Matthew 26These sayings; his discourse to his disciples contained in the two preceding chapters, in answer to their inquiries. Mt 24:3. After two days is the feast of the passover; this was a feast of the Jews, kept annually from the 15th to the 21st of their month Abib, answering in part to our April, in commomoration of God's passing over the houses of the Israelites, and not entering in to slay their first-born, when he slew the first-born of the Egyptians.Ex 12:1-30.The Son of man is betrayed to be crucified; as our Lord Jesus was the true sacrifice prefigured by the paschal lamb, it was proper that he, the great Antitype, should die at the passover, when the lamb that typified him was slain. No advantages will of themselves overcome the opposition of the human heart to Jesus Christ; and rulers are often more wicked than the people, seeking by subtlety and deceit to effect that which they cannot or dare not openly accomplish. In Bethany; this was six days before the passover. Joh 12:1. The evangelist therefore goes back a little in his narrative. There came unto him a woman, Mary, the sister of Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from the dead Joh 12:3.Alabaster; a kind of stone carved into ornamental and costly boxes, or vases, especially for perfumes.Ointment; perfumes, liquid or more solid.Sat at meat; reclined on a couch, as the custom then was at meals, leaning on the left elbow. When his disciples saw it--To what purpose is this waste? in Joh 12:4, Judas Iscariot is named as the author of this remark, which seems to have been seconded by some of Jesus' disciples. Compare Mr 14:4. The part taken by Judas in this transaction may have been the reason why it is related here in immediate connection with his treachery. That which is employed in expressions of love to Christ by his sincere and devoted followers, is often thought by others to be wasted and lost. But in the view of Christ it is well used, and he will see that it receives a gracious and an honorable reward. She hath wrought a good work; she had expressed her sincere and ardent love to her Saviour. For my burial; it was customary to anoint the body, or embalm it with spices and ointment, preparatory to burial. So he says this might be considered as preparatory to his burial. A memorial of her; in remembrance of what she had done. Thirty pieces of silver; that is, thirty shekels, the sum at which a servant's life was estimated. Ex 21:32. It was about fifteen dollars. Unleavened bread; this was a term applied to the passover, because during that feast they used what was not leavened, or fermented.The passover; the paschal lamb slain on that occasion. The city; Jerusalem.My time; his time to eat the passover and to close his life was near. Made ready the passover; prepared the lamb and other things, according to the appointment of God. Ex 12:3-17. Goeth; to death, the death of the cross.Written; Ps 22.1; 41:9; Isa 53:4-9; Da 9:26,27.Good for that man; on account of the endless woe which his sins would bring upon him. Thou hast said; this was equivalent to saying, "Yes, it is you." This is my body; the emblem, or representation of my body. As it is said of God, De 32:4. "He is the Rock;" not literally a rock, but in some respects like one--firm, stable, and unchanging. So, Ge 41:26, "The seven good kine are seven years;" not literally, but they represent seven years. So, Joh 15:5, "I am the vine, ye are the branches;" not literally, but represented or illustrated by the vine and its branches. So with the declaration, "This is my body." Christ did not design to teach his disciples that he was then breaking his own body, and that they were then eating it. His body was alive and unbroken: the disciples knew that what they ate was bread, not flesh. Besides, Matthew does not say that Jesus took his body and broke it, and said, Take, eat: but he took bread, and brake it: and it was bread: and "This is my body" means, it represents my body. The literal meaning of the words of the Bible is not always the true meaning. For instance Christ said, "Ye must be born again," Joh 3:7; meaning, not that a man must enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, but that he must experience a change in his moral and religious character, called passing from death unto life. Joh 5:24. So, when he said, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you," Joh 6:53, the Jews, understanding it literally, said, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Taking it literally, no wonder they thought it strange. He therefore let them know that he did not mean that they must literally eat his flesh; and that, should they do it, it would profit them nothing. The words that I speak unto you, saith he, are spirit and life. They have a spiritual, and not a literal, carnal meaning; they are designed to convey a knowledge of spiritual truths, the right understanding and due reception of which will promote the spiritual life of men. Will not drink henceforth--drink it new with you; he means to say, "The time for my drinking with you the literal fruit of the vine is over; the kingdom of God is about to be established"-- this was by his propitiatory death, resurrection, assension, and the outpouring of his Spirit--"henceforth I will drink