to where the Jewish leaders were waiting and said to them, “He’s not guilty. I couldn’t even find one fault with him.[ab] 39 Now, you do know that we have a custom that I release one prisoner every year at Passover—shall I release your king—the king of the Jews?”[ac]
40 They shouted out over and over, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!”[ad] (Now Barabbas was a robber and a troublemaker.)
Jesus Is Flogged
19 Then Pilate ordered Jesus to be brutally beaten with a whip of leather straps embedded with metal.[ae] 2 And the soldiers also wove thorn-branches into a crown and set it on his head and placed a purple[af] robe over his shoulders. 3 Then, one by one, they came in front of him to mock him by saying, “Hail, to the king of the Jews!” And one after the other, they repeatedly punched him in the face.[ag]
4 Once more Pilate went out and said to the Jewish officials, “I will bring him out once more so that you know that I’ve found nothing wrong with him.” 5 So when Jesus emerged, bleeding, wearing the purple robe and the crown of thorns on his head, Pilate said to them, “Look at him! Here is your man!”[ah]
6 No sooner did the high priests and the temple guards see Jesus that they all shouted in a frenzy, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Pilate replied, “You take him then and nail him to a cross yourselves! I told you—he’s not guilty! I find no reason to condemn him.”
7 The Jewish leaders shouted back, “But we have the Law! And according to our Law, he must die,[ai] because he claimed to be the Son of God!”
8 Then Pilate was greatly alarmed[aj] when he heard that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God! 9 So he took Jesus back inside and said to him, “Where have you come from?” But once again, silence filled the room. 10 Perplexed, Pilate said, “Are you going to play deaf? Don’t you know that I have the power to grant you your freedom or nail you to a tree?”
11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me at all, unless it was given to you from above. This is why the one who betrayed[ak] me is guilty of an even greater sin.”
12 From then on Pilate tried to find a way out of the situation and to set him free, but the Jewish authorities shouted him down: “If you let this man go, you’re no friend of Caesar! Anyone who declares himself a king is an enemy of the emperor!”[al]
13 So when Pilate heard this threat, he relented and had Jesus, who was torn and bleeding, brought outside. Then he went up the elevated stone platform and took his seat on the judgment bench—which in Aramaic is called Gabbatha,[am] or “The Bench.” 14 And it was now almost noon. And it was the same day they were preparing to slay the Passover lambs.[an]
Then Pilate said to the Jewish officials, “Look! Here is your king!”
15 But they screamed out, “Take him away! Take him away and crucify him!”
Pilate replied, “Shall I nail your king to a cross?”
The high priests answered, “We have no other king but Caesar!”
16 Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them. So the soldiers seized him and took him away to be crucified.
Jesus Is Crucified
17 Jesus carried his own cross out of the city to the place called “The Skull,” which in Aramaic is Golgotha. 18 And there they nailed him to the cross. He was crucified, along with two others, one on each side with Jesus in the middle. 19–20 Pilate had them post a sign over the cross, which was written in three languages—Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. Many of the people of Jerusalem read the sign, for he was crucified near the city. The sign stated: “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”[ao]
21 But the chief priests of the Jews[ap] said to Pilate, “You must change the sign! Don’t let it say, ‘King of the Jews,’ but rather—‘he claimed to be the King of the Jews!’ ” 22 Pilate responded, “What I have written will remain!”
23 Now when the soldiers crucified Jesus, they divided up his clothes into four shares, one for each of them. But his tunic was seamless, woven from the top to the bottom[aq] as a single garment. 24 So the soldiers said to each other, “Don’t tear it—let’s throw dice[ar] to see who gets it!” The soldiers did all of this not knowing they fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among them and gambled for my clothing.”[as]
25 Mary, Jesus’ mother, was standing next to his cross, along with Mary’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.[at] 26 So when Jesus looked down and saw the disciple he loved standing with her, he said, “Mother,[au] look—John[av] will be a son to you.” 27 Then he said, “John, look—she will be a mother to you!” From that day on, John accepted Mary into his home as one of his own family.[aw]
Jesus’ Death on the Cross
28 Jesus knew that his mission was accomplished, and to fulfill the Scripture,[ax] Jesus said: “I am thirsty.”
29 A jar of sour wine was sitting nearby, so they soaked a sponge with it and put it on the stalk of hyssop[ay] and raised it to his lips. 30 When he had sipped the sour wine, he said, “It is finished, my bride!”[az] Then he bowed his head and surrendered his spirit to God.
