Matthew 26:36-46 Jesus in the Garden

Jesus fell on His face pleading with His Father

Jesus fell on His face pleading with His Father

Jesus and His disciples have moved from the home where they had dinner to the Mount of Olives. Here Jesus told His disciples that they would betray Him. After the uproar from this settled down, He took them a little farther up the mountain to His favorite garden spot; the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus often came here. That fact is why Judas knew exactly where to find Him a little later in our story. But we are not at that point yet. We are here to let Jesus have His last private time with His Father. To allow Jesus time to gather Himself before going into the most horrific 24 hours of His life.

Here at the entrance of Gethsemane Jesus asked His disciples to wait for Him while He went off to pray. Jesus took His three closest disciples with Him as He entered the garden. Peter, James and John were the only witnesses to the sorrow in Jesus’ eyes. He had held it all together until this private moment. Jesus even verbalized His distress; “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (verse 38). Read more »

Matthew 26:30-35 Jesus Tells Peter His Future

Another walk with Jesus

Another walk with Jesus

Dinner is concluding for Jesus and His disciples. They sing a closing hymn, maybe the traditional closing hymn of Passover, and then head out to the Mount of Olives. Jesus seems to have an affinity for this setting. He often went there for private time with His disciples. The Garden of Gethsemane is also located on the lower slopes of this mountain. This time He and the disciples go there for another heart to heart talk. Read more »

Matthew 26:26-29 Our First Communion

In Remembrance of Me (I know it's not matzo but I loved the picture anyway)

In Remembrance of Me (I know it’s not matzo but I loved the picture anyway)

We are enjoying the last Passover celebration with Jesus and His disciples. At this point Judas has left the group to betray Jesus to the religious leaders. It is just Jesus and His most devoted followers now.

During one of Jesus’ previous teachings He told the crowd that unless they eat of His flesh and drink of His blood they would have no part in Him. This was a very hard message to hear for everyone listening that day. Today that message will be acted out for His disciples. I think this symbolism will come as a great relief for His followers. Jesus didn’t mean for them to literally eat Him. Read more »

Matthew 26:17-25 Dinner is Served

Come and dine

Come and dine

Today Jesus prepares to eat His last Passover meal. I don’t know if this was to be Jesus’ last meal on earth, but I think it probably was. I doubt the guards fed Him while they were torturing Him. This was a very special meal for Him and He wanted everything to be just right.

I’m having issues with trying to find a perfect timeline of Jesus’ last week on Earth, this side of the grave. I am no scholar on theology but I know a couple of facts. 1. Today’s events happened on the first day of the Unleavened Bread festival. We know this as the Passover celebration. 2. Jesus was in the grave three days and three nights. 3. Jesus rose on the first day of the week. These facts aren’t critical for today’s reading, but I was curious and want to understand the whole picture if I can. I found two websites that do a pretty good job of arguing their points for when the Passover lamb was slain and Jesus’ death in relation to that event. Read more »

Matthew 26:14-16 Judas’ Decision

A bargain is struck

A bargain is struck

Today we are going to follow Judas Iscariot as he makes the worst bargain of his life. This decision was foretold from the beginning but it still touches our very core when we read about it.

We don’t get to read about Judas’ call into service with Jesus. We don’t know much more than his name in the beginning. When Matthew lists Judas along with the others he doesn’t put an asterisk beside his name to warn us of impending issues. He is simply numbered among Jesus’ closest followers. Just one of the guys. Read more »