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Jesus before Pilate

23 Then the whole assembly got up and brought Him before Pilate. They began to accuse Jesus, asserting, “We found this Man misleading and perverting our nation and forbidding us to pay taxes to Caesar, and claiming that He Himself is Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), a King.”(A) So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him, It is just as you say.” Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this Man.” But they were insistent and said, “He stirs up the people [to rebel], teaching throughout Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as here [in Jerusalem].”

When Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that He belonged to the jurisdiction of [a]Herod [Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee], he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

Jesus before Herod

When Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly pleased. He had wanted to see Him for a long time because of what he had heard about Him, and was hoping to see some [miraculous] sign [even something spectacular] done by Him. And he questioned Him at some length, but Jesus made no reply.(B) 10 The chief priests and the scribes were standing there, continually accusing Him heatedly. 11 And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking and ridiculing Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate.(C) 12 Now that very day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other—before this they had been enemies.

Pilate Seeks Jesus’ Release

13 Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought this man before me as one who corrupts and incites the people to rebellion. After examining Him before you, I have found no guilt in this Man regarding the charges which you make against Him. 15 No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and indeed, He has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore I will punish Him [to teach Him a lesson] and release Him.” 17 [b][Now he was obligated to release to them one prisoner at the Feast.]

18 But they [loudly] shouted out all together, saying, “Away with this Man, and release Barabbas to us!”(D) 19 (He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection that happened in the city, and for murder.) 20 Pilate addressed them again, wanting to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting out, “Crucify, crucify Him!” 22 A third time he said to them, “Why, what wrong has He done? I have found no guilt [no crime, no offense] in Him demanding death; therefore I will punish Him [to teach Him a lesson] and release Him.” 23 But they were insistent and unrelenting, demanding with loud voices that Jesus be crucified. And their voices began to prevail and accomplish their purpose. 24 Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted. 25 And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he handed over Jesus to their will.

Simon Bears the Cross

26 When they led Him away, they seized a man, [c]Simon of [d]Cyrene, who was coming in [to the city] from the country, and [e]placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.(E)

27 Following Him was a large crowd of the people, including women who were mourning and wailing for Him. 28 But Jesus, turning toward them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not given birth, and the breasts that have never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’(F) 31 [f]For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be executed with Him.(G)

The Crucifixion

33 When they came to the place called [g]The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.(H) 34 [h]And Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing His clothes among themselves.(I) 35 Now the people stood by, watching; but even the rulers ridiculed and sneered at Him, saying, “He saved others [from death]; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) of God, His Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him and [cruelly] offering Him sour wine,(J) 37 and sarcastically saying, “If you are [really] the King of the Jews, save Yourself [from death]!” 38 Now there was also an inscription above Him: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

39 One of the criminals who had been hanged [on a cross beside Him] kept hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us [from death]!” 40 But the other one rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 We are suffering justly, because we are getting what we deserve for what we have done; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, [please] remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” 43 Jesus said to him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, today you will be with Me in [i]Paradise.”(K)

44 It was now about the sixth hour (noon), and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.),(L) 45 because the sun was [j]obscured; and the veil [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was [k]torn in two [from top to bottom].(M) 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!” Having said this, He breathed His last.(N) 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he began praising and honoring God, saying, “Certainly this Man was innocent.” 48 All the crowds who had gathered for this spectacle, when they saw what had happened, began to return [to their homes], beating their breasts [as a sign of mourning or repentance]. 49 And all His acquaintances and the women who had accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, watching these things.

Jesus Is Buried

50 A man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), a good and honorable man(O) 51 (he had not consented to the Council’s plan and action) a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for and expecting the kingdom of God; 52 this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 And [after receiving permission] he took it down and wrapped it in a linen [burial] cloth and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had yet been laid. 54 It was the day of preparation [for the Sabbath], and the Sabbath was dawning. 55 Now the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed [closely], and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they went back and prepared spices and ointments and sweet-smelling herbs.

And on the Sabbath they rested in accordance with the commandment [forbidding work].(P)


  1. Luke 23:7 See note Matt 22:17.
  2. Luke 23:17 Most early mss do not contain this verse.
  3. Luke 23:26 The father of Alexander and Rufus, disciples in Rome.
  4. Luke 23:26 A port city in north Africa.
  5. Luke 23:26 The crossbeam was usually placed on the nape of the neck like a yoke.
  6. Luke 23:31 A proverb meaning if the innocent has to suffer what will happen to the guilty.
  7. Luke 23:33 Latin: Calvarius; or Calvary; Aram: Golgotha; Greek: Kranion.
  8. Luke 23:34 Some early mss do not contain the words “And Jesus was saying...doing.”
  9. Luke 23:43 I.e. possibly the third heaven, the special place or “garden” (Gen 2:8-10) between death and resurrection.
  10. Luke 23:45 Lit failing. The language that Luke uses is found elsewhere in Greek literature to describe an eclipse.
  11. Luke 23:45 The tearing of the veil established the institution of a new, direct way of communication between God and mankind. The sacrificial death of Christ nullified the need for priestly intervention between God and man, and abolished the need for animal sacrifice.

