Matthew 27:45-66

Jesus Dies

From noon until three o’clock, the whole land was covered with darkness. About three o’clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice. He said, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” This means “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?” (Psalm 22:1)

Some of those standing there heard Jesus cry out. They said, “He’s calling for Elijah.”

Right away one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar and put it on a stick. He offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

After Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, he died.

At that moment the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook. The rocks split. Tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs. After Jesus was raised from the dead, they went into the holy city. There they appeared to many people.

The Roman commander and those guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened. They were terrified. They exclaimed, “He was surely the Son of God!”

Not very far away, many women were watching. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to take care of his needs. Mary Magdalene was among them. Mary, the mother of James and Joseph, was also there. So was the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

Jesus Is Buried

As evening approached, a rich man came from the town of Arimathea. His name was Joseph. He had become a follower of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. He placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb. Then he went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there across from the tomb.

The Guards at the Tomb

The next day was the day after Preparation Day. The chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember something that liar said while he was still alive. He claimed, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order to make the tomb secure until the third day. If you don’t, his disciples might come and steal the body. Then they will tell the people that Jesus has been raised from the dead. This last lie will be worse than the first.”

“Take some guards with you,” Pilate answered. “Go. Make the tomb as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure. They put a royal seal on the stone and placed some guards on duty.

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