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Matthew 26 & 27 Summaries 2BC


Lesson Passage: Matthew 26:17-30


● This passage describes Jesus' establishment of what we call the Lord's Supper. Background: It was Passover, which meant that Jerusalem swelled to 10 times its normal population, as many as 2 million people; a crowded, festive atmosphere. Verses 1-5: Jesus predicted His crucifixion; His enemies plotted to kill Him; Verses 6-13: the woman poured perfume on His head; He referred to His burial. Verses 14-16: Judas strikes the deal to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

● Verses 17-19 - The preparation of the Passover meal - the room, food, etc; it was Thursday of what we call Passion week, the first day of Passover. The statement, "My time..."(v. 18), was a common Jewish phrase for death.

● Verses 20-25 - the betrayal dialogue: " of you will betray Me." It must have been shocking for the group to hear this! Why did Jesus need to be betrayed? Because with 2 million Jews, all wearing similar clothes, it would have been impossible for the authorities to find and arrest Jesus. Verse 23: Jesus was vague so that each disciple would examine himself; it is also a warning to Judas that Jesus knows what he's about to do. Verse 24: This shows God's responsibility in the plan - "...just as it is written of Him" and man's responsibility: "...woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!" Verse 25: the hypocrisy of Judas in asking; Jesus, in effect said, "Judas, you have answered your own question." John 13:30 tells us that at this point, Judas left. Now, Jesus can institute the Lord's Supper with those who truly believe in Him and are His followers.

● Verse 26 - Out with the old (Passover) and in with the new (Lord's Supper). The Passover looked forward to this - Jesus' sacrifice on the cross; the Lord's Supper looks back to His sacrifice. Thus, it is an act of remembrance. The bread represents His body being broken for you and me.

● Verses 27-28 - The cup represents His blood shed and poured out for us for the forgiveness of sins. "All," - stresses the unity of all believers. A covenant is a special friendship agreement between two parties. God and man come together in covenant relationship by Jesus' death on the cross. Forgiveness of sin comes only through Jesus Christ.

● Verse 29-30 - The Lord's Supper has a future aspect: looking forward to when Jesus will return and set up His millennial kingdom on earth. See 1 Corinthians 11:26, which answers the question of how long we as believers are to continue to celebrate the Lord's Supper: "...until He comes."

The Baptist Faith and Message states: "The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming."(page 14)


Lesson Passage: Matthew 26:36-46


● Background: following the Lord's Supper, Jesus led His men to the Mount of Olives. Along the way, He told them that all of them would fall away and scatter when things got tough. He also predicted that after it was over, He would be raised from the dead and He would join them in Galilee. Peter, displaying his usual bravado, said that he would never fall away; Jesus predicts that Peter will deny Him three times. NOTE: Skeptics often present Jesus as a confused individual who had no idea what was happening. Here, we see that He knew exactly what was going to happen every step of the way.  

● Verses 36-38 - They came to Gethsemane; Jesus separates Himself with His inner circle of men: Peter, James, and John. Knowing what He is about to endure (betrayal, trial, scourging, and crucifixion), He expresses His deep grief and asks them to keep watch with Him.

● Verse 39 - This is an incredibly moving scene. Jesus wishes to be alone, praying to His Father. We are allowed to eavesdrop and hear the prayer. He mentions "this cup." Some commentators explain the cup as an assignment or a mission given to Jesus by the Father. It was certainly that, but the term has a deeper significance. As Dr. Constable explains, "The 'cup' is an Old Testament figure for suffering and death under the wrath of God."[Dr. Constable's Notes on Matthew, page 443] The cup of God's wrath against sin was poured out on Jesus on the cross, instead of on us! It would not only be physically painful for Jesus but spiritually painful - fellowship with His Father would be broken while He took on our sin. Thus, He desired that the cup would pass from Him. But, in a supreme act of obedience and submission, Jesus says, "yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt."(NASB) APPLICATION: Jesus gives us a model prayer of submission to the Lord's will in our lives.

● Verses 40-41 - The disciples were asleep. Jesus encourages them to stay awake and alert both physically and spiritually: "...that you may not enter into temptation." He then adds that well-known phrase, "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."

● Verses 42-44 - Again Jesus got alone to pray; again He prayed, "Thy will be done." And, again He came back and found His disciples asleep. He went away a third time, praying the same thing.

● Verses 45-46 - Jesus is prayed up and ready to go do the Father's will. Even though they had slept and were weak, Jesus wanted His men with Him as He would be betrayed into the hands of the mob. Jesus Christ was and is the Redeemer - it was time for Him to redeem mankind



Lesson Passage: Matthew 26:63-75


● Background: Jesus had been betrayed by Judas and arrested by the authorities. His arrest was carried out by "...a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and elders of the people."(NASB, verse 47) It was a ridiculous scene, for as Jesus said in verse 55, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as against a robber? I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me."(NASB) With this statement, Jesus not only made them look foolish, but He showed once again that He was in total control of the situation. All of these events must take place so that the Scriptures may be fulfilled. Verse 56 ends with the statement, "Then all the disciples left Him and fled." All had promised loyalty, but all fled as Jesus had predicted in verse 31.

