It was two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and legal experts through cunning tricks were searching for a way to arrest Jesus and kill him.
But they agreed that it shouldn't happen during the festival; otherwise, there would be an uproar among the people.
Jesus was at Bethany visiting the house of Simon, who had a skin disease. During dinner, a woman came in with a vase made of alabaster and containing very expensive perfume of pure nard. She broke open the vase and poured the perfume on his head.
Some grew angry. They said to each other, "Why waste the perfume?
This perfume could have been sold for almost a year's pay and the money given to the poor." And they scolded her.
Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Why do you make trouble for her? She has done a good thing for me.
You always have the poor with you; and whenever you want, you can do something good for them. But you won't always have me.
She has done what she could. She has anointed my body ahead of time for burial.
I tell you the truth that, wherever in the whole world the good news is announced, what she's done will also be told in memory of her."
Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to give Jesus up to them.
When they heard it, they were delighted and promised to give him money. So he started looking for an opportunity to turn him in.
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, the disciples said to Jesus, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover meal?"
He sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the city. A man carrying a water jar will meet you. Follow him.
Wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples? '
He will show you a large room upstairs already furnished. Prepare for us there."
The disciples left, came into the city, found everything just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
That evening, Jesus arrived with the Twelve.
During the meal, Jesus said, "I assure you that one of you will betray me—someone eating with me."
Deeply saddened, they asked him, one by one, "It's not me, is it?"
Jesus answered, "It's one of the Twelve, one who is dipping bread with me into this bowl.
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."
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body."
He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.
I assure you that I won't drink wine again until that day when I drink it in a new way in God's kingdom."
After singing songs of praise, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus said to them, "You will all falter in your faithfulness to me. It is written, I will hit the shepherd, and the sheep will go off in all directions.
But after I'm raised up, I will go before you to Galilee."
Peter said to him, "Even if everyone else stumbles, I won't."
But Jesus said to him, "I assure you that on this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times."
But Peter insisted, "If I must die alongside you, I won't deny you." And they all said the same thing.
Jesus and his disciples came to a place called Gethsemane. Jesus said to them, "Sit here while I pray."
He took Peter, James, and John along with him. He began to feel despair and was anxious.
He said to them, "I'm very sad. It's as if I'm dying. Stay here and keep alert."
Then he went a short distance farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if possible, he might be spared the time of suffering.
He said, "Abba, Father, for you all things are possible. Take this cup of suffering away from me. However—not what I want but what you want."
He came and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Couldn't you stay alert for one hour?
Stay alert and pray so that you won't give in to temptation. The spirit is eager, but the flesh is weak."
Again, he left them and prayed, repeating the same words.
And, again, when he came back, he found them sleeping, for they couldn't keep their eyes open, and they didn't know how to respond to him.
He came a third time and said to them, "Will you sleep and rest all night? That's enough! The time has come for the Human One to be betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Get up! Let's go! Look, here comes my betrayer."
Suddenly, while Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, came with a mob carrying swords and clubs. They had been sent by the chief priests, legal experts, and elders.
His betrayer had given them a sign: "Arrest the man I kiss, and take him away under guard."
As soon as he got there, Judas said to Jesus, "Rabbi!" Then he kissed him.
Then they came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him.
One of the bystanders drew a sword and struck the high priest's slave and cut off his ear.
Jesus responded, "Have you come with swords and clubs to arrest me, like an outlaw?
Day after day, I was with you, teaching in the temple, but you didn't arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled."
And all his disciples left him and ran away.
One young man, a disciple, was wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They grabbed him,
but he left the linen cloth behind and ran away naked.
They led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders, and legal experts gathered.
Peter followed him from a distance, right into the high priest's courtyard. He was sitting with the guards, warming himself by the fire.
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they couldn't find any.
Many brought false testimony against him, but they contradicted each other.
Some stood to offer false witness against him, saying,
"We heard him saying, ‘I will destroy this temple, constructed by humans, and within three days I will build another, one not made by humans.'"
But their testimonies didn't agree even on this point.
Then the high priest stood up in the middle of the gathering and examined Jesus. "Aren't you going to respond to the testimony these people have brought against you?"
But Jesus was silent and didn't answer. Again, the high priest asked, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the blessed one?"
Jesus said, "I am. And you will 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, "Why do we need any more witnesses?
You've heard his insult against God. What do you think?" They all condemned him. "He deserves to die!"
Some began to spit on him. Some covered his face and hit him, saying, "Prophesy!" Then the guards took him and beat him.
Meanwhile, Peter was below in the courtyard. A woman, one of the high priest's servants, approached
and saw Peter warming himself by the fire. She stared at him and said, "You were also with the Nazarene, Jesus."
But he denied it, saying, "I don't know what you're talking about. I don't understand what you're saying." And he went outside into the outer courtyard. A rooster crowed.
The female servant saw him and began a second time to say to those standing around, "This man is one of them."
But he denied it again. A short time later, those standing around again said to Peter, "You must be one of them, because you are also a Galilean."
But he cursed and swore, "I don't know this man you're talking about."
At that very moment, a rooster crowed a second time. Peter remembered what Jesus told him, "Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." And he broke down, sobbing.