Jesus’ Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, and Burial

On the Thursday before Jesus was crucified, Jesus had arranged to share the Passover meal together with his disciples in an upper room. This room is traditionally thought to be located in the Essene Quarter of Jerusalem. After they had 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 the soldiers sent from the High Priest, and they arrested Jesus and took him 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. Likely seeking to avoid blame from the people for Jesus’ death, the council then sent Jesus to stand trial for treason before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, who resided at the Praetorium while in Jerusalem. The Praetorium was 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. Herod asked him many questions and listened to the charges of the leading priests and teachers of the law, but when Jesus gave no answer, Herod and his soldiers merely ridiculed him and sent him back to Pilate. Though Pilate sought to release Jesus, the people repeatedly demanded that he crucify him, so Pilate ordered that Jesus be led away to 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 it became evident, however, that Jesus was unable to carry his cross any further, they forced a man named Simon from Cyrene 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, who was a member of the council. This tomb was likely located at the perimeter of the old quarry.

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