The Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was near.
The chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for a way to get rid of Jesus. They were afraid of the people.
Then Satan entered Judas, who was called Iscariot. Judas was one of the Twelve.
He went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard. He talked with them about how he could hand Jesus over to them.
They were delighted and agreed to give him money.
Judas accepted their offer. He watched for the right time to hand Jesus over to them. He wanted to do it when no crowd was around.
Then the day of Unleavened Bread came. That was the time the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.
Jesus sent Peter and John on ahead. "Go," he told them. "Prepare for us to eat the Passover meal."
"Where do you want us to prepare for it?" they asked.
Jesus replied, "When you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house he enters.
Then say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher asks, "Where is the guest room? Where can I eat the Passover meal with my disciples?" '
He will show you a large upstairs room with furniture in it. Prepare for us to eat there."
Peter and John left. They found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover meal.
When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles took their places at the table.
He said to them, "I have really looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you. I wanted to do this before I suffer.
I tell you, I will not eat the Passover meal again until it is celebrated in God's kingdom."
After Jesus took the cup, he gave thanks. He said, "Take this cup and share it among yourselves.
I tell you, I will not drink wine with you again until God's kingdom comes."
Then Jesus took bread. He gave thanks and broke it. He handed it to them and said, "This is my body. It is given for you. Every time you eat it, do it in memory of me."
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup. He said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. It is poured out for you.
But someone here is going to hand me over to my enemies. His hand is with mine on the table.
The Son of Man will go to his death, just as God has already decided. But how terrible it will be for the one who hands him over!"
The apostles began to ask each other about this. They wondered which one of them would do it.
They also started to argue. They disagreed about which of them was thought to be the most important person.
Jesus said to them, "The kings of the nations hold power over their people. And those who order them around call themselves Protectors.
But you must not be like that. Instead, the most important among you should be like the youngest. The one who rules should be like the one who serves.
"Who is more important? Is it the one at the table, or the one who serves? Isn't it the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
You have stood by me during my troubles.
And I give you a kingdom, just as my Father gave me a kingdom.
Then you will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.
"Simon, Simon! Satan has asked to sift you disciples like wheat.
But I have prayed for you, Simon. I have prayed that your faith will not fail. When you have turned back, help your brothers to be strong."
But Simon replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death."
Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, you will say three times that you don't know me. And you will do it before the rooster crows today."
Then Jesus asked the disciples, "Did you need anything when I sent you without a purse, bag or sandals?" "Nothing," they answered.
He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it. And also take a bag. If you don't have a sword, sell your coat and buy one.
It is written, 'He was counted among those who had committed crimes.'#1(Isaiah 53:12)#2 I tell you that what is written about me must come true. Yes, it is already coming true."
The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied.
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives. His disciples followed him.
When they reached the place, Jesus spoke. "Pray that you won't fall into sin when you are tempted," he said to them.
Then he went a short distance away from them. There he got down on his knees and prayed.
He said, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup of suffering away from me. But do what you want, not what I want."
An angel from heaven appeared to Jesus and gave him strength.
Because he was very sad and troubled, he prayed even harder. His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
After that, he got up from prayer and went back to the disciples. He found them sleeping. They were worn out because they were very sad.
"Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up! Pray that you won't fall into sin when you are tempted."
While Jesus was still speaking, a crowd came up. The man named Judas was leading them. He was one of the Twelve. Judas approached Jesus to kiss him.
But Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you handing over the Son of Man with a kiss?"
Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen. So they said, "Lord, should we use our swords against them?"
One of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.
But Jesus answered, "Stop this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him.
Then Jesus spoke to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders. They had all come for him. "Am I leading a band of armed men against you?" he asked. "Do you have to come with swords and clubs?
Every day I was with you in the temple courtyard. And you didn't lay a hand on me. But this is your hour. This is when darkness rules."
Then the men arrested Jesus and led him away. They took him into the high priest's house. Peter followed from far away.
They started a fire in the middle of the courtyard. Then they sat down together. Peter sat down with them.
A female servant saw him sitting there in the firelight. She looked closely at him. Then she said, "This man was with Jesus."
But Peter said he had not been with him. "Woman, I don't know him," he said.
A little later someone else saw Peter. "You also are one of them," he said. "No," Peter replied. "I'm not!"
About an hour later, another person spoke up. "This fellow must have been with Jesus," he said. "He is from Galilee."
Peter replied, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about!" Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.
The Lord turned and looked right at Peter. Then Peter remembered what the Lord had spoken to him. "The rooster will crow today," Jesus had said. "Before it does, you will say three times that you don't know me."
Peter went outside. He broke down and sobbed.
At dawn the elders of the people met together. These included the chief priests and the teachers of the law. Jesus was led to them.
"If you are the Christ," they said, "tell us." Jesus answered, "If I tell you, you will not believe me.
And if I asked you, you would not answer.
But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God."
They all asked, "Are you the Son of God then?" He replied, "You are right in saying that I am."
Then they said, "Why do we need any more witnesses? We have heard it from his own lips."