Encounter Jesus Every Day of Holy Week
If you’re like us, you want to experience the Good News that Easter proclaims in a deeper and more transformative way. The best way to do that is to join in what Christians around the world have done for the last 1,600 years—engage with all 8 days of Holy Week.
In partnership with the YouVersion Bible App, we have created devotionals and a new introduction to Easter video. These resources will equip you to encounter Jesus from Palm Sunday through Easter.
Holy Week Introduction
You are probably familiar with Easter. But what about the 8-days of Holy Week? Each day plays a massive role in making sense of Good Friday's cross and Easter's resurrection. This short video will walk you through each day of Holy Week and how it all leads up to Jesus' death and resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Explore Holy Week
Learn more about the significance of each day of Holy Week through our series of devotionals and podcasts.
Palm Sunday is about Kingship. Israel’s victorious kings were associated with riding into Jerusalem on donkeys. And Zechariah prophesied that Israel’s final king would ride to her capital on a donkey as well. Jesus applied all of these expectations and symbols to himself when he rode into Jerusalem on this famous beast. Jesus made a religious and political statement. He is King of Israel over the religious elite. He is King of the Earth over Rome and Caesar. And he is King of the universe over all powers and authorities.
Holy Monday is about the temple’s sacrificial system. When Jesus interrupted the buying and selling of animals he was interrupting the temple’s system of sacrifice. For a prophetic moment, the sacrifices halted. For a prophetic moment, people may have wondered how atonement would be achieved. And for a prophetic moment, Jesus stood in the temple signifying that he would be the final atoning sacrifice God’s people would ever need.
Holy Tuesday is about the temple’s destruction. When Jesus cursed a fig tree for not having fruit, it was a prophetic symbol of the fruitlessness of Israel’s temple. In the same way that Jesus cursed the fruitless fig tree to destruction, he was cursing the fruitless temple to destruction as well. He does this, not only as a judgment against the corrupt religiosity that had overtaken God’s house, but also as a picture of what is to come. Jesus was building a new temple. That temple is made up of Jesus’ followers, dwelled in by Jesus’ Spirit, and led by Jesus himself.
Spy Wednesday is about the necessity of Jesus’ death. Mary embalmed Jesus for burial by anointing him with expensive perfume. She knew that in order for him to be the “Resurrection and the Life” as he promised, he would have to first die and rise. But Mary wasn’t the only one who knew Jesus had to die. Judas knew it too. Jesus was not the Messiah Judas expected. In order to stop him from leading more people astray and to make room for the true Messiah to come, Judas would betray Jesus to his death. Though, for their reasons, Judas was wrong and Mary was right, both of them knew Jesus had to die.
Maundy Thursday is about a covenant. God’s covenant with Israel was marked by the Passover meal. It was the day God freed his people from slavery and brought them into his kingdom. When Jesus refocuses this feast on his body and blood, he ushers in a new covenant. Under this new covenant people from any nation can be saved from their slavery to sin and death by trusting in Jesus’ body and blood. Those that do are added into an eternal Kingdom with Jesus as their King.
Good Friday is about Jesus’ crucifixion. It’s the day when all of humanity conspired against God to put his Son to death. But it is also the day when all of humanity was given a way to be saved because God’s Son was put to death. This truth is portrayed beautifully in the words Jesus spoke to his captors, tormentors, and executioners. He asked God to forgive them while they were killing him. This is the Gospel. That Jesus died for us, even the worst of us. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, there is forgiveness for you because of what Jesus did on Good Friday.
Black Saturday is about rest. Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath. So, like a good, law-abiding Jew Jesus rested in his tomb on the Sabbath. He laid in his grave, still and dead. While this may not seem like good news to most, it truly is. Jesus could rest, like God on the seventh day of creation, because all the work was done. He had paid for all sins. He had defeated all powers. He had finished the work God had been planning from the creation of the world. And now, he rested because it is finished.
Resurrection Sunday, or Easter, is about ascension. Jesus ascended from the grave in his victorious kingly act. He defeated the power of death like a king defeated a foe on the battlefield. But Jesus not only ascended above death, defeating it for all who trust in him, but he also ascended to the highest throne. When Jesus rose from the dead, he proved that he is who he claimed to be. He is God in the flesh. Which means our sins truly can be forgiven in him. We truly can enter into God’s eternal kingdom through him. And we really will be remade into his resurrected, new life because he was raised first. Since Jesus ascended, he reigns. And since Jesus reigns, we will ascend too.