In the New Testament, the Gospels give us a faithful account of the story of Jesus Christ. We can learn about His birth, His ministry, and the events of His last moments on earth. Jesus Himself told His disciples: “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” (John 10: 17-18). The actions and words of Jesus during the days before His death on the Cross are each a clear expression of His devotion to the Father and love for the world. Let us trace the footsteps of the Lord, from His Last Supper with the Apostles, to His death on the Cross at Mount Cavalry.
This episode of the Gospels narrates the last supper that Jesus took with His disciples. Christians take the body and blood of Christ (called the Eucharist by Catholics) in commemoration of this event.
14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.
15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you.
18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. (Luke 22: 14-21)
A few hours before being betrayed, Jesus brought Peter, James and John with Him to the garden of Gethsemane to keep Him company in prayer. The Lord felt profound sadness and anguish at this time, but He persevered in prayer, and came out ready to face His future. (Learn more about this episode of the life of Jesus)
At dawn, in that same garden, one of the twelves Apostles named Judas Iscariot delivered Jesus to soldiers for thirty pieces of silver.
54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance.
55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.
56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”
57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.
58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied.
59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”
60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.
61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”
62 And he went outside and wept bitterly. (Luke 22: 54-62)
66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.
67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.”
Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me,
68 and if I asked you, you would not answer.
69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You say that I am.”
71 Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.” (Luke 22: 66-71)
20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered.
22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”
26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. (Matthew 27: 20-26)
17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). (John 19: 17).
The crucifixion of Jesus is the culmination of His Passion. His hands and feet were nailed to the cross. At this moment, He bore all the sins and transgressions of the world, including those who mocked and insulted Him. His crucifixion is the heart of Christian faith! Learn more about this episode of the Gospels (Matthew 27: 35-56; Mark 15:24-41; Luke 24:33-49; John 19: 17-37) in the following article: Jesus on the Cross.