The death of Jesus on the cross. After he had been betrayed by Judas Iscariot and arrested, Jesus was condemned by his fellow Jews (see also Jews) as a false Messiah and turned over to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate to be crucified. Pilate found no reason to condemn Jesus; he tried to convince the people that it was absurd to regard Jesus as “King of the Jews” and offered to release him. But when the people insisted that Jesus be put to death, Pilate washed his hands to indicate that Jesus' fate was no longer his responsibility and turned Jesus over to be crucified. Roman soldiers then placed a crown of thorns on the head of Jesus and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews.” He was made to carry a wooden cross up the hill of Calvary near Jerusalem (see also Jerusalem), where he was nailed to the cross and was placed between two thieves, who were also crucified. Shortly before his death, he said, “ Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” After his death, the followers of Jesus placed his body in a tomb.
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