31 The Jewish leaders did not want the bodies of the victims to remain on the cross through the next day, since it was the day of preparation[ba] for a very important Sabbath. So they asked Pilate’s permission to have the victims’ legs broken to hasten their death[bb] and their bodies taken down before sunset. 32 So the soldiers broke the legs of the two men who were nailed there. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they realized that he had already died, so they decided not to break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers[bc] took a spear and pierced Jesus’ side, and blood and water gushed out.[bd]
35 (I, John,[be] do testify to the certainty of what took place, and I write the truth so that you might also believe.) 36 For all these things happened to fulfill the prophecies of the Scriptures:
38 After this, Joseph from the city of Ramah,[bh] who was a secret disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jewish authorities, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. So Pilate granted him permission to remove the body from the cross. 39 Now Nicodemus, who had once come to Jesus privately at night, accompanied Joseph, and together they carried a significant amount[bi] of myrrh and aloes to the cross. 40 Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in strips of linen with the embalming spices[bj] according to the Jewish burial customs. 41 Near the place where Jesus was crucified was a garden, and in the garden there was a new tomb where no one had yet been laid to rest. 42 And because the Sabbath was approaching, and the tomb was nearby, that’s where they laid the body of Jesus.[bk]
- 18:1 The Kidron ravine is the path David took when he was forced to flee Jerusalem because of the betrayal of his son Absalom. David went up the Mount of Olives weeping. Jesus went up also in sorrow. David went up to save himself; Jesus went up to save the people of the world.
- 18:1 This is the garden of Gethsemane, which means “olive press.” Jesus not only went to the garden to pray, but to be captured. He knew full well the Father’s plan. Just as Adam fell in a garden of paradise, Jesus stood faithful in a garden of betrayal.
- 18:3 The Greek and Aramaic word used for this company of soldiers implies quite a large number, up to five or six hundred men sent to arrest Jesus. Even his enemies knew his power was great.
- 18:3 The Greek word is “foot-soldiers’ weapons.”
- 18:5 Or “Jesus, the Nazarene.” This is the Aramaic word nussraya, which means “victorious one” or “heir of a powerful family.” The Hebrew word for “Nazareth” comes from the root word netzer, which means “branch.” See Isa. 4:2; 11:1.
- 18:6 This was a stunning event as the great I Am spoke his name before those who sought to seize him. It is obvious in the text that they did not trip over each other in surprise, for every one of these strong men fell backward to the ground by the power of God. Jesus was in charge that night as the captain of the host of the Lord. They could not seize him unless he permitted them to do so. What a wonderful Savior who willingly submitted to the hands of cruel men to bring us the gift of salvation.
- 18:8 “These men” were the eleven disciples who were with Jesus in the garden.
- 18:9 See John 6:39; 17:12.
- 18:10 This event is a vivid picture of what happens when we act impetuously and in anger. We hinder people’s ability to hear our message (we cut off their ear) when we walk in angry offense toward others.
- 18:10 Malchus’ name means “king.” Perhaps at the moment of healing his ear, Jesus personally revealed himself to Malchus in a supernatural way, the King who healed a king. Jesus is the true servant to the High Priest. We can imagine Jesus reaching out his hand to help Malchus up. And in an instant, Malchus believes. Malchus’ ears, both of them, are healed.
- 18:11 Or “Shall I not drink the cup (of suffering) assigned me by the Father?”
