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Jesus at the Passover - part 2

Jesus faces an unfair trial and crucifixion.
Contributed by Lars-Goran Ronnberg
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese
Now the Priests and Jewish leaders decided that Jesus should be judged by the Grand Council – the Sanhedrin - a group of 70 Jews who were responsible for understanding and interpreting God´s laws. This all took place at a time the emperor of Rome and his soldiers ruled over everything else in Israel. – Slide 1
The High Priest was very angry and asked the Grand Council what should be done with Jesus, because He had claimed to be the Son of God. Almost everyone thought that Jesus should be killed for making such a claim. However, they did not have the power to give a death sentence.  <br/>So, it was decided to bring Jesus to the Roman governor named Pilate who did have the power to sentence Jesus to death. – Slide 2
Only two on the Grand Council, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, did not want Jesus killed. Both were now very sad. – Slide 3
Pilate lived with 600 Roman soldiers in the great fortress of Antonia, which was located right next to the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus was taken during the early morning to see Pilate. – Slide 4
When Pilate opened the door, they shouted: ‘Here is a man who said He is the Son of God. You have to kill Him.  <br/>But Pilate did not want to do that. He did not think this charge deserved the death penalty. So they changed their accusation and shouted, ‘He has made himself king!’ – Slide 5
Pilate took Jesus inside and asked Him if He was the king of the Jews. Jesus replied, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ – Slide 6
Pilate knew that Jesus did not deserve to be killed and that the Jewish leaders were jealous of Him. – Slide 7
‘This man is not guilty of any crime,’ Pilate announced. ‘He is innocent and should not be killed!’ – Slide 8
The large crowd that had gathered outside shouted, ‘He has made himself king! We have no king but the Roman emperor!’ <br/>Pilate was astonished to hear this as the Jews hated having the Romans  rule over them. – Slide 9
Pilate continued to interrogate Jesus. When Pilate's wife saw Jesus, she became very frightened and nervous. That night she’d had a very disturbing dream about an innocent man, who looked like Jesus, who had never done any evil, but would be killed anyway. – Slide 10
She quickly wrote a letter to Pilate begging him not to judge or harm Jesus. She gave it to a servant to deliver to him right away. – Slide 11
Pilate read the letter, ‘Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of Him.’ Pilate wondered what to do. – Slide 12
But then he had an idea. Every Passover he released a prisoner. There was a terrible murderer in prison called Barabbas. Why not give them the choice as to who should be released? Barabbas or Jesus? Surely they would choose Jesus not Barabbas. – Slide 13
Pilate went out to the people and shouted: ‘You must choose who I am to release. Barabbas or Jesus? <br/>To his great surprise they shouted that Barabbas should be released. ‘What shall I do with Jesus?’ Pilate asked.  <br/>The Jewish leaders had stirred up a mob to shout <br/>‘Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Only the Roman Emperor Tiberias is our king and if you do not crucify Jesus you are not a friend of the Emperor.’ – Slide 14
Pilate dared not do anything but sentence Jesus to be crucified. But to show that he did not want to responsible for the decision, he washed his hands. The people were agreed that they were happy to be responsible for this very unfair decision. – Slide 15
Roman soldiers ordered to crucify Jesus dressed Him in a scarlet royal robe and mockingly bowed before Him. They also made a crown of thorns with large thorns and put it on His head so that the blood flowed. Then they beat Jesus, spat on His face and whipped Him across His back. – Slide 16
Then they took off the robe and dressed Jesus in His clothes. They then led Him through Jerusalem to Calvary - a place they crucified people. Jesus had to carry the crossbeam to the cross. Some were very happy and others were very sad that Jesus would be crucified and die. – Slide 17
At Calvary, they removed Jesus’ clothes and nailed His hands and feet to the cross. Pilate had made a wooden sign which they nailed to the cross above Jesus’. It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, king of Jews’ in three languages.  <br/>Jesus did not swear and curse those who abused Him as most people who were crucified did. Instead, He was silent. – Slide 18
Two robbers were also crucified at the same time. One on the right and one on the left side of Jesus. Many people mocked and insulted Jesus … – Slide 19
… but others were very upset and grieving. Among them were Mary, the mother of Jesus, the disciple John and Mary who came from city of Magdala. – Slide 20
The soldiers insulted Jesus  for being the ‘King of the Jews’ … – Slide 21
…  and they took His clothes and divided them between them. – Slide 22
But the priests and leaders who wanted Jesus killed were not happy with the sign above Jesus. ‘It should not be written that He is our king but that He has said that He is.’ – Slide 23
The text on the wooden sign was written in three languages - Hebrew, Greek and Latin. Jesus looked down at them and prayed aloud, ‘Father in heaven! Forgive them because they do not know what they are doing. – Slide 24
The priests and leaders quickly ran to Pilate to asked him to change the text. Pilate simply replied, ‘What I have written, I have written.’ – Slide 25
The robber who hung on Jesus’ left side also mocked Jesus and said, ‘Aren’t you the Son of God? Save yourself and us too.’ – Slide 26
The robber who hung on Jesus’ right side interrupted him. ‘Do you not fear God either? Are you just like these soldiers, priests and leaders? We are being punished for all the harm we have done, but Jesus is innocent!’ <br/>Turning to Jesus he prayed, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.’ – Slide 27
Jesus answered him, ‘Today you will be with me in Paradise!’ – Slide 28
At that moment the thief knew what it was like to be forgiven. He was so thankful to God and Jesus. – Slide 29
In the middle of the day when the sun usually shines as bright as possible, it suddenly became very dark! Everyone was surprised. – Slide 30
Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Father, why have you forsaken me?’ Jesus was all alone as He took the punishment for our sin. Then Jesus cried out again, ‘It is finished! Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’ – Slide 31
After saying this, Jesus breathed His last breath and died. – Slide 32
There was a big earthquake, the ground shook and everyone was very scared! (There is an additional resource of a free audio file of an earthquake you can download and play at this point). – Slide 33
[Quickly switch back and forwards between the last image and this one so viewers can see how the ground shakes]. – Slide 34
The Roman centurion, in charge of the soldiers who had mocked and crucified Jesus, having seen all that had happened knew how wrongly he has acted. He praised God and said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God.’ He knew Jesus had died to save people from their sins. – Slide 35
That evening Nicodemus and Joseph from Arimathea went to Pilate and asked if they could bury Jesus’ dead body. <br/>Pilate was surprised that Jesus was already dead and called an officer who told him everything that had happened. – Slide 36
Nicodemus and Joseph from Arimathea took Jesus’ body down from the cross. They wrapped it in a clean linen cloth with sweet smelling myrrh and aloe spices. Then they carried the body to a new tomb belonging to Joseph from Arimathea and rolled back a large stone in front of the entrance. – Slide 37
Mary from Magdala followed and saw where they buried Jesus. Then she went home and cried. She did not know the great surprise she would have three days later. – Slide 38
Slide 39