God & His Church

Why do we call Good Friday “good?”

Thousands of years ago, a man went into a garden to pray with his disciples. This man was Jesus, who was both a man and God’s son. He went to the garden to pray that God would change his fate, that he would not have to go through agonizing pain and a gruesome death. He prayed so hard and so fervently that he began to sweat droplets of blood.

However, because of God’s love for us and because of our own sin nature, Jesus willingly accepted his Father’s will and when the Pharisees came to take him away, he went with them without a fight. When his disciples fled, Jesus was left alone. He was taken before several courts and tried unfairly for crimes he did not commit.

In fact, one of the judge’s, a man named Pilate, knew that Jesus was innocent. However, swayed by the crowd’s demands, he condemned Jesus to death by Crucifixion.

Although innocent, Jesus was whipped, beaten, spat on, mocked, ridiculed, had nails driven into his hands and feet, was forced to wear a crown of thorns, and was vaulted naked upon a cross to die slowly via asphyxiation.

Today, we celebrate Good Friday. Just this week, one of my students asked me, if Jesus’ death was so gruesome and horrible, why on earth do we call it “Good” Friday?

We call it “Good,” even though it is a day that memorializes a violent day in history, because it is the day that the Son of God willingly died for each and every one of us. It is a good day because it is the day that death and sin lost, it is the day that love won! Before that day, Jews were tied to the cleansing of sacrifices, however, once Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice, God made it even easier for us to eventually return to him. Ultimately, it is a good day because Jesus’ death helped to close the gap between man and God.

We are all sinners, including myself, but I am grateful to the one called Jesus who loved us then and loves us still. That is why I will celebrate this day as being “good.”

 

 

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In case you would like to read the story for yourself:

Luke 23 New International Version (NIV)

23 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.”

So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”

But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”

On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod,who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.

13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people,14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” [17] [a]

18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)

20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”

23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand.25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then

“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
    and to the hills, “Cover us!”’[b]

31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[c] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Death of Jesus

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[e] When he had said this, he breathed his last.

47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

The Burial of Jesus

50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Poetry

The Five Stages: Acceptance

Is it surrender or acceptance that I feel?

When I know your gone, but I wish it wasn’t real?

When I walk in your home, and wish to see your face?

When there is an emptiness, a void, that cannot be replaced?

 

Have I accepted that you are truly gone?

Does going to work mean that I have moved on?

Have I accepted that the world has changed?

That our lives have now and forever been re-arranged?

 

Have I reached acceptance?

That mysterious fifth and final stage?

 

I accept and believe that this is not the end

I accept and believe that I will one day see you again

Side-by-side-by-side, our family will reunite in Heaven

Side-by-side with Christ, who has rescued and forgiven.

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

God & His Church

Dealing with Anxiety is Hard.

Can I be honest? I think I can, mainly because I know most of you and you are wonderful, authentic bloggers who do not mind if I speak my mind.

I am overwhelmed.

This semester has been particularly trying as I have a student who has been aggressively confrontational since day one. On top of that, you all know that I am striving to get my book revised and finished by the end of the year. Also, my grandpa was recently diagnosed with stage 3 cancer and it is spreading rapidly.

I repeat, I am overwhelmed.

And the thing is, I know you all probably are too. Online we all put up this fake face (maybe less so on WordPress where we are a bit more open about our true emotions) that shows the world how perfect our lives are. But, if we were being honest, we would admit that we are far from perfect. You are not alone in your imperfection, I am right there with you and I would like to reach out a hand to all those who are currently struggling with anxiety over their imperfect lives.

This past week, Pastor Matt Brown stood on stage and talked all about anxiety and I swear, I thought he was speaking directly to me. How often do I find myself overwhelmed by this world and the things that I cannot control? How often, in this past week alone, have a felt frozen by the anxiety that threatens to break through my self-control?

Too often.

Do you want to know the secret to dealing with anxiety? Magazines everywhere claim that they know the “Top 5 Ways to Relax,” but they hardly ever mention the only true antidote, and that antidote is prayer. Even non-religious, scientific sources have reported the positive results that accompany prayer.

There is a very famous verse in the Bible that states, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

As a Christian for some twenty-odd years, I have heard this verse hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Sometimes this verse is extremely helpful and other times, it feels like “How can I just stop worrying? It’s not that easy.