- 18:13 John is the only Gospel account that inserts this pre-trial meeting with Annas. He was the retired and illegal high priest.
- 18:13 Or “close friend to the high priest.” The priesthood was corrupt in the time of Jesus. It was not proper for two men to hold the office of high priest at the same time, as it apparently was done in Jesus’ day. They both were called high priest in this narrative. See John 18:19, 24.
- 18:14 See John 11:49–51.
- 18:15 Although it is impossible to determine who exactly was this other disciple, some have surmised it was John himself, or Nicodemus. If it was Nicodemus, as a leader among the Pharisees, this would explain his inclusion into the proceedings taking place that night.
- 18:19 It is interesting that Annas was concerned about Jesus’ disciples. The religious spirit is always concerned with impressive numbers and influence. Jesus only had twelve disciples who were always with him.
- 18:22 The Greek is simply “struck him.” This could have been with a rod, for the verb has an etymological connection to the word for “rod.” Most translators have chosen to use “struck [or ‘slapped’] with his hand.” Regardless, Jesus was beaten everywhere he went that night and the next morning until he was finally crucified.
- 18:25 As translated from the Aramaic. This is a very strong word that can also be translated “blasphemed.” God’s loving grace forgave Peter’s sin—and our sin.
- 18:28 The Greek is Praetorium, which is the transliteration of the Latin word meaning “general’s tent.” It became used for the Roman governor’s official residence.
- 18:29 The Aramaic word for “accusation” is similar to the word devil (“accuser”). Pilate is saying, “What the devil do you have against this man?”
- 18:30 The Aramaic word for “hand over” can also be translated “betray.”
- 18:31 Implied in the context and made explicit to clarify the illegality of the Jews to crucify Jesus. The Jewish law permitted death by stoning, not by crucifixion. The Scriptures had prophesied that he would be pierced and crucified. This was the cruel manner of death used by the Romans to execute the worst of criminals. For this reason they wanted Pilate to order his crucifixion. See John 12:32–34.
- 18:34 The Aramaic is “Have you spoken this from your soul?”
- 18:36 The Aramaic is “not yet from here.”
- 18:36 The Greek text is not “world,” but literally “this side” or “this realm.” The Aramaic word used here can be translated “not of this age.”
- 18:37 Or “everyone who is not deaf to the truth.” The Aramaic is “everyone who came from the truth.”
- 18:38 The Aramaic could be translated “Who is truth?” or “Who is the true prince?” This skepticism is still voiced today in postmodernism.
- 18:38 As translated from the Aramaic.
- 18:39 Pilate was not a saint. He was considered to be a corrupt and violent leader who would execute people without a trial. (Philo, De Legatione ad Caium, ed. Mangey, ii.590). He stole money from the temple treasury and brought pagan statues into Jerusalem, which caused riots and death to many. It was reported by the church father Eusebius (History Eccl. ii 7) that he was later banished to Vienna in Gaul, where he committed suicide.
- 18:40 Barabbas is an Aramaic name that means “son of the father.” He becomes a picture of every son of Adam, our father. Some believe this is a figure of speech, a nickname for one who has no known father, an illegitimate son. Both in Greek and Aramaic the word for “thief” or “robber” can also mean “one who leads an insurrection.”
- 19:1 This leather whip, embedded with sharpened pieces of bone and metal, was known as “the scorpion.” Historians record that many people never survived this cruel flogging. The whips were known to break open the flesh and cut through muscle and sinew all the way to the bone. It was his love for you that enabled him to endure such treatment.
- 19:2 The color purple has long symbolized royalty. Purple’s elite status stems from the rarity and cost of the dye originally used to produce it. Jesus is the true king for all eternity.
- 19:3 Or “they slapped his face” (Aramaic). He turned the other cheek and they slapped him on both sides of his face. See Isa. 53:5–7.
- 19:5 See Zech. 6:12.
- 19:7 They are most likely referring to Lev. 24:16.
