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BIBLE STUDY on the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
This chapter gives us the final events in the life of Jesus right before He went to the cross: the plot to arrest Him; the anointing by Mary of Bethany; the commemoration of the first Lord's Supper; the predicted denial by Peter; the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane; the betrayal by Judas; the arrest by the chief priests; the trial before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin; the denial by Peter.
This is the longest chapter in the Gospel of Matthew. There is a slight break at the end of verse 30. The events recorded in John 15 through John 17 could be inserted here. Another natural break would be at the beginning of verse 57. Had a chapter division been set here, it would set the trial before the religious rulers in a separate category. We do not know why those who divided the Scriptures, included so many events into this one chapter, possibly to give the give us some idea of the extent and swiftness of the major things that took place.
Every incident and detail in this chapter points to the cross. It seems to give us the impression that Jesus is caught up in the whirlpool of circumstances over which He has no control. BUT . . . after our careful examination and consideration, it will reveal that He is the Master of ALL circumstances, and He is NEVER more Kingly than when He draws near the cross.
All the things recorded in this chapter and chapter 27, should be studied in the light of His resolve at Caesarea Philippi, months before, to go to Jerusalem to die. Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. (KJV)
He is moving according to God's timetable, NOT man's wickedness, and He is forcing the issue. He is absolutely NOT the helpless Victim caught between religious conspiracy and Roman power. A total reverence should flood our minds as we consider the things Matthew wrote in this chapter, because they are in reality related to our salvation. Thank You Jesus!
Plan To Kill Jesus (Matthew 26:1-5)
Matthew 26:1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, (KJV)
And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings . . . I think that He means the things recorded in the two preceding chapters, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, and the end of the world, the state of the church, and conduct of His servants to the end of time, expressed in the parables of the virgins, the talents, and concerning the last judgment and final state of all men. Not only shall the virgins be shut out, but also the goats, the wicked and slothful servants and those on the left Hand of Jesus. BEWARE! Wake up and WATCH!!!
He said unto his disciples . . . who were now alone with Him: having finished His prophetic words, and about to enter His priestly office, He gives His apostles some warning of its near "at hand" approach.
Matthew 26:2 Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. (KJV)
Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover . . . the feast of the Passover was celebrated to preserve among the Jews the memory of their liberation from Egyptian slavery, and of the safety of their firstborn in that night when the firstborn of all the Egyptians perished (Ex.12:1). The Passover was so called because the Lord had passed over the houses of the Israelites without slaying their firstborn, while the Egyptians were cut off (Ex.12:13). It was celebrated seven days, from the 15th to the 21st of the month Abib, or Nisan, which is our April (Ex.12:15-20). During this time the people ate unleavened bread, and hence the festival was sometimes called the feast of unleavened bread (Ex.12:18; Lev.23:5-6). On the evening of the fourteenth day, all the leaven or yeast in the family homes was removed with great care, as it is to the present time; a condition to which the apostle indicates (1 Cor.5:7). On the 10th day of the month the master of a family separated a year old lamb or a goat from the flock (Ex.12:1-6), which he killed on the 14th day, before the altar (Deut.16:2,5-6). The lamb was usually slain at about 3 p.m. The blood of the paschal lamb was, in Egypt, struck upon the doorposts of the houses; afterwards it was poured by the priests at the foot of the altar (Ex.12:7). Not a bone of the lamb was to be broken, a circumstance strongly representing the sufferings of our Lord Jesus, the Passover slain for us (Jn.19:36; 1 Cor.5:7). The lamb was roasted, and served with wild and bitter herbs.
And the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified . . . He did not mean that they then knew that He would be betrayed, for it does not seem that they had been informed of the precise time. But they did know that the Passover was at hand, and He then informed them that He would be betrayed. To be crucified. To be put to death on the cross (Mat.27:35). Jesus had told them that He would suffer many things of the priests, Scribes, and elders, who would deliver Him to the Gentiles, to be crucified; but, they might not have understood that this Passover was to be the time when this would take place. "The Son of Man" . . . Christ means Himself, who was truly and really Man, the seed of the woman, the son of Abraham and of David; a character by which the Messiah is described in the Old Testament (Ps.80:17; Dan.7:13), and was often used by Christ of Himself; which, as it expresses the Truth of His human nature, so too the weaknesses and infirmities He bore in it; and is very properly used here, when He is speaking of His about to be betrayed and crucified.
Matthew 26:3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, (KJV)
Then assembled together the chief priests . . . about the same time, two days before the Passover, is when Jesus said these things to His apostles, seems clear from (Mk.14:1). "The chief priests" mean either those who had been high priests, or those who were the principal men of the priesthood, who were chosen out of the rest, to be members of the great Sanhedrim.
And the Scribes . . . the doctors of the law, who wrote copies of the law for the people, and interpreted it to them. These men no doubt had a place in this grand council.
And the elders of the people . . . these were the civil magistrates; thus this assembly consisted both of clergymen and laymen, as the Sanhedrim did, of priests, Levites, and Israelites. These came
Unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas . . . Caiaphas was the ruling high priest during Jesus' ministry. He was the son-in-law of Annas, the previous high priest. The Roman government had taken over the process of appointing all political and religious leaders. Caiaphas served for 18 years, longer than most high priests, suggesting that he willingly cooperated with the Romans. He was the first to recommend Jesus' death in order to "save" the nation (Jn.11:49-50).
Matthew 26:4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. (KJV)
And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety . . . by guile, deceit, or in some evil, secret way, so that the people would not know it. Jesus was considered by the people as a well-known Prophet, and probably by some of them, as the Messiah; and the Sanhedrim did not dare to take Him away openly, for fear that the people would rise up and rescue Him. They were probably aware that He had gone out to Bethany, or to some of the places adjacent to the city; and as He spent His nights there, and not in the city, there was need of underhandedness to determine the place where He remained, and to take Him.
The Jews had often tried to take His life, but He escaped out of their hands; they had sent officers to apprehend Him, but with no luck, so they therefore meet and consult together, to form some wicked scheme, and make use of some trick, that they might lay hold on Him, but they wanted to do this in the most private manner they could. Jesus escaped His enemies: (Jn.7:30,44; 8:59; 10:39; Lk.4:29-30).
And kill him . . . not with their own hands, nor privately; but their plan was to capture Him privately, by some secret deception, and then deliver Him to the Roman governor; to put Him to death according to the law, publicly, for crimes they had to charge Him with. Psalm 2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, (KJV)
Matthew 26:5 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people. (KJV)
But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people . . . not during the feast. The feast lasted seven days and a vast multitude attended from all parts of Judea. Jerusalem is said to have contained at such times three million people. Within such a multitude, there were frequent tumults and seditions; and the Sanhedrim was justly worried there would be now, if in open day, and in the temple, they took away a Teacher so popular as Jesus, and put Him to death . . . so . . . they hunted for a way that they might do it secretly. It was finally agreed upon with them, at least by a majority, that nothing should be tried to be done on the feast day, on any of the days of the feast of Passover, which was now at hand, because what influenced them at this time to take another course, is the following reason . . . lest there be an uproar among the people. They had absolutely NO fear of God in their minds or their hearts. They simply feared the people; many of whom believed in Christ, and others that did not, yet had a great admiration for Him, having seen His miracles, and received favors from Him.
Matthew 26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, (KJV)
Now when Jesus was in Bethany . . . which was about two miles from Jerusalem (Jn.11:18). Because the time of Christ's death was at hand, He stays near Jerusalem, where He would suffer and die, in the place of sinners.
In the house of Simon the leper . . . Simon the leper Simon who had been a leper.
It was unlawful to eat with persons that had the leprosy; and it is most likely that this Simon had been healed, maybe by the Lord Himself.
Matthew 26:7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. (KJV)
There came unto him a woman . . . this woman was probably Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha (Jn.12:3).
Having an alabaster box . . . alabaster is a type of marble, well-known for being light, and of a beautiful white color, almost transparent. It was much used by the ancients for the purpose of preserving various kinds of ointment in. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1056-alabaster
Of very precious ointment . . . meaning the ointment was of much value, and that it was rare and hard to find. Mark (Mk.14:3) and John (Jn.12:3) says that it was ointment of spikenard, which comes from an herb growing in the Indies, chiefly gotten from the root, but also from the bark. It was liquid, so it would flow easily when the box or vial was open, and was famous especially for its good smell (Song 1:12). The ancients were much in the habit of anointing or perfuming their bodies, and the spikenard was valued as one of the most precious perfumes. John says there was a pound of this (Jn.12:3). That there was a large quantity is farther evident from the fact that Judas says it might have been sold for three hundred pence (about 50 dollars), and that the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.
And poured it on his head . . . they were accustomed mainly to anoint the head, or hair. John says that she poured it on the Feet of Jesus, and wiped them with her hair. I really do not think that there is a contradiction here. She probably poured it both on His Head and His Feet. Matthew and Mark recorded this. John wrote his Gospel in part to record events omitted by them, and relates that the ointment was also poured on the Feet of the Saviour. To pour ointment on the head was common. To pour it on the feet was an act of distinguished humility and attachment to the Saviour, and therefore deserved to be particularly recorded.
As he sat at meat . . . the ancients did not sit at their meals, but reclined at length on couches. A Roman dining room was called a triclinum because it contained three couches, set around a table in the middle. The table was a low block with couches around it on three sides. There would a single couch in the middle, where the host would sit, and one couch to his left, and one to his right, opposite each other. The side opposite the host would be left open for people to bring food to the table. The couches would be covered by a cushion, or a cushion would be provided for the guest to lean on. The guests came to the table from behind the couches, then reclined on their left side, supporting their head on their left elbow, leaving their right hand free to take the food. A normal Roman triclinum would seat nine people, three on each couch. At the last supper there were thirteen people present. They either used larger couches, or laid on cushions on the floor, or were closely squashed together as particularly intimate friends.
Their feet would stretch out behind them, away from the table. This would make it quite easy for Jesus to go round and wash the disciples' feet without them having to move (Jn.13:1-17), and for Mary come in and anoint Jesus’ Feet (Jn.12:3). A man’s head would be in line with the chest of the person reclining to his left, so it would be easy for that person to lean back and speak to the person on his left without anyone else hearing what is said. In John 13, some of the words spoken by Jesus were heard by all twelve apostles (verse 21), while other words were private (verse 26). Mary most likely came up behind Him, as He lay reclined at the table, bending down over the couch, poured the ointment on His Head and His Feet. She probably knelt at His Feet, and wiped them with her hair.
Matthew 26:8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? (KJV)
But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation . . . John says that it was Judas that expressed indignation. Probably some of the others felt resentment, but only Judas vented his feelings. The reason why Judas was angry and indignant was that he had the bag (Jn.12:6), or the purse, or source of articles given to the disciples and to the Saviour. He was a thief, and it seems he took out or put in according to Judas! The leading feature of Judas' character was avarice, greed! No opportunity went by without his attempting by corrupt and wicked means, to make money. If we use Judas as an example, we see that a greedy man may learn the true nature and the effect of that groveling and wicked passion. It led Judas to commit the enormous crime of betraying his Lord to death. It will ALWAYS lead its possessor to guilt. A huge part of the sins of the men of the world can be traced to greed! Consider this: many are the times, since the days of Judas, has the precious Lord Jesus been betrayed among his professed friends by the same vile tendency. BEWARE!
To what purpose is this waste? . . . they considered it loss or destruction of property. Judas, and probably some of the others, could see no use in it, and they therefore supposed it was lost (Mk.14:4).
Matthew 26:9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. (KJV)
For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor . . . Mark and John say for 300 pence; that is, for about 50 dollars, which to them, was a large sum. Mark says, they murmured against her. There was also an implied murmuring against the Saviour for allowing it to be done. The murmuring was without cause. It was the property of Mary, and she had an absolute right to dispose of it as she pleased. She was NOT answerable to them, but to God. They had no right to complain that it had been wasted.
