Passion Week, or Holy Week, is the time period from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Passion Week began as Jesus arrived in Jerusalem to shouts of “Hosanna!” He then prepared his disciples for his coming death. He was given up by one of those closest to him. He was beaten, humiliated, and nailed to a cross. Ultimately, he died to atone for the world’s sins. But, Passion Week does not end there. The end of the week is the culmination of the promise of God, the greatest moment etched into the history of the world, the resurrection of Jesus.
Passio (Latin) means to endure suffering. When reflecting on Jesus’s walk to the cross we are to take a deeper look at the suffering he endured. This week, I urge you to take a walk each day and pray. As you walk, pray that God will bring your heart and your mind deeper into understanding of what each day was like for Jesus. Read the Bible verses laid out each day to guide your prayer walk.
Palm Sunday: The Promise Arrives in Jerusalem
Read: Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-44, John 12:12-50
“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem!
Look, your King is coming to you;
he is righteous and victorious,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
God keeps his promises. The moment the Israelites had been promised was here - the King had arrived to save them! The Messiah rode into Jerusalem on a donkey as the people gathered and shouted, “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 heaven!” (Mark 11:9b-10).
On your prayer walk today, think about what has you excited about the rest of Passion Week.
Monday: The Temple Cleansed & The Fig Tree Withers
Read: Matthew 21:12-20, Mark 11:11-33, Luke 19:45-20:8, John 12:1-11
Jesus is preparing everyone and everything. He is cleansing the temple, telling the disciples about the strong faith they must possess, and preparing for what is to come.
On your prayer walk today, reflect on preparing your heart and your mind to receive the King.
Tuesday: Parables to Display Hypocrisy
Read: Matthew 21:28-23:39, Mark 11:27-12:44
Jesus calls out the hypocrites, the chief priests, and the Pharisees. He shares, through parables, what will happen to these hypocrites. The chief priests, Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes all question him and try to trip him up. Jesus continues to amaze the crowds and the hypocrites with his all-knowing answers.
On your prayer walk today, think about what hypocritical questions arise in our culture and how you can combat cultural lies with Christ’s truth.
Wednesday: Betrayal Enters Judas’s Heart
Read: Matthew 26:6-16, Mark 14:1-11, Luke 22:1-6
Judas is now revealed as the one who will betray Jesus for money. One of his best friends will turn him over to those who will murder him. At this point in the week, we can see the betrayal enter Judas’s heart and the intention he has to turn his back on the Lord, the Messiah.
On your prayer walk today, contemplate how Judas’s betrayal makes you feel.
Thursday: The Last Supper
Read: Mark 14:17-72, Luke 22:14-53, John 13-17
“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when he was
betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it, and said,“This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, and said, “This cup is the new
covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as
often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
Give thanks. Give thanks for the act of communion. Give thanks that Jesus gave us this gift of remembrance before he gave us the ultimate gift of paying our price on the cross.
Spend some time in your prayer walk today thanking God for his gift of the last supper.
Friday: Good Friday
Read: Mark 14:53-15:41, Luke 23:26-43, John 19:1-37
“But he was pierced because of
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on him,
and we are healed by his wounds.
We all went astray like sheep;
we all have turned to our own way;
and the Lord has punished him
for the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6)
Today is a tough day. I’m asking you to endure heartbreak as you go through in your mind what Jesus went through on this day.
Take the time on your prayer walk to think deeply about these questions:
What was the whipping and beating like for Jesus?
What humiliation did he feel being stripped naked and spat upon?
How did the crown of thorns dig into his forehead?
What was the weight of the cross as he trudged up the hill?
How did the nails feel piercing his skin and sinking deeper through the tissue of his hands and feet?
Take a deep breath. Now imagine how much harder it would be to breathe nailed to a cross. Sit in that for a moment. Now remember the hope that is coming.
Read: Matthew 27:57-66, Mark 15:42-47, John 19:38-42
“But now, since you have been set free from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification - and the outcome is eternal life! For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:22-23)
Jesus has died. His body has moved to Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb and the opening of the tomb has been sealed with a large stone. The Pharisees, still fearful, request that Pilate put guards in front of the tomb so that the disciples cannot steal Jesus’s body and claim he rose from the dead.
Today as you prayer walk, take some time in the waiting to be silent and let God speak to you. As we wait for what we know is to come, let God speak into your heart.
Sunday: He Is Risen!
Read: Matthew 28:1-20, Mark 16:1-7
“...And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b)
Jesus Christ did it! He is Risen! He is Alive! Join in with your fellow Christians today and enjoy the greatest celebration of all! The Good News is that if you believe that Christ atoned for your sins by dying on the cross as a sinless man, rose from the dead three days later, and ascended into heaven to sit at the right side of God, the Father, you will have eternal life. As Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians:
“For those of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. There is
no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the
promise.” (Galatians 3: 27-29)
Believe in this promise that we celebrate on Easter. Believe that you are in Christ, an heir to the promise. Believe that HE IS RISEN!