Matthew 26

Matthew 26

Jesus Prophesies His Crucifixion
1After Jesus had completed his teachings, he said to his disciples, 2“You know that the Feast of the Passover begins in two more days. That’s when the Son of Man is to be betrayed and handed over to be crucified.”
3Meanwhile, the prominent priests and religious leaders of the nation were gathered in the palace of the high priest Caiaphas. 4That’s when they made their decision to secretly have Jesus captured and killed. 5But they all agreed, “We can’t do this during the Passover celebrations or we could have a riot on our hands.”
A Woman Anoints Jesus
6-7Then Jesus went to Bethany, to the home of Simon, a man Jesus had healed of leprosy. A woman came into the house, holding an alabaster flask filled with fragrant and expensive oil. She walked right up to Jesus, and in a lavish gesture of devotion, she poured out the costly oil, and it cascaded over his head as he was at the table. 8When the disciples saw this, they were offended. “What a total waste!” they grumbled. 9“We could have sold it for a great deal of money and given it to the poor.”
10Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Why are you critical of this woman? She has done a beautiful act of kindness for me. 11You will always have someone poor whom you can help, but you will not always have me. 12When she poured the fragrant oil over me, she was preparing my body for burial. 13I promise you that as this wonderful gospel spreads all over the world, the story of her lavish devotion to me will also be mentioned in memory of her.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14One of the twelve apostles, Judas the locksmith, went to the leading priests 15and said, “How much are you willing to pay me to betray Jesus into your hands?” They agreed to pay him thirty silver coins. 16Immediately Judas began to scheme and look for an opportunity to betray him.
Jesus Celebrates Passover with His Disciples
17On the first day of Passover, the day when any bread made with yeast was removed from every Jewish home, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where should we prepare the Passover meal for you?”
18He answered them, “My heart longs with great desire to eat this Passover meal with you. Go into Jerusalem and you will encounter a man. Tell him that the teacher says, ‘My appointed time is near. I am coming to your home to eat the Passover meal with my disciples.’ ”
19The disciples did as Jesus had instructed them, and they prepared the Passover meal. 20When evening came he took his place at the table and dined with the Twelve. 21While they were eating, Jesus spoke up and said, “One of you is about to betray me.”
22Feeling deeply hurt by these words, one after another asked him, “You don’t mean me, do you?”
23He answered, “It is one who has shared meals with me as an intimate friend. 24All that was prophesied of me will take place, but how miserable it will be for the one who betrays the Son of Man. It would be far better for him if he had never been born!”
25Then finally, Judas the traitor spoke up and asked him, “Teacher, perhaps it is I?”
Jesus answered, “You said it.”
The Lord’s Supper
26As they ate, Jesus took the bread and blessed it and broke it and gave it to his disciples. He said to them, “This is my body. Eat it.” 27Then taking the cup of wine and giving praises to the Father, he entered into covenant with them, saying, “This is my blood. Each of you must drink it in fulfillment of the covenant. 28For this is the blood that seals the new covenant. It will be poured out for many for the complete forgiveness of sins. 29The next time we drink this, I will be with you and we will drink it together with a new understanding in the kingdom realm of my Father.”
30Then they sang a psalm and left for the Mount of Olives.
Jesus Prophesies Peter’s Denial
31Along the way Jesus said to them, “Before the night is over, you will all desert me. This will fulfill the prophecy of the Scripture that says:
I will strike down the shepherd
and all the sheep will scatter far and wide!
32“But after I am risen, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and will meet you there.”
33Then Peter spoke up and said, “Even if all the rest lose their faith and fall away, I will still be beside you, Jesus!”
34“Are you sure, Peter?” Jesus said. “In fact, before the rooster crows a few hours from now, you will have denied me three times.”
35Peter replied, “I absolutely will never deny you, even if I have to die with you!” And all the others said the same thing.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
36Then Jesus led his disciples to an orchard called “The Oil Press.” He told them, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37He took Peter, Jacob, and John with him. However, an intense feeling of great sorrow plunged his soul into deep sorrow and agony. 38And he said to them, “My heart is overwhelmed and crushed with grief. It feels as though I’m dying. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39Then he walked a short distance away, and overcome with grief, he threw himself facedown on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if there is any way you can deliver me from this suffering, please take it from me. Yet what I want is not important, for I only desire to fulfill your plan for me.” Then an angel from heaven appeared to strengthen him.
