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Luke 23 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Governor Pilate Questions Jesus

23 Then the whole group stood up and led Jesus away to Pilate. They began to accuse Jesus and said to Pilate, “We caught this man trying to change the thinking of our people. He says we should not pay taxes to Caesar. He calls himself the Messiah, a king.”

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

Jesus answered, “Yes, what you say is true.”

Pilate said to the leading priests and the people, “I find nothing wrong with this man.”

But they kept on saying, “His teaching is causing trouble all over Judea. He began in Galilee, and now he is here!”

Pilate Sends Jesus to Herod

Pilate heard this and asked if Jesus was from Galilee. He learned that Jesus was under Herod’s authority. Herod was in Jerusalem at that time, so Pilate sent Jesus to him.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was very happy. He had heard all about him and had wanted to meet him for a long time. Herod wanted to see a miracle, so he was hoping that Jesus would do one. He asked him many questions, but Jesus said nothing. 10 The leading priests and teachers of the law were standing there shouting things against Jesus. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers laughed at him. They made fun of him by dressing him in clothes like kings wear. Then Herod sent him back to Pilate. 12 In the past Pilate and Herod had always been enemies. But on that day they became friends.

Pilate Tries but Fails to Free Jesus

13 Pilate called all the people together with the leading priests and the Jewish leaders. 14 He said to them, “You brought this man to me. You said he was trying to change the people. But I judged him before you all and have not found him guilty of the things you say he has done. 15 Herod didn’t find him guilty either. He sent him back to us. Look, he has done nothing bad enough for the death penalty. 16 So, after I punish him a little, I will let him go free.” 17 [a]

18 But they all shouted, “Kill him! Let Barabbas go free!” 19 (Barabbas was a man who was in jail for starting a riot in the city and for murder.)

20 Pilate wanted to let Jesus go free. So again Pilate told them that he would let him go. 21 But they shouted again, “Kill him! Kill him on a cross!”

22 A third time Pilate said to the people, “Why? What wrong has he done? He is not guilty. I can find no reason to kill him. So I will let him go free after I punish him a little.”

23 But the people continued to shout. They demanded that Jesus be killed on a cross. Their shouting got so loud that 24 Pilate decided to give them what they wanted. 25 They wanted Barabbas to go free—the one who was in jail for starting a riot and for murder. Pilate let Barabbas go free. And he handed Jesus over to be killed. This is what the people wanted.

Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross

26 The soldiers led Jesus away. At that same time there was a man from Cyrene named Simon coming into the city from the fields. The soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross and walk behind him.

27 A large crowd followed Jesus. Some of the women were sad and crying. They felt sorry for him. 28 But Jesus turned and said to the women, “Women of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children too. 29 The time is coming when people will say, ‘The women who cannot have babies are the ones God has blessed. It’s really a blessing that they have no children to care for.’ 30 Then the people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ They will say to the hills, ‘Cover us!’[b] 31 If this can happen to someone who is good, what will happen to those who are guilty?[c]

32 There were also two criminals led out with Jesus to be killed. 33 They were led to a place called “The Skull.” There the soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross. They also nailed the criminals to crosses beside Jesus—one on the right and the other on the left.

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”[d]

The soldiers threw dice to divide Jesus’ clothes between them. 35 The people stood there watching everything. The Jewish leaders laughed at Jesus. They said, “If he is God’s Chosen One, the Messiah, then let him save himself. He saved others, didn’t he?”

36 Even the soldiers laughed at Jesus and made fun of him. They came and offered him some sour wine. 37 They said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 (At the top of the cross these words were written: “ this is the king of the jews.”)

39 One of the criminals hanging there began to shout insults at Jesus: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Then save yourself, and save us too!”

40 But the other criminal stopped him. He said, “You should fear God. All of us will die soon. 41 You and I are guilty. We deserve to die because we did wrong. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you begin ruling as king!”

43 Then Jesus said to him, “I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Jesus Dies

44 It was about noon, but it turned dark throughout the land until three o’clock in the afternoon, 45 because the sun stopped shining. The curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces. 46 Jesus shouted, “Father, I put my life in your hands!”[e] After Jesus said this, he died.

47 The army officer there saw what happened. He praised God, saying, “I know this man was a good man!”

48 Many people had come out of the city to see all this. When they saw it, they felt very sorry and left. 49 The people who were close friends of Jesus were there. Also, there were some women who had followed Jesus from Galilee. They all stood far away from the cross and watched these things.

Jesus Is Buried

50-51 A man named Joseph was there from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a good man, who lived the way God wanted. He was waiting for God’s kingdom to come. Joseph was a member of the Jewish council. But he did not agree when the other Jewish leaders decided to kill Jesus. 52 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 He took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in cloth. Then he put it in a tomb that was dug in a wall of rock. This tomb had never been used before. 54 It was late on Preparation day. When the sun went down, the Sabbath day would begin.

55 The women who had come from Galilee with Jesus followed Joseph. They saw the tomb. Inside they saw where he put Jesus’ body. 56 Then they left to prepare some sweet-smelling spices to put on the body.

On the Sabbath day they rested, as commanded in the Law of Moses.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 23:17 A few Greek copies add verse 17: “Every year at the Passover festival, Pilate had to release one prisoner to the people.”
  2. Luke 23:30 Quote from Hos. 10:8.
  3. Luke 23:31 If this can happen … guilty Literally, “If they do these things in the green tree, what will happen in the dry?”
  4. Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, … doing” Some early copies of Luke do not have these words.
  5. Luke 23:46 “I put … hands!” Literally, “I put my spirit in your hands.” Quote from Ps. 31:5.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 23:17 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Matt. 27:15 and Mark 15:6.
  2. Luke 23:30 Hosea 10:8
  3. Luke 23:34 Some early manuscripts do not have this sentence.
  4. Luke 23:42 Some manuscripts come with your kingly power
  5. Luke 23:46 Psalm 31:5
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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