The problem was, I was misinterpreting the verse, thinking that to be a good Christian, I just needed to stop worrying and that if I could not, I was not being faithful. Pastor Matt brought up a fantastic point about the author of this verse. Paul, one of the greatest Christian writers of the New Testament, the same author of the above verse, talked about his own struggles with anxiety only two chapters previously. Paul was not looking down on those who struggle with anxiety, but rather, he was sharing his own wisdom about his own experiences with anxiety.

ANXIETY IS NORMAL. (Even for Christians)

In our current society, it seems that people enjoy looking down on those who struggle with anxiety, and they say things like this, “Just stop being anxious.”

Because that is super helpful, isn’t it?

Battling anxiety is not about learning how to “stop being anxious,” but to start praying when you are anxious. All of us get worried, or stressed, or anxious, but luckily we have an amazing God who WANTS to hear from us.

I Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

When we begin to pray, we can talk about our anxieties to God knowing that He will not judge us for our struggles, but that He will listen. However, prayer is not just about making requests. Prayer should also include thanksgiving.

Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.

Gratitude Changes Attitude

When we only fixate on the negative, it is impossible to escape our anxiety. However, when we release our anxieties to God and we then focus on all the good we have seen, all the good we have received, and the good that we can do for others, our attitude begins to shift.

I am not a Pastor, I am just a follower of Christ Jesus and I know that I am struggling and that this message really spoke to me and gave me the encouragement that I needed to thrive this week at work. I hope that you also find it encouraging and I hope that if you have the time, you might listen to the rest of the message. It’s actually got some really funny moments too (including Pastor Matt’s abnormal physical response to anxiety).

 

Poetry

The Virtue of Reaching Out

Thrown to the ground

In nothing but a sheet

She shivers, trembles, and shrinks

Into hot sand

Harsh voices raising, roaring,

Accusing, Branding, Charging

Spit and spittle splatter

Flung against her face

Rock rumble in hungry hands

Waiting, wanting, to be thrown

Then,

He is there

Extending, Offering

A Hand

 

 

The Seven Virtues were created to combat each of the Seven Deadly Sins. These Seven Virtues first appeared tied together in an epic poem titled Pschomachia, written by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, a Christian governor of the 400s AD. To battle Envy, there is kindness.

Image result for jesus and the adulterous woman

Kindness is the act of showing compassion or mercy to someone who may or may not deserve it. Kindness can be shown in small or large ways. This poem was inspired by the kindness that Jesus showed the adulteress in John 7.

Happy Writing Everyone!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Poetry

Almighty Protector (A Poem)

Dust storms in from the East.

Rapids flood in from the West.

Fire billows in from the South.

Wind tunnels in from the North.

*

I am their target.

There is no escape.

*

Love surrounds me, covering like a blanket,

Forming a shield of immeasurable power.

*

Dust scatters, disintegrating against my Protector.

Waters part, unable to pass through my Guardian.

Fire sputters, dying out before the Almighty.

Wind relents, gasping in its attempt to escape the One.

*

I am His daughter.

I have no fear.

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Poetry

Gives and Takes

He Gives

And He Takes

But both are His

The Given

And the Taken

Who am I

To question

The goodness of

His ways?

Yes, He Gives.

Yes, He Takes.

And still, I will choose

To trust, obey, and praise.

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

God & His Church

“All Religions Are (Not) the Same”

Have you ever heard of the Indian Elephant Analogy/Parable? It goes something like this:

An elephant was brought to a town one day filled with people who had never even heard of an elephant. Among the residents was a group of blind men. These blind men inspected the creature via touch.

The first person who touched the trunk said, “It is like a thick snake!”

The second person who touched the ear said, “No, it is like a large fan.”

The third person who clung to its leg said, “Not so, it is more of a tree!”

The fourth person who placed his hands on its side said, “Surely, it is like a wall.”

The fifth person who touched the tail said, “It is like a rope.”

The sixth and last person who rubbed its tusks said, “It is hard and smooth like a spear.”

This story was originally used to teach perspective but later it became known for explaining away various religions. Many people use this analogy to show that every different religion is like a different blind person. They only have a part of the story that is informed by their biases and they are all correct and incorrect to some degree.

