Mark 15-16 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Pilate Questions Jesus
15 Early the next morning the chief priests, the nation’s leaders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses met together with the whole Jewish council. They tied up Jesus and led him off to Pilate.
2 He asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“Those are your words,” Jesus answered.
3 The chief priests brought many charges against Jesus. 4 Then Pilate questioned him again, “Don’t you have anything to say? Don’t you hear what crimes they say you have done?” 5 But Jesus did not answer, and Pilate was amazed.
The Death Sentence
6 During Passover, Pilate always freed one prisoner chosen by the people. 7 And at that time there was a prisoner named Barabbas. He and some others had been arrested for murder during a riot. 8 The crowd now came and asked Pilate to set a prisoner free, just as he usually did.
9 Pilate asked them, “Do you want me to free the king of the Jews?” 10 Pilate knew that the chief priests had brought Jesus to him because they were jealous.
11 But the chief priests told the crowd to ask Pilate to free Barabbas.
12 Then Pilate asked the crowd, “What do you want me to do with this man you say is[a] the king of the Jews?”
13 They yelled, “Nail him to a cross!”
14 Pilate asked, “But what crime has he done?”
“Nail him to a cross!” they yelled even louder.
15 Pilate wanted to please the crowd. So he set Barabbas free. Then he ordered his soldiers to beat Jesus with a whip and nail him to a cross.
Soldiers Make Fun of Jesus
16 The soldiers led Jesus inside the courtyard of the fortress[b] and called together the rest of the troops. 17 They put a purple robe[c] on him, and on his head they placed a crown that they had made out of thorn branches. 18 They made fun of Jesus and shouted, “Hey, you king of the Jews!” 19 Then they beat him on the head with a stick. They spit on him and knelt down and pretended to worship him.
20 When the soldiers had finished making fun of Jesus, they took off the purple robe. They put his own clothes back on him and led him off to be nailed to a cross. 21 Simon from Cyrene happened to be coming in from a farm, and they forced him to carry Jesus' cross. Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.
Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross
22 The soldiers took Jesus to Golgotha, which means “Place of a Skull.”[d] 23 There they gave him some wine mixed with a drug to ease the pain, but he refused to drink it.
24 They nailed Jesus to a cross and gambled to see who would get his clothes. 25 It was about nine o’clock in the morning when they nailed him to the cross. 26 On it was a sign that told why he was nailed there. It read, “This is the King of the Jews.” 27-28 The soldiers also nailed two criminals on crosses, one to the right of Jesus and the other to his left.[e]
29 People who passed by said terrible things about Jesus. They shook their heads and shouted, “Ha! So you’re the one who claimed you could tear down the temple and build it again in three days. 30 Save yourself and come down from the cross!”
31 The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses also made fun of Jesus. They said to each other, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself. 32 If he is the Messiah, the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross! Then we will see and believe.” The two criminals also said cruel things to Jesus.
The Death of Jesus
33 About noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until around three o’clock. 34 Then about that time Jesus shouted, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”[f] which means, “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?”
35 Some of the people standing there heard Jesus and said, “He is calling for Elijah.”[g] 36 One of them ran and grabbed a sponge. After he had soaked it in wine, he put it on a stick and held it up to Jesus. He said, “Let’s wait and see if Elijah will come[h] and take him down!” 37 Jesus shouted and then died.
38 At once the curtain in the temple[i] tore in two from top to bottom.
39 A Roman army officer was standing in front of Jesus. When the officer saw how Jesus died, he said, “This man really was the Son of God!”
40-41 Some women were looking on from a distance. They had come with Jesus to Jerusalem. But even before this they had been his followers and had helped him while he was in Galilee. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joseph were two of these women. Salome was also one of them.
Jesus Is Buried
42 It was now the evening before the Sabbath, and the Jewish people were getting ready for that sacred day. 43 A man named Joseph from Arimathea was brave enough to ask Pilate for the body of Jesus. Joseph was a highly respected member of the Jewish council, and he was also waiting for God’s kingdom to come.
44 Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus was already dead, and he called in the army officer to find out if Jesus had been dead very long. 45 After the officer told him, Pilate let Joseph have Jesus' body.
46 Joseph bought a linen cloth and took the body down from the cross. He had it wrapped in the cloth, and he put it in a tomb that had been cut into solid rock. Then he rolled a big stone against the entrance to the tomb.
47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph were watching and saw where the body was placed.
Jesus Is Alive
16 After the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene, Salome, and Mary the mother of James bought some spices to put on Jesus' body. 2 Very early on Sunday morning, just as the sun was coming up, they went to the tomb. 3 On their way, they were asking one another, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance for us?” 4 But when they looked, they saw that the stone had already been rolled away. And it was a huge stone!
5 The women went into the tomb, and on the right side they saw a young man in a white robe sitting there. They were alarmed.
6 The man said, “Don’t be alarmed! You are looking for Jesus from Nazareth, who was nailed to a cross. God has raised him to life, and he isn’t here. You can see the place where they put his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, and especially Peter, that he will go ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.”
8 When the women ran from the tomb, they were confused and shaking all over. They were too afraid to tell anyone what had happened.
ONE OLD ENDING TO MARK’S GOSPEL[j]
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
9 Very early on the first day of the week, after Jesus had risen to life, he appeared to Mary Magdalene. Earlier he had forced seven demons out of her. 10 She left and told his friends, who were crying and mourning. 11 Even though they heard that Jesus was alive and that Mary had seen him, they would not believe it.
Jesus Appears to Two Disciples
12 Later, Jesus appeared in another form to two disciples, as they were on their way out of the city. 13 But when these disciples told what had happened, the others would not believe.
What Jesus' Followers Must Do
14 Afterwards, Jesus appeared to his eleven disciples as they were eating. He scolded them because they were too stubborn to believe the ones who had seen him after he had been raised to life. 15 Then he told them:
Go and preach the good news to everyone in the world. 16 Anyone who believes me and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe me will be condemned. 17 Everyone who believes me will be able to do wonderful things. By using my name they will force out demons, and they will speak new languages. 18 They will handle snakes and will drink poison and not be hurt. They will also heal sick people by placing their hands on them.
Jesus Returns to Heaven
19 After the Lord Jesus had said these things to the disciples, he was taken back up to heaven where he sat down at the right side[k] of God. 20 Then the disciples left and preached everywhere. The Lord was with them, and the miracles they worked proved that their message was true.
ANOTHER OLD ENDING TO MARK’S GOSPEL[l]
9-10 The women quickly told Peter and his friends what had happened. Later, Jesus sent the disciples to the east and to the west with his sacred and everlasting message of how people can be saved forever.
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