The Feast of Unleavened Bread, also called Passover, drew near.
The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way to do away with Jesus but, fearful of the people, they were also looking for a way to cover their tracks.
That's when Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot. He was one of the Twelve.
Leaving the others, he conferred with the high priests and the Temple guards about how he might betray Jesus to them.
They couldn't believe their good luck and agreed to pay him well.
He gave them his word and started looking for a way to betray Jesus, but out of sight of the crowd.
The Day of Unleavened Bread came, the day the Passover lamb was butchered.
Jesus sent Peter and John off, saying, "Go prepare the Passover for us so we can eat it together."
They said, "Where do you want us to do this?"
He said, "Keep your eyes open as you enter the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him home.
Then speak with the owner of the house: The Teacher wants to know, 'Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?'
He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare the meal there."
They left, found everything just as he told them, and prepared the Passover meal.
When it was time, he sat down, all the apostles with him,
and said, "You've no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering.
It's the last one I'll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God."
Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, "Take this and pass it among you.
As for me, I'll not drink wine again until the kingdom of God arrives."
Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory."
He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you.
"Do you realize that the hand of the one who is betraying me is at this moment on this table?
It's true that the Son of Man is going down a path already marked out - no surprises there. But for the one who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man, this is doomsday."
They immediately became suspicious of each other and began quizzing one another, wondering who might be about to do this.
Within minutes they were bickering over who of them would end up the greatest.
But Jesus intervened: "Kings like to throw their weight around and people in authority like to give themselves fancy titles.
It's not going to be that way with you. Let the senior among you become like the junior; let the leader act the part of the servant.
"Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You'd rather eat and be served, right? But I've taken my place among you as the one who serves.
And you've stuck with me through thick and thin.
Now I confer on you the royal authority my Father conferred on me
so you can eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and be strengthened as you take up responsibilities among the congregations of God's people.
"Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat.
Simon, I've prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start."
Peter said, "Master, I'm ready for anything with you. I'd go to jail for you. I'd die for you!"
Jesus said, "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, Peter, but before the rooster crows you will have three times denied that you know me."
Then Jesus said, "When I sent you out and told you to travel light, to take only the bare necessities, did you get along all right?" "Certainly," they said, "we got along just fine."
He said, "This is different. Get ready for trouble. Look to what you'll need; there are difficult times ahead. Pawn your coat and get a sword.
What was written in Scripture, 'He was lumped in with the criminals,' gets its final meaning in me. Everything written about me is now coming to a conclusion."
They said, "Look, Master, two swords!" But he said, "Enough of that; no more sword talk!"
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)