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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 saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2“As you know, Passover begins in two days, and the Son of Man#26:2 “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself. will be handed over to be crucified.”
3At that same time the leading priests and elders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest, 4plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him. 5“But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.”
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
6Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. 7While he was eating,#26:7 Or reclining. a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.
8The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. 9“It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”
10But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? 11You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. 12She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests 15and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. 16From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.
The Last Supper
17On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?”
18“As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” 19So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there.
20When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table#26:20 Or Jesus reclined. with the Twelve. 21While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”
22Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?”
23He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”
25Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?”
And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”
26As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”
27And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, 28for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant#26:28 Some manuscripts read the new covenant. between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. 29Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
30Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31On the way, Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say,
‘God will strike#26:31 Greek I will strike. Zech 13:7. the Shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
32But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.”
33Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.”
34Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
35“No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
36Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
40Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
42Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away#26:42 Greek If this cannot pass. unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.
44So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. 45Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”
Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested
47And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. 48The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” 49So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.
50Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.”
Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 51But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.
52“Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. 53Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands#26:53 Greek twelve legions. of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? 54But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?”
55Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. 56But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Jesus before the Council
57Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and the elders had gathered. 58Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and came to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and sat with the guards and waited to see how it would all end.
59Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council#26:59 Greek the Sanhedrin. were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death. 60But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, they could not use anyone’s testimony. Finally, two men came forward 61who declared, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
62Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” 63But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I demand in the name of the living God—tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
64Jesus replied, “You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand#26:64a Greek seated at the right hand of the power. See Ps 110:1. and coming on the clouds of heaven.”#26:64b See Dan 7:13.
65Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Blasphemy! Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. 66What is your verdict?”
“Guilty!” they shouted. “He deserves to die!”
67Then they began to spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him, 68jeering, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who hit you that time?”
Peter Denies Jesus
69Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean.”
70But Peter denied it in front of everyone. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
71Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.#26:71 Or Jesus the Nazarene.
72Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. “I don’t even know the man,” he said.
73A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.”
74Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed.
75Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he went away, weeping bitterly.