Matthew - Chapter 26
1 Jesus had now finished all he wanted to say, and he told his disciples,
2 'It will be Passover, as you know, in two days' time, and the Son of man will be handed over to be crucified.'
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas,
4 and made plans to arrest Jesus by some trick and have him put to death.
5 They said, however, 'It must not be during the festivities; there must be no disturbance among the people.'
6 Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon, a man who had suffered from a virulent skin-disease, when
7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and poured it on his head as he was at table.
8 When they saw this, the disciples said indignantly, 'Why this waste?
9 This could have been sold for a high price and the money given the poor.'
10 But Jesus noticed this and said, 'Why are you upsetting the woman? What she has done for me is indeed a good work!
11 You have the poor with you always, but you will not always have me.
12 When she poured this ointment on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.
13 In truth I tell you, wherever in all the world this gospel is proclaimed, what she has done will be told as well, in remembrance of her.'
14 Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests
15 and said, 'What are you prepared to give me if I hand him over to you?' They paid him thirty silver pieces,
16 and from then onwards he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus to say, 'Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?'
18 He said, 'Go to a certain man in the city and say to him, "The Master says: My time is near. It is at your house that I am keeping Passover with my disciples." '
19 The disciples did what Jesus told them and prepared the Passover.
20 When evening came he was at table with the Twelve.
21 And while they were eating he said, 'In truth I tell you, one of you is about to betray me.'
22 They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn, 'Not me, Lord, surely?'
23 He answered, 'Someone who has dipped his hand into the dish with me will betray me.
24 The Son of man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!'
25 Judas, who was to betray him, asked in his turn, 'Not me, Rabbi, surely?' Jesus answered, 'It is you who say it.'
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to the disciples. 'Take it and eat,' he said, 'this is my body.'
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he handed it to them saying, 'Drink from this, all of you,
28 for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
29 From now on, I tell you, I shall never again drink wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in the kingdom of my Father.'
30 After the psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives.
31 Then Jesus said to them, 'You will all fall away from me tonight, for the scripture says: I shall strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered,
32 but after my resurrection I shall go ahead of you to Galilee.'
33 At this, Peter said to him, 'Even if all fall away from you, I will never fall away.'
34 Jesus answered him, 'In truth I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will have disowned me three times.'
35 Peter said to him, 'Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.' And all the disciples said the same.
36 Then Jesus came with them to a plot of land called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, 'Stay here while I go over there to pray.'
37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him. And he began to feel sadness and anguish.
38 Then he said to them, 'My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here and stay awake with me.'
39 And going on a little further he fell on his face and prayed. 'My Father,' he said, 'if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it.'
40 He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, 'So you had not the strength to stay awake with me for one hour?
41 Stay awake, and pray not to be put to the test. The spirit is willing enough, but human nature is weak.'
42 Again, a second time, he went away and prayed: 'My Father,' he said, 'if this cup cannot pass by, but I must drink it, your will be done!'
43 And he came back again and found them sleeping, their eyes were so heavy.
44 Leaving them there, he went away again and prayed for the third time, repeating the same words.
45 Then he came back to the disciples and said to them, 'You can sleep on now and have your rest. Look, the hour has come when the Son of man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46 Get up! Let us go! Look, my betrayer is not far away.'
47 And suddenly while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared, and with him a large number of men armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and elders of the people.
48 Now the traitor had arranged a sign with them saying, 'The one I kiss, he is the man. Arrest him.'
49 So he went up to Jesus at once and said, 'Greetings, Rabbi,' and kissed him.
50 Jesus said to him, 'My friend, do what you are here for.' Then they came forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.
51 And suddenly, one of the followers of Jesus grasped his sword and drew it; he struck the high priest's servant and cut off his ear.
52 Jesus then said, 'Put your sword back, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.
53 Or do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, who would promptly send more than twelve legions of angels to my defence?
54 But then, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say this is the way it must be?'
55 It was at this time that Jesus said to the crowds, 'Am I a bandit, that you had to set out to capture me with swords and clubs? I sat teaching in the Temple day after day and you never laid a hand on me.'
56 Now all this happened to fulfil the prophecies in scripture. Then all the disciples deserted him and ran away.
57 The men who had arrested Jesus led him off to the house of Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
58 Peter followed him at a distance right to the high priest's palace, and he went in and sat down with the attendants to see what the end would be.
59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus, however false, on which they might have him executed.
60 But they could not find any, though several lying witnesses came forward. Eventually two came forward
61 and made a statement, 'This man said, "I have power to destroy the Temple of God and in three days build it up." '
62 The high priest then rose and said to him, 'Have you no answer to that? What is this evidence these men are bringing against you?'
63 But Jesus was silent. And the high priest said to him, 'I put you on oath by the living God to tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.'
64 Jesus answered him, 'It is you who say it. But, I tell you that from this time onward you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.'
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, 'He has blasphemed. What need of witnesses have we now? There! You have just heard the blasphemy.
66 What is your opinion?' They answered, 'He deserves to die.'
67 Then they spat in his face and hit him with their fists; others said as they struck him,
68 'Prophesy to us, Christ! Who hit you then?'
69 Meanwhile Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came up to him saying, 'You, too, were with Jesus the Galilean.'
70 But he denied it in front of them all. 'I do not know what you are talking about,' he said.
71 When he went out to the gateway another servant-girl saw him and said to the people there, 'This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.'
72 And again, with an oath, he denied it, 'I do not know the man.'
73 A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, 'You are certainly one of them too! Why, your accent gives you away.'
74 Then he started cursing and swearing, 'I do not know the man.' And at once the cock crowed,
75 and Peter remembered what Jesus had said, 'Before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.' And he went outside and wept bitterly.
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