When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave two disciples a task.
He said to them, "Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter, you will find a donkey tied up and a colt with it. Untie them and bring them to me.3 If anybody says anything to you, say that the Lord needs it." He sent them off right away.
Now this happened to fulfill what the prophet said,
5Say to Daughter Zion, "Look, your king is coming to you, humble and riding on a donkey, and on a colt the donkey's offspring."
The disciples went and did just as Jesus had ordered them.
They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them. Then he sat on them.
Now a large crowd spread their clothes on the road. Others cut palm branches off the trees and spread them on the road.
The crowds in front of him and behind him shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!Hosanna in the highest!"
And when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. "Who is this?" they asked.
The crowds answered, "It's the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee."
Then Jesus went into the temple and threw out all those who were selling and buying there. He pushed over the tables used for currency exchange and the chairs of those who sold doves.
He said to them, "It's written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you've made it a hideout for crooks."
People who were blind and lame came to Jesus in the temple, and he healed them.
But when the chief priests and legal experts saw the amazing things he was doing and the children shouting in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were angry.
They said to Jesus, "Do you hear what these children are saying?" "Yes," he answered. "Haven't you ever read, From the mouths of babies and infants you've arranged praise for yourself?"
Then he left them and went out of the city to Bethany and spent the night there.
Early in the morning as Jesus was returning to the city, he was hungry.
He saw a fig tree along the road, but when he came to it, he found nothing except leaves. Then he said to it, "You'll never again bear fruit!" The fig tree dried up at once.
When the disciples saw it, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree dry up so fast?" they asked.
Jesus responded, "I assure you that if you have faith and don't doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree. You will even say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the lake.' And it will happen.22 If you have faith, you will receive whatever you pray for."
When Jesus entered the temple, the chief priests and elders of the people came to him as he was teaching. They asked, "What kind of authority do you have for doing these things? Who gave you this authority?"
Jesus replied, "I have a question for you. If you tell me the answer, I'll tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things.25 Where did John get his authority to baptize? Did he get it from heaven or from humans?" They argued among themselves, "If we say ‘from heaven,' he'll say to us, ‘Then why didn't you believe him?'
But we can't say ‘from humans' because we're afraid of the crowd, since everyone thinks John was a prophet."
Then they replied, "We don't know." Jesus also said to them, “Neither will I tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things.
28“What do you think? A man had two sons. Now he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' 29“‘No, I don't want to,' he replied. But later he changed his mind and went. 30“The father said the same thing to the other son, who replied, ‘Yes, sir.' But he didn't go. 31
"Which one of these two did his father's will?" They said, "The first one." Jesus said to them, “I assure you that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering God's kingdom ahead of you. 32For John came to you on the righteous road, and you didn't believe him. But tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Yet even after you saw this, you didn't change your hearts and lives and you didn't believe him.
33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a tower. Then he rented it to tenant farmers and took a trip. 34When it was time for harvest, he sent his servants to the tenant farmers to collect his fruit. 35But the tenant farmers grabbed his servants. They beat some of them, and some of them they killed. Some of them they stoned to death. 36“Again he sent other servants, more than the first group. They treated them in the same way. 37Finally he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,' he said. 38“But when the tenant farmers saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come on, let's kill him and we'll have his inheritance.' 39They grabbed him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40
"When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenant farmers?"
They said, "He will totally destroy those wicked farmers and rent the vineyard to other tenant farmers who will give him the fruit when it's ready."
Jesus said to them, "Haven't you ever read in the scriptures, The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. The Lord has done this, and it's amazing in our eyes?43 Therefore, I tell you that God's kingdom will be taken away from you and will be given to a people who produce its fruit.44 Whoever falls on this stone will be crushed. And the stone will crush the person it falls on."
Now when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard the parable, they knew Jesus was talking about them.
They were trying to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, who thought he was a prophet.
Jesus responded by speaking again in parables:
2“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding party for his son. 3He sent his servants to call those invited to the wedding party. But they didn't want to come. 4Again he sent other servants and said to them, ‘Tell those who have been invited, "Look, the meal is all prepared. I've butchered the oxen and the fattened cattle. Now everything's ready. Come to the wedding party!" ' 5But they paid no attention and went away—some to their fields, others to their businesses. 6The rest of them grabbed his servants, abused them, and killed them. 7“The king was angry. He sent his soldiers to destroy those murderers and set their city on fire. 8Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding party is prepared, but those who were invited weren't worthy. 9Therefore, go to the roads on the edge of town and invite everyone you find to the wedding party.' 10“Then those servants went to the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding party was full of guests. 11Now when the king came in and saw the guests, he spotted a man who wasn't wearing wedding clothes. 12He said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' But he was speechless. 13Then the king said to his servants, ‘Tie his hands and feet and throw him out into the farthest darkness. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth.' 14
"Many people are invited, but few people are chosen."
