Then one of the twelve disciples - the one named Judas Iscariot - went to the chief priests
and asked, "What will you give me if I betray Jesus to you?" They counted out thirty silver coins and gave them to him.
From then on Judas was looking for a good chance to hand Jesus over to them.
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, "Where do you want us to get the Passover meal ready for you?"
"Go to a certain man in the city," he said to them, "and tell him: "The Teacher says, My hour has come; my disciples and I will celebrate the Passover at your house.' "
The disciples did as Jesus had told them and prepared the Passover meal.
When it was evening, Jesus and the twelve disciples sat down to eat.
During the meal Jesus said, "I tell you, one of you will betray me."
The disciples were very upset and began to ask him, one after the other, "Surely, Lord, you don't mean me?"
Jesus answered, "One who dips his bread in the dish with me will betray me.
The Son of Man will die as the Scriptures say he will, but how terrible for that man who will betray the Son of Man! It would have been better for that man if he had never been born!"
Judas, the traitor, spoke up. "Surely, Teacher, you don't mean me?" he asked. Jesus answered, "So you say."
While they were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. "Take and eat it," he said; "this is my body."
Then he took a cup, gave thanks to God, and gave it to them. "Drink it, all of you," he said;
"this is my blood, which seals God's covenant, my blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
I tell you, I will never again drink this wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in my Father's Kingdom."
Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
Then Jesus said to them, "This very night all of you will run away and leave me, for the scripture says, "God will kill the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'
But after I am raised to life, I will go to Galilee ahead of you."
Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, "I will never leave you, even though all the rest do!"
Jesus said to Peter, "I tell you that before the rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you do not know me."
Peter answered, "I will never say that, even if I have to die with you!" And all the other disciples said the same thing.
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray."
He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee. Grief and anguish came over him,
and he said to them, "The sorrow in my heart is so great that it almost crushes me. Stay here and keep watch with me."
He went a little farther on, threw himself face downward on the ground, and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me! Yet not what I want, but what you want."
Then he returned to the three disciples and found them asleep; and he said to Peter, "How is it that you three were not able to keep watch with me for even one hour?
Keep watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Once more Jesus went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cup of suffering cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done."
He returned once more and found the disciples asleep; they could not keep their eyes open.
Again Jesus left them, went away, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Then he returned to the disciples and said, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look! The hour has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to the power of sinners.
Get up, let us go. Look, here is the man who is betraying me!"
Jesus was still speaking when Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs and sent by the chief priests and the elders.
The traitor had given the crowd a signal: "The man I kiss is the one you want. Arrest him!"
Judas went straight to Jesus and said, "Peace be with you, Teacher," and kissed him.
Jesus answered, "Be quick about it, friend!" Then they came up, arrested Jesus, and held him tight.
One of those who were with Jesus drew his sword and struck at the High Priest's slave, cutting off his ear.
"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him. "All who take the sword will die by the sword.
Don't you know that I could call on my Father for help, and at once he would send me more than twelve armies of angels?
But in that case, how could the Scriptures come true which say that this is what must happen?"
Then Jesus spoke to the crowd, "Did you have to come with swords and clubs to capture me, as though I were an outlaw? Every day I sat down and taught in the Temple, and you did not arrest me.
But all this has happened in order to make come true what the prophets wrote in the Scriptures." Then all the disciples left him and ran away.
Those who had arrested Jesus took him to the house of Caiaphas, the High Priest, where the teachers of the Law and the elders had gathered together.
Peter followed from a distance, as far as the courtyard of the High Priest's house. He went into the courtyard and sat down with the guards to see how it would all come out.
The chief priests and the whole Council tried to find some false evidence against Jesus to put him to death;
but they could not find any, even though many people came forward and told lies about him. Finally two men stepped up
and said, "This man said, "I am able to tear down God's Temple and three days later build it back up.' "
The High Priest stood up and said to Jesus, "Have you no answer to give to this accusation against you?"
But Jesus kept quiet. Again the High Priest spoke to him, "In the name of the living God I now put you under oath: tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God."
Jesus answered him, "So you say. But I tell all of you: from this time on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right side of the Almighty and coming on the clouds of heaven!"
At this the High Priest tore his clothes and said, "Blasphemy! We don't need any more witnesses! You have just heard his blasphemy!
What do you think?" They answered, "He is guilty and must die."
Then they spat in his face and beat him; and those who slapped him
said, "Prophesy for us, Messiah! Guess who hit you!"
Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard when one of the High Priest's servant women came to him and said, "You, too, were with Jesus of Galilee."
But he denied it in front of them all. "I don't know what you are talking about," he answered,
and went on out to the entrance of the courtyard. Another servant woman saw him and said to the men there, "He was with Jesus of Nazareth."
Again Peter denied it and answered, "I swear that I don't know that man!"
After a little while the men standing there came to Peter. "Of course you are one of them," they said. "After all, the way you speak gives you away!"
Then Peter said, "I swear that I am telling the truth! May God punish me if I am not! I do not know that man!" Just then a rooster crowed,
and Peter remembered what Jesus had told him: "Before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you do not know me." He went out and wept bitterly.
Early in the morning all the chief priests and the elders made their plans against Jesus to put him to death.