However, this interpretation ignores the presence of the narrator who knows without a doubt that the creature is not a snake, or a fan, or a tree, or a wall, or a rope, or a spear. The narrator sees the entire picture and knows an elephant when he sees one.

All Religions Are The Same

The above phrase was intended to show tolerance to all religions. After all, we currently live in a world where everyone is right all of the time. We do not want to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings. However, this phrase “All religions are the same” is actually extremely offensive. In stating that all religions are the same, you take away the complexity, the authenticity, and the detailed nature of each religion and you offend those who practice it. Buddhism is not Hinduism, Hinduism is not Islam, Islam is not Christianity.

Every Religion Has a Different View of God & a Different View of Salvation.

I believe that there is in elephant in the room and that elephant is religion. All of the religions of the world attempt to understand that elephant. However, I stand by the idea that we have a narrator who depicts what true faith is and that narrator is Jesus.

John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

One of the major differences between Christianity and every other religion is that in other religion’s man is the hero. In Christianity, man is weak and God is the hero. Perhaps we do not like admitting our own weaknesses, but I can admit to mine.

It’s a large concept to grasp, I know. If you are interested in hearing a more in-depth discussion of this concept, I really encourage you to watch the video by Claude Hickman. He has traveled all over the world and studied all different kinds of religions:

I do believe that faith in Jesus is the only road to salvation.

However, please know that this does not mean that I do not love or respect others any less due to their religious beliefs. I share my faith because I believe that it brings about salvation and because I want everyone to have the opportunity to hear or read about the love of God at least once in their lives.

I am more than open to discussing my faith or your questions in the comments, but please remember I will never approve any hateful or derogatory comments.

 

God & His Church, Uncategorized

Are you lacking Courage in your Life?

Can we be honest with each other? Because if we are being honest, I think we can admit that at one point or another we are all lacking courage. We lack the courage to do what is right, to speak the truth, to chase after a dream, etc.

Recently, a pastor at Sandal’s Church spoke about courage, specifically Godly Courage.

Reading a passage from the Bible, the pastor focused on Judges 3:12-30 which tells the story of how Ehud, an Israelite enslaved by the Moabites, rose up against his oppressors and led his people to freedom.

Judges 3:12-30 (NLT)

Ehud Becomes Israel’s Judge

12 Once again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight, and the Lord gave King Eglon of Moab control over Israel because of their evil.. . . 14 And the Israelites served Eglon of Moab for eighteen years.

15 But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin. The Israelites sent Ehud to deliver their tribute money to King Eglon of Moab. 16 So Ehud made a double-edged dagger that was about a foot long, and he strapped it to his right thigh, keeping it hidden under his clothing. 17 He brought the tribute money to Eglon, who was very fat.

18 After delivering the payment, Ehud started home with those who had helped carry the tribute. 19 But when Ehud reached the stone idols near Gilgal, he turned back. He came to Eglon and said, “I have a secret message for you.”

So the king commanded his servants, “Be quiet!” and he sent them all out of the room.

20 Ehud walked over to Eglon, who was sitting alone in a cool upstairs room. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you!” As King Eglon rose from his seat, 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, pulled out the dagger strapped to his right thigh, and plunged it into the king’s belly. 22 The dagger went so deep that the handle disappeared beneath the king’s fat. So Ehud did not pull out the dagger, and the king’s bowels emptied.[b] 23 Then Ehud closed and locked the doors of the room and escaped down the latrine.[c]24 After Ehud was gone, the king’s servants returned and found the doors to the upstairs room locked. They thought he might be using the latrine in the room, 25 so they waited. But when the king didn’t come out after a long delay, they became concerned and got a key. And when they opened the doors, they found their master dead on the floor.

26 While the servants were waiting, Ehud escaped, passing the stone idols on his way to Seirah. 27 When he arrived in the hill country of Ephraim, Ehud sounded a call to arms. Then he led a band of Israelites down from the hills.

28 “Follow me,” he said, “for the Lord has given you victory over Moab your enemy.” So they followed him. And the Israelites took control of the shallow crossings of the Jordan River across from Moab, preventing anyone from crossing.

29 They attacked the Moabites and killed about 10,000 of their strongest and most able-bodied warriors. Not one of them escaped. 30 So Moab was conquered by Israel that day, and there was peace in the land for eighty years.