Then the Pharisees met together to find a way to trap Jesus in his words.
They sent their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to him. "Teacher," they said, "we know that you are genuine and that you teach God's way as it really is. We know that you are not swayed by people's opinions, because you don't show favoritism.
So tell us what you think: Does the Law allow people to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
Knowing their evil motives, Jesus replied, "Why do you test me, you hypocrites?19 Show me the coin used to pay the tax." And they brought him a denarion.
"Whose image and inscription is this?" he asked.
"Caesar's," they replied. Then he said, "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."
When they heard this they were astonished, and they departed.
That same day Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Jesus.
They asked, "Teacher, Moses said, If a man who doesn't have children dies, his brother must marry his wife and produce children for his brother.25
Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married, then died. Because he had no children he left his widow to his brother.
The same thing happened with the second brother and the third, and in fact with all seven brothers.
Finally, the woman died.
At the resurrection, which of the seven brothers will be her husband? They were all married to her."
Jesus responded, "You are wrong because you don't know either the scriptures or God's power.30 At the resurrection people won't marry nor will they be given in marriage. Instead, they will be like angels from God.31 As for the resurrection of the dead, haven't you read what God told you,32I'm the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He isn't the God of the dead but of the living."
Now when the crowd heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had left the Sadducees speechless, they met together.
One of them, a legal expert, tested him.
"Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
He replied, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind.38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.
40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands."
Now as the Pharisees were gathering, Jesus asked them,
"What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" "David's son," they replied.
He said, "Then how is it that David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, called him Lord when he said,44The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right side until I turn your enemies into your footstool'?45 If David calls him Lord, how can he be David's son?"
Nobody was able to answer him. And from that day forward nobody dared to ask him anything.
Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and his disciples,
2“The legal experts and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat. 3Therefore, you must take care to do everything they say. But don't do what they do. 4For they tie together heavy packs that are impossible to carry. They put them on the shoulders of others, but are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. #rl
5Everything they do, they do to be noticed by others. They make extra-wide prayer bands for their arms and long tassels for their clothes. 6They love to sit in places of honor at banquets. 7They love to be greeted with honor in the markets and to be addressed as ‘Rabbi.' 8“But you shouldn't be called Rabbi, because you have one teacher, and all of you are brothers and sisters. 9Don't call anybody on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is heavenly. 10Don't be called teacher, because Christ is your one teacher. 11But the one who is greatest among you will be your servant. 12All who lift themselves up will be brought low. But all who make themselves low will be lifted up.
13“How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You shut people out of the kingdom of heaven. You don't enter yourselves, and you won't allow those who want to enter to do so.15“How terrible it will be for you, legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You travel over sea and land to make one convert. But when they've been converted, they become twice the child of hell you are. 16“How terrible it will be for you blind guides who say, ‘If people swear by the temple, it's nothing. But if people swear by the gold in the temple, they are obligated to do what they swore.' 17You foolish and blind people! Which is greater, the gold or the temple that makes the gold holy? 18You say, ‘If people swear by the altar, it's nothing. But if they swear by the gift on the altar, they are obligated to do what they swore.' 19You blind people! Which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift holy? #rl
20Therefore, those who swear by the altar swear by it and by everything that's on it. 21Those who swear by the temple swear by it and by everything that's part of it. #rl
22Those who swear by heaven swear by God's throne and by the one who sits on it. 23“How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You give to God a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, but you forget about the more important matters of the Law: justice, peace, and faith. You ought to give a tenth but without forgetting about those more important matters. 24You blind guides! You filter out an ant but swallow a camel. 25“How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and plate, but inside they are full of violence and pleasure seeking. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup so that the outside of the cup will be clean too. 27“How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs. They look beautiful on the outside. But inside they are full of dead bones and all kinds of filth. 28In the same way you look righteous to people. But inside you are full of pretense and rebellion. 29“How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30You say, ‘If we had lived in our ancestors' days, we wouldn't have joined them in killing the prophets.' 31You testify against yourselves that you are children of those who murdered the prophets. 32Go ahead, complete what your ancestors did. 33You snakes! You children of snakes! How will you be able to escape the judgment of hell? 34Therefore, look, I'm sending you prophets, wise people, and legal experts. Some of them you will kill and crucify. And some you will beat in your synagogues and chase from city to city. 35Therefore, upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been poured out on the earth, from the blood of that righteous man Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. 36I assure you that all these things will come upon this generation. #rl
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You who kill the prophets and stone those who were sent to you. How often I wanted to gather your people together, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you didn't want that.38 Look, your house is left to you deserted.#rl
