1 ¶ After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.
2 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.
They plan on doing this in secret. They don’t want the people to rise up. But, God has other plans on the Passover which is also the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Luke 22:1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.
3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
Apparently, Simon the leper is the owner of the house, perhaps the landlord, because Mary, Martha, and Lazarus live there. This is very expensive ointment. For you to be able to truly worship Christ your body has to broken, the outside box that carries what is of value. If your flesh is not conquered you will have a hard time wanting to serve God. The flesh either fights your worship or Satan counterfeits your worship, making you think that worshipping in the flesh is okay.
4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
The complaint was made by Judas, the betrayer.
John 12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, 5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
Stay away from complainers lest you become one. Leave your church before you become a complainer if there is great controversy there. Either don’t listen or leave. But don’t be a griper.
5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
Now, to understand how much this was worth, with penny being the singular of pence. Matthew 20 shows that a penny was a day’s wages so that this ointment was nearly a year’s pay! That might be $50,000 to some of us. Whatever the case, it’s a lot of money.
6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
No matter what programs you have for the poor, you’ll always have them.
8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
Have you done what you could for Christ? Face your life with that? Have you done what you could?
9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.
This is a strange thing. Who talks about this? Will this be preached in the Tribulation? The picture is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ so why isn’t it preached today?
10 And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.
Judas is one of the original twelve disciples. The prophecy is there, all throughout the Old Testament, but in the New, his name is provided. Judas decides to betray Christ. Here is one example;
Psalm 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
Check out references to “the wicked” also.
11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.
1Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
12 ¶ And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?
13 And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.
14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?
Each of us has a house that God has built and we are to do with it what He requires. The house is our body.
15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.
16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.
17 And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.
18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.
For those who believed in closed communion then let me just say that Jesus permitted a devil to celebrate the Lord’s Supper with Him. Judas was allowed to be with the disciples. Let every man examine himself.
1Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?
20 And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.
In another gospel this scene is told in more detail.
21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.
Judas has agreed and consented to being used to fulfill this prophecy. We choose whom we will serve but we have not control over what happens like we think we do. Once you have chosen evil and sin, it will consume you.
22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
Including Judas. So much for closed communion.
Psalm 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.
25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
Jesus did not say that the bread becomes His body or that the wine became His blood. He said it was His body and blood. He is making an allegorical reference. The wine and bread are in type, His blood and body. They represent His blood and His body. Don’t get confused.
“New wine” can be understood here.
Isaiah 65:8 Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.
It is freshly squeezed from the grapes. Here is the “wine of the condemned”.
Amos 2:8 And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.
Micah 2:11 If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.
26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
I am imagining that these will be from the Psalms, this hymn He is singing with His disciples.
27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.
Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.
29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.
Peter was sincere but, like me, and everyone else, found it impossible to live up to his words. It is easier to become a martyr in one blaze of glory than it would be to live for Christ day to day, rejecting sin, or to be tortured continually. Richard Wurmbrand, the Pastor who founded Voice of the Martyrs, was tortured by the communist regimes in Eastern Europe for well over a decade.
We dream that we are always the hero but in our day to day lives we fail Christ continually. Christ knows this. That is why we can only have hope by depending upon Christ’s righteousness, not our own.
30 And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.
31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.
One of the most dedicated Pastor’s I have ever met is a sadist when it comes to women without husbands in his congregation. His son is even worse. I have repeatedly made promises to God about what I would and wouldn’t do and have failed repeatedly because of the weakness of my flesh. Everywhere around us are examples of people who at one time made a bold promise before God and, at some point, denied Christ with their behavior. There was a famous preacher in Jacksonville, Florida who was found to have a sexual perversion he had practiced for years. Christians fail Christ, and thereby deny Him by their actions every day.
Jesus knows the shallowness of our promises when we say them.
32 ¶ And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.
33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;
34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.
Many times you also will be alone in your service to Christ.
35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
He prays by Himself and there is no answer from heaven. When was there a time when you prayed and felt that heaven was so far away as in the pop song? He asked, if it were possible, that He might not have to endure this in His humanity.
It’s not just death for He is about to take on the sins of the whole world. However, death for His human body was a factor.
Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
The essence of successful and correct prayer is to submit to God’s perfect will, no matter how painful it is to us.
37 And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?
38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
Be spiritually alert to keep from falling into temptation. We need to pray before we sin in order to keep from falling into sin.
Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 13 ¶ Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
1Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
I have failed miserably in all of this. That doesn’t make it not true.
39 And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.
40 And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.
41 And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
42 Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.
He is going to confront his betrayer and the arresting agents.
43 ¶ And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
44 And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.
This was apparently a custom at the time. We don’t feel comfortable with this today but sometimes people will hug you. I, personally, don’t feel comfortable with such familiarity. A handshake or a nod or a smile are good enough for me. This is probably easier in a church under persecution. Perhaps, by necessity they must trust each other and be close.
Romans16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
1Corinthians 16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.
2Corinthians 13:12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.
1Thessalonians 5:26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
But beware of such a kiss.
Genesis 29:13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.
2Samuel 15:4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! 5 And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.
2 Samuel 20:9 And Joab said to Amasa, Art thou in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab’s hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.
45 And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.
This was the signal. Judas called him, Master.
46 And they laid their hands on him, and took him.
47 And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
Jesus heals him as related in Luke.
48 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?
49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.
50 And they all forsook him, and fled.
Zechariah 13:7 ¶ Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:
52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
Commentators throughout history have tried to guess who this was. I’ve heard things so radical that this was an angel or that this might have been Paul as Saul. But, we don’t know who it was, really. I assume it was the apostle John, the youngest of the twelve.
53 ¶ And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.
54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.
Do you follow Jesus from afar and are you warming your hands over the devil’s fire? Peter is taking the first steps toward denying Christ and what he had previously promised. How many times have I kept silent when I should have proclaimed Christ? Each time you don’t take the opportunity to declare your faith you get closer and closer to denying it.
55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.
Even the authorities find that Jesus is innocent.
56 For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.
Their own witnesses can’t agree and can’t keep their lies straight.
57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,
58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.
59 But neither so did their witness agree together.
60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
Matthew relates two false witnesses who could not agree. They obviously didn’t understand what He had said and they lied. Here’s what he said;
John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
The operative word is “this” in verse 19 referring to His body and “this” in verse 20 in which they are referring to the physical temple. This same mistake is made by the Roman Catholic Church here;
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
“This” rock refers to Himself, not to Peter.
61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Now, He has said it. This is an explosive statement.
Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
He has claimed to be God and the Messiah. They had to make a choice now. Either they accept Him as their Messiah or they reject Him. Either Jesus is a liar or He is God. You have to make a choice.
63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?
64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
65 And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.
Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
66 ¶ And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:
67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.
68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.
Peter is warming his hands over the devil’s fire. He has taken a small step. It only takes one small step for us to descend into sin. We take one small step at a time. Peter got angry because Jesus told him to put away the sword.
What does it take to knock you down?
69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.
70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.
71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.
Peter is with the wrong crowd. He has the wrong attitude. Now, he has gone so far to curse and swear. He has denied Christ. It doesn’t take much to go back to sins that he once held. Perhaps he hadn’t swore like a fisherman does for three and a half years.
72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
What will it take for you to deny Christ? Hanging out with the wrong crowd? Losing control of your emotions? Lying? How often, Christian, have you denied Christ with your behavior?
In Luke 22 we are told of another signal that gets to him besides Christ’s prophecy. At that point Peter sees Christ, who is looking at him.
Peter’s victory is his repentance. He wept. See John 21:15 to see the related conversation with the post-resurrection Christ.