Greetings fellow sojourners! As we approach Holy Week, let’s behold the days in the life of Jesus and the disciples by contemplating the significance of each day leading up to and including the Resurrection. Perhaps you would like to print each day of the week and post it in a visible place in your home as you consider the day’s events and their spiritual significance in your life. Let’s ask the Lord to tender our hearts to everything that transpired and let’s be eager to learn what He shows us. I encourage you to read the events for yourself as you will find more details that will bless you.
Jesus began his trip to Jerusalem. Nearing the village of Bethphage, he sent two of his disciples ahead, telling them to look for a donkey and bring it to him. Then Jesus sat on the young donkey and slowly, humbly, made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The crowds welcomed him by waving palm branches in the air and shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
On Palm Sunday, Jesus and his disciples spent the night in Bethany where Lazarus and his two sisters Mary and Martha lived. Perhaps they hosted him and his disciples.
Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19
Jesus returned with his disciples to Jerusalem. Along the way, he cursed a fig tree because it had failed to bear fruit. This symbolism extends to all believers, demonstrating that genuine faith is more than just outward religion but true living faith must bear spiritual fruit in a person’s life.
When Jesus arrived at the Temple he found the courts full of corrupt money changers. He declared, “My Temple will be a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (Luke 19:46) What is the condition of your “temple?”
That night he probably stayed in Bethany again.
Matthew 21:12-22, Mark 11:12-19, Luke 19:45-48, John 2:13-25
Jesus returned with his disciples to Jerusalem. They passed the withered fig tree on their way, and Jesus spoke to his companions about the importance of faith.
Back at the Temple, religious leaders were upset at Jesus for establishing himself as a spiritual authority. They attempted to arrest him but Jesus evaded their traps. He addressed the scribes and Pharisees seven times with, “Woe to you” before He identified each sin. “Blind guides!…For you are like whitewashed tombs – beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness…Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?” Matthew 23:24-33
Later that afternoon, Jesus left the city and went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives. He gave his Olivet Discourse, an elaborate prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age. Jesus again uses symbolic examples regarding end time events, his Second Coming, and the final judgment.
This is the day Judas Iscariot negotiated with the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical court, to betray Jesus. Matthew 26:14-16
Jesus and his disciples probably returned to Bethany to stay the night.
Matthew 21:23-26:5, Mark 11:20-13:37, Luke 20:1-21:36, John 12:20-43
Scholars speculate that Jesus spent this day resting in Bethany in anticipation of Passover. A few nights earlier, Lazarus’ sister Mary had lovingly anointed the feet of Jesus with pure and expensive fragrant oil. By pouring the fragrant oil on His body, she prepared Him for burial, and Jesus said it was beautiful.
Matthew 26:6-16, Mark 14:3-9, John 12:1-7
From Bethany, Jesus sent Peter and John ahead to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to make the preparations for the Passover Feast. Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” Luke 22:15-16
As the Lamb of God, Jesus was about to fulfill the meaning of Passover by giving his body to be broken and his blood to be shed in sacrifice, freeing us from sin and death. Jesus established the Lord’s Supper (Communion), instructing his followers to continually remember his sacrifice by sharing in the elements of bread and wine. Luke 22:19-20
That evening after sunset, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as they prepared to share in the Passover. Jesus demonstrated by this humble act how believers should love one another.
Later, Jesus and the disciples left the Upper Room and went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He prayed in agony to God. Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him and asked them to stay awake and pray so that they would not enter into temptation. Are you ‘awake?’
Jesus was betrayed in the Garden with a kiss by Judas Iscariot and arrested by the Sanhedrin. He was taken to the home of Caiaphas, the High Priest, where the whole council had gathered to begin making their case against Him.
In the early morning hours, as Jesus’ trial was getting underway, Peter denied knowing Him three times before the rooster crowed.
Matthew 26:17-75, Mark 14:12-72, Luke 22:7-62, John 13:1-38
Judas Iscariot was overcome with remorse and hanged himself Friday morning.
Before 9 am, Jesus endured the shame of false accusations, condemnation, mockery, beatings, and abandonment. After multiple unlawful trials, he was sentenced to death by crucifixion. Before Christ was led away, soldiers spit on him, tormented and mocked him, and pierced him with a crown of thorns. Jesus then carried his own cross to Calvary where he was mocked and insulted as Roman soldiers nailed him to the wooden cross.
Jesus spoke these statements while on the Cross:
~ Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. Luke 23:34
~ He said to one of the criminals next to him, I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise. Luke 23:43
~ About 3 in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46
~ Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit. Luke 23:46
About 3 pm, Jesus breathed his last breath and died.
By 6 pm Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus’ body down from the cross and lay it in a tomb.
Matthew 27:1-62, Mark 15:1-47, Luke 22:63-23:56, John 18:28-19:37
Jesus’ body lay in the tomb, where it was guarded by Roman soldiers throughout the day on Saturday, which was the Sabbath. When Sabbath ended at
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were members of the Sanhedrin, the court that had condemned Jesus Christ to death. For a time, both men had lived as secret followers of Jesus, afraid to make a public profession of faith because of their prominent positions. Because they were both deeply affected by Christ’s death, they boldly came out of hiding, willing to risk their reputations and lives because they knew he was Messiah. Together they cared for Jesus’ body and prepared it for burial.
Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin by offering the perfect, spotless sacrifice. He conquered death, both spiritually and physically, securing our eternal salvation. “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold and silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” 1 Peter 1:18-19
Matthew 27:62-66, Mark 16:1, Luke 23:56, John 19:40-42
Early Sunday morning, several women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Salome, and Mary the mother of James) went to the tomb and discovered that the large stone covering the entrance had been rolled away. An angel announced: “Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.” Matthew 28:5-6
On the day of his resurrection, Jesus Christ made several appearances. The first person to see him was Mary Magdalen. Jesus also appeared to Peter, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and later that day to all the disciples except Thomas, while they were gathered in a house for prayer.
Matthew 28:1-13, Mark 16:1-14, Luke 24:1-49, John 20:1-23
In His grace,