Matthew 26:14-35 (ESV)14 Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?”18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’”19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve.21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?”23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me.24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you,28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.
The events that led up to the crucifixion of Jesus directly parallel what was prophesied about the Messiah as the Suffering Servant in the Old Testament. But not only did Jesus fulfill Old Testament prophecy; others around Jesus did as well.
Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14) which was the equivalent to the price of a slave (Exodus 21:32).
Matthew 26:14 (ESV)14 Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests
Exodus 21:32 (ESV)32 If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
Zechariah wrote about this exact price in his Messianic foreshadowing
Zechariah 11:12-13 (ESV)12 Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver.
13 Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD, to the potter.
Thirty pieces of silver was not a very large sum of money in that era, and in Matthew, Jesus’ story provides a stark contrast to the verses preceding his betrayal (Matthew 26:6-13). While Mary went to great expense to anoint Jesus with precious oil, giving to Jesus what was probably her entire dowry (and therefor her entire future), Judas turned against Jesus for a relatively small price.
Great is the cost of devotion, but cheap is the price of betrayal.
After the description of Judas’ betrayal, Matthew transitioned to the preparations of the Passover meal. The Passover was celebrated in remembrance of God freeing His people from Egypt
Numbers 9:1-2 (ESV)1 And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying,2 “Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time.
However, for believers, Jesus completely transformed the way the meal was celebrated. It is now in remembrance of God freeing His people from sin and death through Jesus. In honoring old traditions, Jesus also created new traditions for believers to follow today.
During this Passover celebration, Jesus represented the very fulfillment of the Passover’s promise of deliverance from sin, ushering in a new covenant to replace the old covenant. This new covenant had been promised in the Old Testament multiple times;
Jeremiah 31:31-34 (ESV)31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD.33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Ezekiel 34:25-31 (ESV)25 “I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.26 And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing.27 And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land. And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them.28 They shall no more be a prey to the nations, nor shall the beasts of the land devour them. They shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid.29 And I will provide for them renowned plantations so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the reproach of the nations.30 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Lord GOD.31 And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord GOD.”
Ezekiel 37:26-28 (ESV)26 I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore.27 My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.28 Then the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
Jesus finally fulfilled it.
In addition to Judas and Jesus, Peter and the rest of the disciples also fulfilled Old Testament prophecies. While Peter’s denial was a blatant betrayal of Jesus, it is important to remember that Peter was not the only disciple to avoid being associated with Jesus after His arrest. None of the other disciples had the courage to follow Jesus on that night; they all hid, which Jesus referred to by quoting ;
Zechariah 13:7 (ESV)7 “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me,” declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I will turn my hand against the little ones.
Matthew 26:31 (ESV)31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
After Jesus’ resurrection, ever the Good Shepherd, Jesus brought His flock back together
Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV)16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
He will bring His flock together again in the last days.
Acts 2:17-21 (ESV)17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’