39 I tell you, you won't see me until you say, Blessings on the one who comes in the Lord's name."
Now Jesus left the temple and was going away. His disciples came to point out to him the temple buildings.
He responded, "Do you see all these things? I assure that no stone will be left on another. Everything will be demolished."
Now while Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately and said, "Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?"
Jesus replied, “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I'm the Christ.' They will deceive many people. 6You will hear about wars and reports of wars. Don't be alarmed. These things must happen, but this isn't the end yet. 7Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in all sorts of places. 8But all these things are just the beginning of the sufferings associated with the end. 9They will arrest you, abuse you, and they will kill you. All nations will hate you on account of my name. 10At that time many will fall away. They will betray each other and hate each other. 11Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because disobedience will expand, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. 14This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all the nations. Then the end will come.
15“When you see the disgusting and destructive thing that Daniel talked about standing in the holy place (the reader should understand this), 16then those in Judea must escape to the mountains. 17Those on the roof shouldn't come down to grab things from their houses. 18Those in the field shouldn't come back to grab their clothes. 19How terrible it will be at that time for women who are pregnant and for women who are nursing their children. 20Pray that it doesn't happen in winter or on the Sabbath day. 21There will be great suffering such as the world has never before seen and will never again see. 22If that time weren't shortened, nobody would be rescued. But for the sake of the ones whom God chose, that time will be cut short. 23“Then if somebody says to you, ‘Look, here's the Christ,' or ‘He's over here,' don't believe it. 24False christs and false prophets will appear, and they will offer great signs and wonders in order to deceive, if possible, even those whom God has chosen. 25Look, I've told you ahead of time. 26So if they say to you, ‘Look, he's in the desert,' don't go out. And if they say, ‘Look, he's in the rooms deep inside the house,' don't believe it. 27Just as the lightning flashes from the east to the west, so it will be with the coming of the Human One.28The vultures gather wherever there's a dead body.
29“Now immediately after the suffering of that time the sun will become dark, and the moon won't give its light. The stars will fall from the sky and the planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken. 30Then the sign of the Human One will appear in the sky. At that time all the tribes of the earth will be full of sadness, and they will see the Human One coming in the heavenly clouds with power and great splendor. 31He will send his angels with the sound of a great trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from the four corners of the earth, from one end of the sky to the other.
32“Learn this parable from the fig tree. After its branch becomes tender and it sprouts new leaves, you know that summer is near. 33In the same way, when you see all these things, you know that the Human One is near, at the door. 34I assure you that this generation won't pass away until all these things happen. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away.
36“But nobody knows when that day or hour will come, not the heavenly angels and not the Son. Only the Father knows. 37As it was in the time of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Human One.38In those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. 39They didn't know what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. The coming of the Human One will be like that. 40At that time there will be two men in the field. One will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding at the mill. One will be taken and the other left. 42Therefore, stay alert! You don't know what day the Lord is coming. 43But you understand that if the head of the house knew at what time the thief would come, he would keep alert and wouldn't allow the thief to break into his house. 44Therefore, you also should be prepared, because the Human One will come at a time you don't know.
45“Who then are the faithful and wise servants whom their master puts in charge of giving food at the right time to those who live in his house? 46Happy are those servants whom the master finds fulfilling their responsibilities when he comes. 47I assure you that he will put them in charge of all his possessions. 48But suppose those bad servants should say to themselves, My master won't come until later. 49And suppose they began to beat their fellow servants and to eat and drink with the drunks? 50The master of those servants will come on a day when they are not expecting him, at a time they couldn't predict. 51He will cut them in pieces and put them in a place with the hypocrites. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth.
