1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he said to his disciples,
2 "As you know, the Passover celebration begins in two days, and I, the Son of Man, will be betrayed and crucified."
3 At that same time the leading priests and other leaders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest,
4 to discuss how to capture Jesus secretly and put him to death.
5 "But not during the Passover," they agreed, "or there will be a riot."
6 Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had leprosy.
7 During supper, a woman came in with a beautiful jar* of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.1
8 The disciples were indignant when they saw this. "What a waste of money," they said.
9 "She could have sold it for a fortune and given the money to the poor."
10 But Jesus replied, "Why berate her for doing such a good thing to me?
11 You will always have the poor among you, but I will not be here with you much longer.
12 She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial.
13 I assure you, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman's deed will be talked about in her memory."
14 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests
15 and asked, "How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?" And they gave him thirty pieces of silver.
16 From that time on, Judas began looking for the right time and place to betray Jesus.
17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to prepare the Passover supper?"
18 "As you go into the city," he told them, "you will see a certain man. Tell him, `The Teacher says, My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.' "
19 So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover supper there.
20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the twelve disciples.
21 While they were eating, he said, "The truth is, one of you will betray me."
22 Greatly distressed, one by one they began to ask him, "I'm not the one, am I, Lord?"
23 He replied, "One of you who is eating with me now* will betray me.2
24 For I, the Son of Man, must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for my betrayer. Far better for him if he had never been born!"
25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, "Teacher, I'm not the one, am I?" And Jesus told him, "You have said it yourself."
26 As they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread and asked God's blessing on it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "Take it and eat it, for this is my body."
27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, "Each of you drink from it,
28 for this is my blood, which seals the covenant* between God and his people. It is poured out to forgive the sins of many.3
29 Mark my words--I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom."
30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
31 "Tonight all of you will desert me," Jesus told them. "For the Scriptures say, `God* will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'*4
32 But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there."
33 Peter declared, "Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will."
34 "Peter," Jesus replied, "the truth is, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times."
35 "No!" Peter insisted. "Not even if I have to die with you! I will never deny you!" And all the other disciples vowed the same.
36 Then Jesus brought them to an olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, "Sit here while I go on ahead to pray."