Judas Betrays Jesus

18 Having said these things, Jesus left with His disciples and went across the [a]ravine of the Kidron. There was a garden there, which He and His disciples entered. Now Judas, who was betraying Him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with His disciples. So Judas, having obtained the Roman [b]cohort and some officers from the high priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.(A) Then Jesus, knowing all that was about to happen to Him, went to them and asked, “Whom do you want?” They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus said, “I am He.” And Judas, who was betraying Him, was also standing with them. When Jesus said, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Again He asked them, “Whom do you want?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you want Me, let these men go on their way.” This was to fulfill and verify the words He had spoken, “Of those whom You have given Me, I have not lost even one.”(B) 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword [back] in its sheath! Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

Jesus before Annas and Caiaphas

12 So the cohort and their commander and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him, 13 and led Him to [c]Annas first; for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people.(C)

15 Simon Peter and [d]another disciple were following Jesus. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, so he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the [residence of the] high priest; 16 but Peter was standing outside at the door. So the other disciple (John), who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter inside.(D) 17 Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not one of this Man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants and the officers had made a fire of coals, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. And Peter was with them, standing and warming himself.

19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about His disciples and about His teaching.(E) 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I always taught in a synagogue and in the temple [area], where all the Jews habitually congregate; and I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question Me? Question those who have heard what I said to them. They know what I said.” 22 But when He said this, one of the officers who was standing nearby [e]struck Jesus [in the face], saying, “Is that how You answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus replied, “If I have said anything wrong, make a formal statement about the wrong; but if [I spoke] properly, why did you strike Me?” 24 So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Peter’s Denial of Jesus

25 Now Simon Peter was [still] standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You are not one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.”(F) 26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you with Him in the garden?” 27 So Peter denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.

Jesus before Pilate

28 Then the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium (governor’s palace). Now it was early and the Jews did not enter the Praetorium so that they would not be [ceremonially] unclean, but might [be able to] eat [and participate in the Feast of Unleavened Bread which began after] the [f]Passover [supper]. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”(G) 30 They answered, “If He were not a criminal, we would not have handed Him over to you [for judgment].” 31 Then Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and judge Him according to your own law.” The Jews said, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” 32 This was to fulfill the word which Jesus had spoken to indicate by what manner of death He was going to die.(H)

33 So Pilate went into the Praetorium again, and called Jesus and asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus replied, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” 35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own people and their chief priests have handed You over to me. What have You done [that is worthy of death]?” 36 Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not of this world [nor does it have its origin in this world]. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would be fighting [hard] to keep Me from being handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this world.” 37 So Pilate said to Him, “Then You are a King?” Jesus answered, “You say [correctly] that I am a King. This is why I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth [who is a friend of the truth and belongs to the truth] hears and listens carefully to My voice.”(I) 38 Pilate said to Him [scornfully], “What is truth?”

And when he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no guilt in Him [no crime, no cause for an accusation]. 39 But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. So shall I release for you the King of the Jews?”(J) 40 Then they all shouted back again, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a [g]robber.

The Crown of Thorns

19 So then Pilate took Jesus and had Him [h]scourged (flogged, whipped). And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe around Him;(K) and they kept coming up to Him, saying [mockingly], “Hail, King of the Jews [Good health! Peace! Long life to you, King of the Jews]!” And they slapped Him in the face.(L) Then Pilate came out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him [no crime, no cause for an accusation].” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, and Pilate said to them, “Look! The Man!” When the chief priests and officers saw Him, they shouted, “Crucify [Him]! Crucify [Him]!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him [no crime, no cause for an accusation].”(M) The Jews answered him, “We have a law [regarding blasphemy], and according to that law He should die, because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.”(N)

So when Pilate heard this said, he was [even] more [i]alarmed and afraid. He went into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus did not answer him.(O) 10 So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me at all if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the sin and guilt of the [j]one who handed Me over to you is greater [than your own].” 12 As a result of this, Pilate kept making efforts to release Him, but the Jews kept screaming, “[k]If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar! Anyone who makes himself out [to be] a king opposes Caesar [and rebels against the emperor]!”

13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called [l]The Pavement, but in [m]Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation for the [n]Passover [week], and it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Look, your King!” 15 But they shouted, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”

The Crucifixion

16 Then he handed Him over to them to be crucified.

17 So they took Jesus, and He went out, [o]bearing His own cross, to the place called [p]the Place of the Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha.(P) 18 There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.(Q) 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription [on a placard] and put it on the cross. And it was written: “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”(R) 20 And many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, 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, ‘He said, “I am King of the Jews.”’” 22 Pilate replied, “What I have written I have written [and it remains written].”

