Contemporary English Version
The Lord’s Supper
14 When the time came for Jesus and the apostles to eat, 15 he said to them, “I have very much wanted to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer. 16 I tell you that I will not eat another Passover meal until it is finally eaten in God’s kingdom.”
17 Jesus took a cup of wine in his hands and gave thanks to God. Then he told the apostles, “Take this wine and share it with each other. 18 I tell you that I will not drink any more wine until God’s kingdom comes.”
19 Jesus took some bread in his hands and gave thanks for it. He broke the bread and handed it to his apostles. Then he said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Eat this as a way of remembering me!”
20 After the meal he took another cup of wine in his hands. Then he said, “This is my blood. It is poured out for you, and with it God makes his new agreement. 21 The one who will betray me is here at the table with me! 22 The Son of Man will die in the way that has been decided for him, but it will be terrible for the one who betrays him!”
23 Then the apostles started arguing about who would ever do such a thing.
An Argument about Greatness
24 The apostles got into an argument about which one of them was the greatest. 25 So Jesus told them:
Foreign kings order their people around, and powerful rulers call themselves everyone’s friends.[a] 26 But don’t be like them. The most important one of you should be like the least important, and your leader should be like a servant. 27 Who do people think is the greatest, a person who is served or one who serves? Isn’t it the one who is served? But I have been with you as a servant.
28 You have stayed with me in all my troubles. 29 So I will give you the right to rule as kings, just as my Father has given me the right to rule as a king. 30 You will eat and drink with me in my kingdom, and you will each sit on a throne to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
Jesus' Disciples Will Be Tested
31 Jesus said, “Simon, listen to me! Satan has demanded the right to test each one of you, as a farmer does when he separates wheat from the husks.[b] 32 But Simon, I have prayed that your faith will be strong. And when you have come back to me, help the others.”
33 Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to jail and even to die with you.”
34 Jesus replied, “Peter, I tell you that before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don’t know me.”
Moneybags, Traveling Bags, and Swords
35 Jesus asked his disciples, “When I sent you out without a moneybag or a traveling bag or sandals, did you need anything?”
“No!” they answered.
36 Jesus told them, “But now, if you have a moneybag, take it with you. Also take a traveling bag, and if you don’t have a sword,[c] sell some of your clothes and buy one. 37 Do this because the Scriptures say, ‘He was considered a criminal.’ This was written about me, and it will soon come true.”
38 The disciples said, “Lord, here are two swords!”
“Enough of that!” Jesus replied.
39 Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives, as he often did, and his disciples went with him. 40 When they got there, he told them, “Pray that you won’t be tested.”
41 Jesus walked on a little way before he knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you will, please don’t make me suffer by having me drink from this cup.[d] But do what you want, and not what I want.”
43 Then an angel from heaven came to help him. 44 Jesus was in great pain and prayed so sincerely that his sweat fell to the ground like drops of blood.[e]
45 Jesus got up from praying and went over to his disciples. They were asleep and worn out from being so sad. 46 He said to them, “Why are you asleep? Wake up and pray that you won’t be tested.”
Jesus Is Arrested
47 While Jesus was still speaking, a crowd came up. It was led by Judas, one of the twelve apostles. He went over to Jesus and greeted him with a kiss.[f]
48 Jesus asked Judas, “Are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49 When Jesus' disciples saw what was about to happen, they asked, “Lord, should we attack them with a sword?” 50 One of the disciples even struck at the high priest’s servant with his sword and cut off the servant’s right ear.
51 “Enough of that!” Jesus said. Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed it.
52 Jesus spoke to the chief priests, the temple police, and the leaders who had come to arrest him. He said, “Why do you come out with swords and clubs and treat me like a criminal? 53 I was with you every day in the temple, and you didn’t arrest me. But this is your time, and darkness[g] is in control.”
Peter Says He Doesn’t Know Jesus
54 Jesus was arrested and led away to the house of the high priest, while Peter followed at a distance. 55 Some people built a fire in the middle of the courtyard and were sitting around it. Peter sat there with them, 56 and a servant girl saw him. Then after she had looked at him carefully, she said, “This man was with Jesus!”
