Passion Week

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Passion Week – What is it?
Passion Week (also called Holy Week) takes place between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Sunday). Why is it called “Passion Week”? This name represents the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross. He did this to pay for your sins—the sins of all of His people. To study the biblical accounts of Passion Week, read the following chapters: Matthew 21-27, Mark 11-15, Luke 19-23, and John 12-19.

Passion Week – The Main Events

  • Palm Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday in recognition of the beginning of Passion Week and Jesus’ final agonizing journey to His crucifixion. “The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him 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!’” (Matthew 21:6-9). Palm Sunday serves as a preparation of one’s heart for the agony of His passion and the joy of His resurrection.

  • Holy Monday - Following Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, He spent Sunday night in Bethany, the village at the foot of Mount of Olives (Matthew 21:7). As Jesus returned on Monday to Jerusalem, He noticed a fig tree that had produced leaves ahead of season. But since the fig tree bore leaves, He expected to find figs, yet it was fruitless. Jesus cursed the tree and it withered the next day. Another event of Holy Monday is the Temple cleaning. As part of prophesy, Jesus pronounced a symbolic judgment upon the irreverence for the Lord’s house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11).

  • Holy Tuesday – On Holy Tuesday, the conspiracies to trap Jesus escalated. Israel’s religious leaders had one goal: to get rid of Jesus of Nazareth. If this meant cooperating with a lifelong enemy, any means would be justified. So the Pharisees—who opposed Rome and its intrusion on the Jewish way of life—and the Herodians, supporters of Herod the Great, joined forces. Even the Sadducees—religious liberals who denied a resurrection, angels, or spirits—attempted to discredit Jesus. Jesus warned the crowds and disciples about the hypocrisy and unbelief of the nation’s religious leaders. Jesus pronounced seven condemnations (“Woes”) addressing the false religion that was abhorrent to God (Matthew 23:13-33).

  • Holy Wednesday – On Wednesday, Christians remember the day Judas Iscariot first conspired with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus.

  • Maundy Thursday – On Maundy Thursday, believers remember the last meal Jesus Christ had with His disciples prior to His arrest and crucifixion. It is often called The Last Supper. First, Jesus predicts what will happen on the next day. Second, Jesus gives His followers symbols of remembrance for His body and His blood sacrificed on behalf of all mankind. ”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’” (Luke 22:19). Third, Jesus provides a very important principle for living a Christian life: the greatest are those who serve others, not those who expect to be served (Luke 22:26).

    Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane - Then Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray as He waited for His hour to come. It was here that Jesus, having been betrayed by Judas, was arrested and taken to several sham trials before the chief priests, Pontius Pilate, and Herod (Luke 22:54–23:25).

    Jesus endured six trials. Three of the trials were by Jewish leaders and three by the Romans (John 18:12-14, Mark 14:53-65, Mark 15:1-5, Luke 23:6-12, Mark 15:6-15). During this time, Jesus survived painful beating, whipping, and mocking (Mark 15:16-20). Pilate tried to compromise with the religious leaders by having Jesus beaten, but this act didn't satisfy them, so Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified (Mark 15:6-15). Jesus was mocked by the soldiers as they dressed Him in a purple robe and a crown of thorns (John 19:1-3).

  • Good FridayJesus was crucified on Golgatha, which means the Place of the Skull (Mark 15:22) The sky turned dark for three hours (Mark 15:33). Jesus cried, "Father! Into your hands I commit my spirit!" and He died (Luke 23:46). The disciple Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:18-19, “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 or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” The blood of Jesus Christ is absolutely the most precious thing God has offered us.

  • Holy Saturday – On Saturday of Passion week, we remember the time Jesus spent in the tomb. "So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it" (Matthew 27:66). The Resurrection of Jesus ends Passion week with a victorious celebration! "...he appeared to Peter, then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also...” (1 Corinthians 15:5-7).

Passion Week – The Main Events
Passion Week is a time we remember the events of Jesus between Palm Sunday and His resurrection. We see the passion Jesus lived and the passion that He died. We can share in Jesus’ passion through our worship of Him and in our proclamation of His Gospel.

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