Now a large crowd was following Jesus. It had many women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. Jesus turned to them and said, “You women of Jerusalem, do not weep for me! Instead, weep because of what is going to happen to yourselves and your children! For I want you to know that there will soon be a time when people will say, ‘How fortunate are the women who have never given birth to children or nursed babies!’ Then the people in this city will say, ‘We wish that the mountains would fall on top of us and that the hills would cover us up!’ If I have to die, even though I have nothing wrong, terrible things will certainly happen to people who deserve to die.”
When they came to the place named ‘The Skull’, there they crucified Jesus by nailing him to a cross. They did the same thing to the two criminals. They put one at the right side of Jesus and one at his left side. But Jesus said, “Father, forgive these people who did this, because they do not really know whom they are doing this to.” Then the soldiers divided his clothes by gambling with something like dice, to decide which piece of clothing each one would get.* Many people stood nearby, watching. Even the Jewish leaders were mocking Jesus: “He saved other people! If God has really chosen him to be the Messiah, he should save himself!” The soldiers also mocked him. They came up to him and offered him some sour wine. They kept saying to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” They also fastened on the cross above his head a sign that stated, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’
One of the criminals who was hanging on a cross also insulted Jesus; he said, “You are the Messiah, are you not? So save yourself, and save us too!” But the other criminal stopped him from speaking; he said, “You should be afraid of God punishing you! They are punishing him and us in the same way. We two deserve to die. They are punishing us as we deserve for the evil things that we did. But this man has done nothing wrong!” Then he said to Jesus, “Jesus, please remember to save me when you begin to rule as king!” Jesus replied, “I want you to know that today you will be with me in paradise!”
Then it was about noontime. But it became dark over all the land until three o’clock in the afternoon. There was no light from the sun. And the thick curtain that closed off the most holy place in the temple split into two pieces. When that happened, Jesus shouted loudly, “Father, I put my spirit into your care!” After he said that, he stopped breathing and died.
When the centurion who was over the soldiers saw what happened, he said, “Indeed, this man has done nothing wrong!” What he said honored God. When the crowd of people who had gathered to see these men die saw what actually happened, they returned to their homes, hitting their own chests to show that they were sorrowful. All of Jesus’ acquaintances, including the women who had come with him from the region of Galilee, stood at a little distance away and watched everything happen.
Now there was a man named Joseph from Arimathea, a Jewish town. He was a good and a righteous man, and he was a member of the Jewish council. He saw everything happen, but he had not agreed with the other Council members when they decided to kill Jesus and when they did it it. He was waiting eagerly for the time when God would send his king to begin to rule. Joseph went to Pilate and asked Pilate to permit him to take Jesus’ body to bury it. Pilate gave him permission, so he took Jesus’ body down from the cross. He wrapped it in a linen cloth. Then he put his body in a burial chamber that someone had cut in a rock cliff. No one had ever put a body in it before. It was the day when people got ready for the Jewish day of rest called the Sabbath. It was soon going to be sunset, the start of the Sabbath. The women who had come with Jesus from the district of Galilee followed Joseph and the men who were with him. They saw the burial chamber, and they saw how the men laid Jesus’ body inside it.
*Fulfilling prophecy from hundreds of years before: Psalm 22: 18
Text is from the Unlocked Dynamic Bible (Luke 23: 27-55), which is open-source and currently being used for Bible translations around the world. Emphasis added.
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