Leaders Plot to Kill Jesus
Verse 1 – After two days it was Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death.
After two days points to the start of the Jewish Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. This means the Sanhedrin plotted Jesus’ death some time between sunset on Tuesday and sunset on Wednesday.
Verse 2 – But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.”
Verse 3 – And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. And she broke the flask and poured it on His head.
Verse 4 – But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted?
Verse 5 – “For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.
The three hundred denarii was worth a year’s wage. Now here comes the confusion about when this event took place. Matthew and Mark place it just before the Last Supper, while John placed it a week earlier, just before the Triumphal Entry. John places it on Saturday, the night before Palm Sunday, and Matthew and Mark place it on Wednesday two days before the crucifixion. I agree with Mark and Matthew because of previous scripture.
Verse 6 – But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.
Verse 7 – “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.
Jesus praised this woman because it was an unselfish act of devotion.
Verse 8 – “She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.
Verse 9 – “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the whole world, what this woman did will also be spoken of as a memorial to her.”
This proves that this woman was a follower of Jesus and had been listening intently to what He had said about His death coming soon. Even His disciples had ignored the fact of His dying.
Verse 10 – Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them.
Verse 11 – So when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.
The priests never sought out Judas, he went to them on his own after Mary poured out the expensive oil. Maybe it became clear to Judas that Jesus wasn’t setting up a political kingdom, but a spiritual one where he would not hold a high position.
Verse 12 – Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they kill the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”
This would be Thursday evening, the 14th day of the month Nisan.
Verse 13 – So He sent out two disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water, follow him.
Verse 14 – “And wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher said, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” ‘
Many homes had large upstairs rooms with stairways leading up to, outside and in the house.
Verse 15 – “Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”
Verse 16 – And His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.
The Passover is Celebrated
Verse 17 – In the evening He came with the twelve. (Thursday evening)
Verse 18 – Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.”
Evening marked the beginning of a new day by Jewish reckoning. According to Exodus 12:8, the Passover meat had to be eaten at night and be finished by midnight. Jesus had told the disciples earlier that He would be betrayed, but now said the betrayer was one of His disciples.
Verse 19 – And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “Is it I?” And another said, “Is it I?”
Verse 20 – Then He answered and said to them, “It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish.
Verse 21 – The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.
The Lord’s Supper Is Instituted
Verse 22 – And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
Verse 23 – Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
Verse 24 – And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.
Verse 25 – “Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
This is what we now call “Communion,” which is not taken lightly. What Christ shows us is a “New Covenant” between man and God. Jesus body, which is represented by bread that is broken, shows the perfect sacrifice, once, and for all. His blood that was shed on the cross, is represented by the wine, showing a washing away of sin. So the next time you take communion, think about the sacrifice that was made and the punishment for you and me, and washed us in His blood, so that we could have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
Verse 26 – And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Verse 27 – Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will scatter.’
Even the disciples, for a time would lose hope and confidence in Jesus, because of being afraid. This quote is from Zechariah 13:7. Satan thought for a time that he had gained the upper hand. However, we soon see that everything turned out exactly as God had planned it. Christ was obedient, even unto death.
Verse 28 – “But after I have been risen, I will go before you to Galilee.”
Jesus reassured them that they would gather again in Galilee for a new mission.
Verse 29 – But Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.”
Matthew 26:41 – “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Aren’t we all willing to stand for our faith until persecution or a temptation comes?
Verse 30 – And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”
Verse 31 – But He spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all said likewise.
How loyal are we to our faith? We want to be as loyal and faithful as we can be while in front of others, but do we falter when no one is watching?
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
Verse 32 – Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”
Verse 33 – And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.
Verse 34 – Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.
Gethsemane means “Olive press.” Jesus was about to be under more pressure and agony than any normal man could withstand and live. He knew what was about to happen. Even after the torment of what would take place to His physical body, the bearing of the whole world’s sin was about to be placed on Him and bring Him more agony than we can imagine.
