The soldiers brought Jesus before the city leaders, who knew that Jesus was innocent. However, the high priests had hired men to lie about Jesus to the people.
The rulers asked Jesus if he was the Messiah and Jesus said yes. They were so angry with his answer that they demanded Jesus be killed. They dragged him before Pilate, the Roman governor.
Meanwhile, Peter was outside talking with some people who accused him of being a disciple of Jesus. They asked him three times and every time Peter denied knowing Jesus. The last time he denied it, a rooster crowed. When he heard it, Peter cried. Jesus had told him it would be so.
After supper, Jesus went with his apostles to a garden that had many olive trees. Jesus told them to stay at the entrance to the garden, but he took Peter, James, and John into the garden with Him. In the garden, Jesus prayed, asking God his Father to save him from what he knew was coming next. But he also said that he would do whatever God wanted. “Not my will,” Jesus prayed, “but Yours, be done.” When he had finished praying, Jesus went to see his disciples, who were sleeping. He woke them and told them to watch and pray with him. Then Jesus returned where he had been before and continued to pray. He again visited his apostles, and found them still sleeping. Jesus felt very sad, because he had asked his apostles to pray with him three times, and three times he found them asleep. Then Judas, one of the apostles, came into the Garden with the Jewish high priests and soldiers. Judas walked over to Jesus and kissed him. He betrayed Jesus. Then the soldiers knew that Jesus was the one they were going to arrest. They tied him up with ropes, and led him away. The apostles ran away in fear. They left Jesus all alone (Mt 26: 36-46).
On Thursday, before the Passover feast, Jesus sent his apostles to prepare the Passover meal in the upstairs room of a house. When they were all gathered together, Jesus took a towel and washed the feet of each of his apostles. Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet. He thought only servants should wash people’s feet. But Jesus said that Peter must have his feet washed if he wanted to belong to God.
When Jesus finished washing the apostles’ feet, he told them, “Do you understand what I just did for you? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and that is what I am. But if I washed your feet, then you must wash each other’s feet.”
As the time drew near for Jesus to suffer for us, he traveled to Jerusalem. He told two of his disciples to go into a village and bring back a small donkey they would find there. Jesus said it would be a donkey that nobody had ever ridden. When his disciples found the donkey, they brought it to Jesus.
Jesus rode the little donkey into Jerusalem. The people of the city were very happy to see Jesus. They took off their cloaks and laid them across the road so the donkey could walk over them. They also cut branches from some palm trees, and waved the palms as Jesus rode past them. Everyone shouted, “Hosanna in the highest!” – which means “God, save us!” They said this because they thought Jesus had come to become their king.
Jesus taught his followers many things. He taught them in ways that were peaceful and forgiving. His most important lesson was that God loved us so much that He sent His beloved Son – Jesus – into the world, to die for all people, to save us from our sins.
The followers of Jesus, who were his apostles and disciples, thought he had come to build an army or become a great king on earth. However, Jesus had come to die, to free all people from their sins. He told his apostles three different times that he would be betrayed by those he loved. He told them he would suffer and die, and that on the third day he would rise from the dead.
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