Jesus’ Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, and Burial

Matthew 26-27; Mark 14-15; Luke 22-23; John 13-19

On the Thursday before he was crucified, Jesus had arranged to share the Passover meal with his disciples in an upper room, traditionally thought to be located in the Essene Quarter of Jerusalem. After they finished the meal, they went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus often met with his disciples. There Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ own disciples, betrayed him to soldiers sent from the High Priest, and they took Jesus to the High Priest’s residence. In the morning the leading priests and teachers of the law put Jesus on trial and found him guilty of blasphemy. The council sent Jesus to stand trial for treason before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, who resided at the Praetorium while in Jerusalem. The Praetorium was likely located at the former residence of Herod the Great, who had died over 30 years earlier. When Pilate learned that Jesus was from Galilee, he sent him to Herod Antipas, who had jurisdiction over Galilee. But when Jesus gave no answer to Herod’s many questions, Herod and his soldiers sent him back to Pilate, who conceded to the people’s demands that Jesus be crucified. Jesus was forced to carry his cross out of the city gate to Golgotha, meaning Skull Hill, referring to what may have been a small unquarried hill in the middle of an old quarry just outside the gate. After Jesus was unable to carry his cross any further, a man named Simon from Cyrene was forced to carry it for him. There at Golgotha they crucified Jesus. After Jesus died, his body was hurriedly taken down before nightfall and placed in a newly cut, rock tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Jewish high council. This tomb was likely located at the perimeter of the old quarry.

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