Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests
and asked, "How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?" And they gave him thirty pieces of silver.
From that time on, Judas began looking for the right time and place to betray Jesus.
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to prepare the Passover supper?"
18"As you go into the city," he told them, "you will see a certain man. Tell him, 'The Teacher says, My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.'" 19
So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover supper there.
When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the twelve disciples.
While they were eating, he said, "The truth is, one of you will betray me."22
Greatly distressed, one by one they began to ask him, "I'm not the one, am I, Lord?"
He replied, "One of you who is eating with me now will betray me. 24For I, the Son of Man, must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for my betrayer. Far better for him if he had never been born!"25
Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, "Teacher, I'm not the one, am I?"And Jesus told him, "You have said it yourself."
As they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread and asked God's blessing on it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "Take it and eat it, for this is my body." 27
And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, "Each of you drink from it, 28for this is my blood, which seals the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out to forgive the sins of many. 29Mark my words -- I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom." 30
Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
31"Tonight all of you will desert me," Jesus told them. "For the Scriptures say, 'God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' 32But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there."33
Peter declared, "Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will."
34"Peter," Jesus replied, "the truth is, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times."35
"No!" Peter insisted. "Not even if I have to die with you! I will never deny you!" And all the other disciples vowed the same.
Then Jesus brought them to an olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, "Sit here while I go on ahead to pray." 37
He took Peter and Zebedee's two sons, James and John, and he began to be filled with anguish and deep distress.
He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me."39
He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine." 40
Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, "Couldn't you stay awake and watch with me even one hour? 41Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!"42
Again he left them and prayed, "My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away until I drink it, your will be done." 43
He returned to them again and found them sleeping, for they just couldn't keep their eyes open.
So he went back to pray a third time, saying the same things again.
Then he came to the disciples and said, "Still sleeping? Still resting? Look, the time has come. I, the Son of Man, am betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Up, let's be going. See, my betrayer is here!"47
And even as he said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a mob that was armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent out by the leading priests and other leaders of the people.
Judas had given them a prearranged signal: "You will know which one to arrest when I go over and give him the kiss of greeting."
So Judas came straight to Jesus. "Greetings, Teacher!" he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.
Jesus said, "My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for." Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him.
One of the men with Jesus pulled out a sword and slashed off an ear of the high priest's servant.
52"Put away your sword," Jesus told him. "Those who use the sword will be killed by the sword.53Don't you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? 54But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?"55
Then Jesus said to the crowd, "Am I some dangerous criminal, that you have come armed with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn't you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. 56But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures." At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and other leaders had gathered.
Meanwhile, Peter was following far behind and eventually came to the courtyard of the high priest's house. He went in, sat with the guards, and waited to see what was going to happen to Jesus.
Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death.
But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, there was no testimony they could use. Finally, two men were found
who declared, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.'"
Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, "Well, aren't you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?"
But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, "I demand in the name of the living God that you tell us whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God."
Jesus replied, "Yes, it is as you say. And in the future you will see me, the Son of Man, sitting at God's right hand in the place of power and coming back on the clouds of heaven." 65
Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror, shouting, "Blasphemy! Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy.
What is your verdict?" "Guilty!" they shouted. "He must die!"
Then they spit in Jesus' face and hit him with their fists. And some slapped him,
saying, "Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who hit you that time?"
Meanwhile, as Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, a servant girl came over and said to him, "You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean."
But Peter denied it in front of everyone. "I don't know what you are talking about," he said.
Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth."
Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. "I don't even know the man," he said.
A little later some other bystanders came over to him and said, "You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent."
Peter said, "I swear by God, I don't know the man." And immediately the rooster crowed.
Suddenly, Jesus' words flashed through Peter's mind: "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." And he went away, crying bitterly.
Very early in the morning, the leading priests and other leaders met again to discuss how to persuade the Roman government to sentence Jesus to death.
Then they bound him and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and other leaders.
"I have sinned," he declared, "for I have betrayed an innocent man." "What do we care?" they retorted. "That's your problem."
Then Judas threw the money onto the floor of the Temple and went out and hanged himself.
The leading priests picked up the money. "We can't put it in the Temple treasury," they said, "since it's against the law to accept money paid for murder."
After some discussion they finally decided to buy the potter's field, and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners.
That is why the field is still called the Field of Blood.
This fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah that says, "They took the thirty pieces of silver -- the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel --
and purchased the potter's field, as the Lord directed."
Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor. "Are you the King of the Jews?" the governor asked him.Jesus replied, "Yes, it is as you say."12
But when the leading priests and other leaders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent.
"Don't you hear their many charges against you?" Pilate demanded.
But Jesus said nothing, much to the governor's great surprise.
Now it was the governor's custom to release one prisoner to the crowd each year during the Passover celebration -- anyone they wanted.
This year there was a notorious criminal in prison, a man named Barabbas.
As the crowds gathered before Pilate's house that morning, he asked them, "Which one do you want me to release to you -- Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?"
(He knew very well that the Jewish leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.)
Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: "Leave that innocent man alone, because I had a terrible nightmare about him last night."
Meanwhile, the leading priests and other leaders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death.
So when the governor asked again, "Which of these two do you want me to release to you?" the crowd shouted back their reply: "Barabbas!"
"But if I release Barabbas," Pilate asked them, "what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?" And they all shouted, "Crucify him!"
"Why?" Pilate demanded. "What crime has he committed?" But the crowd only roared the louder, "Crucify him!"
Pilate saw that he wasn't getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this man. The responsibility is yours!"
And all the people yelled back, "We will take responsibility for his death -- we and our children!"
So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to crucify him.
Some of the governor's soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire battalion.
They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him.
They made a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on his head, and they placed a stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery, yelling, "Hail! King of the Jews!"
And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and beat him on the head with it.
When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.
As they were on the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and they forced him to carry Jesus' cross.
Then they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means Skull Hill).
The soldiers gave him wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.
After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.
Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there.
A signboard was fastened to the cross above Jesus' head, announcing the charge against him. It read: "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews."
Two criminals were crucified with him, their crosses on either side of his.
And the people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery.
"So! You can destroy the Temple and build it again in three days, can you? Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!"
The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders also mocked Jesus.
"He saved others," they scoffed, "but he can't save himself! So he is the king of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross, and we will believe in him!
He trusted God -- let God show his approval by delivering him! For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'"
And the criminals who were crucified with him also shouted the same insults at him.
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o'clock.
At about three o'clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" 47
Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah.
One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a stick so he could drink.
But the rest said, "Leave him alone. Let's see whether Elijah will come and save him."
Then Jesus shouted out again, and he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart,
and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead
after Jesus' resurrection. They left the cemetery, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.
The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, "Truly, this was the Son of God!"
And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for him were watching from a distance.
Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and Zebedee's wife, the mother of James and John.
As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who was one of Jesus' followers,
went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him.
Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long linen cloth.
He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance as he left.
Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting nearby watching.
The next day -- on the first day of the Passover ceremonies -- the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate.
They told him, "Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: 'After three days I will be raised from the dead.'
So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he came back to life! If that happens, we'll be worse off than we were at first."
Pilate replied, "Take guards and secure it the best you can."
So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)