● Verses 57-62 - Jesus was taken to the high priest, Caiaphas, with Peter following Him at a distance. Thus began the mockery of Jesus' trials, which amounted to a search for false witnesses.

● Verses 63-64 - Up until now, Jesus had been silent, but when Caiaphas demanded that He answer "by the living God," it was like putting Jesus under oath - the weightiest oath of all. He must answer and answer He did! He replied in the affirmative and added a statement about His Second Coming.

● Verses 65-68 - Their verdict was that Jesus had committed blasphemy and He deserved to die. They then mocked and beat Him.

● Verses 69-70 - Peter was nearby, just outside the courtyard - his first denial.

● Verses 71-72 - Peter's second denial in front of a little servant-girl.

● Verses 73-75 - Peter's third denial, as someone recognized his Galilean accent. The cock crowed; Peter remembered Jesus' prediction which happened just as He stated in verse 34. Peter showed his sensitivity when he went out and wept bitterly. Historical/cultural note: The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says, "Cock-crowing is an indefinite hour between midnight and morning, referred to in all four Gospels in their account of Peter's denials; it is derived from the habit of the cock to crow especially toward morning." [from article in Bible Hub]

● APPLICATION: The key factor in Peter's life with which we can identify is his overconfidence in relying on his human ability rather than on the Lord. So, this was a bitter but necessary lesson for him and us to learn. Jesus referred to Peter's denial in Luke 22:31-34 adding that He had prayed for Peter that his faith would not fail and that once he returned, he would encourage his brothers.



Lesson Passage: Matthew 27:41-52 - Essentials:

● This lesson covers the crucifixion of Jesus. TEACHERS: Seek a balance - on the one hand, our people need to know that Jesus suffered physical agony on our behalf. However, some of the details of crucifixion are so gruesome and shocking, we need not dwell on those aspects. Background: Matthew does not give the details of crucifixion because people living in the First Century knew all about them. Briefly: By the time of Jesus, the Romans were using crucifixion as the death penalty for the worst criminals and most despised people: slaves, the poor, and Roman citizens convicted of high treason. The victim was attached to the cross using either ropes or nails. It was a hideous, painful death which took anywhere from several hours to several days. The pain was due partly because the victim slowly suffocated - they could not support their body weight and struggled to breathe.

● Verses 41-44 - In addition to the pain Jesus suffered on the cross, He had to endure mocking by the crowd, which was common in crucifixions. Crucifixions were public events in which passers-by would stop, watch the victim, hurl insults, and then move on. Matthew mentions the different groups who ridiculed Him, including the two robbers who were being crucified with Him. Verbal abuse was coming at Him from every side.

● Verses 45-49 - Darkness fell over the land from noon until 3:00 p.m. Because of the time and extent of the darkness (three hours), it is safe to say that this was a supernatural event brought on by God and not an eclipse. As to how or why it became dark, we are not told in the text. It has been suggested that it was at this time that the sin of humanity came upon Jesus Christ as He died for us.(Lifeway Leader's Guide, page 127) Dr. Constable says, "This was a time of judgment on Jesus for the sins of all humanity."(Notes on Matthew, page 468) Jesus' statement in the Aramaic language meant "My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken me?" It was a quote from Psalm 22.

The references to Elijah (vv. 47 & 49) reflects a belief that because Elijah did not experience physical death, he would rescue the righteous in their troubles. This view has no Biblical basis. In fact, verse 49 was a sarcastic statement by the soldiers. In verse 48, the soldiers offered Him sour wine, which sometimes was done to ease the pain of victims on the cross.

● Verses 50-52 - This was the moment of Jesus' death, but Matthew's statement shows that even in death, He was in complete control. Dr. C. I. Scofield says, "The death of Jesus was different from that of any other man. No one could take His life from Him except as He was willing to permit it (John 10:18). Christ chose to die so that we might live." [The New Scofield Reference Bible, footnote on page 1044] Verse 51a - The veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom. The veil was a huge thick curtain in the temple which separated the holy place from the holy of holies. Significance: the fact that it was torn top to bottom signified that God did it. Through the death of Jesus, the Lamb of God, the way was now open for any believer to have access and fellowship with God. Verse 51b - Earthquakes often were part of God's judgment in the Old Testament. The earthquake could have caused the veil to be torn, the rocks to split and the tombs to open (v. 52). Matthew also mentions the earthquake in 28:2. Dr. Constable states, "The supernatural occurences that accompanied Jesus' crucifixion hinted at its spiritual implications."(page 472) Verses 52-53 - Nowhere in Scripture is this event explained. Dr. John Walvoord, in his commentary on Matthew states, "The resurrection of these saints, occurring after Jesus Himself was raised, is a token of the coming harvest when all the saints will be raised."[Matthew: Thy Kingdom Come, page 236]