The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching.
The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people’s reaction.
Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples,
and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them.
They were delighted, and they promised to give him money.
So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around.
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed.
Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.”
“Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked him.
He replied, “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters,
say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’
He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.”
They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.
When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table.
Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.
For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”
Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves.
For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”
He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.”
After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.
“But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me.
For it has been determined that the Son of Man must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.”
The disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing.
Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them.
Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’
But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.
Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.
“You have stayed with me in my time of trial.
And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right
to eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat.
But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”
Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.”
But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you out to preach the Good News and you did not have money, a traveler’s bag, or an extra pair of sandals, did you need anything?” “No,” they replied.
“But now,” he said, “take your money and a traveler’s bag. And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one!
For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled: ‘He was counted among the rebels.’ Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true.”
“Look, Lord,” they replied, “we have two swords among us.” “That’s enough,” he said.