- 19:8 The Aramaic is “his soul collapsed!”
- 19:11 Or “handed me over.” This is the same Greek verb translated “betray” in John 6:71. It would obviously point to Judas. However, some expositors believe it was Caiaphas who handed over Jesus to Pilate, and is referred to here. But in fact, it was the evil spirits of darkness who were controlling Pilate and moving in the hearts of all involved to crucify Jesus. These dark powers would be the ones to experience the tremendous judgment unleashed on them by the power of the cross and resurrection.
- 19:12 In essence, these words were a form of blackmail as the Jewish authorities were reminding Pilate that it would ruin his career if he pardoned Jesus. The term “friend of Caesar” was an honorific title given only to the ruling wealthy class of Romans who would have access to the emperor’s court. Many of these friends of Caesar were senators and members of the Equestrian Order, known also as the Knights. Pilate’s position was a political appointment due to his being a member of this elite class of Romans who took an oath of loyalty to Caesar. They were, in effect, threatening to inform Rome that Pilate was allowing treason in Caesar’s empire. As one historian remarked, “One false move and his appointment would be cancelled and his career finished” (P. Barnett, Jesus and the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times, Illinois: InterVarsity, 1999, p. 147). This overruled Pilate’s desire to set Jesus free. He went on to condemn him to death. To place your career over Jesus is never wise.
- 19:13 Gabbatha is an Aramaic compound word meaning “on the side of the house” (gab, “on the side,” and batha, “the house”). This would be a stone bench that was used by Pilate to issue sentence. See 2 Chron. 7:3; Ezek. 40:17.
- 19:14 Jesus, our Passover Lamb, would be crucified at the very moment Jewish priests were slaughtering lambs in the temple. See Ex. 12:6. Because there were so many lambs to be killed, the priesthood in that day extended the time of slaughter from noon to twilight—the very hours Jesus was on the cross.
- 19:19–20 Aramaic was the language of the common people in Israel. Hebrew ceased to be their spoken language after 450 BC, after the Jews returned from Babylon. Aramaic remained the language of Israel for nearly one thousand years. Latin was the official language of the Roman Empire. The inscription was also in Greek, for the Alexandrian Jews who had come to observe the Passover in Jerusalem would be unable to read Aramaic. The words were, “Jesus, the Nazarene, King of the Jews.” The first letters of each of the four words written on the sign in Aramaic (Hebrew) were: Y-H-W-H (Y’shua Hanozri Wumelech a Yehudim). To write these letters, YHWH (also known as the tetragrammaton), was the Hebrew form of writing the sacred name “Yahweh.” No wonder the chief priests were so offended by this sign and insisted that Pilate change it. This was a sign given to Israel, for over Jesus’ head on the cross was written, Y-H-W-H! God, the Savior, bled to death for you.
- 19:21 There is obvious irony in the Greek text of these two phrases, “King of the Jews” and “the chief priests of the Jews.” This is the only place John describes the priests in this way.
- 19:23 The Aramaic could be translated “his tunic was entirely woven from above.” Jesus’ tunic was an emblem of his perfect holiness and righteousness as one who came “from above.” As believers, we are now robed in that seamless garment of righteousness in Christ. They stripped the robe from Jesus and gambled over it at the cross. Many people are still gambling over their eternal souls—while others receive freely the blood-stained, seamless robe of perfect righteousness. Jesus was unclothed so that we could be robed in his glory.
- 19:24 Or “cast lots.” See also v. 25.
- 19:24 See Ps. 22:18.
- 19:25 Many scholars believe that Mary’s sister (Jesus’ aunt) was Salome. This would mean she was the wife of Zebedee and the mother of Jacob (James) and John (the writer of the Gospel of John). Furthermore, that would mean that Jacob (James) and John were cousins of Jesus. See also Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:40.
- 19:26 Or “woman.”