40Later, he came back to his three disciples and found them all sound asleep. He awakened Peter and said to him, “Do you lack the strength to stay awake with me for even just an hour? 41Keep alert and pray that you’ll be spared from this time of testing. You should have learned by now that your spirit is eager enough, but your humanity is weak.”
42Then he left them for a second time to pray in solitude. He said to God, “My Father, if there is not a way that you can deliver me from this suffering, then your will must be done.”
43He came back to the disciples and found them sound asleep, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. 44So he left them and went away to pray the same prayer for the third time.
45When he returned again to his disciples, he awoke them, saying, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Don’t you know the hour has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to the authority of sinful men? 46Get up and let’s go, for the betrayer has arrived.”
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
47At that moment Judas, his once-trusted disciple, appeared, along with a large crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent to arrest Jesus by order of the ruling priests and Jewish religious leaders. 48Now, Judas, the traitor, had arranged to give them a signal that would identify Jesus, for he had told them, “Jesus is the one whom I will kiss. So grab him!”
49Judas quickly stepped up to Jesus and said, “Shalom, Rabbi,” and he kissed him on both cheeks.
50“My beloved friend,” Jesus said, “is this why you’ve come?”
Then the armed men seized Jesus to arrest him. 51But one of the disciples pulled out a dagger and swung it at the servant of the high priest, slashing off his ear. 52Jesus said to him, “Put your dagger away. For all those who embrace violence will die by violence. 53Don’t you realize that I could ask my heavenly Father for angels to come at any time to deliver me? And instantly he would answer me by sending twelve armies of the angelic host to come and protect us. 54But that would thwart the prophetic plan of God. For it has been written that it would happen this way.”
55Then Jesus turned to the mob and said, “Why would you arrest me with swords and clubs as though I were an outlaw? Day after day I sat in the temple courts with you, teaching the people, yet you didn’t arrest me. 56But all of this fulfills the prophecies of the Scriptures.”
At that point all of his disciples ran away and abandoned him.
Jesus Is Condemned by the Religious Leaders
57Those who arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas, the chief priest, and to a meeting where the religious scholars and the supreme Jewish council were already assembled. 58Now, Peter had followed the mob from a distance all the way to the chief priest’s courtyard. And after entering, he sat with the servants of the chief priest who had gathered there, waiting to see how things would unfold. 59The chief priests and the entire supreme Jewish council of leaders were doing their best to find false charges that they could bring against Jesus, because they were looking for a reason to put him to death.
60Many false witnesses came forward, but the evidence could not be corroborated. Finally two men came forward 61and declared, “This man said, ‘I can destroy God’s temple and build it again in three days!’ ”
62Then the chief priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Have you nothing to say about these allegations? Is what they’re saying about you true?” 63But Jesus remained silent before them. So the chief priest said to him, “I charge you under oath—in the name of the living God, tell us once and for all if you are the anointed Messiah, the Son of God!”
64Jesus answered him, “You just said it yourself. And more than that, you are about to see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God, the Almighty. And one day you will also see the Son of Man coming in the heavenly clouds!”
65This infuriated the chief priest, and as an act of outrage, he tore his robe and shouted, “What blasphemy! No more witnesses are needed, for you heard this grievous blasphemy.” 66Turning to the council he said, “Now, what is your verdict?”
“He’s guilty and deserves the death penalty!” they answered. 67Then they spat on his face and slapped him. Others struck him over and over with their fists. 68Then they taunted him by saying, “Oh, Anointed One, prophesy to us! Tell us which one of us is about to hit you next?”
Peter’s Denials
69Meanwhile, Peter was still sitting outside in the courtyard when a servant girl came up to him and said, “I recognize you. You were with Jesus the Galilean.”
70In front of everyone Peter denied it and said, “I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.”
71Later, as he stood near the gateway of the courtyard, another servant girl noticed him and said, “I know this man is a follower of Jesus the Nazarene!”
72Once again, Peter denied it, and with an oath he said, “I tell you, I don’t know the man!”
73A short time later, those standing nearby approached Peter and said, “We know you’re one of his disciples—we can tell by your speech. Your Galilean accent gives you away!”
74Peter denied it, and using profanity he said, “I don’t know the man!” At that very moment the sound of a crowing rooster pierced the night. 75Then Peter remembered the prophecy of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows you will have denied me three times.” With a shattered heart, Peter went out of the courtyard, sobbing with bitter tears.

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