The book of Genesis
(beginnings) records that in six days God created the heavens and the
earth. In each of those drama-packed days the power and wisdom of
God rippled through a universe in the process of being born. On the
seventh day God rested. Yet, history will never record a week as
far-reaching in its impact and implications as the final week of Christ's
earthly ministry. This eventful week transcends the week of creation as it
points to a new creation—free from the stain of sin and the sting of
death. In this "holy week" God won the battle of the ages when He
Son from the dead, thereby crushing the head of the serpent with a
fatal blow! (Genesis
3:15) By the
death of one man, Jesus Christ, comes eternal life for all who trust in
To God be the glory!
Note: Some of the events listed below are recorded at slightly
different times or in slightly different order by the four gospel writers.
However, all are in agreement as to the events actually taking place
during the last week of Christ's life, His crucifixion, burial, and His
SUNDAY (Palm Sunday)
A Day of Acclaim...
drama of Holy week begins with a shout of praise:
“The crowds that went ahead of him [Jesus] and
those that followed shouted, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he
who comes in the name of the Lord! "Hosanna in the highest!"
(Matt.21:9) This is a day of triumph.
Christ rides into the holy city of Jerusalem and is hailed as King.
Let the triumphal entry of
the Holy One set the theme for your praise and adoration this week. Go
forth with joy to meet him. Invite Him into the holy city of your
Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem...
(Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-38;
Jesus weeps over the city...
Thought: Many sects were among the crowds that met Jesus on the way to
Jerusalem. Each interpreted His claim of being the long awaited Messiah in a different way.
The Zealots expected him to expel their Roman oppressors by force. The
Pharisee's expected praise for their "religious" leadership, while the Herodians
(followers of Herod) saw Jesus as one who would spoil their
comfort and freedoms. How do you see Christ? What are you expecting of
Him? What are you trusting Him
A Day of Authority...
Jesus curses a fig tree...
Jesus cleanses the Temple...
Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45-46)
Thought: Early in the spring before the leaves opened, the Palestinian fig
tree produced a green fruit which was eaten by the peasants. Jesus sought
this fruit on the way to Jerusalem, but found only leaves. What fruit
would Jesus likely find on the "fig tree" of your own Christian
A Day of Argument...
Jesus teaches by parables in the Temple...
(Matthew 21:23 to 22:14; Mark 11:27 to 12:9;
Jesus confounds the religious leaders of His day...
(Matthew 22:15 to 23:36; Mark 12:13-40;
Jesus delivers the Olivet Discourse...
(Matthew 24:1 to 25:46; Mark 13:1-37;
Thought: Jesus concludes the Olivet Discourse by emphasizing the unknown
time of the end and His second coming. To "watch" in this context means to
be alert and awake to one's own spiritual condition. In what areas do you
need to be awakened and more alert?
A Day of Aloneness...
As far as the Bible is concerned, this day
appears to be blank in the Passion Week, but it is likely that Jesus and
His disciples remained in retirement at Bethany from Tuesday evening till
Jesus is anointed at Bethany...
(Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8)
Judas plots with the Sanhedrin...
(Matthew 26:1-5, 14-16; Mark 14:1-2, 10-11;
Thought: Judas betrayed Jesus for the sum of thirty pieces of silver,
roughly equivalent to about $20 in our economy. Though we may never think
of committing such a terrible deed we betray Christ daily in our thoughts
and actions. There is a little bit of Judas in each of us. Let us give
thanks and praise to Him whose grace and mercy extends to every part of
THURSDAY (Maundy Thursday)
A Day of Accomplishments...
Jesus eats the Passover meal (Last Supper)...
(Matthew 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20)
Jesus delivers His last words to His disciples...
Jesus prays in the garden and is betrayed...
(Matthew 26:36-56; Mark 14:32-52; Luke 22:39-51;
Thought: In the 13th chapter of John we see Christ washing the feet of His
disciples. Service to others marked our Lord's life--and death. Christ's
life and death has set redeemed sinners free. In what ways might we now
use our freedom to serve others?
FRIDAY (Good Friday)
A Day of Anguish...
In the days
of the early Christian church, only Easter Sunday was celebrated as a holy
day. By the fourth century, each day of the week preceding Easter was
established as a holy day including what we now know as "Good Friday." To
most Christians, Good Friday is really a misnomer in that it was a "bad"
day—the crucifixion day of Jesus Christ. Some believe the term "good"
evolved from "God" or God's Friday. Others believe "good" represents the
good gift of salvation brought forth by Christ's substitutionary death
upon a Roman cross. Either way, it has become a holy day throughout the
entire Christian world.
Jesus is brought before Annas...
(John 18:12-14, 19-23)
Jesus is brought before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin...
(Matthew 26:59-68; Mark 14:55-65; Luke 22:63-71;
Jesus is brought before Pilate...
(Matthew 27:1-2, 11-14; Mark 15:1-5;
Luke 23:1-5; John 18:28-38)
Jesus is sent to Herod Antipas...
Jesus is condemned by Pilate and mocked...
(Matthew 27:15-30; Mark 15:6-19; Luke 23:13-25;
Jesus is crucified at Golgotha...
(Matthew 27:31-56; Mark 15:20-41; Luke 23:26-49;
Jesus is buried in Joseph's tomb...
(Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-55;
Thought: The death of Jesus shattered the lives of His disciples and left
all who believed in Him feeling lost and without hope. Sometimes painful
events in our own lives leave us feeling much the same. Can you
think of someone (perhaps even yourself) who is feeling that way right
now? How could you pray for that person? How might you relate
what Christ has done for you?
Thank God the
gospel does not end with Christ in the tomb, but with His glorious victory
SATURDAY (Holy Saturday)
A Day of Absence...
Pilate seals Jesus' tomb and appoints a guard...
(Matthew 27:62-66; Luke 23:56)
Thought: The chief priests and Pharisees remembered Christ's promise to
rise from the dead and were worried enough to ask for a guard over His
tomb. There will always be those who have good reason to fear what we so
earnestly look forward to. What are some of the ways this "fear factor"
plays itself out on the world's stage?
SUNDAY (Resurrection Sunday!)
A Day of Appearances!
Jesus rises from the dead and shows himself to Mary Magdalene...
(Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18)
Jesus shows himself to other women...
(Matthew 28:8-10; Mark 16:8; Luke 24:9-11)
Jesus shows himself to Peter...
(Luke 24:34, cf.1Cor.15:5)
Jesus shows himself to disciples on the road to Emmaus...
(Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-35)
Jesus shows himself to the disciples without Thomas...
(Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-49; John 20:19-23)
Thought: Jesus is Risen! He is truly alive!
If this is true, what does it prove? If this is true, what could it
could really knowing this in your heart change your present
outlook? How has Jesus shown himself alive to you recently?
If the world were watching, could it tell the
risen Christ was alive and well in your life?