April 9, 2017  PALM SUNDAY                                   (New Living Translation)
Psalm 118:1-2 19-29 (The passover praise psalm);
Matthew 21:1-11 (Jesus enters Jerusalem);
Isaiah 50:4-9a (The servant submits to suffering);
Psalm 31:9-16 (I commend my spirit);
Philippians 2:5-11 (Death on a cross);
Matthew 26:14—27:66 or
Matthew 27:11-54 (The passion and death of Jesus)

Psalm 118:1-2
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
 His faithful love endures forever.
2 Let all Israel repeat:
 “His faithful love endures forever.”

Psalm 118:19-29
19 Open for me the gates where the righteous enter,
 and I will go in and thank the Lord.
20 These gates lead to the presence of the Lord,
 and the godly enter there.
21 I thank you for answering my prayer
 and giving me victory!
22 The stone that the builders rejected
 has now become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing,
 and it is wonderful to see.
24 This is the day the Lord has made.
 We will rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Please, Lord, please save us.
 Please, Lord, please give us success.
26 Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
 We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God, shining upon us.
 Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will praise you!
 You are my God, and I will exalt you!
29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
 His faithful love endures forever.

Matthew 21:1-11
Jesus’ Triumphant Entry
21 As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of
Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. 2 “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you
will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone asks what you
are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”

4 This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,

5 “Tell the people of Jerusalem,
 ‘Look, your King is coming to you.
He is humble, riding on a donkey—
 riding on a donkey’s colt.’”
6 The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their
garments over the colt, and he sat on it.

8 Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees
and spread them on the road. 9 Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were
shouting,

“Praise God[d] for the Son of David!
 Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
 Praise God in highest heaven!”
10 The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.

11 And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Isaiah 50:4-9
The Lord’s Obedient Servant
4 The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom,
 so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me
 and opens my understanding to his will.
5 The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me,
 and I have listened.
 I have not rebelled or turned away.
6 I offered my back to those who beat me
 and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard.
I did not hide my face
 from mockery and spitting.
7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
 I will not be disgraced.
Therefore, I have set my face like a stone,
 determined to do his will.
 And I know that I will not be put to shame.
8 He who gives me justice is near.
 Who will dare to bring charges against me now?
Where are my accusers?
 Let them appear!
9 See, the Sovereign Lord is on my side!
 Who will declare me guilty?
All my enemies will be destroyed
 like old clothes that have been eaten by moths!
Psalm 31:9-16
9 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress.
 Tears blur my eyes.
 My body and soul are withering away.
10 I am dying from grief;
 my years are shortened by sadness.
Sin has drained my strength;
 I am wasting away from within.
11 I am scorned by all my enemies
 and despised by my neighbors—
 even my friends are afraid to come near me.
When they see me on the street,
 they run the other way.
12 I am ignored as if I were dead,
 as if I were a broken pot.
13 I have heard the many rumors about me,
 and I am surrounded by terror.
My enemies conspire against me,
 plotting to take my life.
14 But I am trusting you, O Lord,
 saying, “You are my God!”
15 My future is in your hands.
 Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
16 Let your favor shine on your servant.
 In your unfailing love, rescue me.

Philippians 2:5-11
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

6 Though he was God,
 he did not think of equality with God
 as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
 he took the humble position of a slave
 and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8     he humbled himself in obedience to God
 and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
 and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
 in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
 to the glory of God the Father.

Matthew 26:14-27:66
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests 15 and asked, “How much will
you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From that time on, Judas
began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

The Last Supper
17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you
want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?”

18 “As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has
come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus told
them and prepared the Passover meal there.

20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table[a] with the Twelve. 21 While they were eating, he said, “I
tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”

22 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?”

23 He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man
must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would
be far better for that man if he had never been born!”

25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?”

And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”

26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the
disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”

27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from
it, 28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant[b] between God and his people. It is poured out as a
sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. 29 Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new
with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”

30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 On the way, Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say,

‘God will strike the Shepherd,
 and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
32 But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.”

33 Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.”

34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three
times that you even know me.”

35 “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed
the same.

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over
there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and
distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch
with me.”

39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let
this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even
one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the
body is weak!”

