Matthew 26
The Plan to Kill Jesus
1After Jesus finished saying all these things, he told his followers, 2“You know that the day after tomorrow is the day of the Passover Feast. On that day the Son of Man will be given to his enemies to be killed on a cross.”
3Then the leading priests and the Jewish elders had a meeting at the palace of the high priest. The high priest’s name was Caiaphas. 4At the meeting, they planned to set a trap to arrest Jesus and kill him. 5But they said, “We must not do it during the feast. The people might cause a riot.”
A Woman with Perfume for Jesus
6Jesus was in Bethany. He was at the house of Simon, who had a harmful skin disease. 7While Jesus was there, a woman came to him. She had an alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. She poured this perfume on Jesus’ head while he was eating.
8His followers saw the woman do this and were upset. They asked, “Why waste that perfume? 9It could be sold for a great deal of money, and the money could be given to the poor.”
10But Jesus knew what happened. He said, “Why are you troubling this woman? She did a very beautiful thing for me. 11You will always have the poor with you. But you will not always have me. 12This woman poured perfume on my body to prepare me for burial. 13I tell you the truth. The Good News will be told to people in all the world. And in every place where it is preached, what this woman has done will be told. And people will remember her.”
Judas Becomes an Enemy of Jesus
14Then 1 of the 12 followers went to talk to the leading priests. This was the follower named Judas Iscariot. 15He said, “I will give Jesus to you. What will you pay me for doing this?” The priests gave Judas 30 silver coins. 16After that, Judas waited for the best time to give Jesus to the priests.
Jesus Eats the Passover Feast
17On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the followers came to Jesus. They said, “We will prepare everything for you to eat the Passover Feast. Where do you want to have the feast?”
18Jesus answered, “Go into the city to a certain man. Tell him that the Teacher says, ‘The chosen time is near. I will have the Passover Feast with my followers at your house.’” 19The followers did what Jesus told them to do, and they prepared the Passover Feast.
20In the evening Jesus was sitting at the table with his 12 followers. 21They were all eating. Then Jesus said, “I tell you the truth. One of you 12 will turn against me.”
22This made the followers very sad. Each one said to Jesus, “Surely, Lord, I am not the one who will turn against you. Am I?”
23Jesus answered, “The man who has dipped his hand with me into the bowl is the one who will turn against me. 24The Son of Man will die. The Scriptures say this will happen. But how terrible it will be for the person who gives the Son of Man to be killed. It would be better for him if he had never been born.”
25Then Judas said to Jesus, “Teacher, surely I am not the one. Am I?” (Judas is the one who would give Jesus to his enemies.)
Jesus answered, “Yes, it is you.”
The Lord’s Supper
26While they were eating, Jesus took some bread. He thanked God for it and broke it. Then he gave it to his followers and said, “Take this bread and eat it. This bread is my body.”
27Then Jesus took a cup. He thanked God for it and gave it to the followers. He said, “Every one of you drink this. 28This is my blood which begins the new# Some Greek copies do not have this word. Compare Luke 22:20. agreement that God makes with his people. This blood is poured out for many to forgive their sins. 29I tell you this: I will not drink of this fruit of the vine# Product of the grapevine; this may also be translated “wine.” again until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30They sang a hymn. Then they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus’ Followers Will All Leave Him
31Jesus told the followers, “Tonight you will lose your faith because of me. It is written in the Scriptures:
‘I will kill the shepherd,
and the sheep will scatter.’ Zechariah 13:7
32But after I rise from death, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
33Peter said, “All the other followers may lose their faith because of you. But I will never lose my faith.”
34Jesus said, “I tell you the truth. Tonight you will say you don’t know me. You will say this three times before the rooster crows.”
35But Peter said, “I will never say that I don’t know you! I will even die with you!” And all the other followers said the same thing.
Jesus Prays Alone
36Then Jesus went with his followers to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37He told Peter and the two sons of Zebedee to come with him. Then Jesus began to be very sad and troubled. 38He said to Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, “My heart is full of sorrow and breaking with sadness. Stay here with me and watch.”