They put him in chains, led him off, and handed him over to Pilate, the Roman governor.
When Judas, the traitor, learned that Jesus had been condemned, he repented and took back the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders.
"I have sinned by betraying an innocent man to death!" he said. "What do we care about that?" they answered. "That is your business!"
Judas threw the coins down in the Temple and left; then he went off and hanged himself.
The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "This is blood money, and it is against our Law to put it in the Temple treasury."
After reaching an agreement about it, they used the money to buy Potter's Field, as a cemetery for foreigners.
That is why that field is called "Field of Blood" to this very day.
Then what the prophet Jeremiah had said came true: "They took the thirty silver coins, the amount the people of Israel had agreed to pay for him,
and used the money to buy the potter's field, as the Lord had commanded me."
Jesus stood before the Roman governor, who questioned him. "Are you the king of the Jews?" he asked. "So you say," answered Jesus.
But he said nothing in response to the accusations of the chief priests and elders.
So Pilate said to him, "Don't you hear all these things they accuse you of?"
But Jesus refused to answer a single word, with the result that the Governor was greatly surprised.
At every Passover Festival the Roman governor was in the habit of setting free any one prisoner the crowd asked for.
At that time there was a well-known prisoner named Jesus Barabbas.
So when the crowd gathered, Pilate asked them, "Which one do you want me to set free for you? Jesus Barabbas or Jesus called the Messiah?"
He knew very well that the Jewish authorities had handed Jesus over to him because they were jealous.
While Pilate was sitting in the judgment hall, his wife sent him a message: "Have nothing to do with that innocent man, because in a dream last night I suffered much on account of him."
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask Pilate to set Barabbas free and have Jesus put to death.
But Pilate asked the crowd, "Which one of these two do you want me to set free for you?" "Barabbas!" they answered.
"What, then, shall I do with Jesus called the Messiah?" Pilate asked them. "Crucify him!" they all answered.
But Pilate asked, "What crime has he committed?" Then they started shouting at the top of their voices: "Crucify him!"
When Pilate saw that it was no use to go on, but that a riot might break out, he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, "I am not responsible for the death of this man! This is your doing!"
The whole crowd answered, "Let the responsibility for his death fall on us and on our children!"
Then Pilate set Barabbas free for them; and after he had Jesus whipped, he handed him over to be crucified.
Then Pilate's soldiers took Jesus into the governor's palace, and the whole company gathered around him.
They stripped off his clothes and put a scarlet robe on him.
Then they made a crown out of thorny branches and placed it on his head, and put a stick in his right hand; then they knelt before him and made fun of him. "Long live the King of the Jews!" they said.
They spat on him, and took the stick and hit him over the head.
When they had finished making fun of him, they took the robe off and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene named Simon, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus' cross.
They came to a place called Golgotha, which means, "The Place of the Skull."
There they offered Jesus wine mixed with a bitter substance; but after tasting it, he would not drink it.
They crucified him and then divided his clothes among them by throwing dice.
After that they sat there and watched him.
Above his head they put the written notice of the accusation against him: "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews."
Then they crucified two bandits with Jesus, one on his right and the other on his left.
People passing by shook their heads and hurled insults at Jesus:
"You were going to tear down the Temple and build it back up in three days! Save yourself if you are God's Son! Come on down from the cross!"
In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the Law and the elders made fun of him:
"He saved others, but he cannot save himself! Isn't he the king of Israel? If he will come down off the cross now, we will believe in him!
He trusts in God and claims to be God's Son. Well, then, let us see if God wants to save him now!"
Even the bandits who had been crucified with him insulted him in the same way.
At noon the whole country was covered with darkness, which lasted for three hours.
At about three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud shout, ["Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?"] which means, "My God, my God, why did you abandon me?"
Some of the people standing there heard him and said, "He is calling for Elijah!"
One of them ran up at once, took a sponge, soaked it in cheap wine, put it on the end of a stick, and tried to make him drink it.
But the others said, "Wait, let us see if Elijah is coming to save him!"
Jesus again gave a loud cry and breathed his last.
Then the curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split apart,
the graves broke open, and many of God's people who had died were raised to life.
They left the graves, and after Jesus rose from death, they went into the Holy City, where many people saw them.
When the army officer and the soldiers with him who were watching Jesus saw the earthquake and everything else that happened, they were terrified and said, "He really was the Son of God!"
There were many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee and helped him.
Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the wife of Zebedee.
When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea arrived; his name was Joseph, and he also was a disciple of Jesus.
He went into the presence of Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate gave orders for the body to be given to Joseph.
So Joseph took it, wrapped it in a new linen sheet,
and placed it in his own tomb, which he had just recently dug out of solid rock. Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb and went away.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there, facing the tomb.
The next day, which was a Sabbath, the chief priests and the Pharisees met with Pilate
and said, "Sir, we remember that while that liar was still alive he said, "I will be raised to life three days later.'
Give orders, then, for his tomb to be carefully guarded until the third day, so that his disciples will not be able to go and steal the body, and then tell the people that he was raised from death. This last lie would be even worse than the first one."
"Take a guard," Pilate told them; "go and make the tomb as secure as you can."
So they left and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and leaving the guard on watch.