1 The Festival of Unleavened Bread, called Passover, was near.
2 The chief priests and the scribes were looking for some way to kill Jesus. However, they were afraid of the people.
3 Then Satan entered Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles.
4 Judas went to the chief priests and the temple guards and discussed with them how he could betray Jesus.
5 They were pleased and agreed to give him some money.
6 So Judas promised to do it. He kept looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus to them when there was no crowd.
7 The day came during the Festival of Unleavened Bread when the Passover lamb had to be killed.
8 Jesus sent Peter and John and told them, "Go, prepare the Passover lamb for us to eat."
9 They asked him, "Where do you want us to prepare it?"
10 He told them, "Go into the city, and you will meet a man carrying a jug of water. Follow him into the house he enters.
11 Tell the owner of the house that the teacher asks, 'Where is the room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?'
12 He will take you upstairs and show you a large furnished room. Get things ready there."
13 The disciples left. They found everything as Jesus had told them and prepared the Passover.
14 When it was time to eat the Passover meal, Jesus and the apostles were at the table.
15 Jesus said to them, "I've had a deep desire to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
16 I can guarantee that I won't eat it again until it finds its fulfillment in the kingdom of God."
17 Then he took a cup and spoke a prayer of thanksgiving. He said, "Take this, and share it.
18 I can guarantee that from now on I won't drink this wine until the kingdom of God comes."
19 Then Jesus took bread and spoke a prayer of thanksgiving. He broke the bread, gave it to them, and said, "This is my body, which is given up for you. Do this to remember me."
20 When supper was over, he did the same with the cup. He said, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new promise made with my blood."
21 "The hand of the one who will betray me is with me on the table.
22 The Son of Man is going to die the way it has been planned for him. But how horrible it will be for that person who betrays him."
23 So they began to discuss with each other who could do such a thing.
24 Then a quarrel broke out among the disciples. They argued about who should be considered the greatest.
25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of nations have power over their people, and those in authority call themselves friends of the people.
26 But you're not going to be that way! Rather, the greatest among you must be like the youngest, and your leader must be like a servant.
27 Who's the greatest, the person who sits at the table or the servant? Isn't it really the person who sits at the table? But I'm among you as a servant.
28 "You have stood by me in the troubles that have tested me.
29 So as my Father has given me a kingdom, I'm giving it to you.
30 You will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom. You will also sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel."
31 Then the Lord said, "Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to have you apostles for himself. He wants to separate you from me as a farmer separates wheat from husks.
32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. So when you recover, strengthen the other disciples."
33 But Peter said to him, "Lord, I'm ready to go to prison with you and to die with you."
34 Jesus replied, "Peter, I can guarantee that the rooster won't crow tonight until you say three times that you don't know me."
35 Then Jesus said to them, "When I sent you out without a wallet, traveling bag, or sandals, you didn't lack anything, did you?" "Not a thing!" they answered.
36 Then he said to them, "But now, the person who has a wallet and a traveling bag should take them along. The person who doesn't have a sword should sell his coat and buy one.
37 I can guarantee that the Scripture passage which says, 'He was counted with criminals,' must find its fulfillment in me. Indeed, whatever is written about me will come true."
38 The disciples said, "Lord, look! Here are two swords!" Then Jesus said to them, "That's enough!"
39 Jesus went out of the city to the Mount of Olives as he usually did. His disciples followed him.
40 When he arrived, he said to them, "Pray that you won't be tempted."
41 Then he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, knelt down, and prayed,
42 "Father, if it is your will, take this cup of suffering away from me. However, your will must be done, not mine."
43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength.
44 So he prayed very hard in anguish. His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.
45 When Jesus ended his prayer, he got up and went to the disciples. He found them asleep and overcome with sadness.
46 He said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Get up, and pray that you won't be tempted."
47 While he was still speaking to the disciples, a crowd arrived. The man called Judas, one of the twelve apostles, was leading them. He came close to Jesus to kiss him.
48 Jesus said to him, "Judas, do you intend to betray the Son of Man with a kiss?"
49 The men who were with Jesus saw what was going to happen. So they asked him, "Lord, should we use our swords to fight?"
50 One of the disciples cut off the right ear of the chief priest's servant.
51 But Jesus said, "Stop! That's enough of this." Then he touched the servant's ear and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, temple guards, and leaders who had come for him, "Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a criminal?
53 I was with you in the temple courtyard every day and you didn't try to arrest me. But this is your time, when darkness rules."
54 So they arrested Jesus and led him away to the chief priest's house. Peter followed at a distance.
55 Some men had lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard. As they sat together, Peter sat among them.
56 A female servant saw him as he sat facing the glow of the fire. She stared at him and said, "This man was with Jesus."
57 But Peter denied it by saying, "I don't know him, woman."
58 A little later someone else saw Peter and said, "You are one of them." But Peter said, "Not me!"
59 About an hour later another person insisted, "It's obvious that this man was with him. He's a Galilean!"
60 But Peter said, "I don't know what you're talking about!" Just then, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed.
61 Then the Lord turned and looked directly at Peter. Peter remembered what the Lord had said: "Before a rooster crows today, you will say three times that you don't know me."
62 Then Peter went outside and cried bitterly.
63 The men who were guarding Jesus made fun of him as they beat him.
64 They blindfolded him and said to him, "Tell us who hit you."
65 They also insulted him in many other ways.
66 In the morning the council of the people's leaders, the chief priests and the scribes, gathered together. They brought Jesus in front of their highest court and asked him,
67 "Tell us, are you the Messiah?" Jesus said to them, "If I tell you, you won't believe me.
68 And if I ask you, you won't answer.
69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be in the highest position in heaven."
70 Then all of them said, "So you're the Son of God?" Jesus answered them, "You're right to say that I am."
71 Then they said, "Why do we need any more testimony? We've heard him say it ourselves."
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.