Holy Week begins on April 2 with Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem on a donkey with his many followers shouting “Hosanna” and laying palm branches on his path. This time of celebration is known as the Triumphal Entry! Most in the crowd thought that Jesus was going to overturn their oppression by the Romans and end their suffering. The crowd changed their minds about Jesus before the end of the week.
On Monday Jesus entered the temple. The temple was busy because everyone was getting ready for the Passover. Jesus was angry when he found the money changers. Matthew 21:12-13 reads, “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said the them, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a den of robbers.’”
On Tuesday Jesus is questioned by the chief priests and the elders. They try to trick Jesus. Jesus answers their questions with more questions, and he also shares some parables—The Parable of the Two Sons, The Parable of the Tenants, and the Parable of the Wedding Banquet. They question Jesus about paying taxes, marriage at the resurrection, and the greatest commandment. Jesus answers calmly and with authority.
On Wednesday Jesus was anointed with very expensive perfume, and the chief priests plotted about how they were going to arrest Jesus and kill him. Judas went to the chief priests and offered to hand Jesus over for 30 pieces of silver. This was prophesied in Zechariah 11:13, “And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the LORD.”
On Holy Thursday Jesus led the Passover meal with the disciples. Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. Jesus declared that the bread was his broken body and the wine was the blood of the new covenant. After this “last supper”, they went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Jesus asks for a different ending as he sweats drops of blood. Jesus is betrayed by Judas and is arrested.
On Good Friday Jesus was crucified on a Roman cross after being flogged. It is called Good Friday because Jesus became the sacrifice for all of the sins of humanity. The good that came from Jesus’ death saved our souls for eternity.
On Holy Saturday the body of Jesus rested in a rich man’s tomb. It was the sabbath, so everyone rested. While on the cross, Jesus said the thief would be with him in Paradise. Many believe that Jesus was in the presence of God on Saturday. Others believe that Jesus took our sins to hell that day.
On Easter Sunday Jesus rose from the dead! The empty tomb was discovered by Mary Magdalene and some other women. They spread the good news to the disciples. Luke 16:8 says, “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples!”
Rhonda Hopper, Online Pastor