ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 376


hung there. A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge
against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery.
“Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy
the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of
God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”
The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also
mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself!
So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right
now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him
now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way.
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. At about
three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for
the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine,
holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. But the rest said,
“Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.”
Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. At that moment
the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to
bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies
of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead.
They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of
Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.
The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man
truly was the Son of God!”
And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for him
were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary
(the mother of James and Joseph), and the mother of James and John, the
sons of Zebedee.
As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who had
­become a follower of Jesus, went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.
And Pilate issued an order to release it to him. Joseph took the body and
wrapped it in a long sheet of clean linen cloth. He placed it in his own new
tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone
across the entrance and left. Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
were sitting across from the tomb and watching.

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