- 19:26 Although unnamed, this was most certainly John the apostle. John, the apostle of love, was the only one of the Twelve who stood near the cross and witnessed the crucifixion. Love doesn’t quit, run away, or hide from pain. It endures all things, overcomes all things, and empowers us in all things. John didn’t run from the suffering of the Savior. We must be those who will stand next to Jesus even if the entire world is against us.
- 19:27 Mary would be nearly fifty years old and a widow. What tenderness we see with Jesus toward his mother! Moments before his death, Jesus thought about Mary and her long journey back to Nazareth and that no one would be there to provide for her. Jesus deeply honored his mother.
- 19:28 See Pss. 22:15; 69:21. The Fountain of Living Water now thirsts for the souls of men and women to come to him. He thirsts for your friendship.
- 19:29 The hyssop branch points to the sacrificial death of Jesus. Hyssop is first mentioned in Ex. 12:22 in reference to the application of lamb’s blood upon the door posts of the homes of the Hebrews the night of Passover. Hyssop was also used for the cleansing of lepers and points to the cleansing of our souls that happened when Jesus was crucified for sinners (spiritual lepers). See Ps. 51:7; Heb. 9:19.
- 19:30 This is from the Hebrew word kalah, which has a homonym that means “fulfilled [completed]” and “bride.” Jesus finished the work of our salvation for his bride. This translation has combined both concepts. For a fascinating study of the Hebrew word used for “bride” and “finished,” with its universe of meaning, see Strong’s Concordance, Hb. 3615, 3616, 3617, 3618, and 3634. Although the completed work of salvation was finished on the cross, he continues to work through his church today to extend God’s kingdom realm on the earth and glorify the Father through us. He continues to work in us to accomplish all that his cross and resurrection have purchased for us, his bride. His cross fulfilled and finished the prophecies of the Messiah’s first coming to the earth. There was nothing written that was not fulfilled and now offered to his bride.
- 19:31 The Aramaic is “because it was Friday.”
- 19:31 Breaking his legs would prevent the one on a cross from lifting himself up and taking a deep breath. The victim would die sooner by suffocation. The Roman practice was to leave the bodies of the victims on the cross for a day or more as a warning to others. See Deut. 21:22–23.
- 19:34 Although unverifiable, church tradition indentifies the soldier to be Longinus, who later converted to Christ. One tradition holds to the belief that he was a Roman centurion suffering from an eye problem or blindness that was instantly healed when a drop of Jesus’ blood fell into his eye. See Christopher Fuhrmann, Policing the Roman Empire: Soldiers, Administration, and Public Order (Oxford University Press, reprint ed., 2014) 231; Malcolm Godwin, The Holy Grail: Its Origins, Secrets & Meaning Revealed (Viking Penguin, 1994), 51.
- 19:34 This becomes a picture of the cleansing by blood and the water of the Holy Spirit. However, water and blood both come forth when a baby is born. Christ gave birth on the cross to “sons.” He is the everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6), and you must have children to be a Father. We are all born again by the wounded side of Jesus Christ. He not only died for his bride, but he also gave birth to her at the cross.
- 19:35 Or “the person who saw this.” Although unnamed, it was John, the author of this narrative, who witnessed and testified to the truth of what happened.
- 19:36 See Ex. 12:46; Ps. 34:20.
- 19:37 See Zech. 12:10.
- 19:38 As translated from the Aramaic. Or Arimathea (Greek), which means “heights.” This was the likely birthplace of the prophet Samuel. Keep in mind that Joseph may have lost a son the age of Jesus when Herod killed all the babies.
- 19:39 Or “approximately one hundred pounds.” Some calculate this as Roman pounds weighing thirty kilograms. Others interpret the one hundred pounds to be closer to a liter, or less than one kilogram, which seems more appropriate considering the cost and weight of these valuable spices.
- 19:40 This was the myrrh and aloes, which were embalming spices.