Verse 35 – He went a little farther, and fell on the ground and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.
Could God have changed His divine plan? Yes, but we all would still be living in our sin having to make daily sacrifices of a lamb by going to a priest to perform it. We would have no personal relationship with our loving God except through a priest or a prophet.
Verse 36 – And He said, “Abba Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.
Jesus knew that all judgment and punishment for the whole world’s sin would be poured out on Him. But He still chose the Fathers will.
Verse 37 – Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?
Verse 38 – “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but he flesh is weak.”
This great temptation at that moment was to deny Christ under the influence of fear. So the remedy for not allowing temptation to win is to be watchful and pray.
Verse 39 – Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words.
Verse 40 – And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.
Verse 41 – Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Verse 42 – “Rise up, let us go. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
Judas Betrays Jesus
Verse 43 – And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
There was a band of soldiers and civil officers sent by the Sanhedrin. Thus the Gentiles and Jews were united in the arresting of the Son of God. John says they came with lanterns and torches.”
Verse 44 – Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; take Him and lead Him away safely.”
Verse 45 – And as soon as He had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, “Rabbi, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.
Verse 46 – Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him.
Verse 47 – And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priests, and cut off his ear.
According to John’s gospel, Peter did the cutting, and then in Luke we see Jesus healing the man’s ear.
Verse 48 – Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you come out, as against a robber with swords and clubs to take Me?
Verse 49 – “I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not take Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.
Verse 50 – Then they all forsook Him and fled.
Verse 51 – Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him,
Verse 52 – and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.
The Gospel of Mark is the only gospel to record this young man. Some suppose it is John Mark the author of Mark, referring to himself. The Sanhedrin Tries Jesus
Verse 53 – And they led Jesus away to the high priests; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes.
This high priest was Caiaphas. This would be a mock trial because the only thing they could decide to try Him on was that He said He was the Son of God.
Verse 54 – But Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest . And he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire.
Verse 55 – And the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, and found none.
Verse 56 – For many bore false witness against Him but their testimonies did not agree.
Verse 57 – And some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying,
Verse 58 – “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands and within three days I will build another made without hands.’ ”
According to Old Testament Law, there had to be two witnesses that agreed before they could convict someone, they couldn’t find any. Now they distorted what Jesus had said about the temple being destroyed. Besides, Jesus wasn’t talking about Herod’s temple, He was talking about His own body.
Verse 59 – But not even then did their testimony agree.
Verse 60 – And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?”
Verse 61 – But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
Here are my thoughts on this insane question: The priests and the scribes were supposed to know the scriptures in order to teach the people. Jesus fit all that had been predicted about the coming Messiah. No one had ever healed the sick, raised the dead, and fed thousands like Him. So if Jesus wasn’t the Messiah, what would the Messiah be like to them? They had intentionally ignored all the signs because of envy.
Verse 62 – And Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with clouds of heaven.”
Jesus let them know that one day they would stand before Him and be asked questions and be judged.
Verse 63 – Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses?
Verse 64 – “You have heard the blasphemy? What do you think? and they all condemned Him to be worthy of death.
Verse 65 – Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” and the officers struck Him with their palms of their hands.
Our Savior stood there and let them do this to Him for yours and my sake. That’s why He was the perfect sacrifice. None of us would have ever stood there and let these men spit and beat us, without defending ourselves.
Peter Denies Jesus
Verse 66 – Now as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priests came.
Verse 67 – And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.”
Verse 68 – But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are saying.” And he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed.
Verse 69 – And the servant girl saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, “This is one of them.”
Verse 70 – But he denied it again. And a little later those who stood by said to Peter again, “Surly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it.”
Verse 71 – But he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this Man of whom you speak!”
Verse 72 – And a second time the rooster crowed. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.
Let’s not be so hard on Peter’s denial because none of us are “always faithful,” and none of us are without sin.