John 18:28-19:19 MSG
The King of the Jews
28-29They led Jesus then from Caiaphas to the Roman governor's palace. It was early morning. They themselves didn't enter the palace because they didn't want to be disqualified from eating the Passover. So Pilate came out to them and spoke. "What charge do you bring against this man?"
30They said, "If he hadn't been doing something evil, do you think we'd be here bothering you?"
31-32Pilate said, "You take him. Judge him by your law."
The Jews said, "We're not allowed to kill anyone." (This would confirm Jesus' word indicating the way he would die.)
33Pilate went back into the palace and called for Jesus. He said, "Are you the 'King of the Jews'?"
34Jesus answered, "Are you saying this on your own, or did others tell you this about me?"
35Pilate said, "Do I look like a Jew? Your people and your high priests turned you over to me. What did you do?"
36"My kingdom," said Jesus, "doesn't consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn't be handed over to the Jews. But I'm not that kind of king, not the world's kind of king."
37Then Pilate said, "So, are you a king or not?"
Jesus answered, "You tell me. Because I am King, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice."
38-39Pilate said, "What is truth?"
Then he went back out to the Jews and told them, "I find nothing wrong in this man. It's your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover. Do you want me to pardon the 'King of the Jews'?"
40They shouted back, "Not this one, but Barabbas!" Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter.
The Thorn Crown of the King
1-3So Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. The soldiers, having braided a crown from thorns, set it on his head, threw a purple robe over him, and approached him with, "Hail, King of the Jews!" Then they greeted him with slaps in the face.
4-5Pilate went back out again and said to them, "I present him to you, but I want you to know that I do not find him guilty of any crime." Just then Jesus came out wearing the thorn crown and purple robe.
Pilate announced, "Here he is: the Man."
6When the high priests and police saw him, they shouted in a frenzy, "Crucify! Crucify!"
Pilate told them, "You take him. You crucify him. I find nothing wrong with him."
7The Jews answered, "We have a law, and by that law he must die because he claimed to be the Son of God."
8-9When Pilate heard this, he became even more scared. He went back into the palace and said to Jesus, "Where did you come from?"
Jesus gave no answer.
10Pilate said, "You won't talk? Don't you know that I have the authority to pardon you, and the authority to—crucify you?"
11Jesus said, "You haven't a shred of authority over me except what has been given you from heaven. That's why the one who betrayed me to you has committed a far greater fault."
12At this, Pilate tried his best to pardon him, but the Jews shouted him down: "If you pardon this man, you're no friend of Caesar's. Anyone setting himself up as 'king' defies Caesar."
13-14When Pilate heard those words, he led Jesus outside. He sat down at the judgment seat in the area designated Stone Court (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). It was the preparation day for Passover. The hour was noon. Pilate said to the Jews, "Here is your king."
15They shouted back, "Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him!"
Pilate said, "I am to crucify your king?"
The high priests answered, "We have no king except Caesar."
16-19Pilate caved in to their demand. He turned him over to be crucified.
They took Jesus away. Carrying his cross, Jesus went out to the place called Skull Hill (the name in Hebrew is Golgotha), where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote a sign and had it placed on the cross. It read:
jesus the nazarene
the king of the jews.
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