SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
15:1 Early in the morning, after forming a plan, the chief priests with the elders and the experts in the law and the whole Sanhedrin tied Jesus up, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. 2 So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He replied, “You say so.” 3 Then the chief priests began to accuse him repeatedly. 4 So Pilate asked him again, “Have you nothing to say? See how many charges they are bringing against you!” 5 But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.
6 During the feast it was customary to release one prisoner to the people, whomever they requested. 7 A man named Barabbas was imprisoned with rebels who had committed murder during an insurrection. 8 Then the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to release a prisoner for them, as was his custom. 9 So Pilate asked them, “Do you want me to release the king of the Jews for you?” 10 (For he knew that the chief priests had handed him over because of envy.) 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas instead. 12 So Pilate spoke to them again, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call king of the Jews?” 13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!” 14 Pilate asked them, “Why? What has he done wrong?” But they shouted more insistently, “Crucify him!” 15 Because he wanted to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them. Then, after he had Jesus flogged, he handed him over to be crucified.
16 So the soldiers led him into the palace (that is, the governor’s residence) and called together the whole cohort. 17 They put a purple cloak on him and after braiding a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 They began to salute him: “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19 Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Then they knelt down and paid homage to him. 20 When they had finished mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
21 The soldiers forced a passerby to carry his cross, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country (he was the father of Alexander and Rufus). 22 They brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which is translated, “Place of the Skull”). 23 They offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 Then they crucified him and divided his clothes, throwing dice for them, to decide what each would take. 25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The inscription of the charge against him read, “The king of the Jews.” 27 And they crucified two outlaws with him, one on his right and one on his left. 29 Those who passed by defamed him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who can destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself and come down from the cross!” 31 In the same way even the chief priests—together with the experts in the law—were mocking him among themselves: “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! 32 Let the Christ, the king of Israel, come down from the cross now, that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with him also spoke abusively to him.
33 Now when it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 Around three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 When some of the bystanders heard it they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah!” 36 Then someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Leave him alone! Let’s see if Elijah will come to take him down!” 37 But Jesus cried out with a loud voice and breathed his last.