From Ehud, we can learn a lot about Godly Courage. Here are some basic steps:

  • To have courage at all, we must first turn to GodThink of Ehud. In the passage it says that Ehud was a left-handed man which is translated to mean that his right had was either damaged or bound, meaning he was most likely cripple in some way. His courage could not come from his own physical abilities, but instead it came from his faith in God.
  • Next, we must prepare for action.Although Ehud did not know what he would do, he had prepared a dagger beforehand ready for anything.
    • I Pete 1:13 says, “So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control.”
  • After turning to God and preparing, we must face our fears.Again, Ehud was only one man and when he first went before the king, he let his fear get the best of him and he left. However, it was after leaving the king that Ehud saw the stones of the idols and trusting in God, he prepared to face his fears.
    • Courage is not the absence of fear but acting despite the presence of fear.
    • Courage in not about personality, but it is about our purpose in serving God and being a difference maker for our generation.
    • I Corinthians 16:13-14, “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” Isn’t it wonderful how everything comes back to love with God?
  • Next, we must do what others won’t.Ehud was not the most skilled warrior, remember his bound-up right hand? However, he was willing to do what others would not because of his faith in God.
    • James 2:18, “Now someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deads?’ I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” Indeed, our actions speak louder than words and reveal who we truly are.
  • Lastly, we must lead with what God has given us.All of us struggle to find our way, to find our courage. All of us were given a specific purpose and sometimes it is hard to find that purpose. Whatever it is, God equips us with the necessary tools to get the job done.

What do you need to be courageous about this week?

***I am a Christian and a follower of Jesus, but I am in no ways an expert. I am always happy to discuss my faith with anyone who wants to have a genuine conversation, but I will never respond to hateful comments.***

God & His Church

Easter – Behold the Empty Grave!

On the third day after the death of Jesus Christ, a group of followers made up of women went to the tomb to honor his body with spices and oils. However, they were met with an opened tomb and an empty grave. Then, suddenly, an angel appeared to them, and said,

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”

We celebrate Easter to remember and celebrate that death could not beat Jesus! Jesus rose again from the grave and just as he did, we will also. For those who believe in Jesus Christ, we will not be defeated by Death. Christ will raise us up also after our deaths and we will spend eternity in Heaven with Him.

Happy Easter Everyone!

I hope your enjoy your day with loved ones!

Wanna watch a service online? Check out Sandal’s Easter service!

Watch at 8:15am, 10am, or 11:45am PST!

OR, Watch on their Facebook page! 

God & His Church

Good Friday – A Horrible Day, a Good Man

Thousands of years ago, a man went into a garden to pray with his disciples. This man was Jesus, who was both a man and God’s son. He went to the garden to pray that God would change his fate, that he would not have to go through agonizing pain and a gruesome death. He prayed so hard and so fervently that he began to sweat droplets of blood.

Image result for the garden of gethsemane jesus prays

However, because of God’s love for us and because of our own sin nature, Jesus willingly accepted his Father’s will and when the Pharisees came to take him away, he went with them without a fight. When his disciples fled, Jesus was left alone. He was taken before several courts and tried unfairly for crimes he did not commit.

In fact, one of the judge’s, a man named Pilate, knew that Jesus was innocent. However, swayed by the crowd’s demands, he condemned Jesus to death by Crucifixion.

Image result for jesus crucifixion

Although innocent, Jesus was whipped, beaten, spat on, mocked, ridiculed, had nails driven into his hands and feet, was forced to wear a crown of thorns, and was vaulted naked upon a cross to die slowly via asphyxiation.

Today, we celebrate Good Friday. We call it “Good,” even though it is a day that memorializes a horrible, gruesome, violent day in history because it is the day that the Son of God willingly died for each and every one of us.

We are all sinners, including myself, but I am grateful to the one called Jesus. Who loved us then and loves us still.

 

 

In case you would like to read the story for yourself:

Luke 23 New International Version (NIV)

23 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.”

So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”

But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”

On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod,who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.

13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people,14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” [17] [a]

18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)

20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”

23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand.25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then

“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
    and to the hills, “Cover us!”’[b]

31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[c] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Death of Jesus

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[e] When he had said this, he breathed his last.

47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

The Burial of Jesus

50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.