57 Peter said, “Woman, I don’t even know that man!”
58 A little later someone else saw Peter and said, “You are one of them!”
“No, I’m not!” Peter replied.
59 About an hour later another man insisted, “This man must have been with Jesus. They both come from Galilee.”
60 Peter replied, “I don’t know what you are talking about!” Right then, while Peter was still speaking, a rooster crowed.
61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered that the Lord had said, “Before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” 62 Then Peter went out and cried hard.
63 The men who were guarding Jesus made fun of him and beat him. 64 They put a blindfold on him and said, “Tell us who struck you!” 65 They kept on insulting Jesus in many other ways.
Jesus Is Questioned by the Council
66 At daybreak the nation’s leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses got together and brought Jesus before their council. 67 They said, “Tell us! Are you the Messiah?”
Jesus replied, “If I said so, you wouldn’t believe me. 68 And if I asked you a question, you wouldn’t answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right side of God All-Powerful.”
70 Then they asked, “Are you the Son of God?”[h]
Jesus answered, “You say I am!”[i]
71 They replied, “Why do we need more witnesses? He said it himself!”
Pilate Questions Jesus
23 Everyone in the council got up and led Jesus off to Pilate. 2 They started accusing him and said, “We caught this man trying to get our people to riot and to stop paying taxes to the Emperor. He also claims that he is the Messiah, our king.”
3 Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“Those are your words,” Jesus answered.
4 Pilate told the chief priests and the crowd, “I don’t find him guilty of anything.”
5 But they all kept on saying, “He has been teaching and causing trouble all over Judea. He started in Galilee and has now come all the way here.”
Jesus Is Brought before Herod
6 When Pilate heard this, he asked, “Is this man from Galilee?” 7 After Pilate learned that Jesus came from the region ruled by Herod,[j] he sent him to Herod, who was in Jerusalem at that time.
8 For a long time Herod had wanted to see Jesus and was very happy because he finally had this chance. He had heard many things about Jesus and hoped to see him work a miracle.
9 Herod asked him a lot of questions, but Jesus did not answer. 10 Then the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses stood up and accused him of all kinds of bad things.
11 Herod and his soldiers made fun of Jesus and insulted him. They put a fine robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. 12 That same day Herod and Pilate became friends, even though they had been enemies before this.
The Death Sentence
13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people. 14 He told them, “You brought Jesus to me and said he was a troublemaker. But I have questioned him here in front of you, and I have not found him guilty of anything that you say he has done. 15 Herod didn’t find him guilty either and sent him back. This man doesn’t deserve to be put to death! 16-17 I will just have him beaten with a whip and set free.”[k]
18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Kill Jesus! Give us Barabbas!” 19 Now Barabbas was in jail because he had started a riot in the city and had murdered someone.
20 Pilate wanted to set Jesus free, so he spoke again to the crowds. 21 But they kept shouting, “Nail him to a cross! Nail him to a cross!”
22 Pilate spoke to them a third time, “But what crime has he done? I have not found him guilty of anything for which he should be put to death. I will have him beaten with a whip and set free.”
23 The people kept on shouting as loud as they could for Jesus to be put to death. 24 Finally, Pilate gave in. 25 He freed the man who was in jail for rioting and murder, because he was the one the crowd wanted to be set free. Then Pilate handed Jesus over for them to do what they wanted with him.
Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross
26 As Jesus was being led away, some soldiers grabbed hold of a man from Cyrene named Simon. He was coming in from the fields, but they put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
27 A large crowd was following Jesus, and in the crowd a lot of women were crying and weeping for him. 28 Jesus turned to the women and said:
Women of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me! Cry for yourselves and for your children. 29 Someday people will say, “Women who never had children are really fortunate!” 30 At that time everyone will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” They will say to the hills, “Hide us!” 31 If this can happen when the wood is green, what do you think will happen when it is dry?[l]
32 Two criminals were led out to be put to death with Jesus. 33 When the soldiers came to the place called “The Skull,”[m] they nailed Jesus to a cross. They also nailed the two criminals to crosses, one on each side of Jesus.