39Then Jesus walked a little farther away from them. He fell to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, do not give me this cup# Jesus is talking about the bad things that will happen to him. Accepting these things will be very hard, like drinking a cup of something that tastes very bitter. of suffering. But do what you want, not what I want.” 40Then Jesus went back to his followers and found them asleep. Jesus said to Peter, “You men could not stay awake with me for one hour? 41Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. Your spirit wants to do what is right. But your body is weak.”
42Then Jesus went away a second time. He prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this painful thing to be taken from me, and if I must do it, then I pray that what you want will be done.”
43Then Jesus went back to the followers. Again he found them asleep, because their eyes were heavy. 44So Jesus left them and went away one more time and prayed. This third time he prayed, he said the same thing.
45Then Jesus went back to the followers and said, “You are still sleeping and resting? The time has come for the Son of Man to be given to sinful people. 46Get up. We must go. Here comes the man who has turned against me.”
Jesus Is Arrested
47While Jesus was still speaking, Judas came up. Judas was 1 of the 12 followers. He had many people with him. They had been sent from the leading priests and the elders of the people. They carried swords and clubs. 48Judas had planned to give them a signal. He had said, “The man I kiss is Jesus. Arrest him.” 49At once Judas went to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Teacher!” Then Judas kissed him.
50Jesus answered, “Friend, do the thing you came to do.”
Then the men came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 51When that happened, one of Jesus’ followers reached for his sword and pulled it out. The follower struck the servant of the high priest with the sword and cut off his ear.
52Jesus said to the man, “Put your sword back in its place. All who use swords will be killed with swords. 53Surely you know I could ask my Father, and he would give me more than 12 armies of angels. 54But this thing must happen this way so that it will be as the Scriptures say.”
55Then Jesus said to the crowd, “You came to get me with swords and clubs as if I were a criminal. Every day I sat in the Temple teaching. You did not arrest me there. 56But all these things have happened so that it will be as the prophets wrote.” Then all of Jesus’ followers left him and ran away.
Jesus Before the Leaders
57Those men who arrested Jesus led him to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest. The teachers of the law and the Jewish elders were gathered there. 58Peter followed Jesus but did not go near him. He followed Jesus to the courtyard of the high priest’s house. He sat down with the guards to see what would happen to Jesus.
59The leading priests and the Jewish council tried to find something false against Jesus so that they could kill him. 60Many people came and told lies about him. But the council could find no real reason to kill Jesus. Then two people came and said, 61“This man said, ‘I can destroy the Temple of God and build it again in three days.’”
62Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Aren’t you going to answer? Don’t you have something to say about their charges against you?” 63But Jesus said nothing.
Again the high priest said to Jesus, “You must swear to this. I command you by the power of the living God to tell us the truth. Tell us, are you the Christ, the Son of God?”
64Jesus answered, “Yes, I am. But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of God, the Powerful One. And you will see him coming in clouds in the sky.”
65When the high priest heard this, he was very angry. He tore his clothes and said, “This man has said things that are against God! We don’t need any more witnesses. You all heard him say these things against God. 66What do you think?”
The people answered, “He is guilty, and he must die.”
67Then the people there spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. Others slapped Jesus. 68They said, “Prove to us that you are a prophet, you Christ! Tell us who hit you!”
Peter Says He Doesn’t Know Jesus
69At that time, Peter was sitting in the courtyard. A servant girl came to him and said, “You were with Jesus, that man from Galilee.”
70But Peter said that he was never with Jesus. He said this to all the people there. Peter said, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
71Then he left the courtyard. At the gate, another girl saw him. She said to the people there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
72Again, Peter said that he was never with Jesus. Peter said, “I swear that I don’t know this man Jesus!”
73A short time later, some people standing there went to Peter. They said, “We know you are one of those men who followed Jesus. We know this because of the way you talk.”
74Then Peter began to curse. He said, “May a curse fall on me if I’m not telling the truth. I don’t know the man.” After Peter said this, a rooster crowed. 75Then he remembered what Jesus had told him: “Before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” Then Peter went outside and cried painfully.
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