Matthew 27 English Standard Version (ESV)
Jesus Delivered to Pilate
27 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. 2 And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor.
Judas Hangs Himself
3 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus[a] was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5 And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. 6 But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they took counsel and bought with them the potter's field as a burial place for strangers. 8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, 10 and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me.”
Jesus Before Pilate
11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.
The Crowd Chooses Barabbas
15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 And he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”
Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified
24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man's blood;[b] see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged[c] Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.
Jesus Is Mocked
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters,[d] and they gathered the whole battalion[e] before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.
32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
The Death of Jesus
45 Now from the sixth hour[f] there was darkness over all the land[g] until the ninth hour.[h] 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son[i] of God!”
55 There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
Jesus Is Buried
57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
The Guard at the Tomb
62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard[j] of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
Matthew 27 The Voice (VOICE)
27 Eventually the chief priests and the elders looked around and saw that it was morning. They convened a council meeting whose sole purpose was to hand down Jesus’ death sentence. 2 They tied Jesus up, took Him away, and handed Him over to the governor of Judea, a man called Pilate.
3 Judas—the one who had betrayed Him with a kiss for 30 pieces of silver—saw that Jesus had been condemned, and suddenly Judas regretted what he had done. He took the silver back to the chief priests and elders and tried to return it to them.
Judas Iscariot: 4 I can’t keep this money! I’ve sinned! I’ve betrayed an innocent man! His blood will be on my hands.
The priests and elders want nothing to do with Judas, and they refuse to take his money.
Chief Priests and Elders: We’re through with you, friend. The state of your soul is really none of our affair.
5 Judas threw down the money in the temple, went off, and hanged himself.
6 The chief priests looked at the silver coins and picked them up.
Chief Priests and Elders: You know, according to the law, we can’t put blood money in the temple treasury.
7 After some deliberation, they took the money and bought a plot of land called Potter’s Field; they would use it to bury foreigners, suicides, and others who were unfit for a full Jewish burial. 8 (To this day, the field is called Blood Field, because it was bought with blood money.) 9 And when the priests bought Potter’s Field, they unwittingly fulfilled a prophecy made long ago by the prophet Jeremiah: “They took 30 pieces of silver, the price set on the head of the man by the children of Israel, 10 and they gave them for the Potter’s Field as the Eternal One instructed.”[a]
11 Jesus was standing before the governor, Pilate.
Pilate: Are You the King of the Jews?
Jesus: So you say.
12 The chief priests and the elders stood and poured out their accusations: that Jesus was a traitor, a seditious rebel, a crazy, a would-be Savior, and a would-be king. Jesus stood in the stream of accusations, but He did not respond.
Pilate: 13 Do You hear these accusations they are making against You?
14 Still Jesus said nothing, which Pilate found rather astounding—no protests, no defense, nothing.
15 Now the governor had a custom. During the great Jewish festival of Passover, he would allow the crowd to pick one of the condemned men, and he, Pilate, would set the man free. Just like that. Gratuitous, gracious freedom. 16 At this time, they had a notorious prisoner named Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd gathered, Pilate offered them a choice:
Pilate: Whom do you want me to free? Barabbas or Jesus, whom some call the Anointed One?
Pilate could call Him “Jesus of Nazareth” or “Jesus the Carpenter,” but he says, “whom some call the Anointed One.” It is significant that Pilate is in a position where he passes judgment. He determines who will live and who will die, and he is preparing to hold court.
18 Pilate knew the chief priests and elders hated Jesus and had delivered Him up because they envied Him.
19 Then Pilate sat down on his judgment seat, and he received a message from his wife: “Distance yourself utterly from the proceedings against this righteous man. I have had a dream about Him, a dream full of twisted sufferings—He is innocent, I know it, and we should have nothing to do with Him.”
20 But the chief priests and the elders convinced the crowd to demand that Barabbas, not Jesus, whom-some-call-the-Anointed-One, be freed and that Jesus be put to death.
Pilate (standing before the crowd): 21 Which of these men would you have me free?
Crowd (shouting): Barabbas!
Pilate: 22 What would you have me do with this Jesus, whom some call the Anointed One?
Crowd (shouting): Crucify Him!
Pilate: 23 Why? What crime has this man committed?
Crowd (responding with a shout): Crucify Him!
It is clear Pilate has laid his own trap. He realizes he has given the crowd a choice, but the crowd doesn’t choose as he expects them to.
