1 After Jesus had said all this, he told his disciples, 2 “You know that it's Passover in two days time, 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 courtyard of Caiaphas, the high priest. 4 There they plotted to arrest Jesus on some deceitful pretext* Literally, “with guile.” and kill him. 5 But they said, “Let's not do this during the festival so that the people don't riot.”
6 While Jesus was staying at Simon the leper's house in Bethany, 7 a woman came over to him carrying an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume. She poured it on Jesus' head while he was sitting eating. But when the disciples saw what she did, they were upset.
8 “What a terrible waste!” they objected. 9 “This perfume could've been sold for a lot of money and given to the poor!”
10 Jesus was aware of what was going on and told them, “Why are you upset with this woman? She's done something wonderful for me! 11 You'll always have the poor with you,† See Deuteronomy 15:11. but you won't always have me. 12 By pouring this perfume on my body she's prepared me for burial. 13 I tell you the truth: wherever in the world this good news is spread, the story of what this woman has done will also be told in memory of her.”
14 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the chief priests 15 and asked them, “How much will you pay me for betraying Jesus to you?” They paid him thirty silver coins. 16 From then on he looked for an opportunity to betray Jesus.
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 prepare the Passover meal for you to eat?”
18 Jesus told them, “Go into the city and find this particular man, and tell him that the Teacher says, ‘My time is approaching. I'm coming to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’ ” 19 The disciples did as Jesus told them, and prepared the Passover meal there.
20 When evening came he sat down to eat with the Twelve. 21 While they were eating he told them, “I tell you the truth: one of you is going to betray me.”
22 They were extremely upset. One after the other they asked him, “Lord, it's not me, is it?”
23 “The one who's dipped his hand into the dish with me will betray me,” Jesus replied. 24 “The Son of man will die just as it was prophesied about him, but what a disaster it will be for the man who betrays the Son of man! It would be better for that man if he'd never been born!”
25 Judas, the one who would betray Jesus, asked “It's not me, is it, Rabbi?”
“You said it,” Jesus replied.
26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave pieces to the disciples. “Take and eat this for it is my body,” said Jesus. 27 Then he picked up the cup, blessed it, and gave it to them. “Drink from it, all of you,” he told them. 28 “For this is my blood of the agreement,‡ Or “covenant.” poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 However, I tell you, I won't drink this fruit of the vine until the day I drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father.” 30 After they'd sung a song, they left for the Mount of Olives.
31 “All of you will abandon me tonight,” Jesus told them. “As Scripture says, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the flock of sheep will be completely scattered.’§ Quoting Zechariah 13:7. 32 But after I have risen, I'll go ahead of you to Galilee.”
33 But Peter objected, “Even if everyone else abandons you, I'll never abandon you.”
34 “I'm telling you the truth,” Jesus told him, “This very night, before the cock crows, you'll deny me three times.”
35 “Even if I have to die with you, I'll never deny you!” Peter insisted. And all the disciples said the same thing.
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. He told them, “Sit down here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him, and he began to suffer agonizing sorrow and distress. 38 Then he said to them, “I am so overwhelmed with sadness that it's killing me. Wait here and keep watch with me.” 39 He went a little farther forward, fell face down, and prayed.
“My Father, please, if it's possible, let this cup of suffering be taken from me,” Jesus asked. “Even so, may it not be what I want but what you want.”
40 He went back to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “What, you couldn't stay awake with me for just one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray, so that you don't fall into temptation. Yes, the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed.
“My Father, if this cup cannot be taken from me without me drinking from it, then your will be done,” he said. 43 He went back and found them sleeping, for they just couldn't stay awake.* Literally, “their eyes were weighed down.” 44 So he left them once more, and went off and prayed a third time, repeating the same things. 45 Then he returned to the disciples, and told them, “How can you still be sleeping and resting? Look, the time has come. The Son of man is about to be betrayed into the hands of sinners! 46 Get up, let's go! See, the one who's betraying me has arrived.”
47 As he said this, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived with a large mob armed with swords and clubs sent by the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 The betrayer had arranged to give them a signal: “The one that I kiss, that's him—arrest him,” he'd told them.
49 Judas came up to Jesus immediately, and said, “Hello, Rabbi,” and kissed him.
50 “My friend, do what you came to do,” Jesus said to Judas. So they came and grabbed hold of Jesus, and arrested him.
51 One of those who was with Jesus reached for his sword and pulled it out. He struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his ear. 52 But Jesus told him, “Put your sword away. Everyone who fights with the sword will die by the sword. 53 Don't you think I could ask my Father, and he'd immediately send more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But then how could the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must be like this?”
55 Then Jesus told the mob, “Have you come with swords and clubs to arrest me as if I was some kind of dangerous criminal? Every day I sat in the Temple teaching and you didn't arrest me then. 56 But all this is happening to fulfill what the prophets wrote.” Then all the disciples abandoned him and ran away.
57 Those who'd arrested Jesus took him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the religious teachers and elders had gathered. 58 Peter followed him at a distance, and went into the high priest's courtyard. He sat there with the guards to see how things would end.
59 The chief priests and the whole council were trying to find some false evidence against Jesus so they could put him to death. 60 But they couldn't find anything, even though many false witnesses came forward. Eventually two came forward 61 and reported, “This man said, ‘I can destroy God's Temple, and rebuild it in three days.’ ”
62 The high priest stood up and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What do you have to say in your defense?” 63 But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to Jesus, “In the name of the living God I place you under oath. Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
64 “You said it,” Jesus replied. “And I also tell you that in the future you'll see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of the Almighty, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”† See Psalms 110:1 and Daniel 7:13.
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, and said, “He's speaking blasphemy! Why do we need any witnesses? Look, now you've heard for yourselves his blasphemy! 66 What's your verdict?”
“Guilty! He deserves to die!” they answered. 67 Then they spat in his face and beat him. Some of them slapped him with their hands, 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, you ‘Messiah’! Who just hit you?”
69 Meanwhile Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came up to 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,” he said.
71 When he went back to the courtyard entrance another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 Once again he denied it, saying with an oath, “I don't know him.” 73 A little while later the people standing there came up to Peter and said, “You definitely are one of them. Your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he started to swear: “Curses on me if I'm a liar!‡ Or “he called down curses on himself.” I don't know the man!” Immediately the cock crowed.
75 Then Peter remembered what Jesus had told him: “Before the cock crows, three times you will deny knowing me.” He went outside and wept bitterly.
*26:4 Literally, “with guile.”
‡26:28 Or “covenant.”
*26:43 Literally, “their eyes were weighed down.”
‡26:74 Or “he called down curses on himself.”