The arrest and hearings continued through the night and into the morning hours as the church leaders sought a quick resolution and justice by seeking a Roman seal of approval.
As the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?”(He knew very well that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.) Matthew 27: 17 - 18 Pilate isn't a courageous politician. But he can't bring himself to listen to his heart.
Which of these two do you want me to release to you?”
The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!”
Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”
They shouted back, “Crucify him!”
So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.
Matthew 27: 21-22, 26
No appeal to a higher court was available and there was a verdict to carry out before the Holy Day, so soldiers moved the accused and a couple other criminals toward the hill known as the Skull. They were forced to carry their own cross. When it became too heavy for Jesus, a tourist was pressed into action.
It's interesting that while Jesus carried our sins to the cross - he also received help. But on top of the hill that day, a sorrowful and solemn day unfolded as the whole earth reacted to the selfless and remarkable act of kindness through the ultimate sacrifice.
At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah.One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink.But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.”
Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit.At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart,and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead.They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.
The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”
Jesus' followers and a Roman official watching it all in recognized what just happened and who it was on the cross. Before darkness fell, a man who asked Jesus about being born again, served his Lord.
As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who had become a follower of Jesus,went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him.Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long sheet of clean linen cloth.He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance and left. Matthew 27: 57-60