Matthew 26 Questions and Answers
1. Read Matthew 26:1-5. What did Jesus announce would happen during the Passover?
- In 2 days will be the Passover and then he would be handed over to be crucified.
- Who was He going to be handed over to? Chief priests and elders of the people
2. Where did the chief priests and the elders of the people get together and why?
- They got together at the palace of the high priest to plot to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him.
- Who was the high priest? Caiaphas. Historically, he was in this position for 18 years which was a long time for a High priest. The secret to his long term was that he had developed a fine art in co-operating with the Roman government.
3. When would it not be a good idea to implement their plan? Why?
- During the Passover Feast.
- Thought that might start a riot among the people
4. Read Matthew 26:6-13. Where was Jesus visiting when He was in Bethany? What happened while Jesus was there?
- At Simon the Leper's place
- A woman came in with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume which she poured on Jesus' head as he was reclining at the table.
- That perfume represented about a year's wages for a working man
5. What was the response of the disciples?
- They were indignant thinking that pouring perfume on Jesus' head was such a waste
- They thought that perfume should have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.
- There is a difference between the economics of common sense and the economics of love.
- A gift truly becomes a gift when there is sacrifice behind it and when we give more than we can afford.
6. What was the response of Jesus to the disciple's indignation?
- Jesus asked his disciples why there were bothering the woman who had done a beautiful thing to Him.
- Jesus reminded them that the poor would always be around but He wouldn't be.
- Jesus also told them that when she poured that perfume on his body she did it to prepare Jesus for His burial.
- He prophesied that wherever the gospel would be preached throughout the world, what she did will be told in memory of her.
7. Some opportunities only come once in a lifetime and if we lose that opportunity to do something lovely, it is missed forever. Have you ever missed a golden opportunity to do something kind or lovely, but missed it because you were too practical?
8. Like this women, it is a wonderful thing to be able to leave the memory of a lovely deed. Are you leaving memories of kind and loving deeds you have done?
9. Read Matthew 26:14-16. What was Judas' response to Jesus being anointed by the woman with perfume?
- He went to the chief priests and asked how much they would give him if he handed Jesus over to them.
- They counted out 30 pieces of silver and Judas accepted it. After that he watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them.
10. Why do you think Judas would have betrayed Jesus?
- Extreme greed
- Perhaps it was because Jesus was not the kind of Christ/Messiah he expected.
- Perhaps he thought Jesus was moving too slowly and was trying to force His hand to free them from the Romans. But his intent was never that he wanted Jesus to die. He just thought that Jesus would be able to use His divine power to keep from getting killed. That's why he returned the money and committed suicide when his plan didn't work as he thought it would.
11. Read Matthew 26:17-30. When the disciples asked Jesus where they should make preparations to eat the Passover meal, what answer did He give them?
- Go into the city (of Jerusalem) and tell a certain man, "The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house." Jesus didn't leave this detail to the last minute. He had already arranged a place with a friend within the city, which was a requirement for a Jew who came to celebrate the Passover, and even arranged a password
- The disciples did and prepared the Passover
12. What unexpected announcement did Jesus make when he was reclining at the table eating the Passover with the Twelve? How did the disciples respond to this announcement?
- One of you will betray me
- They were very sad, and began one by one to ask if it was them
13. How did Jesus let them know who it was? What did he say about that man?
- The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.
- Jesus continued to say that He would go as it was written about Him, but woe to the person who betrays Him. It would have been better if he had not been born.
- When Judas asked if it was him, Jesus said it was him.
14. Like Judas we can keep our sins a secret from everyone else, but not from God. Do you have any sins that you are trying to keep a secret that need to be openly and with repentance brought before the Lord for forgiveness?
15. Judas had a terrible plan and Jesus could have blasted him in front of others, He could have had him killed, or He could have done a number of other terrible things to Judas. But what did Jesus do instead?
- He exposed the fact that there was sin within the group but no one seemed to know or even understand after Jesus revealed who it was, or else I'm sure Judas wouldn't have been able to get away with his life.