- 19:42 See Isa. 53:9. Jesus’ body was laid on a bed of spices in a garden tomb. Death came upon the first Adam in the garden of Eden, but eternal life surged through the last Adam in the garden of the cross and his tomb. Man fell in a garden, but man now finds life in that empty garden tomb.
Seized in the Garden at Night
18 Jesus, having prayed this prayer, left with his disciples and crossed over the brook Kidron at a place where there was a garden. He and his disciples entered it.
2-4 Judas, his betrayer, knew the place because Jesus and his disciples went there often. So Judas led the way to the garden, and the Roman soldiers and police sent by the high priests and Pharisees followed. They arrived there with lanterns and torches and swords. Jesus, knowing by now everything that was imploding on him, went out and met them. He said, “Who are you after?”
They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
5-6 He said, “That’s me.” The soldiers recoiled, totally taken aback. Judas, his betrayer, stood out like a sore thumb.
7 Jesus asked again, “Who are you after?”
They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
8-9 “I told you,” said Jesus, “that’s me. I’m the one. So if it’s me you’re after, let these others go.” (This validated the words in his prayer, “I didn’t lose one of those you gave.”)
10 Just then Simon Peter, who was carrying a sword, pulled it from its sheath and struck the Chief Priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. Malchus was the servant’s name.
11 Jesus ordered Peter, “Put back your sword. Do you think for a minute I’m not going to drink this cup the Father gave me?”
12-14 Then the Roman soldiers under their commander, joined by the Jewish police, seized Jesus and tied him up. They took him first to Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas. Caiaphas was the Chief Priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it was to their advantage that one man die for the people.
15-16 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. That other disciple was known to the Chief Priest, and so he went in with Jesus to the Chief Priest’s courtyard. Peter had to stay outside. Then the other disciple went out, spoke to the doorkeeper, and got Peter in.
17 The young woman who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “Aren’t you one of this man’s disciples?”
He said, “No, I’m not.”
18 The servants and police had made a fire because of the cold and were huddled there warming themselves. Peter stood with them, trying to get warm.
19-21 Annas interrogated Jesus regarding his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered, “I’ve spoken openly in public. I’ve taught regularly in meeting places and the Temple, where the Jews all come together. Everything has been out in the open. I’ve said nothing in secret. So why are you treating me like a traitor? Question those who have been listening to me. They know well what I have said. My teachings have all been aboveboard.”
22 When he said this, one of the policemen standing there slapped Jesus across the face, saying, “How dare you speak to the Chief Priest like that!”
23 Jesus replied, “If I’ve said something wrong, prove it. But if I’ve spoken the plain truth, why this slapping around?”
24 Then Annas sent him, still tied up, to the Chief Priest Caiaphas.
25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was back at the fire, still trying to get warm. The others there said to him, “Aren’t you one of his disciples?”
He denied it, “Not me.”
26 One of the Chief Priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
27 Again, Peter denied it. Just then a rooster crowed.
The King of the Jews
28-29 They led Jesus then from Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s palace. It was early morning. They themselves didn’t enter the palace because they didn’t want to be disqualified from eating the Passover. So Pilate came out to them and spoke. “What charge do you bring against this man?”
30 They said, “If he hadn’t been doing something evil, do you think we’d be here bothering you?”
31-32 Pilate said, “You take him. Judge him by your law.”
The Jews said, “We’re not allowed to kill anyone.” (This would confirm Jesus’ word indicating the way he would die.)
33 Pilate went back into the palace and called for Jesus. He said, “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?”
34 Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own, or did others tell you this about me?”
35 Pilate said, “Do I look like a Jew? Your people and your high priests turned you over to me. What did you do?”
36 “My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.”
37 Then Pilate said, “So, are you a king or not?”
Jesus answered, “You tell me. Because I am King, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice.”
38-39 Pilate said, “What is truth?”
Then he went back out to the Jews and told them, “I find nothing wrong in this man. It’s your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover. Do you want me to pardon the ‘King of the Jews’?”