Matthew 26:10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. (KJV)
When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? . . . why disturb her by suggesting she has done wrong.
For she hath wrought a good work upon me . . . she has done it with a grateful heart and mind, and full of love to Me. The work was good, also, it was in preparation for His death.
Matthew 26:11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. (KJV)
For ye have the poor always with you . . . (Deut.15:11). They would afterwards have abundant occasion to show their regard for the poor.
But me ye have not always . . . (Jn.14:19; 17:11). He refers here to His dying, and His going away to Heaven. He would be their Friend and their Saviour, but He would not be bodily present with them always, so that they could show kindness in this way to him.
Matthew 26:12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. (KJV)
For in that she hath poured this ointment upon my body . . . I do not think that Mary clearly understood that He was about to die very soon, because the apostles did not fully comprehend it. I do not think that Mary intended it for His burial; but she had done it simply as an act of kindness and love, to show her regard for her Lord.
She did it for my burial . . . He said that it was a proper preparation for His burial. In ancient times, bodies were anointed and embalmed for the purpose of the sepulcher. Jesus said that this was really a preparation for that burial, as preparing Him in a proper manner for the tomb. I think that quite possibly the amount of the precious ointment she had, when poured on His Head, ran down all over His Body.
Matthew 26:13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. (KJV)
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her . . . God’s people do things without the least thought of making them famous. Mary could not have foreseen what Jesus here declares concerning her, and the future fame which would attach to her and her simple act of love. He tells them, that wherever this Gospel would be preached, and what she had done would be told to her honor and praise, for a memorial of her. Without love, if a man give all his goods to the poor (1 Cor.13:3), it means nothing; but if there be love in the heart, it makes the gift acceptable. Men, who do NOT know our hearts, may be ready to blame us for actions which God will highly commend and reward.
Judas Betrays Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16)
Matthew 26:14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, (KJV)
Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests . . . Luke says that Satan entered into Judas, meaning that Satan tempted or prompted him to do it. Dear friends, Satan has not changed! He is still out to get anyone to go against God in any way and sin in any way! BEWARE!!! Satan probably tempted Judas by appealing to his greed, the lust and passion that ruled him, suggesting a favorable opportunity to make money fast, by selling his Lord.
Judas Iscariot (Mat.10:4). Went to the Chief Priests . . . the high priest, and those who had been high priests, the ruling men of the Sanhedrim.
Judas was provoked and infuriated by this action of the woman, and Christ's defense of it, and because the ointment was not sold, and the money put into his hand. He was wide open to Satan’s temptations.
Matthew 26:15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. (KJV)
And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. . . made a bargain with him, agreed to give him. Mark says they promised to give him money. They did not pay it to him then, lest he should deceive them. When the deed was done, and before he was really aware of just WHAT he had done, they paid him (Mat27:3; Acts 1:18). Thirty pieces of silver. Mark and Luke do not mention the sum. They say that they promised him money. This amount was the price of a slave (Ex.21:32). And it is not unlikely that this sum was set by them to show their contempt of Jesus, and that they regarded Him as of little value. And too, there is no doubt that they understood that the greed of Judas was so passionate to obtain money, that he would betray his Lord for any sum. Thirty pieces of silver: (Zec.11:12013; Mat.27:3,9).
Matthew 26:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him. (KJV)
And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him . . . Luke adds, "in the absence of the multitude" (Lk.22:6). This was Judas’ main problem . . . to deliver Jesus into the hands of the priests so it was not known by the people, for he did not want to excite turmoil. The opportunity that he wanted, was one where the multitude would not see Jesus, or would not be able to rescue Him. The arrest had to take place when Jesus was alone . . . when the crowds were gone. Judas waited for just such a time, to betray him. Betray means to deliver into the hands of an enemy by treachery or breach of trust; and to do it while pretending to be a faithful friend. All this took place in the case of Judas. The deed of Judas Iscariot is dark and dastardly when compared to Mary's act of true, heart-felt love. Judas did the lowest and vilest thing anyone could do when he betrayed One to whom he should have been loyal.
Betrayed! Delilah betrayed Samson to the Philistines (Judges 16:16-21), Absalom betrayed David, his father (2 Sam.15:10-16), Jehu betrayed Joram and killed him (2 Ki.9:14-27). Officials betrayed Joash and killed him (2 Ki.12:20-21), and Judas betrayed Jesus (Mat.26:46-56). Scripture records a number of occasions on which a person or group was betrayed. The tragedies caused by these violations of trust are a strong lesson to us, about the importance of keeping our commitments.
The Passover And The Last Supper (Matthew 26:17-30)
Matthew 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? (KJV)
Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread . . . first day of the feast . . . not the first of the seven days during which they ate unleavened bread, but the day in which they performed the first act of preparation for the feast, the slaying of the paschal lamb in the evening, and called the first day on this account (Ex.12:14-20). Of unleavened bread . . . so called because during those eight days, no bread made with yeast or leaven was eaten. The word in the original, translated Passover, commonly means, not the feast itself, but the lamb that was killed on the occasion (Ex.12:43; Num.9:11; Jn.18:28). Christ is our Passover (1 Cor.5:7), and is said to be slain for us; our Paschal Lamb, so called because of His innocence, and His being offered as a Victim, or Sacrifice, for our sins.
The disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover. . . ancient masters used to give their servants orders to get ready the Passover for them; and which was expressed in much the same language as this.
Matthew 26:18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. (KJV)
And he said, Go into the city to such a man . . . the city is, Jerusalem. Luke says that the disciples whom he sent were Peter and John. The man to whom they were to go, is not mentioned by name, but he told them that when they came into the city, a man would meet them carrying a pitcher of water. They were to follow him, and in the house which he entered they would find a room prepared. The house in which they were to keep the Passover was not mentioned, maybe because Jesus wanted to conceal from Judas the place where they would keep the Passover, for He knew of Judas plot to betray Him. If Judas knew of the place beforehand, he could easily give information to the chief priests, and it would give them a favorable opportunity to apprehend Him without making an uproar. Although it was certain that Jesus would not be delivered before the time appointed by the Father, yet it was proper to use the means to prevent it. There can be but little doubt that Jesus was well acquainted with this man. The command which He gave His apostles clearly proves that He was omniscient. Amidst so great a multitude going at that time into the city, it was impossible to know that a particular man would be met a man bearing a pitcher of water . . . unless Jesus had all knowledge, and was therefore Divine. http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
And say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples . . .
this was the Name by which Jesus was most likely known among the apostles, and the one which He told them to give him (Mat.23:8,10). It means teacher. . . opposed to the disciple which is a learner. It is not the master, as opposed to the servant or slave. The fact that they used this Name as if the man would know Whom they meant, and made no inquiries about Him, shows that he was acquainted with Jesus, and was probably himself a disciple. My time is at hand . . . meaning that the time of His death is near. I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples . . . NOT with the man and his family, but with Jesus’ disciples, who were a family, and a society of themselves, and were a sufficient number to eat the Passover together.
Matthew 26:19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. (KJV)
And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover . . . they went into the city of Jerusalem; they met the man carrying a pitcher of water home; they followed him into the house he entered, and addressed the master of the house, in the manner Christ directed, who showed them a large upper room, prepared with all proper furniture for such an occasion, just as Christ had foretold. And they made ready the passover . . . meaning they went and bought a lamb, where multitudes of lambs were kept for sale in the temple. They carried it to the temple to be slain in the court, where it was presented as a Passover lamb for such a number of persons; they had it flayed, cut up, the fat taken out, and burnt on the altar, and its blood sprinkled on the foot of it: then brought it to the house where they were to eat it; here they roasted it, and provided bread, and wine, and bitter herbs, and a sauce called "Charoseth", into which the herbs were dipped. They did everything that was necessary.
Matthew 26:20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. (KJV)
Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve . . . the lamb was killed between the evenings (Ex.12:6), that is, between three and nine p.m. in the evening. The Jews reckoned two evenings, one from three o'clock p.m. to sunset, the other from sunset to the close of the first watch in the night, or nine o'clock. The paschal supper was commonly eaten after the setting of the sun, and often in the night (Ex.12:8). He sat down . . . at first, the supper was eaten standing, with the loins girded and their staff in their hand, meaning the haste with which they were about to flee from Egypt. But, afterwards, they introduced the practice, it seems, of partaking of this as they did of their ordinary meals. The original word is, he reclined, He placed Himself on the couch in a reclining posture, in the usual manner in which they partook of their meals. While sitting there at the supper, the disciples had a disagreement which should be the greatest (Lk.22:22-30). It was at this time also, before the institution of the Lord's Supper, Jesus washed the feet of His apostles, to teach them humility (Jn.13:1-20).
Matthew 26:21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. (KJV)
And as they did eat . . . the Passover lamb, the unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. Jesus took up at least some time, while they were eating, in discussing with His disciples about the traitor.
He said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me . . . meaning to the chief priests and Scribes, who would condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to be mocked, scourged and crucified. He had told them this before (Mat.20:18-19), although He did not tell them as now, that it should be done by one of them. He had indeed indicated this two days before, in Bethany (verse 2), but none seemed to understand whom He meant, so He mentions it again to them, with great seriousness, and in the most solemn manner, stating it as a certain and undoubted truth. The account contained in these verses is also recorded in: Mark 14:18-21; Luke 22:21-23; John 13:21-22). John says, that before Jesus declared that one of them should betray Him, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, meaning that the greatness of the crime that Judas was about to commit, wore heavily on His Heart. He felt deeply, and anticipated with much feeling the sufferings that He was to endure. OH! What a Saviour we have! He left the peace and security of Heaven, to come to Earth to suffer, bleed and die on a horrendous cross . . . for sinners like us! It is no wonder that the Father is provoked to wrath when someone rejects His only begotten Son!
Matthew 26:22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? (KJV)
And they were exceeding sorrowful . . . John says, they looked on one another, like worried men, each one examining himself, to see if he was the person intended. This showed their innocence, and their attachment to Jesus. It showed how sensitive they were to the least suspicion of the kind. It showed that they were willing to know themselves; thus revealing the spirit of the true Christian.
And began everyone of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? . . . Only Judas kept silent, and was the last to make the inquiry. This proved:
#1. His guilt was slow to show itself.
#2. Guilt shrinks away from the light.
#3. Judas was determined to conceal his intention.
#4. He would not have inquired, had he not known that the Lord knew it was he.
The guilty always, if possible, conceal their crimes, whereas the innocent are ready to suspect that they may have done some wrong. Their feelings are tender, and they inquire whether there may not be something in their hearts unknown to themselves, that may be leading them away from right feelings.
Judas’ betrayal meant that Christ would be betrayed into the hands of His enemies, He would be ill-treated and victimized. That such a vile action should be done, by one from among themselves; and because they could not conceive, who of them could be guilty of such a horrid sin.
Matthew 26:23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. (KJV)
And he answered and said . . . in order to put them at ease, and to point out the betrayer to them,
He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me . . . this most likely refers to the dipping of the unleavened bread, or bitter herbs, or both, into the sauce called "Charoseth", which was made of figs, nuts, almonds, and other fruits; to which they added apples; all which they bruised in a mortar, and mixed with vinegar; and put spices into it, cinnamon and calamus (Ex.30:23; Song 4:14; Eze.27:19), in the form of small long threads, in remembrance of the straw; and it was necessary it should be: thick, in memory of the clay. He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish . . . this refers to a particular action done by Judas, just at the time Christ spoke these words; and who might sit near Him, and dip into the same dish Jesus did. Since there were thirteen of them, there might be more dishes than one; and two or three might have a dish to themselves, it was possible for Judas to dip in the same dish with Christ.