- Jesus confronted Judas with acknowledging that he was the one that would betray him so Judas would see the horribleness of his action. Judas had spent 3 years with Jesus, seeing His love and care and compassion. What did Judas feel that day when Jesus said He knew that Judas was going to betray Him? Did he feel Jesus' yearning and loving appeal to stop what he was doing? Did he stop and think about what he was doing? Was he shocked at all by what Jesus said and did or shocked by what he was planning to do?
- Despite the fact that Jesus confronted Judas, he went on with his calculated plan, not realizing the full consequences of his actions. (The wages of sin is death - Romans 6:23)
16. Have you recently made a calculated plan to sin? How did Jesus confront you? What did you do about it?
17. What are some of the differences and similarities between the Passover Feast and our communion?
- Thursday was the beginning of the feast which was called Feast of Unleavened Bread. On Thursday morning every particle of yeast was gotten rid of. The reason was that on the day the slaves were delivered from Egypt, they had to leave so quickly they didn't have time to make bread with leaven, and the Passover Feast was remembering the time God had delivered them from slavery in Egypt. Also, Jews say leaven or yeast as a symbol of corruption and the Passover Feast with unleavened bread was a symbol of purity and cleansing.
- Another part of the Feast was a Passover lamb. In order for the death angel to not kill the oldest son when they were slaves in Egypt, they had to kill a lamb and smear its blood on the side posts of the door and the top of the window frame.
- There were 4 other necessary items for the Feast:
- Bowl of salt water - remembrance of the tears they shed while they were slaves in Egypt and the salt waters of the Red Sea that God got them through to miraculously.
- Bitter herbs - (eg. Horseradish, endive, lettuce, etc.) to remind them of the bitterness of slavery and the hyssop was used to put the blood of the lamb on the lintel (window frame) and door posts.
- Charosheth - a mixture of apples, dates, pomegranates and nuts. It was to remind them of the clay with which they made the bricks - throughout it were sticks of cinnamon to remind them of the straw with which the bricks had been made.
- 4 cups of wine - to remind them of the 4 promises in Exodus 6:6-7.
- Bring them out from under the burdens of the Egyptians
- To deliver them from their bondage
- Redeem them with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment
- God will take them for His people and He would be their God.
- The Passover Feast was a commemoration of deliverance from Egypt, and communion is a commemoration of Jesus delivering us from sin that enslaves us and fears that haunt us.
- The Passover lamb was a symbol of safety - the blood of the Passover lamb that was put over the door posts and windows kept Israel safe. Now Jesus was claiming to be the Lamb of God, the Saviour - He had come as a Lamb to save us from our sins and from their consequences.
- At our communion we eat bread (not necessarily unleavened bread) that has been broken to remember Christ's body that was broken on the cross for us. We drink grape juice to remember the blood that Jesus gave up to save us from our sin. The Jews drank the juice to remember the blood of the lamb that saved them from death.
- One major difference between the Passover Feast and the Communion is that the feast was an actual meal, a feast for hungry men, not just a taste of a cube of bread and a sip of juice. It was the law that all the lamb had to be eaten - nothing could be left behind.
18. While they were eating the Passover meal, Jesus introduced a new way of understanding the Passover. What was it and what is it called today?
- Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it. He told them to take and eat it; it was His body. Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them saying, "This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I won't drink of this fruit of the vine again until I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom. This would be equivalent to our Communion or Lord's Supper.
- Even though Jesus knew that the cross was ahead of Him He was still thinking in terms of a kingdom. To Jesus the cross was never defeat - it was the way to glory and to a throne.
- Then they sung a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
19. What is a covenant? What was the significance of this covenant?
- A covenant is a relationship between 2 people, but in this case it is between God and us. So it was because of Christ's life and death we can have a new beautiful relationship with God.
20. What kind of hymn would the Jews have sung at a Passover Feast? (Read Psalms 113-118 and Psalm 136) Why do you think these hymns would have been chosen to sing at this time?
- During the Passover ritual the Jews would sing the Hallel which means "praise God". The Hallel consisted of Psalms113-118 and the Great Hallel which Jesus would have sung before they went to the Mount of Olives came from Psalms 136.
- The songs talk about thanking and praising God for His love and wonderful deeds of kindness, about God's glory, about some of the miracles that happened when God delivered the people of Israel from Egypt. They mention how useless idols are and how much superior God is and so we can trust Him and how God will bless them when they do. It would remind them that God's love endures forever.
