In Jerusalem JesusJesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More celebrates the PassoverPassover commemorates the deliverance of the Hebrew people from Egypt as described in the book of Exodus. It is celebrated with worship and a meal on the fourteenth day of the month called Nisan, which is the first month of the Jewish year. The time... More with his disciples. He then goes to a garden on the Mount of Olives to pray, where he is betrayed by Judas. After trials before the High PriestThe high priest was the most powerful priest in the temple in Jerusalem. The high priest Caiaphas held the office during the trial of Jesus. Later, in the New Testament book of Hebrews, the role of merciful high priest is ascribed to the resurrected Jesus. More CaiaphasHigh priest who helped condemn Jesus. More and Pilate the Roman Governor, he is condemned to death and handed over to be crucified by the Roman soldiers while many women look on. At evening Joseph of Arimathea receives and buries the body and a guard is set to secure the tomb.
Matthew’s PassionPassion is the theological term used to describe Jesus' suffering prior to and including his crucifixion. The Passion Narrative (the portions of the Gospels that tell of the Last Supper, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus) are often read in church during Holy Week. More Narrative follows his model Mark in basic outline and content. But Matthew’s narrative more carefully binds the passion and death of Jesus the MessiahThe Messiah was the one who, it was believed, would come to free the people of Israel from bondage and exile. In Jewish thought the Messiah is the anticipated one who will come, as prophesied by Isaiah. In Christian thought Jesus of Nazareth is identified... More to his role as teacher and Son of Man who comes at the end of the age. In a uniquely Matthean addition, the formulaic conclusion of Jesus’ words in his last teaching discourse is immediately joined to one more prediction of the coming betrayal and crucifixion of the Son of Man (26:1-2). With other added details MatthewA tax collector who became one of Jesus' 12 disciples More heightens the crime and death of Jesus’ betrayer (26:14-16; 27:3-10), notes a dream revelation to the wife of Pilate that Jesus is a “righteousA righteous person is one who is ethical and faithful to God's covenant. Righteousness in the Old Testament is an attitude of God; in the New Testament it is a gift of God through grace. In the New Testament righteousness is a relationship with God... More man” (dikaios; NRSV reads “innocent”), has Pilate “wash his hands” of any responsibility for Jesus’ death, accompanies Jesus’ death with an earthquake and a resurrection of the saints, and reports a posting of a guard at the tomb by the Jewish leaders to prevent the theft of Jesus’ body. Matthew’s narrative of Jesus’ passion and death is composed of the following sections and themes:
Matthew 26:1-5 opens the narrative with the plot to kill Jesus. Jesus announces that the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified. In ironic fulfillment, the leaders of the people conspire to arrest Jesus and put him to death.
In Matthew 26:6-13, Jesus’ anointing with costly perfume by a nameless woman at Bethany is described by him as a preparation for his burial and as a key part of the preaching of the good news.
In Matthew 26:14 16, Matthew alters Mark’s narrative by making Judas appear greedy, asking how much the leaders are willing to pay him in order to betray Jesus. They agree to pay him thirty pieces of silver.
After sending his disciples to prepare, Jesus gathers with them to eat the Passover meal, (Matthew 26:17-35). Jesus first foretells that one of them will betray him, and then takes a loaf of bread and a cup of wine and, after blessingBlessing is the asking for or the giving of God's favor. Isaac was tricked into blessing Jacob instead of his firstborn Esau. At the Last Supper Jesus offered a blessing over bread and wine. To be blessed is to be favored by God. More them, shares them with the disciples as his body and blood of the covenantA covenant is a promise or agreement. In the Bible the promises made between God and God's people are known as covenants; they state or imply a relationship of commitment and obedience. More of the Father’s kingdom. Framing the meal and parallel to the announcement of the betrayal, Jesus predicts that PeterThe disciple who denied Jesus during his trial but later became a leader in proclaiming Jesus More along with all of the disciples will deny and desert him.