1“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten young bridesmaids who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. 2Now five of them were wise, and the other five were foolish. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but didn't bring oil for them. 4But the wise ones took their lamps and also brought containers of oil. 5“When the groom was late in coming, they all became drowsy and went to sleep. 6But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Look, the groom! Come out to meet him.' 7“Then all those bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. 8But the foolish bridesmaids said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps have gone out.' 9“But the wise bridesmaids replied, ‘No, because if we share with you, there won't be enough for our lamps and yours. We have a better idea. You go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' 10But while they were gone to buy oil, the groom came. Those who were ready went with him into the wedding. Then the door was shut. 11“Later the other bridesmaids came and said, ‘Lord, lord, open the door for us.' 12“But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' 13“Therefore, keep alert, because you don't know the day or the hour.
14“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who was leaving on a trip. He called his servants and handed his possessions over to them. 15To one he gave five valuable coins, and to another he gave two, and to another he gave one. He gave to each servant according to that servant's ability. Then he left on his journey. 16“After the man left, the servant who had five valuable coins took them and went to work doing business with them. He gained five more. 17In the same way, the one who had two valuable coins gained two more. 18But the servant who had received the one valuable coin dug a hole in the ground and buried his master's money. 19“Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The one who had received five valuable coins came forward with five additional coins. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five valuable coins. Look, I've gained five more.' 21“His master replied, ‘Excellent! You are a good and faithful servant! You've been faithful over a little. I'll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.' 22“The second servant also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two valuable coins. Look, I've gained two more.' 23“His master replied, ‘Well done! You are a good and faithful servant. You've been faithful over a little. I'll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.' 24“Now the one who had received one valuable coin came and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man. You harvest grain where you haven't sown. You gather crops where you haven't spread seed. 25So I was afraid. And I hid my valuable coin in the ground. Here, you have what's yours.' 26“His master replied, ‘You evil and lazy servant! You knew that I harvest grain where I haven't sown and that I gather crops where I haven't spread seed? 27In that case, you should have turned my money over to the bankers so that when I returned, you could give me what belonged to me with interest. 28Therefore, take from him the valuable coin and give it to the one who has ten coins. 29Those who have much will receive more, and they will have more than they need. But as for those who don't have much, even the little bit they have will be taken away from them. 30Now take the worthless servant and throw him outside into the darkness.' “People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth.
31“Now when the Human One comes in his majesty and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his majestic throne. 32All the nations will be gathered in front of him. He will separate them from each other, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right side. But the goats he will put on his left. 34“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who will receive good things from my Father. Inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world began. 35I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. 36I was naked and you gave me clothes to wear. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.' 37“Then those who are righteous will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothes to wear? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' 40“Then the king will reply to them, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.' 41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me, you who will receive terrible things. Go into the unending fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels. 42I was hungry and you didn't give me food to eat. I was thirsty and you didn't give me anything to drink. 43I was a stranger and you didn't welcome me. I was naked and you didn't give me clothes to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.' 44
"Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and didn't do anything to help you?'45 Then he will answer, ‘I assure you that when you haven't done it for one of the least of these, you haven't done it for me.'46 And they will go away into eternal punishment. But the righteous ones will go into eternal life."
When Jesus finished speaking all these words, he said to his disciples,
"You know that the Passover is two days from now. And the Human One will be handed over to be crucified."
Then the chief priests and elders of the people gathered in the courtyard of Caiaphas the high priest.
They were plotting to arrest Jesus by cunning tricks and to kill him.
But they agreed that it shouldn't happen during the feast so there wouldn't be an uproar among the people.
When Jesus was at Bethany visiting the house of Simon, who had a skin disease,
a woman came to him with a vase made of alabaster containing very expensive perfume. She poured it on Jesus' head while he was sitting at dinner.
Now when the disciples saw it they were angry and said, "Why this waste?
This perfume could have been sold for a lot of money and given to the poor."
But Jesus knew what they were thinking. He said, "Why do you make trouble for the woman? She's done a good thing for me.11 You always have the poor with you, but you won't always have me.12 By pouring this perfume over my body she's prepared me to be buried.13 I tell you the truth that wherever in the whole world this good news is announced, what she's done will also be told in memory of her."
Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests
and said, "What will you give me if I turn Jesus over to you?" They paid him thirty pieces of silver.
From that time on he was looking for an opportunity to turn him in.
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover meal?"
He replied, "Go into the city, to a certain man, and say, ‘The teacher says, My time is near. I'm going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house. '"
The disciples did just as Jesus instructed them. They prepared the Passover.
That evening he took his place at the table with the twelve disciples.
As they were eating he said, "I assure you that one of you will betray me."
