God’s Saving Word: Hope
Matthew 26:1-35: Jesus speaks to his disciples about his upcoming arrest and crucifixion. While in Bethany, a woman anoints Jesus with expensive perfume. Jesus eats the Passover meal with his disciples and predicts his betrayal. Jesus also predicts that the disciples will abandon him.
The Plot against Jesus
26 When Jesus had finished teaching all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “In two days, as you know, it will be the Passover Festival, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
3 Then the chief priests and the elders met together in the palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest, 4 and made plans to arrest Jesus secretly and put him to death. 5 “We must not do it during the festival,” they said, “or the people will riot.”
Jesus Is Anointed at Bethany
6 Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon, a man who had suffered from a dreaded skin disease. 7 While Jesus was eating, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar filled with an expensive perfume, which she poured on his head. 8 The disciples saw this and became angry. “Why all this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold for a large amount and the money given to the poor!”
10 Jesus knew what they were saying, and so he said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? It is a fine and beautiful thing that she has done for me. 11 You will always have poor people with you, but you will not always have me. 12 What she did was to pour this perfume on my body to get me ready for burial. 13 Now, I assure you that wherever this gospel is preached all over the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14 Then one of the twelve disciples—the one named Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What will you give me if I betray Jesus to you?” They counted out thirty silver coins and gave them to him. 16 From then on Judas was looking for a good chance to hand Jesus over to them.
Jesus Eats the Passover Meal with His Disciples
17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, “Where do you want us to get the Passover meal ready for you?”
18 “Go to a certain man in the city,” he said to them, “and tell him: ‘The Teacher says, My hour has come; my disciples and I will celebrate the Passover at your house.’”
19 The disciples did as Jesus had told them and prepared the Passover meal.
20 When it was evening, Jesus and the twelve disciples sat down to eat. 21 During the meal Jesus said, “I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
22 The disciples were very upset and began to ask him, one after the other, “Surely, Lord, you don’t mean me?”
23 Jesus answered, “One who dips his bread in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will die as the Scriptures say he will, but how terrible for that man who will betray the Son of Man! It would have been better for that man if he had never been born!”
25 Judas, the traitor, spoke up. “Surely, Teacher, you don’t mean me?” he asked.
Jesus answered, “So you say.”
The Lord’s Supper
26 While they were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. “Take and eat it,” he said; “this is my body.”
27 Then he took a cup, gave thanks to God, and gave it to them. “Drink it, all of you,” he said; 28 “this is my blood, which seals God’s covenant, my blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will never again drink this wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 Then Jesus said to them, “This very night all of you will run away and leave me, for the scripture says, ‘God will kill the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised to life, I will go to Galilee ahead of you.”
33 Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “I will never leave you, even though all the rest do!”
34 Jesus said to Peter, “I tell you that before the rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you do not know me.”
35 Peter answered, “I will never say that, even if I have to die with you!”
And all the other disciples said the same thing.
Today’s Key Verse: Matthew 26:29
[Jesus said,] “I tell you, I will never again drink this wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
Reread verses 26-30. In sharing the Passover meal with his disciples, Jesus uses bread and wine to represent God’s covenant of forgiveness. What does participating in the Lord’s Supper mean to you? How do you understand and experience the mystery of God’s grace in your life?
Holy God, help me to understand the mysteries of your love and grace. Empower me to put my faith into action. Amen.
Matthew 26:36-75: Jesus prays in Gethsemane.