“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28 NKJV
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is the Book of Matthew chapter 26 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
The Plot to Kill Jesus
26 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, 2 “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
3 Then the chief priests, [a]the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 and plotted to take Jesus by [b]trickery and kill Him. 5 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”
The Anointing at Bethany
6 And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. 8 But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.”
10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. 11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. 12 For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. 13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.
Jesus Celebrates Passover with His Disciples
17 Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”
18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; 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.
20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. 21 Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”
22 And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”
23 He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. 24 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?”
He said to him, “You have said it.”
Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, [c]blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the [d]new covenant, which is shed for many for the [e]remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be [f]made to stumble 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 have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are [g]made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”
34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”
35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”
And so said all the disciples.
The Prayer in the Garden
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, [h]if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour [i]is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane
47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” 49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.
50 But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?”
Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. 51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will [j]perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”
55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. 56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”
Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.
Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin
57 And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.
59 Now the chief priests, [k]the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60 [l]but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two [m]false witnesses 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 And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”
64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66 What do you think?”
They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.”
67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with [n]the palms of their hands, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”
Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps Bitterly
69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”
70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”
71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”
73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.”
Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.
- aMatthew 26:3 NU omits the scribes
- bMatthew 26:4 deception
- cMatthew 26:26 M gave thanks for
- dMatthew 26:28 NU omits new
- eMatthew 26:28 forgiveness
- fMatthew 26:31 caused to take offense at Me
- gMatthew 26:33 caused to take offense at You
- hMatthew 26:42 NU if this may not pass away unless
- iMatthew 26:45 has drawn near
- jMatthew 26:52 M die
- kMatthew 26:59 NU omits the elders
- lMatthew 26:60 NU but found none, even though many false witnesses came forward.
- mMatthew 26:60 NU omits false witnesses
- nMatthew 26:67 Or rods,
- oMatthew 26:74 call down curses
- pMatthew 26:74 Swear oaths
MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
Matthew 5:16 – “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
“Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” Matt 26:1-2
And they responded to Jesus, saying that is just a conspiracy theory. You really have to chill about it – everyone is not out to get you. There isn’t an evil world under-plotting to get you while on the surface things are fine. I mean, some of the things you said made them angry – but you are speaking of the religious leaders and killing you is a strong accusation! Maybe stop speaking in riddles and hug people more?
Wait! No, that is what modern churches seem to say these days – not the true body of Christ, but those false teachers who have ended up in pulpits as Jesus warned they would. Conspiracy theories have existed way back to the very beginning when the devil conspired to overthrow God. Then there was the forbidden fruit conspiracy and then the Cain & Able conspiracy. And so on and so forth throughout time – you’d think humans would wise to the strategy – until we arrive in todays reading:
“Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.” Matt 26:3-4
We follow a long line of conspiracy theorists. But do we really believe it?
Let’s look at the lady with the oil in today’s reading. She poured out expensive oil on Jesus to anoint him. Jesus tells us her motivation was to prepare His body for death. She heard what He said and truly believed. This is a difficult thing to understand, especially since the disciples stood around him day and night and did not understand He was literally about to die. If they understood what she was given in understanding, they would not have criticized her.
I was once taught that she did not fully understand either but was compelled by love for Jesus to pour her oil on Him. BUT Jesus said she did it for the preparation of His death. This woman was blessed with deep understanding. The kind of understanding we all wish we had, but with it come criticism (even from those in closest proximity to Christ). It also comes with a legacy blessing that:
“Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Matt 26:13
Our reading jumps from a lady with deep understanding that Jesus was really going to die and needed to be anointed, to Judas. Judas was greedy and did not think that anyone was actually going to kill Jesus (or at least it appears he has been blinded and doesn’t understand). His greed lead him places he did not want to go. Always remember a tiny sin leads you well over your head in death quicker than you can see it coming. So Judas agrees to betray His friend Jesus.
I love the description of the last supper – I love to pull all the versions and read them together and imagine myself at the far end of the table, watching and taking it all in. Thy worshiped God together, John laid on Jesus as they relaxed and laid about enjoying themselves. In the middle (after they ate) Jesus taught us how to remember him. It was just such a beautiful night. And through it all, Jesus knew what was coming. Jesus even said one of them would betray him. It is nice to be so full of God and Jesus having ate at a feast table and communed with Jesus, that you are so full of FEELINGS that you forget we are also in a war. And the love and communion with Christ feels the greatest just before the worst attacks. Please note “feels” – these men, like you and I have Jesus with them at all times.
So when the bad came, it took many of them off guard – but NOT Jesus. Jesus spoke of it all week and all night. This did not surprise Him. He knew when the guards were coming for Him. He and God had been chatting about it – they had a plan. Actually it would only seem bad to us, it was the WAY for our deliverance and salvation. He had tried to explain it to the disciples and He warned them that they would deny Him (looking at you Peter).
We as humans sit (or scatter) in difficult situations. We forget how BIG our God is. We forget He has a plan for Good. And Jesus HAD to be betrayed and die for our sins. This is good. But our ways are so limited in understanding.
So much happened in today’s reading. The disciples are full and feel good and are singing hymns and Jesus keeps trying to explain things are going down and they go to the garden to pray and the full bellied disciples cannot keep their eyes open to pray.
“Watch with me” “watch and pray” Yet 3 times Jesus found them sleeping. The last time it seems Jesus just left them asleep.
Then Jesus coms and says wake-up boys it is time… now we have groggy eyed, sleepy disciples who are not really aware of what is happening. This causes more confusion when they come for Jesus than I think was needed. But their bellies and hearts were full and they did not understand.
We all know what happens next, right? Judas shows up with a mob and kisses Jesus to show which one. They go to grab Jesus. Peter pulls out a sword and cuts a guy’s ear off! Jesus heals it and tells him to put away the sword. Then Jesus began asking why they come at night, as if evil, when they could have taken him by day. Reading the other accounts there was more chaos at this moment. With disciples fighting. Someone grabbed Mark (who was still a boy) and he wiggled out of his clothes to flee. And then all of the disciples forsook Him and fled.
This left Jesus to face the Sanhedrin alone. Jesus does not answer them and they:
“answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” Matt 26:66
Peter is watching from a distance and he denies he knows Jesus 3 times just as Jesus said.
From the beginning of today’s reading through to the end – Jesus was saying this is happening. And everyone responded according to their faith. In our lives, Jesus is often saying this or that is going to happen – we can be caught up with the emotions and missing it, and full from the feast in the presence of our enemies and fall asleep when we should be watching. It may seem bad, but it is meant for good – to position you for the blessing, to set you free, to deliver you and give you the breakthrough. His word says it is coming – His goodness is coming, the promises you are hoping in (instead of having faith in) are coming! Maybe we should go find some expensive oil and put our faith in God’s deeper understanding and anoint the Lord in worship. Prepare for His promises. Watch and pray.
Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!