18 Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, "Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!"
19 (Barabbas was in prison for murder and for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government.)
20 Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus.
21 But they shouted, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
22 For the third time he demanded, "Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. I will therefore flog him and let him go."
23 But the crowd shouted louder and louder for Jesus' death, and their voices prevailed.
24 So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded.
25 As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he delivered Jesus over to them to do as they wished.
26 As they led Jesus away, Simon of Cyrene,* who was coming in from the country just then, was forced to follow Jesus and carry his cross.2
27 Great crowds trailed along behind, including many grief-stricken women.
28 But Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, don't weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
29 For the days are coming when they will say, `Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.'
30 People will beg the mountains to fall on them and the hills to bury them.
31 For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?*"3
32 Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him.
33 Finally, they came to a place called The Skull.* All three were crucified there--Jesus on the center cross, and the two criminals on either side.4
34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive these people, because they don't know what they are doing."* And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.*5
35 The crowd watched, and the leaders laughed and scoffed. "He saved others," they said, "let him save himself if he is really God's Chosen One, the Messiah."
36 The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine.
37 They called out to him, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"
38 A signboard was nailed to the cross above him with these words: "This is the King of the Jews."