Matthew 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. (KJV)
The son of man goeth as it is written of him . . . as it is written in the God's Book; for Luke says, "as it was determined" (Lk.22:22); or as it was recorded in the books of the Old Testament (Ps.22; Isa.53; Dan.9). Christ died for the sins of His people, in perfect agreement with these Scriptures, which were written of Him. Goeth . . . dies, or will die. The Jews often spoke of death in this manner (Gen.15:2; Ps.39:13). As it is written of him . . . meaning what is written or prophesied of Him in the Old Testament (Ps.41:9; Dan.9:26-27; Jn13:18; Lk.22:22). It is also declared to have been by His "determinate counsel and foreknowledge" (Acts 2:23).
But woe unto that man by whom the son of man is betrayed . . . God's decrees concerning this matter, and the predictions in the Bible founded on them, did NOT excuse or diminish the blackness of his crime, because he did what he did, of his own free will, and his own wicked heart, willingly, and to satisfy his own lusts. The crime is great and awful, and he will be punished accordingly. According to works: (Ps.62:12; Pro.24:12,29; Isa.59:18; Jer.21:14; 25:14; 32:19; Lam.3:64; Eze.7:8-9; 18:30; Hos.12:2; Zec.1:6; Mat.16:27; Rom.2:6; 2 Tim.4:14; Rev.2:23; 18:6; 20:12-13; 22:12).
It had been good for that man if he had not been born . . . this is a Rabbinical phrase, often used in one form or another; as it is said of those who speak false and lying words, and regard not the glory of their Creator. It would have been better for them they had never come into the world; and so of any other, notorious sinner, it is at other times said, "it would have been better for him if he had not been created"; meaning, that it is better to have no being at all, than to be punished with everlasting destruction; and which was the dreadful case of Judas, who fell by his transgression, and went to his rightful place. The fact that it was all foreordained does NOT excuse Judas or absolve him from the punishment he would suffer for what he did. Judas made his own choices, and they led his own damnation. God controls not only the good, but also the evil of man to accomplish His own ends. Jesus condemned Judas, but when we consider that Judas was with Jesus for almost 3 years, we know that Jesus gave him every possible chance for salvation and repentance . . . BUT . . . even after his horrible deed, Judas could have fallen on his knees and beg God’s forgiveness . . . BUT he did NOT. It is possible that he did feel some remorse, which came from fear, which caused him to return the money to the Pharisees, but he NEVER repented, but preferred to commit suicide, the ultimate act of selfishness.
Matthew 26:25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said. (KJV)
Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? . . . although he knew what he had been doing, and what he further resolved to do, and knew that he was the man; and although he had been pointed out as the person, and the most dreadful woe condemned on him . . . yet all this did not seem to affect his hard as a rock heart. Without any show of guilt, he asks Jesus if he was the person. Was he suggesting, that surely Jesus could not mean him. He does give Christ honor, and exceeds in his respect to Him, more so than the rest of the apostles; trying if he could, to cover his wicked plans.
He said unto him, Thou hast said . . . meaning, it is as thou hast said; thou hast said right, thou art the man. It is a way of speaking used, when what is asked is assented to as truth. Taking it for granted, by that answer, that so it was.
The object of this conversation was both to show the foreknowledge of Jesus, and to give Judas a solemn warning in reference to the crime which he was about to commit. If it had been the purpose of Jesus to overwhelm the guilty wretch with fear and dismay, and thereby compel him to cease from his horrible undertaking, we cannot conceive words better adapted to this purpose. Yet the conscience of Judas had become so utterly callous that with brazen impudence he asks, "Master, is it I?" Such hardness and inflexibility in crime is a convincing evidence of his deep depravity.
The Lord's Supper Instituted (Matthew 26:26-30)
(Mk.14:22-25; Lk.22:19-20; 1 Cor.11:23-26)
Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. (KJV)
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body . . . since nothing but unleavened bread was eaten during the paschal supper, the bread which is here spoken of must have been unleavened, and that unleavened bread should still be used in the Lord's Supper today.
This is my body . . . See: John 6:53. The Catholic’s doctrine of transubstantiation means these words are to be understood literally, and that the bread, therefore, was transformed into the actual body of Jesus. I cannot go along with this! NO way!
One way to settle this, let us put ourselves in the position of the apostles to whom the words were first spoken. If, as Jesus spoke the words, "this is my body," He had abruptly disappeared, and the apostles had seen nothing but the bread, they would have understood that His body had been miraculously transformed into the bread. BUT . . . since His Body was still there with them, and the loaf which He held in His Hands was also there; and since His Body still remained there with them AFTER the loaf had been broken, and passed around and eaten, it is impossible that they could have understood Him to mean that the loaf was really His Body. And it was impossible that He could have intended that to be so. This is an end of the controversy as far as I am concerned! The language used declares that the bread was a SYMBOL of His Body, and it is the usual way of expressing such an idea.
My friend, it is as if Christ had said, "You have had "the body" of the lamb set before you, and have eaten of it, in commemoration of the deliverance out of Egypt, and as a type of Me, the True Passover, soon to be sacrificed. This ceremony of eating the body of the paschal lamb is now to stop; and I do, here by this bread, in a symbolic way, set before you "my body", which is to be given to obtain spiritual deliverance, and eternal redemption for you. Do this in remembrance of me. You and all my followers in succeeding generations, are to take and eat of it, until I come.” The words, "take, eat", show that Christ did NOT put the bread into the mouths of the apostles, but they took it in their own hands and ate it; which states the taking and receiving of Christ by the hand of faith, and feeding on Him in a spiritual manner.
Matthew 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; (KJV)
And he took the cup and gave thanks . . . the Jews blessed, or gave thanks for their wine, the same as for their food, and usually did it in this way: “Blessed art thou, O Lord, our God, the king of the world, who hast created the "fruit of the vine".” Thus the phrase, "the fruit of the vine", in (Mat.26:29). They not only gave thanks for their wine before food, and while they were eating, but also after they ate; and as this relates to the blessing of the cup after eating, or as the Apostle Paul says, "when he had supped" (1 Cor.11:25).
And gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it . . . ALL of them are to drink of the cup, as well as eat of the bread. All the persons, not all of the wine.
Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (KJV)
For this is my blood of the New Testament . . . the red wine represents His Blood; it is a SYMBOL of His Blood . . . just as is the bread is a SYMBOL of His Body. Luke and Paul say this a little differently, adding what Matthew and Mark have omitted. "This cup is the new testament in my blood." By this cup, He meant the wine in the cup, NOT the cup itself. As he lifted it, He probably said, "This wine represents my blood about to be shed." The phrase, "new testament," should have been better rendered new covenant, referring to the covenant or contract that God was about to make with men through a Redeemer. The old covenant was that which was made with the Jews by the sprinkling of the blood of sacrifices. Exodus 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words. (KJV) . . . In reference to that, Jesus says, this cup is the NEW covenant in His Blood . . . the meaning is ratified or sealed and sanctioned by His Blood. In ancient times, covenants or contracts were confirmed by slaying an animal; by the shedding of its blood; and cursing similar to vengeance if either party failed in the contract. My friends, Jesus says the covenant which God is about to form with men, the new covenant, or the Gospel agreement, is sealed or ratified with His precious Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19), which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But dear ones, in order that your sins may be remitted or forgiven, you MUST accept God’s One and Only Way of salvation (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12), and that is JESUS . . . for this is the One and Only prearranged Way by which God will pardon sins. That Blood alone is effective for the pardon of sin, because His life was given for sinners. He died in the place of sinners, as their substitute! By believing God (1 Jn.5:10-13), and accepting Jesus’ death on the cross, the eternal death or punishment in Hell, that is owed to sinners, is removed and their souls are saved. Jesus endured so much suffering, bore so much agony, that God was pleased to accept it in the place of the eternal torments of all the redeemed. Eternal death: (Pro.8:36; Jn.3:18,36; 8:24; Mat.25:41,46; Mk.9:43-48; 16:16; Acts 4;12; Rom.1:18; 4:15; 5:9; Gal.3:10; Eph.5:6; 1 Thes.1:10; 5:9; Heb.2:3; 10:26-29; 12:25; Rev.6:16-17; 20:10,15).
For articles on Hell, see: http://www.godcannotlie.org/hell.htm
God’s justice, and the honor and stability of His government are as secure in saving them by believing in faith, as if the suffering were inflicted on them personally in Hell. When God the Father gave His only begotten Son (Jn.3:16), to die for sinners, He revealed His infinite hatred of sin. According to Him, nothing else would show its evil nature, except the awful sufferings of His own Son. That Jesus died in the place of sinners, is abundantly clear from the following Passages: (Isa.53:10; Jn.1:29; Eph.5:2; Heb.7:27; 1 Jn.2:2; 4:10; Rom.8:32; 2 Cor.5:15).
Which is shed for many, for the remission of sins . . . meaning, that was very shortly to be shed . . . and since has been shed for all the elect of God. Many were ordained to eternal life, and many were given to Christ (Jn.10:28-29). Many are justified by Him (Rom.3:24; 5:1,9), and many He will bring to glory, because the full forgiveness of all their sins was obtained, through the unfailing and honorable justice of God. FULL satisfaction was made to the law of God, for all their transgressions, because of faith in Jesus. Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (KJV)
Matthew 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. (KJV)
But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine . . . it seems that Christ had drank of the cup in the supper, as well as at the Passover; and common sense says that He also ate of the bread. It seems logical to me that the design of this statement is to show, that His stay with them would be very short. The cup He had just drank of, was the last that He would drink with them: He would drink no more wine at the Passover. He had kept His last Passover.
Until the day I drink it new with you, in my Father's kingdom . . . the literal use of wine is not here meant; for Jesus does not actually drink wine with His disciples in the Kingdom as it now is, nor will He do so in the eternal Kingdom. The term drink, for that reason, is used symbolically for that relationship which Jesus has with His apostles while they are drinking the wine of the Lord's Supper. The term new is most naturally understood as modifying wine, but as the wine of the supper is not necessarily new wine, I think it rather indicates the new method of drinking wine just indicated.
Observe here that Jesus still calls the wine "the fruit of the vine" after He had said of it, "This is my blood" . . . clear proof that it was STILL wine, and had NOT been changed into His actual Blood.
Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. (KJV)
And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives . . . It was a custom of the Jews, although the law did not require it, to sing Psalms 113-118 during the paschal supper. They called this Passage in the Psalms the Hallel, because it begins in the Hebrew with Hallelujah. It ends with: Psalm 118:28-29 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. 29 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (KJV) Amen!
Into the Mount of Olives . . . He and His apostles, all except Judas . . . first He alone, and then the apostles followed Him, according to (Lk.22:39). The garden called Gethsemane, is the precise place to which they went (verse 36). It was at the base of the Mount of Olives and was included within its limits.
John is the only writer who mentions the departure of Judas, saying that he went out immediately after the conversation about the betrayal (Jn.13:30). This would tell us whether the Last Supper was instituted before or after this conversation. John says nothing about the institution of the supper, while Luke mentions it before the conversation in question. Matthew and Mark both mention it after the conversation, but none of them give any record of time by which we can determine the chronological order of the two events. Compare: Mark 14:18-25; Luke 22:19-23).
Prediction Of Peter's Denial (Matthew 26:31-35)
Matthew 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. (KJV)
Then saith Jesus unto them . . . either before they went out of the house, where they had been eating the Passover, and the supper; or more likely as they were going along road to the Mount of Olives.
All ye shall be offended because of me this night . . . the words are spoken to the eleven apostles; for Judas was now gone to the high priests to tell them where Jesus was going that night, and to obtain from them a band of men and officers to apprehend Jesus. This could be what Jesus meant by all the rest of the apostles being offended, for they would see their Master betrayed by one of them, and the officers seize and bind Him, and lead Him away like He were a criminal. The Lord here suggests, that they would be filled with such fear and dread, that every one of them would forsake Him and run away, seeking their own safety. They would be so stunned at this unexpected event, that they would begin to stagger and stumble in their minds, whether He was or was not the Messiah. They would be ready to fall away from Him: and their faith in Him would have failed, had He not prayed for them. And indeed within an hour or two after, this prediction of Christ's had its accomplishment, and which He confirms by a prophetic testimony. See: (Mk.14:38).
