Palm Sunday (Matthew 26:57-75)

Stephen Walton, Sunday, April 5, 2020
Part of the Lent series, preached at a Family Service service

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Matthew 26:57-75, NLT

Jesus before the Council

57Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and the elders had gathered. 58Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and came to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and sat with the guards and waited to see how it would all end.

59Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council*26:59 Greek the Sanhedrin. were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death. 60But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, they could not use anyone’s testimony. Finally, two men came forward 61who declared, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”

62Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” 63But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I demand in the name of the living God—tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

64Jesus replied, “You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand*26:64a Greek seated at the right hand of the power. See Ps 110:1. and coming on the clouds of heaven.”*26:64b See Dan 7:13.

65Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Blasphemy! Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. 66What is your verdict?”

“Guilty!” they shouted. “He deserves to die!”

67Then they began to spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him, 68jeering, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who hit you that time?”

Peter Denies Jesus

69Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean.”

70But Peter denied it in front of everyone. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

71Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.*26:71 Or Jesus the Nazarene.

72Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. “I don’t even know the man,” he said.

73A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.”

74Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed.

75Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he went away, weeping bitterly.

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