Matthew 27:1-26 The Message Bible

Jesus Brought before Pilate

27 1  In the first light of dawn, all the high priests and religious leaders met and put the finishing touches on their plot to kill Jesus. 2  Then they tied him up and paraded him to Pilate, the governor.

The Death of Judas

3  Judas, the one who betrayed him, realized that Jesus was doomed. Overcome with remorse, he gave back the thirty silver coins to the high priests, 4  saying, "I've sinned. I've betrayed an innocent man." They said, "What do we care? That's your problem!" 5  Judas threw the silver coins into the Temple and left. Then he went out and hung himself. 6  The high priests picked up the silver pieces, but then didn't know what to do with them. "It wouldn't be right to give this - a payment for murder! - as an offering in the Temple." 7  They decided to get rid of it by buying the "Potter's Field" and use it as a burial place for the homeless. 8  That's how the field got called "Murder Meadow," a name that has stuck to this day. 9  Then Jeremiah's words became history: They took the thirty silver pieces, The price of the one priced by some sons of Israel, 10  And they purchased the potter's field. And so they unwittingly followed the divine instructions to the letter.

Pilate Questions Jesus

11  Jesus was placed before the governor, who questioned him: "Are you the 'King of the Jews'?" Jesus said, "If you say so." 12  But when the accusations rained down hot and heavy from the high priests and religious leaders, he said nothing. 13  Pilate asked him, "Do you hear that long list of accusations? Aren't you going to say something?" 14  Jesus kept silence - not a word from his mouth. The governor was impressed, really impressed.

Jesus Sentenced to Die

15  It was an old custom during the Feast for the governor to pardon a single prisoner named by the crowd. 16  At the time, they had the infamous Jesus Barabbas in prison. 17  With the crowd before him, Pilate said, "Which prisoner do you want me to pardon: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus the so-called Christ?" 18  He knew it was through sheer spite that they had turned Jesus over to him. 19  While court was still in session, Pilate's wife sent him a message: "Don't get mixed up in judging this noble man. I've just been through a long and troubled night because of a dream about him." 20  Meanwhile, the high priests and religious leaders had talked the crowd into asking for the pardon of Barabbas and the execution of Jesus. 21  The governor asked, "Which of the two do you want me to pardon?" They said, "Barabbas!" 22  "Then what do I do with Jesus, the so-called Christ?" They all shouted, "Nail him to a cross!" 23  He objected, "But for what crime?" But they yelled all the louder, "Nail him to a cross!" 24  When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere and that a riot was imminent, he took a basin of water and washed his hands in full sight of the crowd, saying, "I'm washing my hands of responsibility for this man's death. From now on, it's in your hands. You're judge and jury." 25  The crowd answered, "We'll take the blame, we and our children after us."

26  Then he pardoned Barabbas. But he had Jesus whipped, and then handed over for crucifixion.

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