For it is written . . . 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. (KJV)
I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered . . . shall stumble because of Me. This is literal and accurate. "Stumble" is used symbolically for their partial fall when they fled from the danger, confused at His voluntary and unexpected surrender to the guards who arrested Him.
Matthew 26:32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. (KJV)
But after I am risen again I will go before you into Galilee . . . this I think He said for their comfort, that although He, their Shepherd, would be apprehended, condemned and crucified, and die and be laid in the grave, yet He would rise again! And even though they would be scattered, would be gathered together again by Him, their Good Shepherd; who would after His resurrection, appear to them, and go before them as a shepherd goes before his sheep. The appointment to meet the apostles in Galilee after the resurrection, was afterward referred to by the angel at the sepulcher, and by Jesus Himself when He appeared to the women (Mat.28:7,10).
Matthew 26:33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. (KJV)
Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended . . . Peter was always extremely bold and free to speak his mind, and often spoke for the rest of them. Seeing what Christ had said concerning all of them, that on that very night, in a very short while, they all would be offended because of Jesus; and because of the strong love Peter had for Christ, he was sure it would never be so in his case, so Peter says: “They may be offended, but I will never be offended.” I feel absolutely certain that Peter was closely devoted to Jesus, and he dearly loved Him and sincerely believed in Him, and was sure he would not flee from Him. There is no doubt he said this in the sincerity of his heart. BUT . . . Peter failed, because he trusted his own strength, being so bold and self-confident. Inappropriate self-confidence, like that of Peter, is the first step to a bad fall. There is a tendency in all of us to be over-confident, and it is these who fall more quickly and more vilely, who are the most confident in themselves. These are least safe, who think themselves the most secure. Satan is quick to lead these astray because they are the most off guard. I think that God leaves them to themselves, to humble them.
Matthew 26:34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. (KJV)
Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice . . . this was in the evening when this was spoken, after the observance of the Passover, maybe about nine o'clock. Before the cock crowed . . . Mark and Luke add, before the cock crow twice. Deny me thrice . . . Luke adds, deny that thou knowest me (Lk.22:34). To more strongly declare what He was about to say, Christ uses the word verily, which means He prefixes His "Amen" (so be it) to it, as being a certain Truth, and what Peter might assure himself of would certainly come to pass. Any time that Jesus uses the word “verily”, what He will say is very important. In other words, LISTEN to me.
Jesus tells Peter that he would not only be offended because of Him, and flee from Him, and be scattered with the rest of them, but that Peter would deny that he even knew Jesus, and would not only do this once, but three times that very night, before the cock was done crowing. In Mark it is said, "that this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice" (Mk.14:30).
Matthew 26:35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples. (KJV)
Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples . . .
Mark says, "he spake the more vehemently" (Mk.14:31). Peter greatly resented the words of Jesus, so he expressed himself in stronger terms, and in more definite and self-confident language. Peter flatly denied that he would deny his connection with Jesus, or that he knew Him. All the disciples said the same thing, and they all fled at the approach of danger, forsaking their Master and Friend, and practically denying that they knew Him (verse 56).
Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46)
Matthew 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. (KJV)
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane . . . "then cometh Jesus" (Mk.14:32; Lk.22:39; Jn.19:1). After the institution of the Supper, in the early part of the night, Jesus and the eleven apostles went out to the Mount of Olives. In His journey He passed over the brook Cedron (Jn.18:1), which was the eastern boundary of Jerusalem. Unto a place . . . John calls the place a garden. This garden was obviously on the western side of the Mount of Olives, a short distance from Jerusalem, and had a full view of the city. Garden here does not mean a garden of vegetables, but a place planted with the olive and other trees, and maybe a fountain of water. It is possible that Jesus had been in the habit of retiring from Jerusalem to that place for meditation and prayer; thus applying by His example what He had so often done by His teachings . . . to get away from the noise and hustle-bustle of the world to commune with God. While I go and pray yonder . . . a short distance of a stone's cast, away (Lk.22:41). Luke adds, that when He came to the garden, He charged them to pray that they might not enter into temptation.
And saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder . . . knowing that the time of distress was coming upon Him, He goes to the Father in prayer, an example worthy of our imitation. At this time, He chose to be alone and isolated, leaving eight of His apostles at a certain place, while He went a little further with the other three apostles.
Matthew 26:37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. (KJV)
And he took with him Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and to be very heavy . . . Peter, James and John (Mat.10:2). On two other occasions He had favored these three apostles in a specific way; allowing them to go with Him to witness His power and glory: at the healing of the ruler's daughter, (Lk.8:51; Mk.5:37-40), and at His transfiguration on the mount (Mat.17:1). Sorrowful . . . deeply affected with grief. Very heavy . . . the word in the original is much stronger than the one translated sorrowful. It means, to be pressed down, or overwhelmed with great anguish. This had to be produced, by anticipation of His great sufferings on the cross in making an atonement for the sins of men. His soul was troubled on the same account six days before (Jn.12:27), but was now extremely sorrowful. He was a man of sorrows all His days, and acquainted with grief (Isa.53:3), being reproached and persecuted by men. But now, a new scene of sorrows has opened; before He was afflicted by men, but now He is bruised, and put to grief by His Father. These horrible sorrows now just begun, would end on the cross. He had had sorrows before, but they were light compared to what was to come. They were indeed very heavy, as appears from His own account of them; His passionate cry to His Father; His bloody sweat and agony; and the assistance He desperately needed from an angel; and the comfort and strength He received from him in His human nature.
Matthew 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. (KJV)
Then saith he unto them . . . the three apostles, Peter, James, and John, who, by His looks and movements, knew something was terribly wrong.
My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death . . . His human nature, His soul, was deeply affected even unto death, meaning extreme agony and sorrow. The sufferings of death are the greatest of which we have any knowledge; they are the most feared and dreaded by mankind. Those sufferings cause extreme and indescribable anguish. The anxiety of His human mind was so extreme that He seemed to bear the pains of death. Was vexed unto death (Judges 16:16).
Tarry ye here, and watch with me . . . the word rendered watch, means, literally, to abstain from sleep; to be vigilant, to guard against danger. Possibly here it could mean, to identify with Him; to join Him in seeking Divine support; and to prepare themselves for approaching dangers. But, I think these three still did not really know how close to death Jesus was. His soul: (Ps.116:3; Isa.53:3,10; Jn.12:27).
That Christ had a human soul, as well as a human body, is clear from Jesus’ agonizing words in this Passage. He was and still is, possessed with the same passions as we have, but without sin. He fully experienced joy, love, grief, sorrow and in Gethsemane, the sorrows He felt were far above anything we feel. NO person, ever, at any time has experienced what He felt in Gethsemane and the cross.
Matthew 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (KJV)
And he went a little further . . . Luke says, "about a stone's cast", or about fifty or sixty feet from the place where they were (Lk.22:41).
And fell on his face, and prayed saying . . . partly to show His great reverence for God, the sword of whose justice was awakened against Him, and whose wrath was about to be poured down upon Him; and partly to signify how much His soul was depressed, that He was not able to lift up His Head, and look up. This was a prayer gesture used when a person was in utmost bewilderment. Fell on his face . . . Luke says, he "kneeled dowm." I am sure that He did both. He first kneeled, and then in the fervency of His prayer, and the depth of His sorrow, He fell Face down on the ground, revealing His deepest anguish, and the most earnest plea. This was the usual posture of prayer in times of great earnestness (Num.16:22; 2 Chron.20:18; Neh.8:6).
Saying, O my father . . . or, as in Mark, "Abba, Father" (Mk.14:36). "Abba" means "my father", showing the intensity of His mind, and passion of His Spirit in prayer. Christ prayed in the same way that He taught His disciples to pray, by our saying, "our Father" (Mat.6:9). God is the Father of Christ, NOT as man, for as such He was without father, being the seed of the woman (Gen.3:15), and made of a woman, without man; nor by Creation, as He is the Father of spirits (Heb.12:9), of angels, and the souls of men, of Adam, and all mankind. Jesus is the only begotten of the Father (Jn.1:14,18), in a way inconceivable and inexpressible by us. Christ Jesus now addresses His Father in prayer, in His human nature, as standing in this relation to Him as the Son of God, both to express His reverence of Him, His confidence in Him; and His expectation He has of being heard and regarded by Him.
If it be possible, let this cup pass from me . . . meaning not only the hour, as it is called in Mark, the present time of His agony and distress, but all His future sufferings and death, which were close at hand. Included in His suffering was bearing the sins of His people, enduring the curse of the law (Gal.3:10,13), and the wrath of God, all which were parts in this dreadful bitter cup. Wrath of God: (Jn.3:36; Rom.1:18; 2:5; Eph.5:6; Jam.1:20; Rev.14:10,19; 15:1,7; 16:1,19; 19:15)
Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt . . . which shows that the request was not sinful, or opposing the piety to God, or love to men. Christ's human nature, simply reveals a will reluctant to sorrows, sufferings, and death; but this same will acting in a rational way, is in agreement of His divine will to it. We must understand that there are two wills in Christ, human and divine: His human will, although in some ways may have been different from His divine will, but it NEVER opposes it, for His divine will is ALWAYS the same as His Father's. Thus, as Mediator, He promised to be the Lamb of God, and came down from Heaven for that purpose alone, took delight in doing it, and has completely finished it. Mediator, Christ as: (1 Tim.2:5; Heb.8:6; 9:15; 12:24) Lamb of God: (Jn.1:29,36; Rev.5:6; 7:17; 14:10; 15:3; 19:9; 21:22-23; 22:1,3)
We need really consider the prayer that our Lord prays. "This cup" clearly represents His cross, and the contents of that “cup” are the sins of the whole world (Jn.1:29; 4:42; 1 Jn.2:2; 4:4; 5:19; 2 Cor.5:18-21).
Something else we really do not take into consideration: the death itself and the terrible suffering leading up to the cross, and the horrible crucifixion. Precious Jesus, holy, harmless and pure was made sin for us. There on the Cross the sin of ALL humanity was put on Him . . . NOT in some legal or academic manner, but in reality. We cannot even begin to imagine the horror He felt when that sin was placed upon Him. It was a horrendous experience for this One who was completely without sin. Jesus, sinless: (Isa.53:9; Mat.27:4,19,23-24; Jn.8:46; Lk.23:41,47; 2 Cor.5:21;Heb.4:15; 7:26-27; 1 Pet.2;22; 1 Jn.2:1; 3:5). We must understand that He was NOT asking to escape the Cross, but He was praying that IF there were “another” way possible to gain salvation, He would like to go that route . . . BUT . . . there was NO other way! The justice of the Law must be fulfilled or satisfied, and NO human can do this! Only Jesus fulfilled the complete Law (Mat.5:17; Heb.10:1-12). It is absolutely impossible for us to enter into the full meaning of Gethsemane, but it was there that the victory of Calvary was won. There is clearly no doubt that He was tempted by Satan in Gethsemane, just as He was in the wilderness. In verse 42: "He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done." For those who say that the Lord Jesus was trying to evade going to the Cross is NOT true. His humanity wanted to avoid the awful horror of having the sins of the world placed on Him, and He reacted by the prayer . . . BUT . . . He did commit Himself to the Father 100%, because He came to do the Father's will. If it be possible . . . meaning that IF the world can be redeemed; IF it be consistent with justice, that men could be saved without this extremity of sorrow, let it be done. My friend, there is no doubt that IF it had been possible, it would have been done! The FACT that these sufferings were not removed from Jesus, that the Saviour went forward and bore them shows that it was not consistent with the justice of God. We MUST believe God (1 Jn.5:10-13) and accept Christ as our Saviour (Jn.3:15-16,36; 14:6), or we are doomed to the fires of Hell (Mat.5:22; Mk.9:47; Jam.3:6; Rev.20:14).
