John 19

1 Then Pilate told the soldiers to take Jesus outside. He told them to hit Jesus many times with a whip.

2 The soldiers took some branches that had sharp points all over them. They made the branches into a circle and they put it on Jesus' head. Then they took a dark red coat and they put that on him. They did all this as if he was a king. 3 They came to him many times and they were saying to him, ‘Hello, King of the Jews, you are great!’ At the same time they slapped him with their hands.

4 Pilate went outside once more. He said to the crowd, ‘Listen to me. I will bring Jesus out here to you. You should know this: I do not see that this man has done anything wrong. I have no reason to punish him.’ 5 Then Jesus came out, with the circle of branches on his head. He was wearing the dark red coat. Pilate said to them, ‘Look. Here is the man!’ 6 When the leaders of the priests and their officers saw Jesus, they shouted, ‘Kill him! Kill him on a cross!’ Pilate said to them, ‘You take him yourselves, and you kill him on a cross. I can find no reason why I should punish him.’ 7 The Jews answered, ‘We have a law which says that he must die. He must die because he said, “I am the Son of God”.’

8 When Pilate heard that, he was even more afraid. 9 He went back into the house. He asked Jesus, ‘Where are you really from?’ But Jesus did not answer him. 10 Pilate said to him, ‘Are you refusing to speak to me? Remember that I have authority. I can let you go free, or I can let them kill you on a cross.’ 11 Jesus answered, ‘You could have no power against me unless God had given it to you. So, the man who sold me to you has done a worse thing than you have done.’ 12 From that moment, Pilate tried to let Jesus go free. But the Jewish leaders shouted back, ‘If you let him go, you are not Caesar's friend. Nobody should say that he himself is a king. That shows that he is against Caesar!’

13 When Pilate heard those words, he brought Jesus outside. Pilate sat down on a special seat for the judge. The seat was in a place called ‘Gabbatha’ in the Jewish language. There were large flat stones there, which covered the ground. 14 It was about noon on the day when they prepared the Passover meal. Pilate said to the Jews, ‘Here is your king!’ 15 But they shouted, ‘Take him away! Take him away! Kill him on a cross!’ Pilate asked them, ‘Do you want me to kill your king on a cross?’ The leaders of the priests answered, ‘Caesar is the only ruler that we call king.’ 16 Then Pilate gave Jesus to them, so that they could kill him on a cross.

19:14John says that it was the 6th hour of the day. See note at John 1:39.

They fix Jesus to a cross

The soldiers took hold of Jesus. 17 He was carrying the cross on which they would kill him. He went out to the place called ‘The Place of the Skull’. This place is called ‘Golgotha’ in the Jewish language.

19:17A skull is the bone of a person's head. The place was called that because they killed people there.

18 When they arrived there, the soldiers fixed him to the cross. They put two other men on crosses with him. They were on each side of him and Jesus was between them.

19 Pilate wrote a notice, and then they put it on the cross. It said: ‘Jesus from Nazareth, the King of the Jews’. 20 The place where they put Jesus on the cross was near to the city. So, many of the Jews read this notice. They could read it because Pilate had written the words in three languages. He had written it in the Jewish language, and in the languages of the Roman people and the Greek people. 21 The leaders of the Jewish priests said to Pilate, ‘Do not write, “The King of the Jews”. Instead, write, “This man said that he is the King of the Jews.” ’ 22 Pilate answered, ‘I will not change what I have written.’

23 After the soldiers had put Jesus on the cross, they took his clothes. They made them into four parts, one part for each soldier. They took his long shirt also, which was one single piece of cloth. It was not several pieces of cloth that somebody had put together. 24 So they said to each other, ‘We will not tear it. Instead, we will play a game. The person who wins the game will have the coat.’ This happened in the way that the Bible had already said:

‘Each of them took some of my clothes.

They played a game to win what I was wearing.’

And that is what the soldiers really did.

19:24See Psalm 22:18.

25 Some women stood near to Jesus while he was on the cross. They were his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Mary from Magdala. 26 Jesus saw his mother there. He also saw the disciple that he loved. That disciple was standing there, near Jesus' mother. So Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, look! There is your son.’ 27 Then he said to the disciple, ‘Look! There is your mother.’ From that time, the disciple took Jesus' mother to live in his own home.

Jesus dies

28 After this, Jesus knew that everything was now finished. Then he said, ‘I am thirsty.’ He said this so that things would happen in the way the Bible already said. 29 There was a pot full of cheap wine there. So someone put a piece of cloth into the wine. They fixed the cloth to the end of a branch. The branch was from a plant called hyssop. Then they lifted the cloth up to Jesus' mouth. 30 Jesus drank the wine. Then he said, ‘Everything is finished.’ He bent his head down and he let his spirit go.

19:28See Psalm 22:15. David wrote Psalm 22 many years before Jesus was born. But it describes the time when Jesus was hanging on the cross. It describes how Jesus would feel then. God had already told his people everything that would happen to Jesus.

A soldier puts a spear into Jesus

31 It was the day when the Jews prepare everything for their day of rest. The next day was the day for the Passover meal, so it was a very important day. The Jews did not want the men's bodies to stay on the crosses during that day of rest. So they asked Pilate to tell the soldiers to break the legs of those men. Then they could take the dead bodies down from the crosses.

19:31That day for rest was a very special one. It was the day when the Jews ate the Passover meal.
19:31The Jewish rules said that a dead body must not remain ‘on the tree’ all night.
19:31A person who was dying on a cross would use his legs to push his body up. This helped him to breathe, so that he could live for a longer time. If the soldiers broke the person's legs, he would die more quickly.

32 So the soldiers went there. They broke the legs of the two men who were on the crosses next to Jesus. 33 Then they went to Jesus. They saw that he was dead already. So they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers put a spear into Jesus' side. Immediately, blood and water came out of his body. 35 The man who saw these things has spoken about them. What he says is true. He knows that it really happened. He is telling you the truth so that you can believe. 36 The Bible already said how it would happen. It says:

‘Nobody will break any of his bones.’

19:36See Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; Psalm 34:20.

37 In another place, the Bible says:

‘People will push a spear into that man's body,

and then they will look at him.’

And that is how it really happened.

19:37See Zechariah 12:10.

Joseph buries Jesus

38 There was a man called Joseph who came from the town called Arimathea. He was one of Jesus' disciples, but he was afraid of the Jewish leaders. So he had not told people that he was a disciple of Jesus. Joseph went to Pilate and asked if he could take Jesus' dead body away. Pilate agreed. So Joseph went and he took the body away. 39 Nicodemus went with Joseph. He was the man who had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought about 75 pounds of spices called myrrh and aloes. 40 The two men covered Jesus' dead body with these spices. And they tied long pieces of soft cloth round it many times. That is how the Jewish people prepare a dead body before they bury it. 41 There was a garden near the place where they killed Jesus on the cross. In that garden there was a special place where they could put dead people. It was a new hole in the rock, where nobody had ever put a dead person before. 42 The next day was the Jewish day for rest. So, they put Jesus in that hole in the rock, because it was near.

19:39Spices are oils or powders that have a lovely smell. The Jews used them on dead bodies. They stopped the dead bodies getting a bad smell.