The Crucifixion and Burial of Jesus Christ (Harmonized)
This reading represents a harmonized version of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ as presented in all four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Careful attention was giving in an attempt to include all of the unique details given by each writer. As this is read, we gain a full-orbed perspective of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus.
THE CRUCIFIXION AND BURIAL OF JESUS CHRIST (Harmonized)
“Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. The soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head and struck him with their hands. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.
As they went out, they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
And with him they crucified two others who were criminals, robbers, one on his right and one on his left, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription, the charge against him, and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’ ” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So the soldiers did these things, then they sat down and kept watch over him there. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God, his Chosen One!’ ”
The soldiers also mocked him. One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.”
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.”
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he bowed his head, breathed his last, and yielded up his spirit.
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent! “Truly this was the Son of God!”
And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, stood at a distance watching these things, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and Salome, the mother of the sons of Zebedee.”
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”
And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, a good and righteous man, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews. This man took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, Pilate gave him permission and ordered the corpse to be given to him.
So Joseph came and bought a clean linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning, since the tomb was close at hand, Joseph took the body and laid it in his own new tomb which he had cut in the rock, where no one had ever yet been laid. And he rolled a great stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.
It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, the mother of Joses, followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.”