Deeply saddened, each one said to him, "I'm not the one, am I, Lord?"
He replied, "The one who will betray me is the one who dips his hand with me into this bowl.24 The Human One goes to his death just as it is written about him. But how terrible it is for that person who betrays the Human One! It would have been better for him if he had never been born."
Now Judas, who would betray him, replied, "It's not me, is it, Rabbi?" Jesus answered, "You said it."
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take and eat. This is my body."
He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from this, all of you.28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many so that their sins may be forgiven.29 I tell you, I won't drink wine again until that day when I drink it in a new way with you in my Father's kingdom."
Then, after singing songs of praise, they went to the Mount of Olives.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Tonight you will all fall away because of me. This is because it is written, I will hit the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will go off in all directions.
32 But after I'm raised up, I'll go before you to Galilee."
Peter replied, "If everyone else stumbles because of you, I'll never stumble."
Jesus said to him, "I assure you that, before the rooster crows tonight, you will deny me three times."
Peter said, "Even if I must die alongside you, I won't deny you." All the disciples said the same thing.
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. He said to the disciples, "Stay here while I go and pray over there."
When he took Peter and Zebedee's two sons, he began to feel sad and anxious.
Then he said to them, "I'm very sad. It's as if I'm dying. Stay here and keep alert with me."
Then he went a short distance farther and fell on his face and prayed, "My Father, if it's possible, take this cup of suffering away from me. However—not what I want but what you want."
He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, "Couldn't you stay alert one hour with me?41 Stay alert and pray so that you won't give in to temptation. The spirit is eager, but the flesh is weak."
A second time he went away and prayed, "My Father, if it's not possible that this cup be taken away unless I drink it, then let it be what you want."
Again he came and found them sleeping. Their eyes were heavy with sleep.
But he left them and again went and prayed the same words for the third time.
Then he came to his disciples and said to them, "Will you sleep and rest all night? Look, the time has come for the Human One to be betrayed into the hands of sinners.46 Get up. Let's go. Look, here comes my betrayer."
While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, came. With him was a large crowd carrying swords and clubs. They had been sent by the chief priests and elders of the people.
His betrayer had given them a sign: "Arrest the man I kiss."
Just then he came to Jesus and said, "Hello, Rabbi." Then he kissed him.
But Jesus said to him, "Friend, do what you came to do." Then they came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him.
One of those with Jesus reached for his sword. Striking the high priest's slave, he cut off his ear.
Then Jesus said to him, "Put the sword back into its place. All those who use the sword will die by the sword.53 Or do you think that I'm not able to ask my Father and he will send to me more than twelve battle groups of angels right away?54 But if I did that, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say this must happen?"
Then Jesus said to the crowds, "Have you come with swords and clubs to arrest me, like a thief? Day after day, I sat in the temple teaching, but you didn't arrest me.56 But all this has happened so that what the prophets said in the scriptures might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples left Jesus and ran away.
Those who arrested Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest. The legal experts and the elders had gathered there.
Peter followed him from a distance until he came to the high priest's courtyard. He entered that area and sat outside with the officers to see how it would turn out.
The chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death.
They didn't find anything they could use from the many false witnesses who were willing to come forward. But finally they found two
who said, "This man said, ‘I can destroy God's temple and rebuild it in three days.'"
Then the high priest stood and said to Jesus, "Aren't you going to respond to the testimony these people have brought against you?"
But Jesus was silent. The high priest said, "By the living God, I demand that you tell us whether you are the Christ, God's Son."
"You said it," Jesus replied. "But I say to you that from now on you'll see the Human One sitting on the right side of the Almighty and coming on the heavenly clouds."
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He's insulting God! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, you've heard his insult against God.
What do you think?" And they answered, "He deserves to die!"
Then they spit in his face and beat him. They hit him
and said, "Prophesy for us, Christ! Who hit you?"
Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant woman came and said to him, "You were also with Jesus the Galilean."
But he denied it in front of all of them, saying, "I don't know what you are talking about."
When he went over to the gate, another woman saw him and said to those who were there, "This man was with Jesus, the man from Nazareth."
With a solemn pledge, he denied it again, saying, "I don't know the man."
A short time later those standing there came and said to Peter, "You must be one of them. The way you talk gives you away."
Then he cursed and swore, "I don't know the man!" At that very moment the rooster crowed.
Peter remembered Jesus' words, "Before the rooster crows you will deny me three times." And Peter went out and cried uncontrollably.
