What do you think of when you think of Holy Week? The triumphal entry? The last supper? Jesus on trial? Peter’s denial? Judas’s betrayal? Jesus’s mercy? The crucifixion? The tomb? The resurrection?
Each of those details make up one incredible, life-changing story. Our hope is that this week doesn’t feel like any other week. That it feels special. Holy, even. Maybe you’re sitting here today, thinking that it’s already Thursday (time flying for anyone else?!) and that it’s too late. It’s never too late. God is with us today, and there’s so much he wants for us to step into leading up to Easter.
We have put together a list of key descriptive words to walk you through the narrative of Holy Week in hopes to spur on a greater reality of all that has been done for us through Jesus.
We’ve also included scripture references for you to read through to soak up all the details that went into this monumental event. Enjoy working your way through these and remember, He is risen!
Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:1-17
“And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” Matthew 21:9
Did you know that Hosanna in Hebrew means “Save!” or “Please Save!”? The people that day couldn’t help but cry out for help in the presence of their Savior.
What will you cry out for help today? A family member? This sickness? Anxieties and worries?
Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:21-46
“And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:21
You see, Jesus was speaking to them in terms they could understand. Moving a mountain was a common metaphor in Jewish literature for doing what was seemingly impossible.
This word, faith, is a word daily used by followers of Jesus. But are we understanding what faith is?
Faith is trusting God to do the impossible.
To move the mountain.
To be your strength.
To fulfill his promises.
To fight for you and for me.
What mountain do you need him to move today, friend? In faith, trust him to do what seems impossible in your eyes.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:1-25
We see here the plot for Jesus to be killed thickened. The signs look like Jesus isn’t in control and isn’t in authority. But in God’s upside-down kingdom, authority is exactly what Jesus has. Jesus was in control all along, even unto death.
There is one woman who acknowledges Jesus authority in this scripture.
“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” Matthew 26:6-13
This woman saw past the circumstances. This woman knew her Savior could overcome anything. That day, she put on display who truly had authority and who all things in heaven and earth belong to. Jesus.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:26-75
Again, as we’ve been talking about this upside-down kingdom, we see in this passage how much disunity is displayed. But that’s exactly why Jesus came.
“Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “sleep and take your rest later on, See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinner. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” Matthew 26:45
Throughout the passage, we see the betrayal of both Peter and Judas. One much more intentional than the other, but all the more we see disunity amongst the people that were closest to Jesus.
Some would think, “Why would Jesus be willing to die for these broken people?” But these broken people also represent each of us today. And there lies the reason for Jesus to take this path. But he came for those people. He came for each of us today. To restore what was broken. To restore unity.
Jesus is unity. Jesus is peace. Jesus is restoration. And because of this day, he set the stage for all that he was going to make new.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:1-61
“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God.” Matthew 50-54
This word “atonement” isn’t used on a regular basis today. It has a very specific meaning. To atone means to “make or become united or reconciled.” This is where unity and reconciliation actually took place. Jesus, with his last breath, paid the full punishment for our sins. He made a way for us to be brought back to our Creator.
This atonement was once and for all, for us all!
Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:62-66
There wouldn’t appear on this day that there was a lot of hope in sight. Jesus had died the day before, and his beloved friends and family were mourning as they buried him in the tomb. Pilate’s guards even took extreme measures to make sure that there would be no glimmer of hope.
Today we reflect and empathize with what his followers must have been feeling. Fighting to stay hopeful that Jesus would return like he said he would. Clinging to the words that he had said while he sat with them at those cherished family dinners.
With probably hundreds of questions running through their heads:
Did he really say he would come back?
He said the third day, right?
What if none of it was true?
Has he left us forever?
But Jesus’ promises were true all along. He was the messiah. He was returning. It would be three days. It all was true. What a hope we have in Jesus!
Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:1-20
“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” Matthew 1-10
That must have been the most beautiful greeting that has ever happened on this earth! A greeting of fulfillment, peace, and an everlasting hope in the One who came, died, and rose again.
What a friend we have in Jesus today and forever!
Want to join us this Easter? Sadie is joining Louie Giglio, Tim Tebow, Crowder, Passion City Music and more at Passion City Church online to celebration the hope we have!
Invite your families, friends, and anyone else to join online with us as we gather together from all over the world!
This will be Sunday, April 12th with services at 10am,1pm,5pm and 8pm Eastern Time.