The King's Final Days

Matthew 26:1-27:26

261When Jesus had finished all these words, he said to his disciples,


2You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.

3Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas. 4They took counsel together that they might take Jesus by deceit, and kill him. 5But they said,


Not during the feast, lest a riot occur among the people.

6Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7a woman came to him having an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. 8But when his disciples saw this, they were indignant, saying,


Why this waste? 9For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

10However, knowing this, Jesus said to them,


Why do you trouble the woman? Because she has done a good work for me. 11For you always have the poor with you; but you don’t always have me. 12For in pouring this ointment on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13Most certainly I tell you, wherever this Good News is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of as a memorial of her.

14Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, 15and said,


What are you willing to give me, that I should deliver him to you?

They weighed out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16From that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
17Now on the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him,


Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?

18He said,


Go into the city to a certain person, and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.”’

19The disciples did as Jesus commanded them, and they prepared the Passover.

20Now when evening had come, he was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 21As they were eating, he said,


Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me.

22They were exceedingly sorrowful, and each began to ask him,


It isn’t me, is it, Lord?

23He answered,


He who dipped his hand with me in the dish, the same will betray me. 24The Son of Man goes, even as it is written of him, but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born.

25Judas, who betrayed him, answered,


It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?

He said to him,


You said it.

26As they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks for* it, and broke it. He gave to the disciples, and said,


Take, eat; this is my body.

27He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying,


All of you drink it, 28for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins. 29But I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s Kingdom.

30When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
31Then Jesus said to them,


All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’* 32But after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee.

33But Peter answered him,


Even if all will be made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.

34Jesus said to him,


Most certainly I tell you that tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.

35Peter said to him,


Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.

All of the disciples also said likewise.
36Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples,


Sit here, while I go there and pray.

37He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and severely troubled. 38Then he said to them,


My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me.

39He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying,


My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire.

40He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter,


What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour? 41Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying,


My Father, if this cup can’t pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done.

43He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words. 45Then he came to his disciples, and said to them,


Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Arise, let’s be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand.

47While he was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priest and elders of the people. 48Now he who betrayed him gave them a sign, saying,


Whoever I kiss, he is the one. Seize him.

49Immediately he came to Jesus, and said,


Hail, Rabbi!

and kissed him.
50Jesus said to him,


Friend, why are you here?

Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. 51Behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear.

52Then Jesus said to him,


Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword. 53Or do you think that I couldn’t ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so?

55In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes,


Have you come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to seize me? I sat daily in the temple teaching, and you didn’t arrest me. 56But all this has happened, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.

Then all the disciples left him, and fled.

57Those who had taken Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together. 58But Peter followed him from a distance, to the court of the high priest, and entered in and sat with the officers, to see the end.

59Now the chief priests, the elders, and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus, that they might put him to death; 60and they found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward, 61and said,


This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.’

62The high priest stood up, and said to him,


Have you no answer? What is this that these testify against you?

63But Jesus held his peace. The high priest answered him,


I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.

64Jesus said to him,


You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky.

65Then the high priest tore his clothing, saying,


He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Behold, now you have heard his blasphemy. 66What do you think?

They answered,


He is worthy of death!

67Then they spit in his face and beat him with their fists, and some slapped him, 68saying,


Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who hit you?

69Now Peter was sitting outside in the court, and a maid came to him, saying,


You were also with Jesus, the Galilean!

70But he denied it before them all, saying,


I don’t know what you are talking about.

71When he had gone out onto the porch, someone else saw him, and said to those who were there,


This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth.

72Again he denied it with an oath,


I don’t know the man.

73After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter,


Surely you are also one of them, for your speech makes you known.

74Then he began to curse and to swear,


I don’t know the man!

Immediately the rooster crowed. 75Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and wept bitterly.
271Now when morning had come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2and they bound him, and led him away, and delivered him up to Pontius Pilate, the governor.

3Then Judas, who betrayed him, when he saw that Jesus was condemned, felt remorse, and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4saying,


I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood.

But they said,


What is that to us? You see to it.

5He threw down the pieces of silver in the sanctuary, and departed. He went away and hanged himself.

6The chief priests took the pieces of silver, and said,


It’s not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is the price of blood.

7They took counsel, and bought the potter’s field with them, to bury strangers in. 8Therefore that field was called “The Field of Blood” to this day. 9Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah* the prophet was fulfilled, saying,
“They took the thirty pieces of silver,
the price of him upon whom a price had been set,
whom some of the children of Israel priced,
10and they gave them for the potter’s field,
as the Lord commanded me.”*
11Now Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying,


Are you the King of the Jews?

Jesus said to him,


So you say.

12When he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. 13Then Pilate said to him,


Don’t you hear how many things they testify against you?

14He gave him no answer, not even one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.

15Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the multitude one prisoner, whom they desired. 16They had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. 17When therefore they were gathered together, Pilate said to them,


Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus, who is called Christ?

18For he knew that because of envy they had delivered him up.
19While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying,


Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of him.

20Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes to ask for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. 21But the governor answered them,


Which of the two do you want me to release to you?

They said,



22Pilate said to them,


What then shall I do to Jesus, who is called Christ?

They all said to him,


Let him be crucified!

23But the governor said,


Why? What evil has he done?

But they cried out exceedingly, saying,


Let him be crucified!

24So when Pilate saw that nothing was being gained, but rather that a disturbance was starting, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying,


I am innocent of the blood of this righteous person. You see to it.

25All the people answered,


May his blood be on us, and on our children!

26Then he released to them Barabbas, but Jesus he flogged and delivered to be crucified.

*Matthew 26:26 TR reads “blessed” instead of “gave thanks for”
*Matthew 26:31 Zechariah 13:7
*Matthew 27:9 some manuscripts omit “Jeremiah”
*Matthew 27:10 Zechariah 11:12-13; Jeremiah 19:1-13; 32:6-9


  • In this story is there an example that you should imitate? What is it?
  • What steps can you take today to do this?
  • In this story is there an example that you should avoid? What is it?
  • What steps can you take today to do this?
World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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