42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away[d] unless I
drink it, your will be done.” 43 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep
their eyes open.

44 So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go
ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of
sinners. 46 Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”

Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested
47 And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with
swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. 48 The traitor, Judas,
had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” 49 So
Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.

50 Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.”

Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 51 But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and
struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.

52 “Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will die by the sword. 53 Don’t you realize
that I could ask my Father for thousands[e] of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? 54 But
if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?”

55 Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to
arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. 56 But this is all
happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples
deserted him and fled.

Jesus before the Council
57 Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the
teachers of religious law and the elders had gathered. 58 Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and came
to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and sat with the guards and waited to see how it would all end.

59 Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find witnesses who would lie about
Jesus, so they could put him to death. 60 But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness,
they could not use anyone’s testimony. Finally, two men came forward 61 who declared, “This man said, ‘I am
able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”

62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do
you have to say for yourself?” 63 But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I demand in the
name of the living God—tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

64 Jesus replied, “You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power
at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

65 Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Blasphemy! Why do we need other
witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your verdict?”

“Guilty!” they shouted. “He deserves to die!”

67 Then they began to spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him, 68 jeering,
“Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who hit you that time?”

Peter Denies Jesus
69 Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were
one of those with Jesus the Galilean.”

70 But Peter denied it in front of everyone. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

71 Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, “This man was
with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. “I don’t even know the man,” he said.

73 A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You must be one of them; we can
tell by your Galilean accent.”

74 Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed.

75 Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times
that you even know me.” And he went away, weeping bitterly.

Judas Hangs Himself
27:1 Very early in the morning the leading priests and the elders of the people met again to lay plans for putting
Jesus to death. 2 Then they bound him, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.

3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with
remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he
declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.”

“What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”

5 Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.

6 The leading priests picked up the coins. “It wouldn’t be right to put this money in the Temple treasury,” they
said, “since it was payment for murder.” 7 After some discussion they finally decided to buy the potter’s field,
and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners. 8 That is why the field is still called the Field of Blood. 9 This
fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah that says,

“They took the thirty pieces of silver—
 the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel,
10 and purchased the potter’s field,
 as the Lord directed.”
Jesus’ Trial before Pilate
11 Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor. “Are you the king of the Jews?” the governor
asked him.

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

12 But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. 13
“Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. 14 But Jesus made no
response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise.

15 Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner to the
crowd—anyone they wanted. 16 This year there was a notorious prisoner, a man named Barabbas. 17 As the
crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to
you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 (He knew very well that the religious leaders had
arrested Jesus out of envy.)

19 Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent
man alone. I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.”

20 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and
for Jesus to be put to death. 21 So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to
you?”

The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!”

22 Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

23 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”

But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”

24 Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water
and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!”

25 And all the people yelled back, “We will take responsibility for his death—we and our children!”

26 So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him
over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus
27 Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. 28
They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. 29 They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his
head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and
taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” 30 And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head
with it. 31 When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him
again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

The Crucifixion
32 Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to
carry Jesus’ cross. 33 And they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). 34 The
soldiers gave Jesus wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.

35 After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. 36 Then they
sat around and kept guard as he hung there. 37 A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge
against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one
on his right and one on his left.

39 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. 40 “Look at you now!” they yelled at
him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son
of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

41 The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. 42 “He saved others,”
they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross
right now, and we will believe in him! 43 He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said,
‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way.

The Death of Jesus
45 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out
with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

47 Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. 48 One of them
ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. 49 But the rest
said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.”

50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of
the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The
bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after
Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.

54 The Roman officer[v] and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that
had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

55 And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for him were watching from a distance. 56
Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and the mother of James and John,
the sons of Zebedee.

The Burial of Jesus
57 As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who had become a follower of Jesus, 58 went to
Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him. 59 Joseph took the body and
wrapped it in a long sheet of clean linen cloth. 60 He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of
the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance and left. 61 Both Mary Magdalene and the other
Mary were sitting across from the tomb and watching.

The Guard at the Tomb
62 The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. 63 They told him, “Sir,
we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’
64 So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and
stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off
than we were at first.”

65 Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” 66 So they sealed the tomb and posted guards
to protect it.