Matthew 26:40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? (KJV)
And he cometh unto the disciples . . . the three He took with Him, Peter, James and John, after He had finished His prayer.
And findeth them asleep . . . many things might have made them drowsy: fatigue after they had prepared the Passover, the big meal they had eaten at night, although without excess, and the lateness of the night, for now it was probably midnight. Possibly the main reason of their sleepiness was their sorrow, as is expressed in (Lk.22:45), that Christ had told them of His soul troubles, and what they had seen in Him, had filled their hearts with sorrow. There are other instances of persons in excessive fatigue and grief and trouble falling asleep, as Elijah in (1 Ki.19:4-5) and Jonah in (Jonah 1:5-6), even Christ Himself (Mk.4:37-38; Lk.8:23), so that these did not fall asleep from a secure, lazy frame of mind; or from any disrespect to Christ, and neglect of Him. They fell asleep because of their great sorrow of heart; for, the trouble and distress that their Master was in, in addition to the causes above mentioned. That Satan might have increased their drowsiness, so that he might more easily surprise them with the temptations he was preparing for them, cannot be denied.
May we consider this: although the apostles fell into a natural bodily sleep, this sleep can be a symbol of the spiritual sleep and drowsiness of the people of God, as did the foolish virgins when the bridegroom tarried (Mat.25:10).
And Saith unto Peter, What! could ye not watch with me one hour? . . . it is possible that this was said especially to Peter, because he had so recently, and in such a bold, confident manner, stated that he would not be offended with Christ, but abide with Him, stand by Him, and even die with Him.
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (KJV)
Watch and pray . . . these two disciplines are very rightly joined together. There is, or should be, a watching before prayer, and in prayer a watching over our hearts, thoughts, words and gestures, and after prayer, for an answer to it.
That ye enter not into temptation . . . temptation means that they be not overcome and oppressed with the trials of their faith, so as to deny Him. It would try their faith because although they supposed He was the Messiah, they were not aware of the necessity of His death; they did not fully understand that He was to rise again. They had valued the belief that He was to establish a Kingdom while He lived. When they would see Him captured, rejected, tried, flogged, crucified and dead; and when they would see Him submit to all this, just as if He had no power to deliver Himself . . . that would be the trial of their faith; and because of it, He encouraged them to pray that they might not so enter temptation as to be overcome by it, and fall.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak . . . the mind is ready, and willing to bear these trials; but the flesh, the natural feelings is weak because of the fear of danger, and will be very likely to lead you astray when the trial comes. Although they loved Jesus, and they may have thought they had strong faith, and they believe that they will not deny Jesus, yet human nature is weak, and sways at trials, and they should therefore seek strength from God. The Lord said the above words to excite them to be on guard, to watch, because the weakness of human nature would be insufficient to hold them up in the hour of their temptation. What was the temptation? Who was going to tempt them? Satan was there. That Jesus wrestled with an unseen foe is quite obvious. He overcame the enemy there in Gethsemane. The victory of Calvary was won in Gethsemane.
Matthew 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. (KJV)
He went away again the second time . . . to the same place as before, after He had rebuked His apostles for their sleeping, and had encouraged them to watch and prayer, stating the danger they were liable to, and the condition they were in.
And prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done . . . He commits Himself totally to the Father's will. Jesus knew that His sufferings and death could not be done away with, for it was not consistent with the decrees of God, and the covenant of grace. He could not be excused from them for the salvation of His people required it. He knew that He must drink all that bitter cup, and He was content to do it, for He desired in ALL things to submit unto and to fulfil His Father's will, even though it was so disagreeable to His human nature.
Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (KJV) . . . See for more on this verse: http://www.hisservants.org/jesus_agony_h_s.htm
The night before Jesus Christ was crucified, He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. It is only in Luke’s Gospel where we see that His sweat was like great drops of blood. “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly” . . . it was then that His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Hematidrosis is a rare, but very real, medical condition where a person’s sweat will contain blood. The sweat glands are surrounded by tiny blood vessels. These vessels can constrict and then dilate to the point of rupture, where the blood will then spread into the sweat glands. When does this happen? In cases of extreme anguish, just like Jesus went through in Gethsemane. In the other Gospel accounts, we see Jesus’ level of anguish: “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Mat.26:38; Mk. 14:34).
The intense anguish and sorrow Jesus felt was certainly understandable. Being God, Jesus knew “all that was going to happen to Him” (Jn.18:4). He knew in painstaking details of all the events that were to follow soon after He was betrayed by one of His very own apostles. Even though Jesus never lied (1 Pet.2:22; Isa.53:9), He knew He was about to undergo several trials where ALL the witnesses against Him would do nothing but lie. He knew that many who welcomed Him as the Messiah only days before would now be crying out for His crucifixion (Lk.23:23). He knew that He would be scourged nearly to the point of death before they pounded the metal spikes into His flesh, that His bones would be exposed (Ps.22:17). He knew the prophetic words of Isaiah spoken 700 years earlier that He would be beaten so badly that “His visage was so marred more than any man” (Isa.52:14). Certainly these things factored into His great anguish and sorrow, causing Him to sweat drops of blood, but there was more. Crucifixion was considered to be the most painful and torturous method of execution ever devised by mankind, and was used on the most despised and wicked people. So terrible was the pain that a word was described designed to help explain it . . . excruciating, which means “from the cross.” From His arrest in the Garden until the time our Lord stated “it is finished” (Jn.19:30), the Scriptures record only one time where Jesus “cried out in a loud voice” (Mat.27:46). As our sinless Saviour bore the weight of the world’s sins on His shoulders, His Father must have looked away as His eyes are too pure to behold evil (Hab.1:13). I think that this is what caused the suffering Servant to cry out Eloi, Eloi lama sabachthani . . . “My God, My God why have you forsaken Me” ((Ps.22:1; Mat.27:46). The holy and eternal Trinity was interrupted because of our sins. I am sure that the spiritual pain of this interruption greatly exceeded the intense physical pain the Lord endured on our behalf. Do you really understand just what Jesus did for you, and me, on that cross? Have you thanked Him?
Matthew 26:43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. (KJV)
And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy . . . they were aroused and awakened in some measure, by what He had said to them; but as soon as He was gone, they fell asleep again, and thus He found them a second time . . . fast asleep, through fatigue and sorrow. Mark adds, "neither wist they what to answer him" (Mk.14:40).
They were so sleepy, they did not how to answer Him after He had rebuked and then encouraged them the first time.
Matthew 26:44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. (KJV)
And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words . . . they were overpowered with sleep, that He could have no conversation with them. Just as the Apostle Paul did, when under temptation, Jesus prayed three times that it might depart from Him, (2 Cor.12:8). The severity of the struggle is seen in the fact that although at the close of His first prayer He was able to say, "Not as will, but as thou wilt," He returned to repeat the same prayer a second and a third time. His struggle may have been to some degree extended by the indifference of His disciples, whom He found asleep, each time that He returned to them.
Matthew 26:45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. (KJV)
Then cometh he to his disciples . . . the three that were nearest to Him, "the third time", as Mark says, (Mk.14:41).
And saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest . . . some think that this should be translated as a question, rather than a command. "Do you sleep now, and take your rest? Is this a time, amidst so much danger, and so many enemies, to give yourselves to sleep?" This could be backed up by Luke 22:26: where the expression, "Why sleep ye?" clearly refers to the same point of time. Others think that His agony in Gethsemane being over, and the necessity of watching with Him is now passed, He kindly permitted them to seek rest until they would be aroused by the coming of the traitor. Sleep on now and take your rest . . . clearly there is an interval of time between this and the next verse. He did not tell them to go to sleep and in the next breath tell them to get up. There was time for their nap, and they needed this rest. Notice how the Lord pays attention to the needs of their bodies. After they had slept awhile, He said . . .
Behold the hour is at hand . . . the time when the Son of Man is to be betrayed is near.
And the son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners . . . sinners means Judas, the Roman soldiers, and the Jews. The son of man means Christ Himself, and under this title He expresses His Messiahship, this being the Truth of His human nature, and the weakness and infirmities of it. By the "betraying", or delivery of Him, is intended either the betraying of Him by Judas into the hands of the high priest, Scribes, and Pharisees; or the delivery of Him, by them, into the hands of Pilate, and by him to the Roman soldiers; ALL which were by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God (Acts.2:23). The high priest, elders, Scribes, and Pharisees, even with all their pretensions to religion, righteousness and holiness, were very wicked persons, but here, I think the Gentiles, the band of Roman soldiers, Judas brought with him to take Christ, are here rather meant, for it was usual to call all Gentiles sinners. This betraying and delivery of Christ into the hands of these, was predetermined by God; the time, the very hour was fixed, and was now quickly approaching. The last grain of sand in the glass was dropping. As soon as Christ had said these words, Judas, with his band of soldiers, appeared. The hour is at hand: The hour Christ came into the world to accomplish redemption (Mk.14:41; Lk.22:14; Jn.2:4; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23,27; 13:1; 17:1).
Matthew 26:46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me. (KJV)
Rise, let us be going . . . not to run from the enemy, but to meet him. This was said, partly to awaken His sleepy apostles; and partly to show His love to His Father, and His total submission to His will. It also expresses the strength of His mind as Man, because He now had no fears, and was free from the agony and dreadful anxiety of things, that He was just a little while ago possessed of. He was willing to be apprehended, and to suffer and die, in the place of His people.
He is at hand that doth betray me . . . this reveals His omniscience. He not only knew, as He did from the beginning who would betray Him; but He also knew when he would do it. He also knew exactly where the betrayer was, that he was about upon Him, to deliver Him into the hands of sinful men.
Jesus Betrayed With a Kiss (Matthew 26:47-56)
Matthew 26:47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. (KJV)
And while he yet spake, lo! Judas, one of the twelve, came . . . while Jesus was still speaking to His apostles, before the last words, he is at hand that doth betray me, were out of His mouth. Such was an exact knowledge that Christ had of every motion of Judas, of what he was doing and where he was. He is described by his name Judas (verse 14), for there was another Judas among the apostles. Some versions read, Judas the betrayer, to distinguish him from the other: and also by his office, "one of the twelve" apostles. One of His own betrays Him! Judas was an apostle, and yet a devil! One of the twelve, one of His select company, and close friends, and yet a traitor!
And with him a great multitude, with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders the people . . . Judas was at the head of them, went before them to show them where Christ was, and to deliver Him into their hands. Judas had not been asleep, he had been with the chief priests, and made them aware of the opportunity he had of making good his agreement with him. Judas had gotten the band of soldiers, and other persons together, in order to make sure it would work.
In this we see how hardworking wicked men are to accomplish their evil plans. Judas is here described by his company; he who just a few hours ago was at table with the Lord Jesus and the rest of the apostles. Now he is at the head of band of Roman soldiers, and other troublemakers, and blood thirsty scoundrels, intent upon the death of his Master. They may well be called a "multitude", because they were made up of various kinds of persons, and many of them were of Roman soldiers, the officers and servants of the chief priests; even the chief priests themselves, captains of the temple, and elders of the people, who were so eager to capture Jesus, that they could not refrain from joining the company. And a great one it was. It has been said that there may have been about a thousand men. All this mob to take a single, innocent Person, and who had none around Him except His eleven apostles, although the Jews falsely claimed that Jesus had 2000 men with Him: and who came at them with swords and staves, or clubs.
The Roman soldiers did have with swords, and the servants of the chief priests did have clubs. Was there a reason for this? Yes! They feared the people, who, should they be alarmed, and have any clue of their plan, might rise and make an uproar, and attempt to rescue Him.
