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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible

Matthew 26


Jesus Was Anointed,
Betrayed and Denied

- Matthew Twenty-Six -

Jesus knew the cross was both sure and certain. He was prepared to redeem mankind with His precious blood! He was calm and precise when He told His disciples again what was going to happen to Him in Jerusalem. "You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified." (Matthew 26:2) The events of Matthew twenty-six bring Him closer to that time when He would lay down His life as a "ransom for many." In Matthew twenty-six Jesus is anointed, betrayed and denied.

This is the record of the last time the Passover would ever be observed with the approval of God. Here Jesus would call out Judas, the one that would betray Him. On this solemn occasion the Lord instituted the Lord"s Supper or the Communion. Jesus went unto a place called Gethsemane. From Luke 22:44 we learn, "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

In Matthew twenty-six Jesus said to the apostles, "All ye shall be offended because of me this night." They would scatter like a flock of sheep. Peter protested by saying, "Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended." Then Jesus said to Peter, "Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples." In a few short hours Peter denied the Lord three times just like Jesus had predicted.

Verses 1-16

The anointing and betrayal of Jesus - : The chief priests, scribes and elders plotted with Caiaphas to destroy Jesus. Their intention was to by trickery, kill Jesus. Nevertheless, they said, "Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people." (Matthew 26:5)

Jesus was in "Bethany at the house of Simon the Leper." (Matthew 26:6) Mary anointed His head with fragrant oil. She was criticized for her actions. It is often the case that those who "DO" are criticized. Jesus said, "She has done a good work for me." (Matthew 26:10) He said she anointed His body for burial and this would be remembered. (Matthew 26:13)

One of the twelve, a man named Judas, was guilty of betraying Jesus. Thirty pieces of silver is the price he received to betray the Son of God. Judas "sought opportunity to betray Him." (Matthew 26:16) Matthew 26:24 says, "The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born." Many people today will do the same thing that Judas did. They will sell out their Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, for a short-lived piece of this world"s goods.

Verses 17-35

The Passover and Communion - : Jesus ate the Passover with the disciples for the final time. This was the last Passover in two senses: (1) Jesus would soon die and would not be on earth to observe Passover, and (2) Passover was a part of the Law of Moses that ended at the death of Jesus. As they ate Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray me. (Matthew 26:21)

Jesus" death is to be remembered by Christians on the first day of each week. The Lord"s Supper is a memorial to His death. This powerful memorial involves bread that is His body and the cup that is His blood. The bread that we break is symbolic of His wounded, pierced, and broken body, all of which was absolutely essential and necessary for Him to undergo if we were ever to know redemption from sin. The reason Jesus came to die was so that sin could be destroyed and we could be a part of His church! The cup or fruit of the vine that we drink is symbolic of His precious blood that was shed for our salvation. (1 Peter 1:18) The Lord"s Supper is a memorial kept by the Lord"s disciples (those in the kingdom) in memory of the death of the Savior every Sunday.

Jesus told the disciples that the sheep would be scattered. This fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 13:7. Jesus also predicted Peter would deny Him three times. (Matthew 26:34) Peter protested by saying, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" (Matthew 26:35)

Verses 36-56

The prayer in Gethsemane and the betrayal - : In the garden Jesus experienced great agony. He said, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death." (Matthew 26:38) He experienced sadness for even as He prayed Peter, James and John slept. (Matthew 26:40) In the garden, Jesus" submission to God is seen as He said, "Not as I will but as you will." (Matthew 26:39) His courage shows as He said, "Rise, let us be going, See, My betrayer is at hand." (Matthew 26:46)

Judas came with a kiss and betrayed His friend. () During Jesus" arrest, Peter cut off a man"s ear with a sword. This fulfilled prophetic words. Jesus had power to call twelve legions of angels to help, but to fulfill prophecy He refrained from doing so. (Matthew 26:54) Even when the disciples "forsook Him and fled", the prophecies were being fulfilled. (Matthew 26:56)

Verses 57-75

The mock trials and denials - : The Sanhedrin was the "Supreme Court" of the Jews. The council sought "false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death." (Matthew 26:59) Jesus was condemned by the words of two false witnesses. (Matthew 26:61-62) They were angry at Jesus" claim of power and also His claim to be the Son of God. (Matthew 26:63-66) Even before the Sanhedrin Jesus was beaten, spit on, and "struck with the palm of their hands." (Matthew 26:67)

Peter felt two emotions. Fear caused him to run away. Love caused him to stay close by Jesus. Peter denied the Lord Jesus, even cursing and swearing that he did not know Jesus. The crowing of the rooster brought shame to Peter"s heart. "Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So he went out and wept bitterly." (Matthew 26:75)

If Jesus could willingly endure this suffering for us, surely we can live for Him! To prepare for eternity you must obey the gospel NOW and keep faithful to God. The seriousness of judgment and eternity says that sinners should come to Christ and live for Him.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Matthew 26". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". 2014.