NRSV

The Plot to Kill Jesus
Chapter 26
1 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 and they conspired to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5 But they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”
The Anointing at Bethany
6 Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. 8 But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, “Why this waste? 9 For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
The Passover with the Disciples
17 On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’ ” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
20 When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; 21 and while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” 25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” He replied, “You have said so.”
The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
26 While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Peter’s Denial Foretold
31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written,
‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
32 But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” 33 Peter said to him, “Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38 Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” 39 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” 40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 51 Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Jesus before the High Priest
57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ” 62 The high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” 63 But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you,
From now on you will see the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of Power
and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your verdict?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67 Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?”
Peter’s Denial of Jesus
69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before all of them, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” 71 When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment the cock crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26

The Message

ANOINTED FOR BURIAL
1 When Jesus finished saying these things, he told his disciples, 2 “You know that Passover comes in two days. That’s when the Son of Man will be betrayed and handed over for crucifixion.”
3 At that very moment, the party of high priests and religious leaders was meeting in the chambers of the Chief Priest named Caiaphas, 4 conspiring to seize Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5 They agreed that it should not be done during Passover Week. “We don’t want a riot on our hands,” they said.
6 When Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came up to him as he was eating dinner and anointed him with a bottle of very expensive perfume. 8 When the disciples saw what was happening, they were furious. “That’s criminal! 9 This could have been sold for a lot and the money handed out to the poor.”
10 When Jesus realized what was going on, he intervened. “Why are you giving this woman a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. 11 You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives, but not me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, what she really did was anoint me for burial. 13 You can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she has just done is going to be remembered and admired.”
14 That is when one of the Twelve, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the cabal of high priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I hand him over to you?” They settled on thirty silver pieces. 16 He began looking for just the right moment to hand him over.
THE TRAITOR
17 On the first of the Days of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare your Passover meal?”
18 He said, “Enter the city. Go up to a certain man and say, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near. I and my disciples plan to celebrate the Passover meal at your house.'” 19 The disciples followed Jesus’ instructions to the letter, and prepared the Passover meal.
20 After sunset, he and the Twelve were sitting around the table. 21 During the meal, he said, “I have something hard but important to say to you: One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators.”
22 They were stunned, and then began to ask, one after another, “It isn’t me, is it, Master?”
23 Jesus answered, “The one who hands me over is someone I eat with daily, one who passes me food at the table. 24 In one sense the Son of Man is entering into a way of treachery well-marked by the Scriptures—no surprises here. In another sense that man who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man—better never to have been born than do this!”
25 Then Judas, already turned traitor, said, “It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?”
Jesus said, “Don’t play games with me, Judas.”
THE BREAD AND THE CUP
26 During the meal, Jesus took and blessed the bread, broke it, and gave it to his disciples:
Take, eat.
This is my body.
27 Taking the cup and thanking God, he gave it to them:
Drink this, all of you.
28 This is my blood,
God’s new covenant poured out for many people
for the forgiveness of sins.
29 “I’ll not be drinking wine from this cup again until that new day when I’ll drink with you in the kingdom of my Father.”
30 They sang a hymn and went directly to Mount Olives.
GETHSEMANE
31 Then Jesus told them, “Before the night’s over, you’re going to fall to pieces because of what happens to me. There is a Scripture that says,
I’ll strike the shepherd;
helter-skelter the sheep will be scattered.
32 But after I am raised up, I, your Shepherd, will go ahead of you, leading the way to Galilee.”
33 Peter broke in, “Even if everyone else falls to pieces on account of you, I won’t.”
34 “Don’t be so sure,” Jesus said. “This very night, before the rooster crows up the dawn, you will deny me three times.”
35 Peter protested, “Even if I had to die with you, I would never deny you.” All the others said the same thing.
36 Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.” 37 Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. 38 Then he said, “This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.”
39 Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?”
40 When he came back to his disciples, he found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, “Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? 41 Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”
42 He then left them a second time. Again he prayed, “My Father, if there is no other way than this, drinking this cup to the dregs, I’m ready. Do it your way.”
43 When he came back, he again found them sound asleep. They simply couldn’t keep their eyes open. 44 This time he let them sleep on, and went back a third time to pray, going over the same ground one last time.
45 When he came back the next time, he said, “Are you going to sleep on and make a night of it? My time is up, the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the hands of sinners. 46 Get up! Let’s get going! My betrayer is here.”
WITH SWORDS AND CLUBS
47 The words were barely out of his mouth when Judas (the one from the Twelve) showed up, and with him a gang from the high priests and religious leaders brandishing swords and clubs. 48 The betrayer had worked out a sign with them: “The one I kiss, that’s the one—seize him.” 49 He went straight to Jesus, greeted him, “How are you, Rabbi?” and kissed him.
50 Jesus said, “Friend, why this charade?”
Then they came on him—grabbed him and roughed him up. 51 One of those with Jesus pulled his sword and, taking a swing at the Chief Priest’s servant, cut off his ear.
52 Jesus said, “Put your sword back where it belongs. All who use swords are destroyed by swords. 53 Don’t you realize that I am able right now to call to my Father, and twelve companies—more, if I want them—of fighting angels would be here, battle-ready? 54 But if I did that, how would the Scriptures come true that say this is the way it has to be?”
55 Then Jesus addressed the mob: “What is this—coming out after me with swords and clubs as if I were a dangerous criminal? Day after day I have been sitting in the Temple teaching, and you never so much as lifted a hand against me. 56 You’ve done it this way to confirm and fulfill the prophetic writings.”
Then all the disciples cut and ran.
FALSE CHARGES
57 The gang that had seized Jesus led him before Caiaphas the Chief Priest, where the religion scholars and leaders had assembled. 58 Peter followed at a safe distance until they got to the Chief Priest’s courtyard. Then he slipped in and mingled with the servants, watching to see how things would turn out.
59 The high priests, conspiring with the Jewish Council, tried to cook up charges against Jesus in order to sentence him to death. 60 But even though many stepped up, making up one false accusation after another, nothing was believable.
Finally two men came forward 61 with this: “He said, ‘I can tear down this Temple of God and after three days rebuild it.'”
62 The Chief Priest stood up and said, “What do you have to say to the accusation?”
63 Jesus kept silent.
Then the Chief Priest said, “I command you by the authority of the living God to say if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
64 Jesus was curt: “You yourself said it. And that’s not all. Soon you’ll see it for yourself:
The Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Mighty One,
Arriving on the clouds of heaven.”
65 At that, the Chief Priest lost his temper, ripping his robes, yelling, “He blasphemed! Why do we need witnesses to accuse him? You all heard him blaspheme! 66 Are you going to stand for such blasphemy?”
They all said, “Death! That seals his death sentence.”
67 Then they were spitting in his face and banging him around. They jeered as they slapped him: 68 “Prophesy, Messiah: Who hit you that time?”
DENIAL IN THE COURTYARD
69 All this time, Peter was sitting out in the courtyard. One servant girl came up to him and said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean.”
70 In front of everybody there, he denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
71 As he moved over toward the gate, someone else said to the people there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.”
72 Again he denied it, salting his denial with an oath: “I swear, I never laid eyes on the man.”
73 Shortly after that, some bystanders approached Peter. “You’ve got to be one of them. Your accent gives you away.”
74 Then he got really nervous and swore. “I don’t know the man!”
Just then a rooster crowed. 75 Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried. Matthew 26