After sharing supper, Jesus and the disciples walked to a garden. “Pray for me,” Jesus said to His friends. Then He went a little ways away to pray. He knew He would die very soon.
“Father,” He prayed, “I don’t want to suffer, but if it is Your will, I will do it.”
God sent an angel to encourage Jesus with words of comfort and hope.
When Jesus went back to His friends, He found them sleeping—just when Jesus needed them most.
There in the middle of the night Jewish leaders came with soldiers to arrest Jesus and take Him to the high priest.
Peter followed. He slipped into the yard and sat near the fire the guards had built. A servant girl saw him. “That is one of Jesus’ followers!” she said, pointing at him.
Peter was afraid. “I don’t even know Jesus!” he exclaimed.
Soon a man stared at Peter. “You must be one of Jesus’ special friends,” he commented.
“I am not!” Peter insisted. Later another man studied Peter’s face. “This must be one of Jesus’ disciples,” he said.
“I don’t know what you are talking about!” Peter shouted.
Jesus heard. He looked at Peter with eyes filled with love and forgiveness. Peter felt terrible. He was so ashamed! He hurried away, crying bitterly.
The guards put a blindfold on Jesus. One hit Him as the others shouted, “If You are a prophet, tell us who hit You!”
The Jewish leaders gathered together. “Are You the messiah?” they asked Jesus.
Jesus answered them, “I will soon be sitting at God’s right hand.”
The leaders’ faces showed their anger. They wanted Jesus to die! Right then! They thought that should happen to someone who called Himself God. But the Jewish leaders had to get permission from the Roman governor, Pilate.
The leaders led Jesus to Pilate’s palace. Pilate didn’t believe the lies they told about Jesus, but he was afraid of the Jewish leaders. Finally pilate agreed to do what they wanted. “Take Him away!” he ordered.
Soldiers began to make fun of Jesus. They dressed Jesus in a purple robe. They made a crown of sharp thorns and put it on His head. They knelt down and pretended to honor Jesus, and then they spit on Him!
But Jesus didn’t fight back. His heart was breaking, but He wasn’t angry at the leaders or the soldiers. He forgave them because He loved them. Jesus would die for all people. Jesus would die for you and me.