with you the spiritual new wine of the gospel"--new because it belongs to a new dispensation--"in my Father's kingdom." This was fulfilled to the apostles in a special sense, in the extraordinary measure of Christ's presence and Spirit bestowed upon them as his earthly instruments in establishing his kingdom. Compare Lu 22:29,30. It is fulfilled to all believers in a lower sense, in the communion they have with Christ in his earthly church; and it shall have a perfect fulfilment to all his true disciples in his heavenly kingdom. Offended; made to stumble. The word is here, as elsewhere in the New Testament, applied to the life and conduct. How the disciples should be offended appears in the course of the narrative; they should be led to forsake him, and in one case to deny him.It is written; Zec 13:7.The Shepherd; Christ.The sheep; his disciples. Seasons of intimate and endearing communion with Christ may be followed by seasons of great and peculiar trial. It is a great blessing that Christ is acquainted beforehand with all our trials, and can in the best way provide for them; so that they shall in the end not injure us, but promote our benefit. Into Galilee; Mt 28:7. Deny me; Mt 26:74. Though I should die; his meaning was, that he would not deny Christ even to save his own life. Persons may seem to be very courageous in time of safety, and be great cowards in time of danger. When a good man thinks highly of himself, and is confident in his own strength, he is preparing for a downfall; and if he does not lose his soul, he will have reason to be grateful. Gethsemane; a garden, or retired spot, on the west side of the mount of Olives, not far from the brook Cedron. Two sons of Zebedee; James and John. The same that were with him on the mount of transfiguration. Chap Mt 17:1,2.Very heavy; exceedingly depressed. Even unto death; with death-like sorrow, inexpressible anguish. This cup; the anguish he was enduring and was to endure. Unto Peter; who had just before been so strong in his professions of fidelity to his Master. That ye enter not into temptation; that is, so as to be overcome by it; for the hour of the Saviour's suffering was also to be that of the fiery trial of his disciples. Compare Lu 22:31.The spirit; "the inward man." This was animiated by sincere love towards the Saviour.The flesh; used here to denote all that weakness of fallen nature which makes it liable to be overcome by temptation. The sufferings of Jesus Christ, when he bore our sins in his own body on the tree, and tasted death for every man, were inexpressibly great. The Father said, "Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow: smite the Shepherd." Zec 13:7. His soul was made "an offering for sin," and as such it "pleased the Lord to bruise him" and "put him to grief." Isa 53:10. Sleep on--take your rest; see note to Mr 14:41. One of them; Peter. Twelve legions; a Roman legion varied in number in different ages. In our Saviour's time it seems to have consisted of six thousand men. The idea is, vast multitudes. Scriptures; Ps 22:1,18; Isa 53:3-10; Da 9:24-26; Zec 13:7.It must be; in order to fulfil the scriptures, and finish the work of redemption. Forsook him; this was what Jesus meant by their being offended, and what he had foretold in verse Mt 26:31. Afar off; on account of his fear of danger.See the end; the end of the trial, and its results. Found none; they found none that agreed in their testimony, or that could make out an accusation that had even the appearance of weight. Destroy the temple of God; this was false, both in the words used and in the meaning which they put upon them; he spoke of his body, and of rising again in three days. Joh 2:19-22. I adjure thee; he thus put him under oath to answer truly. Thou hast said; said the truth, I am the Christ.Sitting--coming; this was claiming divine power and honor. Rent his clothes; as a token of great indignation.Blasphemy; in claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of God, and the judge of men. Guilty of death; of a crime which deserves death. Le 24:16. Prophesy; they had previously covered his face, Mr 14:65, and in derision of the omniscience which he claimed, they called upon him to designate the persons who smote him. I know not; I do not understand what you mean. No past privileges or attainments can be relied on for future or even present support. God must give us day by day our daily supply of wisdom, goodness, and strength, or we shall have none. "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe;" guide me, and I shall go in the right way. Thy speech; thy peculiar manner of speaking.Betrayeth thee; showeth thee to be a Galilean. Curse; imprecate God's curse if he uttered falsehood.Swear; declare with an oath. The word of Jesus; verse Mt 26:34.Wept bitterly; on account of his sin, in denying his Lord. If a good man sin he will repent, mourn bitterly over his transgressions, and turn from them unto God. He has an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. One look from Him will lead the penitent disciple to loathe himself, and to admire, adore, and trust in the Redeemer. His life will be holy; his death safe, if not peaceful and triumphant; and his eternity blessed.
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