Matthew 27:15-31Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Death Sentence
15 During Passover the governor always freed a prisoner chosen by the people. 16 At that time a well-known terrorist named Jesus Barabbas[a] was in jail. 17 So when the crowd came together, Pilate asked them, “Which prisoner do you want me to set free? Do you want Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 Pilate knew that the leaders had brought Jesus to him because they were jealous.
19 While Pilate was judging the case, his wife sent him a message. It said, “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man. I have had nightmares because of him.”
20 But the chief priests and the leaders convinced the crowds to ask for Barabbas to be set free and for Jesus to be killed. 21 Pilate asked the crowd again, “Which of these two men do you want me to set free?”
“Barabbas!” they replied.
22 Pilate asked them, “What am I to do with Jesus, who is called the Messiah?”
They all yelled, “Nail him to a cross!”
23 Pilate answered, “But what crime has he done?”
“Nail him to a cross!” they yelled even louder.
24 Pilate saw that there was nothing he could do and that the people were starting to riot. So he took some water and washed his hands[b] in front of them and said, “I won’t have anything to do with killing this man. You are the ones doing it!”
25 Everyone answered, “We and our own families will take the blame for his death!”
26 Pilate 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
27 The governor’s soldiers led Jesus into the fortress[c] and brought together the rest of the troops. 28 They stripped off Jesus' clothes and put a scarlet robe[d] on him. 29 They made a crown out of thorn branches and placed it on his head, and they put a stick in his right hand. The soldiers knelt down and pretended to worship him. They made fun of him and shouted, “Hey, you king of the Jews!” 30 Then they spit on him. They took the stick from him and beat him on the head with it.
Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross
31 When the soldiers had finished making fun of Jesus, they took off the robe. They put his own clothes back on him and led him off to be nailed to a cross.
27.16Jesus Barabbas: Here and in verse 17 many manuscripts have “Barabbas.”
27.24washed his hands: To show that he was innocent.
27.27fortress: The place where the Roman governor stayed. It was probably at Herod’s palace west of Jerusalem, though it may have been Fortress Antonia north of the temple, where the Roman troops were stationed.
27.28scarlet robe: This was probably a Roman soldier’s robe.
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