In a few days we are entering into a week that has been traditionally referred to as Holy Week. This commemorates and follows Jesus’s movements and teachings during the last week of his life beginning with Palm Sunday and culminating on Easter Sunday. So, what happened during that week leading up to the resurrection?
What happened on Palm Sunday?
Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Matthew 21:7-9 says, “7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 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 heaven!’” This had several meanings harkening back to prophecy in the Old Testament. With this act Jesus was claiming to be the King of Israel. No one had any idea of the kind of King he truly was.
What happened on Monday?
Jesus curses a fig tree which had leaves but produced no fruit. He entered the Temple and drove out the money changers in a bout of anger and passion for God’s House. He continued healing and teaching all week. Luke 19:47-48 says, “47 Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.” Jesus has publicly accepted worship and claimed God as his Father.
What happened on Tuesday?
Peter passes by the same fig tree which Jesus had cursed he day before and sees that it has withered. Jesus comments about the power of the faith of the disciples if they believe and trust their faith can move mountains! In Matthew 21 and 22 Jesus’s enemies double down on their attempts to trap him with his words. Jesus tells several parables pointing to the need for people of to be prepared, active, and responsive to Jesus’s invitation to God’s Kingdom. Jesus senses that his opposition is coming to a head.
What happened on Wednesday?
The week had been full of tense opposition in Jerusalem and the culmination of his ministry was close. Matthew 26 shares that Jesus is having a meal at his friend’s house when a woman enters the room and pours an expensive jar of perfume on his head. Jesus responds, “12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” It is on Wednesday that Judas agrees with the religious leaders to betray Jesus. The end is near.
What happened on Thursday?
Jesus shares the Last Supper with his disciples. Here, he washes his disciples’ feet, Judas is dismissed to betray Jesus, and Jesus gives his disciples the bread and the wine as symbols of his body and blood which will be sacrificed for the forgiveness of sins. We witness Jesus’s prayer in the garden asking God to spare him from the cross, praying for our unity as believers to one another and to the Father, and he submits to God’s sovereign will. Jesus gives his disciples a new command. This is where we get the term Maundy Thursday (Latin root is madam, meaning ‘command’ or ‘mandate’). John 13:34 says, 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Then, Jesus is arrested and his disciples run and hide.
I don’t know what your traditions are for celebrating the Easter season. I want to challenge our WOCC family this week:
Take time each day to worship Jesus as King.
Ask the Spirit to produce in your life fruit which is evidence of your regenerated life.
Repent of the ways in which you ignore or work against God’s Kingdom mission.
Surrender something of great value to you to the glory and purposes of King Jesus.
Invite someone to attend Easter worship services with you. Follow that up with a simple act of love toward them (a card, a text, an invite to lunch the next week).
May Holy Week be a conviction and blessing to you.
Be sure to access all things for Easter at WOCC at www.thewocc.com/Easter. Let us know you’re coming by pre-registering, get helpful tools to remind you to invite, and sign up to receive simple daily encouragement leading up to Easter.
White Oak Christian Church