Matthew 26:48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. (KJV)
Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign . . . Judas gave them a sign. He told them how they might know Whom to apprehend.
Saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast . . . John 18:4-8 tells us, that Jesus, knowing all things that should come upon Him, when they approached Him, asked them whom they sought? and that they replied, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus informed them that He was the Person they sought. They, when they heard it, intimidated by His Presence, and smitten with the consciousness of guilt, went backward, and fell to the ground (Jn.18:6). He again asked them whom they sought. They made the same declaration . . . Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus then, since they professed to seek only Him, Jesus claimed the right that His apostles should be allowed to go . . . "that the saying might be fulfilled which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none," (Jn.18:9). John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (KJV)
Matthew 26:49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. (KJV)
And forthwith he came to Jesus . . . as soon Judas appeared, before the rest came, Judas went before them, as Luke says, and as their guide, directed them to the Person they wanted.
And said, Hail, master; and kissed him . . . just as Joab asked Amasa of his health, and took him by the beard to kiss him, and smote him under the fifth rib (2 Sam.20:9). The salutation he gave him was wishing him all health, prosperity, and happiness.
The word "Master" is repeated, this being usual in the salutation, and was used by Judas under a pretence of doing Him the greater honor, and of showing the highest respect, and strongest affection for Him. This deceitful scoundrel still addresses Jesus as his Master, even though he was now serving Jesus’ most hardhearted enemies; and wishes Him all peace and joy, when he was going to deliver him into the hands of those that sought to kill Him; and on top of all this, kissed Him, as a token of his friendship and the sincerity of it. It was usual for masters to kiss their disciples, mainly on their heads; but NOT for disciples to kiss their Masters . . . but I do not think that Judas did this out of open contempt and ridicule; but instead out of a pretense of respect and love.
Matthew 26:50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. (KJV)
And Jesus said unto him, Friend . . . not in a sarcastic way, but because Judas pretended to be His friend, by saluting and kissing Him, in the manner he had done; or because Christ had always considered him as His friend, His familiar friend (Ps.41:9), who had been at His meetings, and had eaten at His table; and so this carried in it something very cutting, IF Judas had any conscience, or sense of gratitude.
Wherefore art thou come? . . . some versions read: art thou come as my friend? Jesus might have asked if Judas came as a friend, or as an enemy? If as a friend, what are all these swords and staves? If as an enemy, why this salutation and kiss? And what is your reason for coming at this time of night? What is your business here? Jesus could have said: “You have left my company, and my apostles, what are you doing here now?” Wherefore art thou come? . . . Jesus said this to let Judas know He knew him, and that he knew his plan in kissing Him, and that what he was doing was against all truth of what Judas had been taught; and while all the time, Judas knew that Jesus was the Son of Man, the TRUE Messiah.
Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him . . . the multitude, the Roman soldiers and the captains and officers of the Jews, when Judas had given the sign . . . BUT . . . not until Jesus had given them an example of His power, in striking them to the ground (Jn.18:6); to let them know, that Judas could never have put Him into their hands, nor could they have laid hold on Him, had He not wanted to surrender himself to them.
Matthew 26:51 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. (KJV)
And behold one of them which were with Jesus . . . neither Matthew, Mark or Luke name the person. Only John does. John 18:10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. (KJV)
Stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear . . . it seems Peter had a sword by his side . . . why, is not told us. But here it says that Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest. (Jn.18:10; Lk.22:49-51; Mk.26:51-54)
Matthew 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (KJV)
Then said Jesus unto him . . . to Peter,
Put up again thy sword into its place . . . or sheath. Jesus said this not only to rebuke Peter for his rashness, but to relax the minds of the multitude, who probably were outraged at such an action. What settled them still more was done by Jesus healing the man's ear. I think that had Jesus not healed the man’s ear, most likely Peter and the rest of the apostles would have been killed right there.
For all they that take the sword, shall perish with the sword . . . For all they that take the sword, etc. This Passage is capable of different meanings.
#1. They who resist with the sword of the civil magistrate, shall be punished. It is dangerous, therefore, to oppose those who come with the authority of the civil ruler.
#2. These men, Jews and Romans, who have taken the sword against the innocent, shall perish by the sword. God will take vengeance on them. But,
#3. The most satisfactory interpretation is that which regards it as a caution to Peter. Peter was hasty and reckless. All alone he had attacked the whole band. Jesus told him that his unseasonable and impulsive defense might be the way of his own destruction. In doing it, he would endanger his life, for they who took the sword perished by it. This was probably a proverb, meaning that they who engaged in wars commonly perished there. (Gen.9:6; Eze.35:5-6; Rev.13:10).
Matthew 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? (KJV)
Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? . . . Jesus says Peter would not only endanger himself, but his resistance implied a distrust of the protection of God, and was an improper resistance of his will. If it had been proper that they should be rescued, God could easily have furnished far more efficient aid than that of Peter's one sword. God could have sent a mighty host of angels, twelve legions of angels. A legion was a main division of the Roman army amounting to from 3,000 to 6,000 men. Angels: (2 Ki.6:17; Dan.7:10; Mat.4:11).
Matthew 26:54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? (KJV)
But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be . . . the Scriptures which foretold of Christ Jesus' dying for the world. That must be accomplished; and the time had come when, having finished the work which the Father gave Him to do, He would humbly submit to a cruel death. This was no doubt said to comfort His apostles; to show them that His death was not a matter of surprise or disappointment to Him; and that they, therefore, should not be offended and forsake Him. (Lk.24:26,46)
This means, should Christ make such a request to His Father, and He should grant it, and an host of angels should be sent to rescue Him, how could the Scriptures, which speak of Christ's being taken, and led as a lamb to the slaughter, and of His various sufferings, and the conditions of them, have their accomplishment?
There are several parts of the sufferings of the Messiah that are foretold in the writings of the Old Testament. The spirit of Christ, in the prophets, testified of the following:
#1. He would be reproached and despised of men (Ps.22:6-8; Isa.53:3).
#2, He would be spit upon, smote, and buffeted (Isa.1:5-6; Mic.5:1).
#3. He would be put to death (Ps.22:15; Isa.53:12).
#4. That the death was on the cross (Ps.22:15-16; Zec.12:10).
#5. He would be buried (Isa.53:9).
#6. The selling of Him for thirty pieces of silver (Zec.11:12-13).
#7. His betrayal by one of His familiar friends (Ps.41:9).
#8. Seizing and apprehending Him, and which is mainly referred to here (Isa,53:7-8).
#9. His disciples forsaking Him (Zec.13:7).
#10. Even God, His Father forsaking Him (Ps.22:1).
#11. His suffering between two thieves (Isa.53:12)
#12. The parting of His garments, and casting lots on His vesture (Ps.22:18).
#13. Giving Him gall and vinegar when He was on the cross (Ps.69:21).
#14. None of His bones broken (Ps.34:20).
#15. His Resurrection (Ps.16:10).
For many more Old Testament prophecies and their fulfillment, see: http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_messianic_prophecies.htm
Matthew 26:55 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. (KJV)
In that same hour said Jesus to the multitude . . . to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and elders, as Luke says (Lk.22:52). When Jesus had rebuked Peter for his impulsive action, He turned and spoke to these men, saying;
Are ye come out as against a thief, with swords and staves, for to take me? . . . they came against harmless Jesus as if He were a thief, a robber, in a manner they would have to take a highwayman of desperate character, and armed to defend his life. This just adds to the depth of His humiliation, that He consented to be hunted down in this way, and to be treated as if He were the worst of mankind.
I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me . . . His business on Earth was not thieving and stealing, but teaching the health-giving doctrine, which He, as Man, had received from His Father, and as the great prophet in Israel taught. He taught it with such power and authority, not as the Scribes and Pharisees did. The place where He taught, was the Temple; not a corner or a private place, but a place of public worship, and the time when He taught there, was the day. This multitude had NO need to take such extraordinary methods to capture Him, and to use one of His apostles to betray Him. To come in the middle of the night to take Him, and with such great numbers, and with swords and staves, when He was in the Temple every single day with them, was ridiculous.
Matthew 26:56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. (KJV)
But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled . . . the Scriptures of the prophets he refers to, as having, or about to have, by this conduct, their accomplishment, were such, as regarded the betraying Him by Judas, the taking Him in this secret, private, insidious, yet violent manner; in all which He showed great meekness, calmness, and submission, as in (Ps.41:9 Isa.53:7-8). Also what respected the scattering, and hasty flight of His disciples from Him (Zec.13:7), which in the next clause is shown to be accomplished.
Then all the disciples forsook him and fled . . . they not only went away from Him, and left Him alone, as He foretold they would (Jn.16:32), but they ran away from Him like fearful sheep, the Shepherd being about to be smitten; and they fearing, in case Peter's rash action should be imputed to them all, and they suffer for it; or for fear that they would be laid hold on next, and bound, as their Master was, or was about to be. Every thing in this account is a worsening of their cowardliness and ingratitude. They were the "disciples" of Christ that forsook Him, they whom He had called, and sent forth as His apostles to preach His Gospel; and to whom He had given extraordinary gifts and powers. They, who had forsaken all and followed Him, and had been with Him from the beginning; and had heard all His excellent speeches, and had seen all His miracles. All these had forsaken Him, "ALL" of them, including John the beloved disciple that leaned on His Bosom, and Peter, that professed so much love to Him, zeal for Him, and faith in Him; the three that had just seen Him in His agony and bloody sweat, every one of them left Him. NOT one stood by Him. On top of this, they had just witnessed a fresh instance of His power, in striking the men to the ground, that came to take Him (Jn.18:6); and when He healed the servant’s ear (Lk.22:50-51). There was no need for them to have fled in such haste; and to leave Him in the midst of His enemies, in His great distress and trouble. They were very unkind, unloving and ungrateful.
Jesus Taken to Caiaphas (Matthew 26:57-68)
Matthew 26:57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. (KJV)
And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas, the high priest . . . the ones in the multitude who had seized Him; the captain, and the officers of the Jews (Jn.18:12).
Where the Scribes and elders were assembled . . . a council was held about a week before this, in which Caiaphas helped, and then gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient, that one man should die for the people (Jn.11:47,49-50). It is not know if this was held at his house, or elsewhere, is not certain, but it is very probably it might have been (Mat.26:2-3), for it is clear from that two days ago, the chief priests, Scribes, and elders, were assembled together in his palace, to consult about putting Jesus to death; and here they were again together, waiting to have Him brought before them.
Matthew 26:58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. (KJV)
But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in and sat with the servants, to see the end . . . Peter followed afar off. Dear one, there is great danger for anyone who follows Jesus afar off. John 18:15-16 tells us that another disciple had also followed Jesus and went in with Him. Peter also gained entrance to the courtyard. He waited there to "see the end" and it would be very soon that he would deny the Lord.
Matthew 26:59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; (KJV)
Now the chief priests and elders, and all the counsel, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death . . . the Sanhedrim cannot be thought to do this in person, for they sent out their officers to seek for such men, as could or would produce anything against Him, and no doubt promised them an handsome reward. The Sanhedrim was the high council, the most powerful religious and political body of the Jewish people. Although the Romans controlled Israel's government, they gave the people power to handle religious disputes and some civil disputes, so the Sanhedrim made many of the local decisions affecting daily life. But a death sentence had to be approved by the Romans.
Matthew 26:60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, (KJV)
But found none; yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none . . . they found none that were right for their purpose, whose testimonies were sufficient to put Him to death, which was what they were determined upon, for according to their law, a man must not die by the mouth of one witness only, but by the mouth of two or three witnesses agreed in a point.
At the last came two false witnesses . . . who were agreed in a point, and whose testimonies were alike; or at least, had a better appearance of truth and agreement than the rest; although Mark says, "neither so did their witnesses agree together" (Mk.14:59).