40 They shouted back, “Not this one, but Barabbas!” Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter.
The Thorn Crown of the King
19 1-3 So Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. The soldiers, having braided a crown from thorns, set it on his head, threw a purple robe over him, and approached him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they greeted him with slaps in the face.
4-5 Pilate went back out again and said to them, “I present him to you, but I want you to know that I do not find him guilty of any crime.” Just then Jesus came out wearing the thorn crown and purple robe.
Pilate announced, “Here he is: the Man.”
6 When the high priests and police saw him, they shouted in a frenzy, “Crucify! Crucify!”
Pilate told them, “You take him. You crucify him. I find nothing wrong with him.”
7 The Jews answered, “We have a law, and by that law he must die because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
8-9 When Pilate heard this, he became even more scared. He went back into the palace and said to Jesus, “Where did you come from?”
Jesus gave no answer.
10 Pilate said, “You won’t talk? Don’t you know that I have the authority to pardon you, and the authority to—crucify you?”
11 Jesus said, “You haven’t a shred of authority over me except what has been given you from heaven. That’s why the one who betrayed me to you has committed a far greater fault.”
12 At this, Pilate tried his best to pardon him, but the Jews shouted him down: “If you pardon this man, you’re no friend of Caesar’s. Anyone setting himself up as ‘king’ defies Caesar.”
13-14 When Pilate heard those words, he led Jesus outside. He sat down at the judgment seat in the area designated Stone Court (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). It was the preparation day for Passover. The hour was noon. Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your king.”
15 They shouted back, “Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him!”
Pilate said, “I am to crucify your king?”
The high priests answered, “We have no king except Caesar.”
16-19 Pilate caved in to their demand. He turned him over to be crucified.
They took Jesus away. Carrying his cross, Jesus went out to the place called Skull Hill (the name in Hebrew is Golgotha), where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote a sign and had it placed on the cross. It read:
jesus the nazarene
the king of the jews.
20-21 Many of the Jews read the sign because the place where Jesus was crucified was right next to the city. It was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. The Jewish high priests objected. “Don’t write,” they said to Pilate, “‘The King of the Jews.’ Make it, ‘This man said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’”
22 Pilate said, “What I’ve written, I’ve written.”
23-24 When they crucified him, the Roman soldiers took his clothes and divided them up four ways, to each soldier a fourth. But his robe was seamless, a single piece of weaving, so they said to each other, “Let’s not tear it up. Let’s throw dice to see who gets it.” This confirmed the Scripture that said, “They divided up my clothes among them and threw dice for my coat.” (The soldiers validated the Scriptures!)
24-27 While the soldiers were looking after themselves, Jesus’ mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her. He said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that moment the disciple accepted her as his own mother.
28 Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, “I’m thirsty.”
29-30 A jug of sour wine was standing by. Someone put a sponge soaked with the wine on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. After he took the wine, Jesus said, “It’s done . . . complete.” Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit.
31-34 Then the Jews, since it was the day of Sabbath preparation, and so the bodies wouldn’t stay on the crosses over the Sabbath (it was a high holy day that year), petitioned Pilate that their legs be broken to speed death, and the bodies taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man crucified with Jesus, and then the other. When they got to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. One of the soldiers stabbed him in the side with his spear. Blood and water gushed out.
35 The eyewitness to these things has presented an accurate report. He saw it himself and is telling the truth so that you, also, will believe.
36-37 These things that happened confirmed the Scripture, “Not a bone in his body was broken,” and the other Scripture that reads, “They will stare at the one they pierced.”
* * *
38 After all this, Joseph of Arimathea (he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, because he was intimidated by the Jews) petitioned Pilate to take the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission. So Joseph came and took the body.
39-42 Nicodemus, who had first come to Jesus at night, came now in broad daylight carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. They took Jesus’ body and, following the Jewish burial custom, wrapped it in linen with the spices. There was a garden near the place he was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been placed. So, because it was Sabbath preparation for the Jews and the tomb was convenient, they placed Jesus in it.