Matt 26:1-16

For the next two weeks (leading up to Easter) we’re going to be reading through the “Passion Narrative” in Matthew’s Gospel (chapters 26-27). It will be a little different in structure from other series as I want to give the Gospel text more space to speak. Rather than a packaged “devotional reading” it will be more like a running commentary on the story as we go. Why? Firstly, it’s an important story and I don’t want to get in its way too much. And also because there isn’t a lot of direct, “what’s in it for me?” application in each episode. Rather, it’s the story of how Jesus suffered in our place, and then rose again to conquer death. So the big picture won’t need a lot of explanation every day! Use these two weeks to remind yourself again of the central story of our faith, and what it cost God to redeem us.

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Matt 26:17-30

We continue our reading notes on Matthew’s Passion narrative, in the weeks leading up to Easter.

Matt 26:17-19

26:17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.'” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

There is a well-known issue of chronology here, between Matthew (along with Mark and Luke) over against John. John describes Jesus’ last supper as taking place before the Passover, and the crucifixion taking place on the Passover day – the day of preparation for the Passover meal, when the lambs were slaughtered. If Jesus was crucified when the lambs were killed, that (of course) makes a theologically significant point!

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Matt 26:31-46

We continue our reading notes on Matthew’s Passion narrative, in the weeks leading up to Easter. Remember, the focus of these two weeks is the text itself. There aren’t many verses to read each day, so spend time reading the story slowly and reflectively.

Matt 26:31-35

This section contrasts the agony and faithfulness of Jesus as he goes to do his Father’s will with the weakness of the disciples and the betrayal of Judas.

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Matt 26:47-56

We continue our reading notes on Matthew’s Passion narrative, in the weeks leading up to Easter.

Matt 26:46-56

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” 55 In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

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