24 Pilate saw that unless he wanted a riot on his hands, he now had to bow to their wishes. So he took a pitcher of water, stood before the crowd, and washed his hands.
Pilate: You will see to this crucifixion, for this man’s blood will be upon you and not upon me. I wash myself of it.
Crowd: 25 Indeed, let His blood be upon us—upon us and our children!
26 So Pilate released Barabbas, and he had Jesus flogged and handed over to be crucified.
27 The governor’s soldiers took Jesus into a great hall, gathered a great crowd, 28 and stripped Jesus of His clothes, draping Him in a bold scarlet cloak, the kind that soldiers sometimes wore. 29 They gathered some thorny vines, wove them into a crown, and perched that crown upon His head. They stuck a reed in His right hand, and then they knelt before Him, this inside-out, upside-down King. They mocked Him with catcalls.
Soldiers: Hail, the King of the Jews!
30 They spat on Him and whipped Him on the head with His scepter of reeds, 31 and when they had their fill, they pulled off the bold scarlet cloak, dressed Him in His own simple clothes, and led Him off to be crucified.
32 As they were walking, they found a man called Simon of Cyrene and forced him to carry the cross. 33 Eventually they came to a place called Golgotha, which means “Place of the Skull.” 34 There they gave Him a drink—wine mixed with bitter herbs. He tasted it but refused to drink it.
35 And so they had Him crucified. They divided the clothes off His back by drawing lots,[b] 36 and they sat on the ground and watched Him hang. 37 They placed a sign over His head: “This is Jesus, King of the Jews.” 38 And then they crucified two thieves next to Him, one at His right hand and one at His left hand.
39 Passersby shouted curses and blasphemies at Jesus. They wagged their heads at Him and hissed.
Passersby: 40 You’re going to destroy the temple and then rebuild it in three days? Why don’t You start with saving Yourself? Come down from the cross if You can, if You’re God’s Son.
Chief Priests, Scribes, and Elders (mocking Him): 41-42 He saved others, but He can’t save Himself. If He’s really the King of Israel, then let Him climb down from the cross—then we’ll believe Him. 43 He claimed communion with God—well, let God save Him, if He’s God’s beloved Son.
44 Even the thieves hanging to His right and left poured insults upon Him. 45 And then, starting at noon, the entire land became dark. It was dark for three hours. 46 In the middle of the dark afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice.
Jesus: Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani—My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?[c]
Bystanders: 47 He’s calling on Elijah.
48 One bystander grabbed a sponge, steeped it in vinegar, stuck it on a reed, and gave Jesus the vinegar to drink.
Others: 49 We’ll see—we’ll see if Elijah is going to come and rescue Him.
50 And then Jesus cried out once more, loudly, and then He breathed His last breath. 51 At that instant, the temple curtain was torn in half, from top to bottom. The earth shook; rocks split in two; 52 tombs burst open, and bodies of many sleeping holy women and men were raised up. 53 After Jesus’ resurrection, they came out of their tombs, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and showed themselves to people.
54 When the Centurion and soldiers who had been charged with guarding Jesus felt the earthquake and saw the rocks splitting and the tombs opening, they were, of course, terrified.
Soldiers: He really was God’s Son.
55 A number of women, who had been devoted to Jesus and followed Him from Galilee, were present, too, watching from a distance. 56 Mary Magdalene was there, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
57 At evening time, a rich man from Arimathea arrived. His name was Joseph, and he had become a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked to be given Jesus’ body; Pilate assented and ordered his servants to turn Jesus’ body over to Joseph. 59 So Joseph took the body, wrapped Jesus in a clean sheath of white linen, 60 and laid Jesus in his own new tomb, which he had carved from a rock. Then he rolled a great stone in front of the tomb’s opening, and he went away. 61 Mary Magdalene was there, and so was the other Mary. They sat across from the tomb, watching, remembering.
62 The next day, which is the day after the Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went together to Pilate. 63 They reminded him that when Jesus was alive He had claimed that He would be raised from the dead after three days.
Chief Priests and Pharisees: 64 So please order someone to secure the tomb for at least three days. Otherwise His disciples might sneak in and steal His body away, and then claim that He has been raised from the dead. If that happens, then we would have been better off just leaving Him alive.
Pilate: 65 You have a guard. Go and secure the grave.
66 So they went to the tomb, sealed the stone in its mouth, and left the guard to keep watch.