Read Mark 14: 12-72
The Last Supper
12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
13 So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”
16 The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
17 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”
19 They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”
20 “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
24 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.’
28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”
30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”
31 But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”
35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.
41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
43 Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.
44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him. 47 Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
48 “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 50 Then everyone deserted him and fled.
51 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.
Jesus Before the Sanhedrin
53 They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together. 54 Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.
55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.
57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree.
60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
They all condemned him as worthy of death. 65 Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him.
Peter Disowns Jesus
66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him.
“You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said.
68 But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway.
69 When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” 70 Again he denied it.
After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”
71 He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”
72 Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
Towards the end of yesterday’s reading, Judas slipped out to betray Jesus and alert the chief priests of his whereabouts. While Jesus was aware of the journey ahead, he needed to sit with his disciples first to prepare them, so he called them a Passover meal.
At this point, the tension all around Jesus is at its peak. This Passover meal sets the scene for Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice of sin and death. Mark points out Jesus’s secrecy in preparing the Passover meal. David Guzik, a pastor and commentator, notes that the reason for Jesus’s secrecy was likely to keep Judas from betraying him before he could talk to the disciples. A common theme of the Passover meal is God’s perfect timing.
Through this passage, Jesus’s timing is effective in his disciple’s actions and the crowds’ responses at his crucifixion. The events of Jesus’s time in the Garden of Gethsemane reveal the culmination of the finished work on the cross. Also, through Jesus’s prayer and the symbolism in the garden, Mark teaches us that the definition of Gethsemane as “olive press” revealed the significance behind why Jesus’ arrest was in the garden. Gethsemane is where Jesus prays his prayer of distress and agony, but it is also where the gravity of our sin symbolically crushed Jesus as he prepared to bear our sins on the cross. As Jesus prayed to his Father, the intentions and emotions behind his prayer were made more evident. Jesus knew that his death on the cross was the only way for salvation.
As a human, Jesus felt deep and sorrowful emotions expressed in his prayer. The feelings he experienced resulted from the disciple’s actions and the weight of every person’s sin. The scripture points out the flaws of the disciples that the other gospels do not highlight as much; therefore, Mark fourteen’s portrayal of Jesus’s arrest sheds light on his dependence on God as his Father. Jesus’s cry of distress drew him closer to the Father and strengthened him to endure the cross later. His prayer, the sleeping disciples, Judas’s betrayal, Jesus’s arrest, and Peter’s denial led to the pain and humiliation dealt with on the cross.
Mark depicts the imperfection of the disciples, Jesus’s obedience to the will of God, and to display the details of the Passover meal that God had in store from the beginning of time. As the book of Mark delivers the reality of human imperfection, the perfection of Jesus as the ultimate sacrificial lamb is made more apparent. Jesus remains the hope and savior for all sinners because he was obedient to the will of God.
What is the significance behind Jesus’s silence from his trials to his death on the cross? Think about your walk with Jesus, have you ever experienced silence? If so, how did you see God moving in your life despite the silence?
Find a trusted commentary. What does the “cup” symbolize in the event of Jesus’ crucifixion?
What is your main takeaway from today’s reading? Why?
You are a God of hope, joy, and peace in trials. The pain and humiliation you endured on the cross has produced a faith in you where I can fully believe that you have paid for all my sins. In you I am a Child of God who has been made righteous by your death and resurrection on the cross. I pray you would soften my heart to the emotions you felt from your arrest to the cross. May I see this truth as an encouragement in times of loneliness and a weapon of strength when I am fearful. Abba Father, thank you for a gracious and loving relationship with God and for the faithfulness that we experienced from your steadfast gospel truths. Thank you for choosing death on the cross to save me from my sins! I love you. Amen.