Matthew 26

Matthew 26:26-29

26:26 [Jesus and disciples gathered to celebrate the Passover, the annual springtime festival commemorating the Exodus (Ex. 12:1-11)] While they were eating [meal included roasted lamb, unleavened bread, wine, and other items], Jesus took bread [an unleavened loaf], gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body [the bread represented His body which was about to be sacrificed on the cross].”

26:27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks [our term “Eucharist” comes from the Gr. “eukharistia” which means “thanksgiving” (some denominations use “Eucharist” as alternate term for the Lord’s Supper)] and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.

26:28 This [contents of the cup represented His blood which was about to be shed on the cross] is my blood of the covenant [cf. Jer. 31:31-34], which is poured out for many [Jesus died in the place of sinners (substitutionary atonement); cf. Matt. 20:28] for the forgiveness of sins [cf. Heb. 10:12].

26:29 I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on [or in this life] until [anticipates His resurrection] that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom [cf. Lk. 22:30].”

Matthew 26:36-41

26:36 Then [following the Lord’s Supper in the upper room] Jesus went with his disciples [all but Judas] to a place called Gethsemane [means “oil press”], and he said to them, “Sit here while [as long as] I go over there and pray.”

26:37 He took [Jesus wanted the companionship and fellowship of others] Peter and the two sons [James and John (Mk. 1:19)] of Zebedee [Jesus’ inner circle; cf. Matt. 17:1-8; Mk. 5:37-42] along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled [distressed].

26:38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed [surrounded by] with sorrow [distress] to the point of death [a way of expressing the greatest amount of sorrow one can experience]. Stay here and keep watch [keep awake (and pray)] with me [implies association, intimacy, support].

26:39 Going a little farther [“about a stone’s throw beyond them” (Lk. 22:41)], he fell with his face to the ground [shows utmost attitude of submission and humility; indicates the pressure Jesus felt] and prayed [Luke (the physician) added that “his sweat was like drops of blood” (Lk. 22:44)], “My Father, if it is possible [if there is another way within God’s will], may this cup [metaphor for punishment and suffering (cf. Ps. 75:8; Isa. 51:17)] be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will [Jesus affirmed His submission to His Father].”

26:40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour [duration of Jesus’ intense prayer time]?” he asked Peter.

26:41 “Watch [be awake and prepared] and pray so that you will not fall into temptation [means test, try, prove, examine]. The spirit is willing, but the body [our weak human nature] is weak [disciples gave in to human exhaustion].”

Matthew 26:47-56

26:47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived [after arranging with the religious leaders to betray Jesus, Judas “watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present” (Lk. 22:6)]. With him was a large crowd armed with swords [carried primarily by temple police and Roman soldiers] and clubs [carried primarily by Jewish laymen; also carried torches and lanterns (Jn. 18:3)], sent from [but not accompanied by] the chief priests and the elders [the Sanhedrin] of the people.

26:48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss [to love, to kiss; a mark of friendship] is the man; arrest him.”

26:49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi [means “master” or “teacher;” Judas did not call Jesus “Lord” (cf. Matt. 26:22,25)]!” and kissed [strong, outward form of affection] him.

26:50 Jesus replied, “Friend [perhaps intended to remind Judas of the years they had spent together; “an open-hearted but not intimate greeting” (Expositor’s, Vol. 8, p. 547)], do what you came for [Jesus already knew why Judas had come (Matt. 26:21)].” Then the men [temple police, perhaps accompanied by some Roman soldiers] stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

26:51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions [Peter] reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest [Malchus (Jn. 18:10)], cutting off his ear [Luke (the physician) added that Jesus “touched the man’s ear and healed him” (Lk. 22:51)].

26:52 “Put your sword back in its place, [Jesus did not want His cause to be advanced by physical violence]” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword [violence begets violence].

26:53 Do you think I cannot call [to summon, to call to one’s side for help] on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions [a legion was about 6,000 men; twelve legions would be 72,000] of angels?

26:54 But how then would the Scriptures [OT messianic prophecies] be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

26:55 At that time 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 [a public place] teaching, and you did not arrest me [they could have easily identified Jesus in the daytime (no need for a signal as in 26:48)].

26:56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled [re: Jesus’ sufferings (Ps. 22; Isa. 53)].” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled [Zech. 13:7; Jesus traveled to the cross alone].

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