April 1, 2021 by Leah Daughtry
Dinner with a Side of Betrayal
Matthew 26:17-75 (CSB)
Betrayal at the Passover
17 On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
18 “Go into the city to a certain man,” he said, “and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time is near; I am celebrating the Passover at your place[a] with my disciples.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. 20 When evening came, he was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 While they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
22 Deeply distressed, each one began to say to him, “Surely not I, Lord?”
23 He replied, “The one who dipped his hand with me in the bowl—he will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him if he had not been born.”
25 Judas, his betrayer, replied, “Surely not I, Rabbi?”
“You have said it,” he told him.
The First Lord’s Supper
26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is my blood of the covenant,[b] which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 But I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Peter’s Denial Predicted
31 Then Jesus said to them, “Tonight all of you will fall away because of me, for it is written:
I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.[c]
32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”
33 Peter told him, “Even if everyone falls away because of you, I will never fall away.”
34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to him, “tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”
35 “Even if I have to die with you,” Peter told him, “I will never deny you,” and all the disciples said the same thing.
The Prayer in the Garden
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 He said to them, “I am deeply grieved[d] to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.” 39 Going a little farther,[e] he fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He asked Peter, “So, couldn’t you stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 Again, a second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this[f] cannot pass[g] unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And he came again and found them sleeping, because they could not keep their eyes open.
44 After leaving them, he went away again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? See, the time is near. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up; let’s go. See, my betrayer is near.”
Judas’s Betrayal of Jesus
47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. A large mob with swords and clubs was with him from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 His betrayer had given them a sign: “The one I kiss, he’s the one; arrest him.” 49 So immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
50 “Friend,” Jesus asked him, “why have you come?”[h]
Then they came up, took hold of Jesus, and arrested him. 51 At that moment one of those with Jesus reached out his hand and drew his sword. He struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his ear.
52 Then Jesus told him, “Put your sword back in its place because all who take up the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and he will provide me here and now with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How, then, would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?”
55 At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, as if I were a criminal,[i] to capture me? Every day I used to sit, teaching in the temple, and you didn’t arrest me. 56 But all this has happened so that the writings of the prophets would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and ran away.
Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin
57 Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had convened. 58 Peter was following him at a distance right to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and was sitting with the servants to see the outcome.
59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death, 60 but they could not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward.[j] Finally, two[k] who came forward 61 stated, “This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
62 The high priest stood up and said to him, “Don’t you have an answer to what these men are testifying against you?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? See, now you’ve heard the blasphemy. 66 What is your decision?”
They answered, “He deserves death!” 67 Then they spat in his face and beat him; others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah! Who was it that hit you?”
Peter Denies His Lord
69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl approached him and said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean too.”
70 But he denied it in front of everyone: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
71 When he had gone out to the gateway, another woman saw him and told those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene!”
72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”
73 After a little while those standing there approached and said to Peter, “You really are one of them, since even your accent[n] gives you away.”
74 Then he started to curse and to swear with an oath, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed, 75 and Peter remembered the words Jesus had spoken, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Betrayed and arrested, Jesus is just hours away from the end of his earthly journey and he sits in a jail cell overnight. Can you imagine his pain and his sorrow? His anticipation for what he knew would come next? Where do you think the Disciples were? What do you imagine they were thinking? Where would YOU have been?
Today’s Artwork: “Jesus MAFA: The Lord’s Supper.” And “Jesus MAFA: The Garden of Gethsemane.”