ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 375

M atthe w
Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner to the crowd—anyone they wanted. This year
there was a notorious prisoner, a man named Barabbas. As the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which one do you
want me to release to you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?”
(He knew very well that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.)
Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him
this message: “Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered through a terrible
nightmare about him last night.”
Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to
ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death. So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?”
The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!”
Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the
They shouted back, “Crucify him!”
“Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”
But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”
Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd,
saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!”
And all the people yelled back, “We will take responsibility for his
death—we and our children!”
So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with
a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be
Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and
called out the entire regiment. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe
on him. They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head,
and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt
before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they
spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it.
When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and
put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.
Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from
Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. And they went
out to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). The
soldiers gave Jesus wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it,
he refused to drink it.
After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his
clothes by throwing dice. Then they sat around and kept guard as he

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