21. Read Matthew 26:31-35. What did Jesus tell the disciples at the Mount of Olives?
- Jesus told his disciples that they would all leave Jesus that night - they would be scattered because of what would happen to Jesus. But after He is risen He would go ahead of them into Galilee.
- Jesus is being realistic in what lay ahead for Him and what the disciples would do, yet He went on knowing that He would rise and so He told them that after that terrible time He would see them again.
22. What was Peter's bold response to Jesus' statement?
- Even though everyone else leaves you, I never will. Peter was over confident in himself but he knew he did love Jesus.
- Peter needed to learn that in his own strength he was weak and that he needed to depend not on himself but the help of Christ.
23. What astonishing statement did Jesus tell Peter? How did Peter feel about that prediction?
- That very night, before the rooster crows, you will have disowned Me three times.
- He denied that that would ever happen. He would even be willing to die with Jesus, but he would never disown Jesus. All the other disciples said the same.
24. Read Matthew 26:36-46. Why did Jesus and his disciples go to Gethsemane?
- Gethsemane means olive press.
- Jesus went to pray and he took Peter, James and John with him. These are the same 3 that were at His transfiguration. The rest he told to sit down and pray.
- Jesus went to pray because He was in deep sorrow and troubled to the point of death. He asked the 3 disciples He took with Him to stay and keep watch with Him.
- Here we see the agony and struggle of Jesus. The salvation of the world was at risk in the Garden of Gethsemane, for even at this time Jesus could have turned back and God's purposes would have been frustrated.
25. Here Jesus had to learn the lesson that we all need to learn some place along the way - how to accept what we cannot understand and to learn to say "Thy will be done." Has there been a point in your life when you had to learn these lessons?
26. What did Jesus' prayer consist of? What was the posture He used? How many times did He pray that? See also Mark 14:36.
- Jesus went to little further away and fell with His face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." In Mark Jesus uses "Abba Father" which is a picture of a young child speaking to his father is a trustful and intimate way.
- Three times He prayed that to His Father.
27. What were the disciples doing while Jesus was praying? What were they supposed to be doing? Why?
- They were sleeping but they were to be praying and keeping watch with Him for one hour.
- They needed to watch and pray so they wouldn't fall into temptation for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
- Here we see the loneliness of Jesus. Jesus took his friends with him but they were tired so he had to fight his battle all alone.
28. Have you ever experienced a time when others failed you and didn't give the comfort and support you needed? What lesson did God teach you at that time?
- In that aloneness Jesus is present and He understands because He experienced the same thing and went through it
29. What did Jesus do after he finished praying?
- After He had prayed he woke up his disciples
- Jesus had prayed and now it was time for action. He was ready to meet Judas who was soon coming to betray Him. This showed Jesus' courage and obedience.
30. Read Matthew 26:47-56. Who came with Judas to the Garden of Gethsemane? How did he greet Jesus? Why?
- A large crowd came with Judas, armed with swords and clubs sent from the chief priests and the leaders of the people.
- Judas arranged that the one he kissed was Jesus, and that was the one to arrest. Judas went to Jesus and said, "Greetings, Rabbi" and kissed him.
- Apparently, in the Greek when Judas said he would kiss the one they were to arrest, he uses the normal word for kiss. But when he does kiss, the Greek word is different and means a lover's kiss, to kiss repeatedly and fervently. Why would Judas do that?
- Another question is, why would any identification even be necessary? The temple police certainly had seen and knew Jesus well from His cleansing of the temple, etc. or was it because it was dark. Could it be that Judas kissed Jesus as a disciple and meant it and then stood back waiting for Jesus to act - to give Him the opportunity to prove that He was the conquering Messiah that Judas envisioned Jesus had come to be?
- Interestingly, we don't see or hear anything more about Judas, not even as a witness at Jesus' trial, until he has decided to commit suicide and returns the money. He was deceived by his greed. When Jesus didn't try to escape or do something miraculous, did Judas leave the scene realizing he had badly miscalculated what Jesus would do and therefore became a broken and haunted man? What a horrendous consequence Judas experienced.
