The Council took Jesus to Pilate, having arrested Him the night before in the garden of Gethsemane. The crowds began at once accusing Jesus by claiming He is the Messiah-Jesus Christ
So Pilate asked him, "Are you their Messiah-their King? Jesus replied, "Thou saith it." Pilate then turned to the chief priests and the mob and said, "So? I find no fault in him!"
THE CROWD BECOMES FURIOUS
After almost a week of welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem, the people turned on him. "This Jesus is causing riots against the government everywhere He goes, all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!" "Is he a Galilean?" Pilate asked the crowd.
When they said yes, Pilate said, "Take him to King Herod, for Galilee was under Herod's jurisdiction, and Herod happens to be in Jerusalem at this time."
OFF TO KING HEROD
Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, for he had heard a lot about him and had hoped to see him perform a miracle. He questioned Jesus, but Jesus would not reply.
Meanwhile, the chief priests and other religious leaders stood and vehemently made their accusations. Now Herod and his soldiers began to mock and ridicule Jesus, putting a kingly robe on him and sending him back to Pilate.
That day Herod and Pilate's enemies before became fast friends.
A VERDICT IS ANNOUNCED
Pilate called the chief priests, other Jewish leaders, and the people and announced his verdict: "You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt against the Roman government. I have examined him thoroughly and found no fault in this man touching those things you accuse him of."
"Herod came to the same conclusion, and nothing worthy of death is unto him. I will therefore have him scourged with leaded thongs and release him."
It was customary to release one prisoner unto the people during the feast of Passover. However, a loud outburst rose from the crowd, as with one voice, they shouted. "Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas!"
Now, Barabbas was in prison for starting an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government and for murder. Pilate argued with the people, for he wanted to release Jesus.
But the crowd shouted, "Crucify him!" Crucify him!
For the third time, Pilate demanded, "Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death.
I will therefore scourge him and let him go."
But they shouted louder and louder for Jesus' death, and their voices prevailed. So Pilate released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder, and at their request, sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion.
JESUS TO BE CRUCIFIED
As they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him, they laid the cross that he might help bear it after Jesus. Great crowds trailed along behind, and many grief-stricken women.
Two other malefactors with Jesus are to be crucified. And when they came to Calvary, they nailed him and the two malefactors, one on the right hand and the other
on the left.
WHILE ON THE CROSS
Then said Jesus, "Father forgive them; for they know not what they do." And the soldiers gambled for his clothing, throwing dice for each piece, as the crowds watched, and the Jewish leaders laughed and scoffed, saying He saved others; let him save himself, if he is Christ, the chosen of God.
And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him and offering him vinegar, which was sour wine. They also told him, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself." A signboard nailed to the cross above him with these words:
Jesus, King of the Jews.
THE TWO THIEVES
One of the criminals beside Jesus scoffed at him, "So you're the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself and
us while you're at it!"
But the other thief protested. "Don't you even fear God when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn't done anything wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."
Jesus replied, "Verily I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise!"
DARKNESS FALLS UPON THE LAND
Jesus had been on the cross since early morning; by now, it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land for three hours until around three o'clock.
The light from the sun was suddenly gone, and the Temple was rent in the midst. Then Jesus cried loudly; he said, "Father, into thy hands, I commend my spirit: having said this, he gave up the ghost and died.
A ROMAN SOLDIER AND A JEWISH LEADER
Now when the centurion, Captain of the Roman military, saw all that they did, he glorified God, saying,
"Surely this man was innocent!"
As the crowds left, a man named Joseph, a member of the Jewish Supreme Court from the city of Arimathea in Judea, having gone to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, took the body. He wrapped it in linen and laid it in a tomb that was carved in stone, wherein no man was laid before.
BELOW THREE BEAUTIFUL SONGS:
1st SONG: THE OLD RUGGED CROSS
SUNG BY: GAITHER MUSIC
SUNG BY: SAVED BY GRACE
SUNG BY: Judy Weltin