Matthew 26

Jesus died as the Lamb of God in connection with the ancient Jewish feast of Passover. “The chief priests and the elders” were hoping to avoid the crowds associated with the festival, but it was Jehovah who determined the timing and not men. One woman gave an extravagant gift of “ointment” as a testimony to His impending burial. She knew that His hour had come. Judas conferred with the Lord’s enemies and “sought an opportunity to betray Him.” Meanwhile, the Redeemer instituted the ceremonial supper that the church still uses to mark His death.
The Messiah understood from Old Testament prophecy that His disciples would all fall away from Him that night. He asked them to “watch and pray” that they might resist temptation. While His friends slept, Jesus turned to His Father. “If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Judas soon betrayed the Lord with the prearranged sign of a kiss. The reaction of Jesus: “Friend, do what you came to do.” At least one of His followers hoped they could fight their way out of trouble, but the heart of Christ moved according to a holier impulse. He knew that everything was taking place so that “the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”
From that moment forward the religious and civil authorities appeared to be in charge, but it was God Almighty who was reigning. The Redeemer’s foes would take steps to kill the Man who freely gave His life for sinners. At that dark occasion of betrayal and false witness, the faith of the Son of God would be severely tested. He could have called for “legions of angels” to rescue Him from the hands of His foes, but He chose to be true to His covenant Word and save His beloved people from eternal punishment. His death was of the greatest importance, but it was not the end of the story. One day we will all see Him coming again “on the clouds of heaven.”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, the entirety of our faith is about Jesus Christ. People plotted to arrest and kill Him, but so few understood what was actually happening. His time was at hand according to Your sovereign will. He would soon give His body and shed His blood for us. We could not have saved ourselves. His disciples were not able to watch and pray even for one hour. He was betrayed with a kiss, and His enemies seized Him. They accused Him falsely, sentenced Him to death, and abused Him. Like Peter, we would have denied Him, yet He was and is the Messiah, our Redeemer. His Word assures us that He will eat and drink with us in His coming kingdom.