Matthew 26:61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. (KJV)
And said, this fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days . . . Mark records this a little differently. According to him, they said, "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." Probably both forms of this given in the testimony were used in the trial. Matthew recorded it as it was given at one time, and Mark at another; so that there is no contradiction. Mark adds, "But neither so did their witness agree together." That which they attempted to accuse Him of, is what He had said regarding His body, and their destroying it (Jn.2:19), "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." They perverted it, trying to show that He meant the temple at Jerusalem. They did not state it as it was, they did not state correctly its meaning: neither did they agree about the words used.
Matthew 26:62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? (KJV)
And the high priest arose and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing?. . . he rose from his seat in great wrath, partly being angry that they could get no better testimony; and partly because of Jesus’ complete silence, offering no answer to the witnesses, as judging they deserved none; and which highly provoked the high priest, and therefore in passion said,
What is it which these witness against thee?. . . is it true or false, right or wrong? Some versions read: "dost thou answer nothing to those things which these witness against thee?"
Matthew 26:63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. (KJV)
But Jesus held his peace . . . knowing that whatever He would say, would not fix His problem, because they were set upon His death, and the time was now come. Therefore He quietly submits, and says nothing in His own defense to prevent it.
And the high priest answered and said unto him . . . although Jesus had said nothing . . . saying nothing was a way of speaking, frequently used by the Jews.
I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God . . . the Christ; the anointed, that David speaks of in the second Psalm, and who is there said to be the Son of God (Ps.2:2,7), to which the high priest seems to respect; since there is no other Passage, in which both these characters meet; and which was understood by the ancient Jews of the Messiah, and is owned by modern ones. Jesus was the Messiah, and His disciples believed Him to be the Son of God, and He had declared Himself to be so. Therefore the high priest, exercising his priestly power and authority, puts Him upon His oath; or at least with an oath made by the living God, charges Him to tell the truth.
Condemned by His own Confession (Mat.26:64-68)
Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (KJV)
Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said . . . you said it right, or as Mark expresses it "I am" (Mk.14:62). Jesus was the Christ, the anointed of God, Who was from everlasting. He affirmed Himself to be the Messiah, the Son of God, yet He knew they would not believe; and therefore refers them to a proof. Jesus could have refused to witness against Himself, but He declined to take advantage of that privilege, and answered the question in the affirmative, in the Jewish way, "Thou hast said;" that is, thou hast said what I am.
Nevertheless, I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the son of man, sitting at the right hand of power . . . the power of God (Lk.22:69). Nevertheless could be furthermore, for what follows is meant to explain and confirm what He had said.
Sitting on the right hand of power . . . right hand of God, called here the Power; equal to the Mighty, or the Almighty. It means dignity and majesty; for to sit at the right hand of a worldly prince was the chief place of honor.
And coming in, the clouds of heaven . . . meaning, you shall see the sign from heaven which you have so often demanded; even the Messiah returning Himself as the sign, with great glory, to destroy your city, and to judge the world (Dan.7:13; Jn.1:51; 1 Thes.4:16; Rev.1:7; 10:1; 14:14-16; 20:11). Christ's Coming will take vengeance on the Jewish nation, as it is often called the coming of the Son of Man, and is described in this manner (Mat.24:27,30). Although this may also be understood of Christ's Second Coming to judgment at the last day; as when He went up to Heaven in a cloud, He will return, and come also in the clouds of Heaven (Acts 1:9,11; Rev.1:7). He will then be seen by the eyes of all, good and bad; and this Sanhedrim, before whom He now was, will see Him also, and confess that He is Lord and Christ, and the Son of God.
The Christ, the Son of God (verse 63), is the highest title the Lord Jesus had. This is a title used by the prophets Daniel and Ezekiel. It was and is a title of deity. He could have claimed NO greater position than to have said that He was "the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."
Matthew 26:65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. (KJV)
Then the high priest rent his clothes . . . the Jews were accustomed to rend their clothes, as a token of grief. This was done often as a matter of form, and consisted in tearing a particular part of the garment reserved for this purpose. (Sounds like hypocrisy; double standard.) It was not lawful for the high priest to rend his clothes (Lev.10:6; 21:10). By that was probably intended the robes of his priestly office. The garment which he now rent was probably his ordinary garment, or the garments which he wore as president of the Sanhedrim, not those in which he wore as high priest in the things of religion. This was done on this occasion to denote the great grief of the high priest, that so great a sin as blasphemy had been committed in his presence.
Saying, He hath spoken blasphemy . . . the high priest was furious, saying that He has, under oath, claimed to Himself what belongs only to God. Not only did Jesus declare that He was the Messiah, but also the Son of God; thus making Himself equal with God. Since He appeared to them to be but a mere man, they charged it as blasphemy against God, to assume such a character and relation to Himself:
In claiming to be the Messiah; in asserting that He was the Son of God, and therefore equal in dignity with the Father; and that He would yet sit at God’s right Hand . . . He claimed what belongs to NO man, and what is therefore a tremendous invasion of the Divine privilege. IF He had not been the Messiah, the charge of blasphemy would have been true. But the question was, did He not give evidence that He was the Messiah? Therefore, His claims were just. This was the only proper point of inquiry, which they never examined. They simply presumed that He was an impostor; and that every pretense to being the Messiah was, in their eyes, proof that He deserved to die.
What further need have we of witnesses? . . . the high priest states that they do not need any more witnesses. He was for putting a stop to the process, and therefore addresses the court in the following manner;
Behold now, ye have heard his blasphemy . . . out of His own mouth, as Luke 22:71 expresses it. All the Sanhedrim heard Him with their own ears, so they had no need to examine any other witnesses about what they had heard, directly from Him. The words Jesus had spoken shocked them, for the word, "behold!" may not only be a note of attention, but of astonishment.
Matthew 26:66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. (KJV)
What think ye? . . . of the words just now spoken by Him? Do we have a charge of blasphemy? and what punishment do you think ought to be inflicted on him? is He guilty of death, or not? This he asks, as being president of the court.
They answered and said, he is guilty of death . . . they were unanimous in their vote, for Mark says, "they all condemned him to be guilty of death". . . only Joseph of Arimathea must be excluded, who consented not to their counsel and deed (Lk.23:51), and so must Nicodemus, if he was present; who seeing what they were determined to do, withdrew themselves before the question was asked, and so it passed unanimously. And IF Jesus had been guilty of blasphemy, as they charged Him, the sentence would have been right. He is guilty of death . . . this was the form used when a criminal was condemned to die. Jesus is found guilty of a crime to which the law demands death. This sentence was used before the Jews became subject to the Romans, when they had the power of inflicting death. After they were subject to the Romans, although the power of inflicting capital punishment was taken away, they still kept this form, when they expressed their opinion of the guilt of an offender. The law under which they condemned Him was that recorded in Lev.24:16, which sentenced him that was guilty of blasphemy to death by stoning. But, the chief priests, did not want to excite a popular tumult by stoning Him, so they decided to deliver Him to the Romans to be crucified, under the authority of the Roman name, and thus to prevent any excitement among the people.
Matthew 26:67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, (KJV)
Then did they spit in his face . . . not the judges, not the members of the Sanhedrim, but the servants of the high priest, and the officers that had hold of Jesus, and were guarding Him (Lk.22:63). When they saw that He had been condemned as guilty of death, they thought might they insult Him at their pleasure, and use Him in the most indecent and cruel way. In a way of contempt and disrespect, they spit in His Face. Nothing was more contemptuous and disgraceful to the Jews, but here was another prophecy fulfilled (Isa.50:6), "I hid not my face from shame and spitting" . . . and together with His sweat and Blood from the flogging, His visage (appearance) was more marred than any man's, and his form than the sons of men (Isa.52:14; Ps.22:17).
And buffeted him . . . beat, pounded, struck Him with their double fists.
And others smote him, with the palms of their hands . . . slapped Him on the face with their open hands, or struck Him on the face with rods, as the word will bear to be rendered: they struck Him with the rods and sticks that they had in their hands, and struck him on the head with the rods or staves they had with them; whereby was accomplished the prophecy (Mic.5:1; Job 16:10; Lam.3:30). "They shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek". So many appalling indignities were done to Christ Jesus, that belong to us!.
Matthew 26:68 Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee? (KJV)
Saying, prophesy unto us, thou Christ . . . not that they believed Him to be the Messiah; but because He declared Himself to be the Messiah, and too, His followers believed He was such . . . thus they call Him so in a mocking and sarcastic way. They call upon Him to tell them who the persons were, that abused Him in this way . . . saying that if He were the Christ, or Messiah, He would know all things, and what were done to Him. Such evil people!
Who is he that smote thee? . . . they had covered His face or blindfolded Him, as the other writers say (Mk.14:65; Lk.22:64), and then told Him to tell them who hit Him last. Jesus did not think it appropriate to give them an answer to such a foolish question . . . BUT . . . He will let them know in the future, who the particular person, or persons were, that hit Him . . . and when He does, it will appear to ALL the churches, and to ALL the world, that HE is the Lord God omniscient.
There is still such a thing among us today, which is commonly called Blindman's Buff. Such was the pass time as this, those wicked Jews had with Christ that day. In this absurd way they abused Him, and made Him their amusement and entertainment, just as the Philistines did Samson . . . BUT . . . the cost one day shall be extremely great! BEWARE! People today still ridicule Jesus, please do NOT be one of them.
Peter Denies Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75)
Matthew 26:69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. (KJV)
Now Peter sat without in the palace . . . the account of which follows, Peter's denial of his Lord, is strongly connected to the sufferings of Christ Jesus. I feel sure that the ill-usage Jesus met with from His enemies: their spitting in His Face, buffeting Him with their fists, smiting Him on the cheeks with their hands and rods . . . did NOT give Him as much pain and grief, as to be denied by His own beloved apostle. We were told:
Matthew 26:58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. (KJV)
Peter had followed Christ afar off, to see what the end would be; and now he was in the hall, where the council sat, and were examining and trying Jesus; although, as Mark says, "beneath in the palace" (Mk.14:66), in the great hall; and in the midst of the hall, the servants had made a fire. Peter had placed himself here, as he sat watching.
And a damsel came unto him . . . one of the maids of the high priest, as Mark says (Mk.14:66), and according to the John, she was the one who kept the door, and had let him in (Jn.18:16-17).
Saying, thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee . . . she called Him this, not to distinguish Him from any other of that name, but as a way of criticism; suggesting that He could not possibly be the Messiah, or that Prophet; since Jesus comes not out of Galilee, nor does any prophet arise from there: and when she charges Peter with being "with" Him (Jesus), her meaning is NOT that he was with Him in the garden, when He was taken; where it cannot be thought she was to see him; nor with Him in the temple, or in any part of Jerusalem, where she possibly might have seen Him; but that Peter was an apostle of Jesus, one that believed in Jesus, embraced Him as the Messiah, had absorbed His values and doctrines, and was of His party.
Matthew 26:70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. (KJV)
But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest: . . . Peter denied that he “was with Jesus of Galilee.” It was just a few hours ago that Peter had stated that although all others would desert the Lord, he would not, and that he would die with Him. And when Judas led the multitude into Gethsemane, Peter never considered the odds, but threw himself upon them, valiant as a lion. He struck and wounded Malchus, and would probably have slain him had he not swerved. He was then a brave hero, but now he is fearful as a deer. WHY? I think the only answer is that his faith had failed when he saw his Master seemingly helpless in the hands of His enemies.
It is a wonderful honor that man profess a worthy profession of Christ before witnesses . . . BUT . . . it is to his utter disgrace, and is hated by Christ, to deny Him before men. Peter did NOT deny that Jesus was God, or the Son of God, or that He was come in the flesh, or that Jesus was the Christ, or that He was the only Saviour of sinners . . . BUT . . . Peter did deny that he was with Jesus or that he was one of His apostles.
