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Matthew 27:27-61 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Pilate’s Soldiers Make Fun of Jesus

27 Then Pilate’s soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s palace. All the soldiers gathered around him. 28 They took off Jesus’ clothes and put a red robe on him. 29 Then they made a crown from thorny branches and put it on his head, and they put a stick in his right hand. Then they bowed before him, making fun of him. They said, “We salute you, king of the Jews!” 30 They spit on him. Then they took his stick and kept hitting him on the head with it. 31 After they finished making fun of him, the soldiers took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be killed on a cross.

Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross

32 The soldiers were going out of the city with Jesus. They saw a man from Cyrene named Simon, and they forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. 33 They came to the place called Golgotha. (Golgotha means “The Place of the Skull.”) 34 There the soldiers gave Jesus some wine mixed with gall.[a] But when he tasted it, he refused to drink it.

35 The soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross. Then they threw dice to divide his clothes between them. 36 The soldiers stayed there to guard him. 37 They put a sign above his head with the charge against him written on it: “ this is jesus, the king of the jews.”

38 Two criminals were nailed to crosses beside Jesus—one on the right and the other on the left. 39 People walked by and shouted insults at Jesus. They shook their heads 40 and said, “You said you could destroy the Temple and build it again in three days. So save yourself! Come down from that cross if you really are the Son of God!”

41 The leading priests, the teachers of the law, and the older Jewish leaders were also there. They made fun of Jesus the same as the other people did. 42 They said, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself! People say he is the king of Israel. If he is the king, he should come down now from the cross. Then we will believe in him. 43 He trusted God. So let God save him now, if God really wants him. He himself said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 And in the same way, the criminals on the crosses beside Jesus also insulted him.

Jesus Dies

45 At noon the whole country became dark. The darkness continued for three hours. 46 About three o’clock Jesus cried out loudly, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” This means “My God, my God, why have you left me alone?”[b]

47 Some of the people standing there heard this. They said, “He is calling Elijah.”[c]

48 Quickly, one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled the sponge with sour wine and tied the sponge to a stick. Then he used the stick to give the sponge to Jesus to get a drink from it. 49 But the others said, “Don’t bother him. We want to see if Elijah will come to save him.”

50 Again Jesus cried out loudly and then died.[d]

51 When Jesus died, the curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces. The tear started at the top and tore all the way to the bottom. Also, the earth shook and rocks were broken. 52 The graves opened, and many of God’s people who had died were raised from death. 53 They came out of the graves. And after Jesus was raised from death, they went into the holy city, and many people saw them.

54 The army officer and the soldiers guarding Jesus saw this earthquake and everything that happened. They were very afraid and said, “He really was the Son of God!”

55 Many women were standing away from the cross, watching. These were the women who had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for him. 56 Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of James and John[e] were there.

Jesus Is Buried

57 That evening a rich man named Joseph came to Jerusalem. He was a follower of Jesus from the town of Arimathea. 58 He went to Pilate and asked to have Jesus’ body. Pilate gave orders for the soldiers to give Jesus’ body to him. 59 Then Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a new linen cloth. 60 He put Jesus’ body in a new tomb that he had dug in a wall of rock. Then he closed the tomb by rolling a very large stone to cover the entrance. After he did this, he went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other woman named Mary were sitting near the tomb.


  1. Matthew 27:34 gall Probably used as a drug to relieve pain.
  2. Matthew 27:46 Quote from Ps. 22:1.
  3. Matthew 27:47 “He is calling Elijah” The word for “My God” ( Eli in Hebrew or Eloi in Aramaic) sounded to the people like the name of Elijah, a famous man who spoke for God about 850 B.C.
  4. Matthew 27:50 died Literally, “let his spirit leave.”
  5. Matthew 27:56 James and John Literally, “the sons of Zebedee.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International


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