When Judas, who betrayed Jesus, saw that Jesus was condemned to die, he felt deep regret. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, and
said, "I did wrong because I betrayed an innocent man." But they said, "What is that to us? That's your problem."
Judas threw the silver pieces into the temple and left. Then he went and hanged himself.
The chief priests picked up the silver pieces and said, "According to the Law it's not right to put this money in the treasury. Since it was used to pay for someone's life, it's unclean."
So they decided to use it to buy the potter's field where strangers could be buried.
That's why that field is called "Field of Blood" to this very day.
This fulfilled the words of Jeremiah the prophet: And I took the thirty pieces of silver, the price for the one whose price had been set by some of the Israelites, 10and I gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me.
Jesus was brought before the governor. The governor said, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus replied, "That's what you say."
But he didn't answer when the chief priests and elders accused him.
Then Pilate said, "Don't you hear the testimony they bring against you?"
But he didn't answer, not even a single word. So the governor was greatly amazed.
It was customary during the festival for the governor to release to the crowd one prisoner, whomever they might choose.
At that time there was a well-known prisoner named Jesus Barabbas.
When the crowd had come together, Pilate asked them, "Whom would you like me to release to you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ?"
He knew that the leaders of the people had handed him over because of jealousy.
While he was serving as judge, his wife sent this message to him, "Leave that righteous man alone. I've suffered much today in a dream because of him."
But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and kill Jesus.
The governor said, "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" "Barabbas," they replied.
Pilate said, "Then what should I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said, "Crucify him!"
But he said, "Why? What wrong has he done?" They shouted even louder, "Crucify him!"
Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere and that a riot was starting. So he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I'm innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It's your problem."
All the people replied, "Let his blood be on us and on our children."
Then he released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus whipped, then handed him over to be crucified.
The governor's soldiers took Jesus into the governor's house, and they gathered the whole company of soldiers around him.
They stripped him and put a red military coat on him.
They twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand. Then they bowed down in front of him and mocked him, saying, "Hey! King of the Jews!"
After they spit on him, they took the stick and struck his head again and again.
When they finished mocking him, they stripped him of the military coat and put his own clothes back on him. They led him away to crucify him.
As they were going out, they found Simon, a man from Cyrene. They forced him to carry his cross.
When they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Skull Place,
they gave Jesus wine mixed with vinegar to drink. But after tasting it, he didn't want to drink it.
After they crucified him, they divided up his clothes among them by drawing lots.
They sat there, guarding him.
They placed above his head the charge against him. It read, "This is Jesus, the king of the Jews."
They crucified with him two outlaws, one on his right side and one on his left.
Those who were walking by insulted Jesus, shaking their heads
and saying, "So you were going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, were you? Save yourself! If you are God's Son, come down from the cross."
In the same way, the chief priests, along with the legal experts and the elders, were making fun of him, saying,
"He saved others, but he can't save himself. He's the king of Israel, so let him come down from the cross now. Then we'll believe in him.
He trusts in God, so let God deliver him now if he wants to. He said, ‘I'm God's Son.'"
The outlaws who were crucified with him insulted him in the same way.
From noon until three in the afternoon the whole earth was dark.
At about three Jesus cried out with a loud shout, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani," which means, "My God, my God, why have you left me?"
After hearing him, some standing there said, "He's calling Elijah."
One of them ran over, took a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a pole. He offered it to Jesus to drink.
But the rest of them said, "Let's see if Elijah will come and save him."
Again Jesus cried out with a loud shout. Then he died.
Look, the curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split,
and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised.
After Jesus' resurrection they came out of their graves and went into the holy city where they appeared to many people.
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and what had just happened, they were filled with awe and said, "This was certainly God's Son."
Many women were watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to serve him.
Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee's sons.
That evening a man named Joseph came. He was a rich man from Arimathea who had become a disciple of Jesus.
He came to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. Pilate gave him permission to take it.
Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had carved out of the rock. After he rolled a large stone at the door of the tomb, he went away.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting in front of the tomb.
The next day, which was the day after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate.
They said, "Sir, we remember that while that deceiver was still alive he said, ‘After three days I will arise.'
Therefore, order the grave to be sealed until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people, ‘He's been raised from the dead.' This last deception will be worse than the first."
Pilate replied, "You have soldiers for guard duty. Go and make it as secure as you know how."
Then they went and secured the tomb by sealing the stone and posting the guard.