34-35 Jesus said, “Father, forgive these people! They don’t know what they’re doing.”[n]
While the crowd stood there watching Jesus, the soldiers gambled for his clothes. The leaders insulted him by saying, “He saved others. Now he should save himself, if he really is God’s chosen Messiah!”
36 The soldiers made fun of Jesus and brought him some wine. 37 They said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!”
38 Above him was a sign that said, “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals hanging there also insulted Jesus by saying, “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and save us!”
40 But the other criminal told the first one off, “Don’t you fear God? Aren’t you getting the same punishment as this man? 41 We got what was coming to us, but he didn’t do anything wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Remember me when you come into power!”
43 Jesus replied, “I promise that today you will be with me in paradise.”[o]
The Death of Jesus
44 Around noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until the middle of the afternoon. 45 The sun stopped shining, and the curtain in the temple[p] split down the middle. 46 Jesus shouted, “Father, I put myself in your hands!” Then he died.
47 When the Roman officer saw what had happened, he praised God and said, “Jesus must really have been a good man!”
48 A crowd had gathered to see the terrible sight. Then after they had seen it, they felt brokenhearted and went home. 49 All of Jesus' close friends and the women who had come with him from Galilee stood at a distance and watched.
Jesus Is Buried
50-51 There was a man named Joseph, who was from Arimathea in Judea. Joseph was a good and honest man, and he was eager for God’s kingdom to come. He was also a member of the council, but he did not agree with what they had decided.
52 Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. 53 He took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in fine cloth. Then he put it in a tomb that had been cut out of solid rock and had never been used. 54 It was Friday, and the Sabbath was about to begin.[q]
55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and watched how Jesus' body was placed in the tomb. 56 Then they went to prepare some sweet-smelling spices for his burial. But on the Sabbath they rested, as the Law of Moses commands.
- 22.25 everyone’s friends: This translates a Greek word that rulers sometimes used as a title for themselves or for special friends.
- 22.31 separates wheat from the husks: See the note at 3.17.
- 22.36 moneybag. . . traveling bag. . . sword: These were things that someone would take on a dangerous journey. Jesus was telling his disciples to be ready for anything that might happen. They seem to have understood what he meant (see 22.49-51).
- 22.42 having me drink from this cup: In the Scriptures “to drink from a cup” sometimes means to suffer.
- 22.43,44 Then an angel. . . like drops of blood: Verses 43,44 are not in some manuscripts.
- 22.47 greeted him with a kiss: It was the custom for people to greet each other with a kiss on the cheek.
- 22.53 darkness: Darkness stands for the power of the devil.
- 22.70 Son of God: This was one of the titles used for the kings of Israel.
- 22.70 You say I am: Or “That’s what you say.”
- 23.7 Herod: Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great.
- 23.16,17 set free: Some manuscripts add, “Pilate said this, because at every Passover he was supposed to set one prisoner free for the Jewish people.”
- 23.31 If this can happen when the wood is green, what do you think will happen when it is dry: This saying probably means, “If this can happen to an innocent person, what do you think will happen to one who is guilty?”
- 23.33 “The Skull” : The place was probably given this name because it was near a large rock in the shape of a human skull.
- 23.34,35 Jesus said, “Father, forgive these people! They don’t know what they’re doing.” : These words are not in some manuscripts.
- 23.43 paradise: In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, this word is used for the Garden of Eden. In New Testament times it was sometimes used for the place where God’s people are happy and at rest, as they wait for the final judgment.
- 23.45 curtain in the temple: There were two curtains in the temple. One was at the entrance, and the other separated the holy place from the most holy place that the Jewish people thought of as God’s home on earth. The second curtain is probably the one which is meant.
- 23.54 the Sabbath was about to begin: The Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday.