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Matthew 26

26
The Plan to Kill Jesus
1When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2“As you know, the Passover Feast is two days away. The Son of Man is going to be handed over to his enemies, and they will nail him to a cross.”
3Then the chief priests and elders of the people met in the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest. 4They made plans to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. 5“But we can’t do it during the feast,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.”
A Woman Pours Perfume on Jesus
6While Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon the Leper, 7a woman came to him with a special sealed jar of very expensive perfume. She poured the perfume on his head while he was at the table.
8When the disciples saw this, they got angry. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9“This perfume could have been sold for a lot of money, and it could have been given to the poor.”
10Jesus knew they were saying this and asked them, “Why are you criticizing this woman? She has done a beautiful thing for me. 11You’ll always have the poor with you. But you won’t always have me. 12She poured the perfume on my body to prepare me for my burial. 13Truly I tell you, what she has done will be told wherever this good news is preached all over the world, and she will be remembered.”
Judas Agrees to Hand Jesus Over
14Then one of the 12 disciples, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests. 15He asked, “What will you give me if I hand Jesus over to you?” They counted out 30 silver coins for him, 16and from then on, Judas watched for the right opportunity to hand Jesus over.
The Lord’s Supper
17On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to go and prepare the Passover meal for you?”
18He answered, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near. I’d like to celebrate the Passover at your house with my disciples.” ’ ” 19So the disciples did what Jesus told them to do, and they prepared the Passover meal.
20When evening came, Jesus was at the table with his 12 disciples. 21While they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you is going to hand me over to my enemies.”
22This made the disciples very sad. They began to say to him, one after the other, “You don’t mean me, do you, Lord?”
23Jesus replied, “Someone who has dipped his hand into the same bowl with me is going to hand me over. 24The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him, but woe to the one who hands him over! It would have been better for him if he he’d never been born.”
25Judas, the one who was going to hand him over, said, “You don’t mean me, do you, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, “You have said so.”
26While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and handed it to his disciples. He said, “Take this and eat it. This is my body.”
27Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he handed it to them. He said, “Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out so that the sins of many people will be forgiven. 29I tell you that I won’t drink wine with you again from now until the day when I drink it with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30Then they sang a hymn, and they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus Says That the Disciples Will Turn Away
31Jesus told them, “You’re all going to abandon me this very night. It’s written that the Lord said,
“ ‘I will strike the shepherd down,
and then the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
32But after I rise from the dead, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
33Peter replied, “Even if all the others abandon you, I never will.”
34“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you’ll claim three times that you don’t know me.”
35But Peter insisted, “Even if I have to die with you, I’ll never say that I don’t know you.” And all the other disciples said the same thing.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to feel sad and troubled. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is very sad, and I feel close to death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39He went off a little distance and got down on the ground face first. He prayed, “My Father, if possible, please take this cup of suffering away from me. But let your will be done, not mine.”
40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t any of you keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41“Watch and pray so that you won’t fall into sin when you’re tempted. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
42Jesus went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it isn’t possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, then may your will be done.”
43Then he came back and found the three of them sleeping again. They couldn’t keep their eyes open, 44so he left them and went off once more. He prayed the same thing a third time.
45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look! The time has come. The Son of Man is about to be handed over to sinners. 46Get up! Let’s go! Here comes the one who’s handing me over to them!”
Jesus Is Arrested
47While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, who was one of the 12 disciples, arrived. He had a group of men with him who were carrying swords and clubs. The chief priests and elders of the people had sent them. 48Judas had arranged to hand Jesus over by giving them a signal. “The one I kiss will be the man,” he’d told them—“arrest him!” 49Judas went right over to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” Then he kissed him.
50Jesus responded, “Do what you came to do, friend.”
Then some of the men moved forward to grab Jesus and arrest him. 51As they did, one of those who was with Jesus reached for his sword. He pulled it out and slashed at the high priest’s slave with it, cutting off his ear.
52“Put your sword back!” Jesus told him. “Everyone who relies on the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I can’t ask my Father for help? If I did, he’d send an army of more than 70,000 angels right away. 54But then how would the Scriptures come true? They say it has to happen in this way.”
55Then Jesus asked the crowd, “Why did you come here with swords and clubs to capture me, as if I’d been leading a rebellion? I was in the temple courtyard every day teaching, but you didn’t try to arrest me. 56But of all this has happened to make the words of the prophets come true.” Then all his disciples abandoned him and ran away.
Jesus Is Taken to the Sanhedrin
57Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest. The teachers of the law and the elders had already gathered in his palace. 58Peter had followed Jesus from a distance, and now he came as close as the courtyard. He went in and sat down with the guards to see what would happen.
59The chief priests and the whole council of elders, called the Sanhedrin, were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60But they couldn’t find anything to use, even though many false witnesses came forward.
Finally, two witnesses came forward and testified, 61“This man said, ‘I’m able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ”
62Then the high priest stood up to question Jesus. “Aren’t you going to answer?” he asked. “What have you got to say to the charges these men are bringing against you?” 63But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, “Tell us, under oath to the living God, whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
64“You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you that after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One, coming on the clouds of heaven.”
