1 After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death.
2 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.”
3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.
4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted?
5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.
6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.
7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.
8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.
9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them.
11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.
12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”
13 And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him.
14 Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ‘
15 Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”
16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.
17 In the evening He came with the twelve.
18 Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.”
19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “Is it I?” And another said, “Is it I?”
20 He answered and said to them, “It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish.
21 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.”
22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.
25 Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
27 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I WILL STRIKE THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP WILL BE SCATTERED.’
28 “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
29 Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.“
30 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”
31 But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all said likewise.
32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”
33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.
34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”
35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.
36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.“
37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?
38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words.
40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.
41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
42 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
43 And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
44 Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.”
45 As soon as he had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, “Rabbi, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.
46 Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him.
47 And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
48 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me?
49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”
50 Then they all forsook Him and fled.
51 Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him,
52 and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.
53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes.
54 But Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire.
55 Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none.
56 For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree.
57 Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying,
58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’ “
59 But not even then did their testimony agree.
60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?”
61 But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses?
64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.
65 Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers struck Him with the palms of their hands.
66 Now as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came.
67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.”
68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are saying.” And he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed.
69 And the servant girl saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, “This is one of them.”
70 But he denied it again. And a little later those who stood by said to Peter again, “Surely you are one of them; for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it.“
71 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this Man of whom you speak!”
72 A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.
There is such a great prevalence of human failure to be dealt with in the fulfillment of great purpose. With each of them, it would seem there could be a legitimate reason for hitting pause on any progress: The generous pouring out of an offering ignites a spark of strife rather than honoring worship; Those from whom there should be honoring recognition of identity only grew in the fervor of vindictive rejection; The last gathering of those with whom His life had been shared is actually the staging for betrayal and denial; Those who should have joined with Him in prayer contention were more responsive to their own fatigue than His needs; The onslaught of raining accusations was wrought with inconsistencies that should have caused a mistrial and yet resulted in condemnation; At the moment when the voices of darkness were mounted against Him in unrelenting attacks, the voice of His only present follower joined with them in denying any association with who He was. And yet, progress toward His great purpose was never altered in the least.
It is amazing how much human shortcomings are overcome in fulfilling God’s destiny for the kingdom. While we humans are intent on analyzing every detail for legitimacy and then landing on reasons for strife over unity and strength, God’s amazing grace still uses these imperfections to fulfill a work for His glory. The most significant of God’s movements may actually be the persistent pressing of His love past our imperfections in exposing His glory through surrendered vessels. His Spirit is longsuffering and understanding of our shortcomings in the administration of goodness that is surely unmerited. He purifies, justifies, and equips for works in those who are at the moment coming up short in some way. It will never be due to having all the ducks in a row that God’s kingdom work is accomplished. It will ever be by the blood of Christ and the discovery of its grace in hearts that no longer live by their own perfection but give it up totally for His. His goodness is ever-pressing past otherwise debilitating failures to demonstrate His greatness that requires none of ours.
Though all of these failures were before the cross, there is yet a purpose in what the cross acquired for us that must continue to be accessed. It took ahold of perfection for us, but this prize will require contention on our part that may have reflections of Jesus’ endurance along its path. There will be failures from human vessels that God’s overcoming grace presses past for His glory alone.