After the meal, Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray (Matthew 26:36-46). While the disciples sleep, three times Jesus prays earnestly to the Father that he might be spared the drinking of the “cup” of his death. Obediently he submits to the Father’s will and the betrayal is at hand.
The arrest of Jesus takes place as Judas arrives with a crowd and betrays Jesus with the agreed upon signal, a kiss (Matthew 26:47-56). Twice Jesus emphasizes that all of this is happening in fulfillment of the scriptures. The truth of his assertion is confirmed by the note that, as he has predicted, all the disciples desert him and flee.
In Matthew 26:57-68; 27:1-2, Jesus is put on trial before the High PriestA priest is a person who has the authority to perform religious rites. In New Testament times priests were responsible for daily offerings and sacrifices in the temple. More. Various charges are brought against Jesus, but he remains silent. To the high priest’s question whether he is the Messiah Jesus responds with a somewhat ambiguous, “You have said so,” and a scriptural quotation about the Son of Man. Jesus’ remarks are seen as blasphemyBlasphemy is disrespecting or dishonoring of something held sacred. To use the name of God in swearing or to commit a profane act is to commit blasphemy. More and worthy of death. Jesus is bound and handed over to Pilate.
Ironically, in the midst of Jesus’ trial, Peter, too, is interrogated regarding his relationship to Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75). As Jesus has predicted, three times Peter denies that he knows Jesus. The cock crows and Peter repents.
In a unique motif, Matthew narrates the death of Judas, Matthew 27:3-10. When Judas sees what his betrayal has occasioned, he repents of his sin of having betrayed “innocent blood” and attempts to return the thirty pieces of silver to the leaders. Upon their refusal, in despair he hangs himself, and in fulfillment of scripture the leaders use the money to buy a burial field.
Jesus now goes on trial before Pilate (Matthew 27:11-31). To Pilate’s question whether he is “King of the Jews,” Jesus responds as to the chief priestChief priests were high-ranking priests in the Jewish temple. They performed sacrifices and other rites required by Jewish religious law. With the elders and scribes the chief priests constituted the council of highest ranking Jews in Jerusalem during Jesus' time. More, “You say so,” but otherwise remains silent amid the accusations. Matthew adds unique features to the trial scene before Pilate. Pilate’s wife notes that she has been warned in a dream (see Matthew, chapters 1 and 2) to have nothing to do with this “righteous man” (27:19; see 1:19 and throughout). After agreeing to release a prisoner, BarabbasThe bandit released from custody instead of Jesus. More, instead of Jesus, Pilate washes his hands of this “innocent” man’s blood, while the people answer “His blood be on us and upon our children!” (27:24-25). Pilate then hands Jesus over to be crucified. The soldiers dress Jesus up in a robe, a crown of thorns, and a reed and mock him as “King of the Jews” and then lead him away to be crucified.
On the way to Jesus’ crucifixion and death (Matthew 27:32-56), a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, is compelled to carry the cross to Golgotha, where Jesus is placed on the cross with two bandits on either side. Those who pass by mock him as “Son of God” and “King of Israel.” Darkness comes over the land from noon until three o’clock, when Jesus cries out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” and then breathes his last. To Mark’s note regarding the rending of the templeThe Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged... More curtain at Jesus’ death, Matthew adds that there is a great earthquake and that many of the dead come out of their tombs (27:51-53). Many women who have followed Jesus from Galilee stand watching from a distance.
After Jesus’ death, Joseph of Arimathea, described as a “disciple” of Jesus, goes to Pilate and asks for the body. Joseph receives the body and lays it in his own new tomb and rolls a large stone in front of the door, while Mary MagdaleneFollower of Jesus and among the first to reach Jesus' tomb on Easter More and the other Mary sit opposite the tomb, watching (Matthew 27:57 61).
The passion narrative concludes with the setting of a guard at the tomb (Matthew 27:62-66). In this unique addition to the narrative, Matthew notes the concern of the leaders that Jesus’ disciples will come and steal the body and then claim he has been raised from the dead. Pilate orders them to make the tomb secure by setting a guard.