65Then the high priest ripped his clothes and said, “This man has claimed to be God! Why do we need any more witnesses? You’ve heard what he said. 66What do you think?”
“He must die!” they answered.
67Then they spit in his face and hit him with their fists. Others slapped him 68and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah! Who hit you?”
Peter Says He Doesn’t Know Jesus
69Meanwhile, Peter was sitting out in the courtyard. A female servant came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”
70But Peter denied it in front of everyone. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he insisted.
71Then he moved out to the gate that led into the courtyard. There another servant saw him and said to the people, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
72Again he denied it and said, “I swear I don’t know the man!”
73After a little while, the people standing there came up to Peter and said, “You must be one of them. Your accent gives you away.”
74“I swear that I don’t know the man!” Peter said again. “May I be cursed if I’m not telling the truth!”
Just then a rooster crowed. 75Peter remembered that Jesus had said, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter went outside and wept bitterly.
26
The Plot to Kill Jesus
1When Jesus had finished this #I.e. a formal, extended teaching about important matters.discourse, He said to His disciples, 2“You know that the Passover is coming in two days, and the Son of Man is to be betrayed and handed over for crucifixion.”
3Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the courtyard of the [elegant home of the Jewish] high priest, whose name was #Caiaphas served as high priest a.d. 18 to 36. His father-in-law, Annas, served as high priest a.d. 6-15. Annas was removed from the position by Rome, but continued to be extremely influential and was regarded by the Jews as de facto high priest even though others (his sons and son-in-law) officially held the office. In about 1990, in an ancient burial cave outside Jerusalem, Israeli archeologists found twelve limestone ossuaries (bone boxes). One of them was uniquely elaborate and decorated with a rare and intricate pattern of rosettes. According to its inscription, this ossuary contained the bones of Caiaphas.Caiaphas, 4and plotted together to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill Him. 5But they said, “It must not be during the festival (Passover), otherwise there might be a riot among the people.”
The Anointing in Bethany
6Now when Jesus was [back] in Bethany, at the home of #Most likely a man previously healed by Jesus. Otherwise he would not be able to have a home among others in the city.Simon the leper, 7a #John the Apostle identifies this woman as Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus (Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8). Jesus was anointed in a similar way by an unnamed woman when He was in Galilee dining at the home of Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:36-40).woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very expensive #This was a thick, scented oil (nard) obtained from the root of a flowering plant grown in the Himalayas of Tibet.perfume and she poured it on Jesus’ head as He reclined at the table. 8But when the #Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, spoke first denouncing this act of devotion (John 12:4, 5).disciples saw it they were indignant and angry, saying, “Why all this waste [of money]? 9For this perfume might have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10But Jesus, aware [of the malice] of this [remark], said to them, “Why are you bothering the woman? She has done a good thing to Me. 11For you always have the poor with you; but you will not always have Me. 12When she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. 13I assure you and most solemnly say to you, wherever this gospel [of salvation] is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told in memory of her [for her act of love and devotion].”
Judas’ Bargain
14Then one of the twelve [disciples], who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand Jesus over to you?” And they weighed out #Probably about a month’s wages for a laborer.thirty pieces of silver. 16And from that moment Judas began looking for an opportune time to betray Jesus.
17Now on the first day of #This remembrance lasted eight days. The Passover lambs were selected on the tenth of Nisan (March/April) and sacrificed on the fourteenth of Nisan (the first day of the feast). The Passover meal was eaten that same night (15 Nisan). This was immediately followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread (15-21 Nisan). The terms “Passover” and “The Feast of Unleavened Bread” were used interchangeably.Unleavened Bread (Passover Week) the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 18He said, “Go into the city to #Tradition identifies this man as Mark’s father.a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time [to suffer and atone for sin] is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.” ’ ” 19[Accordingly] the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.
The Last Passover
20When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 21And as they were eating, He said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you that one of you will betray Me.” 22Being deeply grieved and extremely distressed, each one of them began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23Jesus answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the bowl with Me [as a #In the ancient culture sharing a meal in this way was a confirmation of friendship and goodwill.pretense of friendship] will betray Me. 24The Son of Man is to go [to the cross], just as it is written [in Scripture] of Him; but woe (judgment is coming) to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.” 25And Judas, the betrayer, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus said to him, #“You” is emphatic in the Greek text.You have said it yourself.”
The Lord’s Supper Instituted
26Now as they were eating Jesus took bread, and after #The customary blessing spoken over the bread in the Passover meal was, “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.”blessing it, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27And when He had taken a cup and #Giving thanks consisted of two benedictions, one over the wine (“Blessed are You, Lord our God, who has created the fruit of the vine!”) and one for the return of the Feast Day with all it implied, as well as being allowed once more to witness it.given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28for this is My blood of the [new and better] covenant, which [ratifies the agreement and] is being poured out for many [as a #By laying his hands on the head of the sacrifice the one offering the sacrifice identified himself with it and through its death it became an atonement or covering for his sin. Because the unblemished sacrifice “covered” his sin, it placed the one offering the sacrifice in a right relationship with God, just as later under the new covenant the perfection and sacrifice of Christ would cover (atone for) the imperfection and sin of those who identified with Him and accepted Him as Savior.substitutionary atonement] for the forgiveness of sins. 29But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
30After singing a #The Hallel psalms (113-118) were sung at Passover.hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
31Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night [disillusioned about Me, confused, and some even ashamed of Me], for it is written [in the Scriptures], ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32But after I am raised [to life], I will go ahead of you [leading the way] to Galilee.” 33Peter replied to Him, “Though they all fall away because of You [and doubt and disown You], I will never fall away!” 34Jesus said to him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, this night, before a rooster crows, you will [completely] deny Me three times.” 35Peter said to Jesus, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And all the disciples said the same thing.