Matthew 26:71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. (KJV)
And when he was gone out into the porch . . . Peter did not attempt to go out at the door, and run away, although he could have; but he was afraid to do this, in case they would discover him, pursue him and overtake him, and bring him before the Sanhedrim. He chose instead to stay put, but was very uneasy. He moved to the porch, where he sat very preoccupied, considering what was right for him to do.
Another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth . . . she speaks of Jesus in the same scornful way as her fellow servant had done. This title of Christ was commonly, if not always used by way of contempt. She is more spiteful, and bent on being spiteful; for the other spoke to him alone, but this one directs her speech to the servants and officers that were near by, and miss-uses him in a very abusive manner . . . this wretched fellow that is lurking about here, is one of this Man's disciples.
Matthew 26:72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. (KJV)
And again he denied with an oath . . . Peter denied a second time, that he had ever been with Jesus, or was a disciple of His; and to put it out of all doubt, and an end to all dispute about it, he added an oath to it.
I do not know the man . . . not only did he have any personal knowledge of Him, or was an associate with Him; but that he had never seen the Man in his life. This was a downright LIE. Peter knew Christ in every sense; he knew Him spiritually, whom to know is life eternal: and he valued the knowledge of Him above all things else: he knew Him to be God, and the Son of God; he knew Him as Mediator, and the Saviour of lost sinners; he knew Him as Man, and had had personal closeness and conversation with Him for a long time . . . BUT . . . now he denies he knew Him; and that with an oath, adding perjury to lying . . . and so it always is, one sin leads to another. This denial of Peter's shows the wickedness and deceitfulness of man's heart; and what the best of men are, or would be, when left to themselves and they become like other men, even like the men of the world, whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
Matthew 26:73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. (KJV)
And after a while . . . Mark says, "a little after", (Mk.14:70), and Luke states that it was "about the space of one hour after" (Lk.22:59). There has been time to reflect upon what he had been saying, and to guard against another shameful temptation, but as yet he did not remember his Lord's words, and persisted in the denial of Him, and getting worse all the time.
Came unto him they that stood by . . . the officers and servants of the high priest, his attendants that waited upon him, and who stood by the fire, where Peter was warming himself. Before he was confronted by single maidservants, but now by a body of men, and one of them the kinsman of the man whose ear he had cut off, and who challenged him, as having seen him in the garden: and another confidently affirmed, and swore to it, that he was with Jesus, and was a Galilean; and all of them agreed in this,
And said to Peter, surely thou also art one of them, for thy speech betrayeth thee . . . Peter’s language makes it clear that he was one in Jesus’ company. Mark adds, he was a Galilean (Mk.14:70); and in this way his speech betrayed him. It is likely that the Galileans were noted for some distinct way of pronunciation, maybe some odd roughness in their manner of speaking, that set them apart from the refinement of the capital, Jerusalem. This charge, John says (Jn.18:26), was supported by the statement of a kinsman of Malchus, the servant of the high priest, that he had seen Peter in the garden.
Matthew 26:74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. (KJV)
Then began he to curse, and to swear . . . Peter was now very irritated. He could no longer resist the evidence that he was known. It had been repeatedly charged on him. His language had betrayed him, and there was a positive witness who had seen him. I do not think that Peter could ever call Jesus accursed (1 Cor.12:3; Gal.1:8-9), but he cursed himself; "he began to imprecate (curse) himself", as some versions render it.
I know not the man . . . he now added to the sin of denying his Lord, the worsening of profane cursing and swearing; affirming what he knew was false, for he most certainly did know the Man, Jesus. As he was swearing and cursing in this vile manner; as soon as the words were out of his mouth, and after he had three times denied that he knew Christ, or was ever with him, or a disciple of his . . .
And immediately the cock crew . . . the second crowing, or not far from three in the morning.
There were three stages to Peter's denial. First, he acted confused and tried to distract attention from himself by changing the subject. Second, using an oath he denied that he knew Jesus. Third, he swore that he did not know Jesus. Believers who deny Christ often begin doing so subtly by pretending not to know Him. When an opportunity to speak up for the Lord Jesus presents itself, they walk away or pretend they do not know the answers. With just a little more pressure, they can be tempted to deny flatly their relationship with Christ Jesus. If you find yourself changing conversation so you do not have to talk about Jesus, BEWARE! You may be on the road to denying Him. You do NOT want to do that. Matthew 10:32-33 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. (KJV) . . . Also see: Mk.8:38; Lk.9:26.
Matthew 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. (KJV)
And Peter remembered the words of Jesus . . . Luke mentions an emotional circumstance omitted by the other writers, that when the cock crew "Jesus turned and looked upon Peter," and that it was then that he remembered Jesus’ words. They were in the same room . . . Jesus at the upper end of the hall, elevated for a court, and Peter below with the servants, so that Jesus could look down at Peter standing near the fire. By a single glance, the battered Saviour brought to remembrance all Peter's promises, and Jesus’ predictions, and the tremendous guilt of the apostle. The Lord overwhelmed Peter with the remembrance of his sin, and pierced his heart with countless sorrows. The awareness of his deep and dreadful guilt rushed over Peter's soul. He literally ran from the palace, alone in the darkness of the night, and wept bitterly.
The fall of Peter is one of the most unfortunate examples of depravity ever committed in our world. It had been just a short while before that he was so bold and confident; seated at the table of the Lord; well-known, throughout the ministry of Christ, with special favors. The Lord had cautioned against this very thing . . . but, it was no time at all that He would deny Him, forgetting his promises; and irreverently calling on God to witness what he knew to be false, that he did not know Jesus! If Peter had done it just once, it would have been a dreadful guilt . . . a guilt deeply piercing the Redeemer's Soul in His day of trial; but Peter repeated it, again and again! The last time with profane cursing and swearing.
Which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice . . . the very moment that Peter heard the cock crow, he was humbled to the fact of the prophetic words of Jesus, which he was put in mind of on hearing the cock crow. God has many different ways in which He awakens sleepy professors, backsliding believers, and remind them of their condition and duty, and restore them by repentance, as He did Peter . . . here it was a rooster!
And he went out; and wept bitterly . . . he went out of the palace, I think he probably ran. He had to go and make this right. All of us are capable of denying Jesus, in some way or another! BEWARE! I have SO often thought of these words when I think of Peter: “I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.” I can actually feel, deep within me, Peter’s agony, when he heard that rooster crow. My friend, we ALL sin, including the beloved apostles of that day, and the most godly men and women today. We may have the best intentions, but we can slip and fall. The wonder of it all is that He forgives us when we repent (1 Jn.1:8-9). Thank You Jesus!
Peter’s denial: (Mat.26:69-75; Mk.14:30,66-72; Lk.22:54-62; Jn.18:17,25-27; 1 Cor.10:12).
Simon Peter was in the place of temptation. No alibi or excuse can be offered for his sordid denial. He was guilty of a heinous act. But, Peter DID repent and he DID come back into fellowship with the Lord whom he loved. In fact, Peter was the one to whom the Lord gave the privilege of preaching the first sermon after the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and three thousand people were saved!
We should consider some things in Peter's fall:
#1. The danger of self-confidence. "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor.10:12). TRUE Christian confidence relies totally on God for strength, and feels secure only when we know that He is well able and very willing to keep us from temptation.
#2. The highest favors, the most exalted privileges, do NOT keep us from the ever present danger of falling into sin. Few men were ever favored as highly as Peter; and none ever so horribly departed from the Saviour.
#3. When someone begins to sin, the fall from one action to another is far too easy, and almost certain. At first Peter's sin was only simple denial; but it increased and worsened to a more violent declaration, and ending with open profaneness. BEWARE!!! That slippery, broad, downward road of sin is SO easy. When you give in to just one tiny sin, the way is open for a full flood to come upon you. The progress is NOT easily stopped, and soon the soul is overwhelmed in dreadful and frightening guilt. BEWARE!
#4. TRUE repentance is ALWAYS deep, heart-felt and bitter. Peter wept bitterly. It was sincere sorrow . . . sorrow equal to the nature of the offence he had committed.
#5. One quick glance from Jesus . . . a look mingled with affection, pity and reprimand . . . produced bitter sorrow for Peter’s sin. It is our precious Jesus we injure by our sin, and it is his tender look, when we err, that pierces the soul through with many sorrows (1 Tim. 6:10), opens fountains of tears (Jer.9:1), and leads us to weep with bitterness over our transgressions (Eze.27:31).
#6. Ant time that we fall into temptation, we should retire from the world, seek the place of seclusion, and pour out our sorrowful heart before God. He will hear us, and He will pity His children; and He will receive them, just as He did desperate and weeping Peter, back to His arms again.
#7. TRUE Christians may at times go far astray, but they shall NEVER be cast away! Sometimes God has to show them their weakness and make them check their self-confidence, to produce total dependence on Christ Jesus. We need to be shown just how weak, feeble and rash we really are. Peter was a TRUE believer. Jesus had prayed for him that his faith would fail not (Lk.22:32). Any time that Jesus prayed, He was always heard (Jn.11:41-42). Peter's faith did not fail; his belief in Jesus, his real piety, his true attachment to Jesus did NOT fail! He knew, all during the entire transaction, that Jesus WAS the Messiah, and that Peter himself was well acquainted with Him. But he felt forced to declare that which he knew was not true because of his fear of mankind. Once a person is truly saved, they are ALWAYS saved. http://www.hisservants.org/a_1_verses_confirming_OSAS.htm
Although a Christian may be tempted to go astray, and may fall into sin, we should remember Peter. When we sin, in any way, grab hold of yourself . . . realize you need to get back on track! Do not let indecision hold you back! Decide as soon as possible to get back into the grace of God. He that decides to sin, with the hope of repenting in the hereafter, CANNOT be a Christian . . . is NOT a Christian. BEWARE!
Forgetfulness of God, of His works, of His words, and of His law, of His revealed mind and will, is often the cause of sin; and remembering is absolutely necessary for the recovery of a fallen or backsliding sinner . . . for he is fallen from the love, grace, kindness and mercy of God, which was formerly shown to him. He must also remember his evil ways and works he is fallen into, and of the Words and Truths of Christ that he has been very uncaring about and lukewarm to (Rev.3:16).
WE MUST NOT DENY HIM
In the early morn’, as the rooster crows,
I think of Peter, and his sorrow.
He was so sure, he’d not turn away,
But he denied Christ, fore’ the break of day.
“I know Him not” were words Peter said,
These four little words, caused him dread.
Not once, not twice, but three times he’d deny,
Our precious Lord, whom they would crucify.
“If I have to, I will die with You,”
Peter’s heartfelt words, he thought were true.
But those very words, he spoke that night,
Early the next morn’ would cause him fright.
When the cock crow’d, Peter was mortified,
What had he done? Christ he’d denied!
Great tears welled up, as he sobbed in grief,
It would be a while, ‘fore he found relief!
Peter did sob, uncontrollably,
His heart and soul, were in agony.
He was so sorry, for what he’d done,
He denied Christ Jesus, God’s own Son!
There are many ways, we too can deny,
Our precious Saviour, who was crucified.
Are you afraid, of what friends might say?
If you stood for Jesus, this very day?
We can’t deny Christ’s death, and be forgiv’n,
We can’t deny He’s alive, and access Heav’n.
We can’t deny, He’s God and He’s Man,
We can’t deny, God’s one and only Plan.
We need to stand close, to Jesus’ side,
This awesome Christ, who was crucified.
We need to follow Him, ev’ry day,
For He loves us and guides, in all right ways.
By: His servant, Connie Kramer Dec.23, 2002 # 931
Mat. 26:31-35, 69-75; Zec.13:7; John 3:15-18, 36; 14:6; 1 John 5:10-12
Gospel of Matthew
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