Matthew 27:32-66 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
32 On the way they met a man from Cyrene named Simon, and they forced him to carry Jesus' cross.
33 They came to a place named Golgotha, which means “Place of a Skull.”[a] 34 There they gave Jesus some wine mixed with a drug to ease the pain. But when Jesus tasted what it was, he refused to drink it.
35 The soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross and gambled to see who would get his clothes. 36 Then they sat down to guard him. 37 Above his head they put a sign that told why he was nailed there. It read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 The soldiers also nailed two criminals on crosses, one to the right of Jesus and the other to his left.
39 People who passed by said terrible things about Jesus. They shook their heads and 40 shouted, “So you’re the one who claimed you could tear down the temple and build it again in three days! If you are God’s Son, save yourself and come down from the cross!”
41 The chief priests, the leaders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses also made fun of Jesus. They said, 42 “He saved others, but he can’t save himself. If he is the king of Israel, he should come down from the cross! Then we will believe him. 43 He trusted God, so let God save him, if he wants to. He even said he was God’s Son.” 44 The two criminals also said cruel things to Jesus.
The Death of Jesus
45 At noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until three o’clock. 46 Then about that time Jesus shouted, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”[b] which means, “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?”
47 Some of the people standing there heard Jesus and said, “He’s calling for Elijah.”[c] 48 One of them at once ran and grabbed a sponge. He soaked it in wine, then put it on a stick and held it up to Jesus.
49 Others said, “Wait! Let’s see if Elijah will come[d] and save him.” 50 Once again Jesus shouted, and then he died.
51 At once the curtain in the temple[e] was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, and rocks split apart. 52 Graves opened, and many of God’s people were raised to life. 53 Then after Jesus had risen to life, they came out of their graves and went into the holy city, where they were seen by many people.
54 The officer and the soldiers guarding Jesus felt the earthquake and saw everything else that happened. They were frightened and said, “This man really was God’s Son!”
55 Many women had come with Jesus from Galilee to be of help to him, and they were there, looking on at a distance. 56 Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of James and John[f] were some of these women.
Jesus Is Buried
57 That evening a rich disciple named Joseph from the town of Arimathea 58 went and asked for Jesus' body. Pilate gave orders for it to be given to Joseph, 59 who took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60 Then Joseph put the body in his own tomb that had been cut into solid rock[g] and had never been used. He rolled a big stone against the entrance to the tomb and went away.
61 All this time Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb.
62 On the next day, which was a Sabbath, the chief priests and the Pharisees went together to Pilate. 63 They said, “Sir, we remember what that liar said while he was still alive. He claimed that in three days he would come back from death. 64 So please order the tomb to be carefully guarded for three days. If you don’t, his disciples may come and steal his body. They will tell the people that he has been raised to life, and this last lie will be worse than the first one.”[h]
65 Pilate said to them, “All right, take some of your soldiers and guard the tomb as well as you know how.” 66 So they sealed it tight and placed soldiers there to guard it.
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