Mitch, Curtis & Edward Sri. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
“The Messiah Betrayed and Arrested (Matthew 26:1-75)” pp. 329-347.
The events of Matthew 26-27 lead toward the climactic arrest and execution of Jesus (Mitch 2010, 329). The start of chapter 26 and the word “all” in verse 1 signals that Matthew has finished his fifth and final discourse (Mitch 2010, 329). The timing is significant, as the Passover was the time of deliverance, which will be completed in Jesus’ death (Mitch 2010, 330).
In verses 6-13 Jesus is anointed with a very valuable oil, an act Jesus interprets as an appropriate preparation for his death (Mitch 2010, 331). Mitch considers this as an example of the commitment Christians should have to Jesus, giving all freely (Mitch 2010, 332).
Verses 14-19 feature Judas agreeing to betray Jesus to the priests. At the same time, Jesus and the disciples go to a place where they will celebrate the Passover (Mitch 2010, 333). The price of the betrayal refers to a prophecy in Zechariah 11:12. In verses 20-30 Jesus and his disciples eat a dinner which Mitch identifies as the passover meal (Mitch 2010, 334). Jesus announces that he will be betrayed. He also institutes communion, tying the bread and cup to his body and blood. Mitch details much of the Old Testament symbolism fulfilled in Jesus’ atonement (Mitch 2010, 337).
In verses 31-35 Jesus gives three predictions. He will be abandoned, he will regather his disciples, and Peter will deny him (Mitch 2010, 339). When they arrive at Gethsemane Jesus goes to pray with Peter, James and John (Matt. 26:36-46). They fall asleep repeatedly as Jesus prays. In a rare statement, Matthew tells what Jesus’ feelings are very specifically in verse 37. He is sorrowful (Mitch 2010, 340). His disciples show that they are not able to stand up to the challenges ahead (Mitch 2010, 341).
Jesus’ arrest is detailed in 26:47-56 (Mitch 2010, 342). Judas approaches Jesus with the typical greeting of a kiss, thus revealing his identity to the people who would arrest him (Mitch 2010, 342). Jesus does not resist arrest. Rather, he is taken for trial (Matt. 26:57-68). The trial is at the home of the high priest (Mitch 2010, 344). It is convened at night, counter to custom. After some silence Jesus does confirm that he is the Messiah (Mitch 2010, 345), a statement which provokes the council to condemn him.
During the trial, Matthew describes Peter’s denials of Jesus, which take place in the high priest’s courtyard (Mitch 2010, 345). Peter is devastated by his denials and flees from the courtyard (Mitch 2010, 347).