The Garden of Gethsemane
36Then Jesus came with them to a place called #This beautiful garden filled with now ancient olive trees still exists.Gethsemane (olive-press), and He told His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee [James and John], He began to be grieved and greatly distressed. 38Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and stay awake and keep watch with Me.”
39And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup #Jesus’ request was heard (Heb 5:7), and it is unlikely that He asked to avoid the cross. The object of His request cannot be known with certainty, but some think that He was asking for resurrection following His death. In that case, the “cup” would represent His body’s remaining in the grave, which would be contrary to the plan of salvation and prophecy regarding His resurrection (Ps 16:10; cf Acts 2:24-27). Others think that the request related to the time of separation from the Father, which He would have to endure in death (see 27:46). However, the sense of Heb 5:7 could be that the Father listened to Him intently and comforted Him, while not sparing His Son the suffering which He had destined for Him.pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? 41Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the #Lit flesh.body is weak.”
42He went away a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words once more. 45Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Listen, #The time had come for Jesus’ atoning sacrificial death which would provide the way of salvation for believers.the hour [of My sacrifice] is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners [whose way and nature is to oppose God]. 46Get up, let us go. Look, My betrayer is near!”
Jesus’ Betrayal and Arrest
47As Jesus was still speaking, Judas [Iscariot], one of the twelve [disciples], came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, [who came as representatives] from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.” 49Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Greetings (rejoice), Rabbi!” And he #A kiss on either the hand or cheek was usually an act of homage and a common gesture of greeting and reverence given to a rabbi by his disciples, but done here to identify Jesus.kissed Him [in a deliberate act of betrayal]. 50Jesus said to Judas, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then they came and seized Jesus and arrested Him.
51And #John identified this “one” as Peter.one of those who were with Jesus reached out and drew his sword, and struck [Malchus] the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back in its place; for all those who habitually draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will immediately provide Me with more than twelve #A legion equaled 6,000 troops.legions of angels? 54How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?”
55At that moment Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? Day after day I used to sit in the porches and courts of the temple teaching, and you did not arrest Me. 56But all this has taken place so that the Scriptures of the prophets would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted Him and fled.
Jesus before Caiaphas
57Those who had seized Jesus led Him away to #See note 26:3.Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) had gathered [#It was unlawful for a criminal court proceeding to be held at night. Further, although the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) was granted substantial power to act by the Roman government, the Sanhedrin could not impose the death penalty on a criminal. Court cases requesting a death penalty to be imposed by the Roman government were to be held publicly in the temple. The officials of the Sanhedrin waited until morning to announce their verdict, perhaps in a token attempt to legalize their unlawful gathering.illegally] together. 58But Peter followed Him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the [elegant home of the Jewish] high priest, and went inside, and sat with the #Or servants.guards to see the outcome.
59Now the chief priests and the whole Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) tried to get false witnesses to testify against Jesus, so that they might [have a reason to] put Him to death. 60They found none, even though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward, 61and testified, “This man said, ‘#This was a distortion of Jesus’ comment (John 2:19-21).I am able to #This would amount to a capital offense.tear down the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ” 62The high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Have You no answer to give? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” 63But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I call on You to swear a binding oath by the living God, that you tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64Jesus said to him, “You have [in fact] said it; but more than that I tell you [regardless of what you do with Me now], in the future you will see [Me revealed as] the Son of Man seated at the #The place of preeminence and authority.right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
65Then the high priest tore his #Or outer garments. This was a response required by Jewish law for judges who had heard blasphemy. However, OT law forbade the high priest to tear his clothing (Lev 10:6; 21:10).robes [in mock horror] and exclaimed, “He has blasphemed [by making Himself God’s equal]! What further need have we of witnesses or evidence? See, you have now heard the blasphemy. 66What do you think?” They answered, “#A statement expressing complete rejection of and contempt for the Messiah.He deserves to be put to death.”
67Then they spat in His face and struck Him with their fists; and some slapped Him, 68saying, “#Jesus was blindfolded according to Mark 14:65.Prophesy to us, You Christ (Messiah, Anointed); who was it that struck You?”
Peter’s Denials
69Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came up to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” 71And when he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.” 72And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” 73After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them too; for even your [Galilean] accent gives you away.” 74Then he began to curse [that is, to invoke God’s judgment on himself] and swear [an oath], “I do not know the man!” And at that moment a rooster crowed. 75And Peter remembered the [prophetic] words of Jesus, when He had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly [in repentance].