31. When Jesus was arrested what did one of the disciples do? Who was it? What was Jesus' response to him? See John 18:10.
- Peter reached for his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus, the servant of the high priest.
- Jesus told Peter to put his sword back for all who use the sword will die by the sword.
- No wonder Peter denied that he knew Jesus - he was a marked man after what he did to Malchus.
32. Was Jesus powerless to get away from the crowd that came to arrest Him? Could He have gotten away? If so, then why didn't He?
- We can see many times that His death was by his own choice. He wouldn't have needed to come to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. Even in the garden He could have slipped away and saved himself. Jesus could have asked His Father to give Him 12 legions of angels to protect Him but then how would the Scriptures have been fulfilled what the prophets said that it must happen this way to Jesus. (A full strength legion was 6000 men, but most legions were organized at under strength and were about 5300 fighting men. That makes about 63,600 to 72,000 angels, if you use the Roman legion as the standard. )
- Jesus asked the crowd why they were treating Him like He was leading a rebellion, coming with swords & clubs to capture Him. After all, everyday He had been sitting in the temple courts teaching and they didn't arrest Him then.
- Every step of the last days shows that Jesus laid down his life and that His life was not taken from Him. Jesus died, not because men killed him, but because He chose to die. And He chose to die because He knew that His death was the purpose of God. God's purpose could only be worked out by sacrificial love - not violence.
33. What was the response of the disciples to all this commotion?
- All the disciples deserted Jesus and fled. (even Peter)
34. Read Matthew 26:57-68. Where did the crowd that arrested Jesus take Him? For what purpose?
- To Caiphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had gotten together.
- The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so they could put him to death. They couldn't find any but finally 2 said that Jesus had said that He was able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in 3 days.
35. How did Jesus respond to the charges? Were they true?
- He remained silent
- Jesus did say that the Temple would be destroyed but not that He would destroy it. He did say He would die and rise on the third day. John 2:18-20: The Jews then responded to him, "What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." They replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
- It is easy to understand why the Jews misunderstood Jesus.
36. What was the only question Jesus answered? What was His answer?
- Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.
- "You have said so," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." Daniel 7:13
- If Jesus would have said no, he could have walked away a free man, but in saying yes he signed his own death warrant. He needed to make the Cross a complete and inescapable certainty.
37. What was the response to Jesus' answer?
- The high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?"
- "He is worthy of death," they answered.
- Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, "Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?" (Do you see any justice here or professionalism?)
38. When had Jesus' "trial" by the chief priests and elders of the people taken place? Why do you think they chose that time of day? Is that when normal trials take place or was that even legal what they did?
- They "tried" Jesus during the night (it took all night) which was not normal but they didn't want to do it during the day for fear of the people.
- According to the supreme court of the Jews called the Sanhedrin which was composed of 70 Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees and elders of the people, all criminal cases must be tried during the daytime and completed during the daytime. Criminal cases could not be transacted during the Passover season at all. No decision of the Sanhedrin was valid unless it met in its own meeting place within the Temple. All evidences were to come from 2 witnesses separately examined and having no contact with each other. False witnesses were punishable by death. In a trial the innocence of the accused was to be presented before the evidence of his guilt was given.
- These were the rules of the Sanhedrin so it is clear that in their eagerness to get rid of Jesus they broke their own rules. They had reached such a level of hatred for Jesus that any means were justified to put an end to Jesus.
39. What is your response to Jesus?
- Anyone who is brought face to face with Jesus must either love him or hate him; submit to him or try to destroy him. No one who understands what Jesus demands can possibly be neutral.
40. Read Matthew 26:69-75. Who was the only disciple that dared to check up on Jesus? How did he do that & why?
- He went to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.
- This shows his great love and care for Jesus.
- Isn't it surprising that after someone recognized him in the court that he didn't run for his life? That's what a coward would have done. I'm sure he was torn between running away out of fear but there was a love that kept him there.
41. What did Peter end up doing? How did he feel about that?
- Denying Jesus 3 times
- When the rooster crowed he remembered what Jesus had told Peter he would do.
- He went outside and wept bitterly.
42. Can we really point a finger at Peter for what he did? Would we have done any differently if we had been in that situation?