23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer clothes and made four parts, a part for each soldier, and also the tunic. But the [q]tunic was seamless, woven [in one piece] from the top throughout.(S) 24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it will be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture, “They divided My outer clothing among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”(T) 25 So the soldiers did these things.

But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, His mother’s sister [[r]Salome], [s]Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.(U) 26 So Jesus, seeing His mother, and the [t]disciple whom He loved (esteemed) standing near, said to His mother, “[Dear] woman, look, [here is] your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple (John), “Look! [here is] your mother [protect and provide for her]!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said in fulfillment of the Scripture, “I am thirsty.”(V) 29 A jar full of [u]sour wine was placed there; so they put a sponge soaked in the sour wine on [a branch of] hyssop and held it to His mouth.(W) 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and [voluntarily] [v]gave up His spirit.

Care of the Body of Jesus

31 Since it was the day of Preparation [for the Sabbath], in order to prevent the bodies from hanging on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high holy day) the Jews asked Pilate to have their legs [w]broken [to hasten death] and the bodies taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man, 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 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came [flowing] out. 35 And he (John, the eyewitness) who has seen it has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also [who read this] may believe. 36 For these things took place to fulfill the Scripture, “Not a bone of His shall be broken.”(X) 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look at Him whom they have pierced.”(Y)

38 And after this, Joseph of Arimathea—a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews—asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away His body.(Z) 39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, [weighing] about a hundred [Roman] [x]pounds. 40 So they took Jesus’ body and bound it in linen wrappings with the fragrant spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now there was a garden at the place where He was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb [cut out of solid rock] in which no one had yet been laid. 42 Therefore, because of the Jewish day of Preparation, and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.


  1. John 18:1 Most of the time this was a dry stream bed (wadi), but the winter rains would turn it into a torrent of water. The ravine separated Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. In the OT King David took this same route while escaping from Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives, after he was betrayed by Absalom and Ahithophel (2 Sam 15:23).
  2. John 18:3 A “cohort” was a sub-unit of a Roman legion and normally was composed of about 600 troops, but could be fewer in number. The Jewish religious leaders probably made arrangements with Pilate for Judas to have temporary use of the troops.
  3. John 18:13 See note 11:49.
  4. John 18:15 Most likely John, the author of this Gospel.
  5. John 18:22 It was illegal to strike the accused.
  6. John 18:28 Jesus’ arrest occurred after He and His disciples had eaten the Passover supper. Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread lasted seven days.
  7. John 18:40 Or insurrectionist.
  8. John 19:1 Because Pilate viewed Jesus as innocent, he may have ordered the beating expecting that the Jews would consider it adequate punishment and consent to Jesus’ release. Scourging was a horrific, brutal form of punishment. The glass and metal of the whip tore the body apart, exposing the vital organs. Men frequently died of the scourging.
  9. John 19:8 As a Roman pagan, Pilate would have been superstitious and may have feared that Jesus actually had some sort of magical or divine power.
  10. John 19:11 This may refer to Judas Iscariot, but Caiaphas may be the more likely one since he was directly responsible for Jesus’ going before Pilate.
  11. John 19:12 This put political pressure on Pilate. The Jews indicated if Pilate released Jesus they would inform Rome and Pilate’s career would be in jeopardy.
  12. John 19:13 Gr The Lithostrotos, i.e. the Mosaic Pavement, the Stone Platform.
  13. John 19:13 I.e. Jewish Aramaic.
  14. John 19:14 See note 18:28.
  15. John 19:17 The vertical post remained permanently in the ground. Jesus carried the cross beam.
  16. John 19:17 Latin: Calvarius or Calvary; Aram: Golgotha; Greek: Kranion.
  17. John 19:23 Gr khiton, the long shirtlike undergarment worn next to the skin.
  18. John 19:25 The mother of the apostles John and James, the sons of Zebedee.
  19. John 19:25 The mother of James the Younger (also called James the Less). Believed to be a sister or sister-in-law of Jesus’ mother.
  20. John 19:26 John, the Apostle and author of this Gospel was Jesus’ cousin.
  21. John 19:29 This sour wine was not to dull the senses, but to provide minimal relief to the victim. The wine mixed with gall (myrrh) that Jesus earlier had refused to drink (Matt 27:34; Mark 15:23) had narcotic qualities to deaden the pain.
  22. John 19:30 This wording implies that Jesus voluntarily and sovereignly released His spirit from His body in submission to God’s plan.
  23. John 19:31 After the legs were broken with a heavy blow, the condemned prisoner could no longer push upwards to assist his own breathing and would soon suffocate due to the awkward position that was forced on him by crucifixion. At the same time, breaking the legs was more painful than a quicker end with the point of a spear.
  24. John 19:39 Lit litras, equal to 12 oz each.

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