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The Final Days of Jesus

Walk with Jesus During His Last Week on Earth

The final days of Jesus were the most important days of the most important person who ever lived. As we think about Holy Week, we often think about Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Everything in between gets a little bit fuzzy, and we lose track of some of the details of what happened in the biblical storyline.

We asked a number of New Testament scholars to help us out, providing some of the historical, cultural, and theological background of the story of Holy Week. 
 

LEARN MORE ABOUT JESUS'S FINAL DAYS

The Final Days of Jesus

from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday
 
Palm Sunday

Sunday, March 29, AD 33

Palm Sunday, the first day of the Jewish week, also begins the last week of Jesus's earthly life. We call it Palm Sunday because a crowd of Jesus's disciples, along with Galilean pilgrims in town for the Passover festivities, spread their palm branches and cloaks on the ground as Jesus makes his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. Jesus is entering a very volatile situation. His coming into the city creates great concern for both the Jews and Romans.  

LEARN MORE ABOUT DAY 1
Monday

Monday, March 30, AD 33

On Monday, Jesus and his disciples spend the night in Bethany, and then they decide to journey back into the city of Jerusalem. Here we see Jesus engage in two of his most unusual, startling activities. First, Jesus calls down a curse upon a fig tree for not producing its fruit. Second, as Jesus approaches the temple mount, he overturns tables, drives out money changers, and sends the pilgrims scattering away. What's going on here?

LEARN MORE ABOUT DAY 2
Tuesday

Tuesday, March 31, AD 33

On Palm Sunday, Jesus had made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and on Monday he made quite the scene by declaring the temple to be not a house of prayer, but a den of thieves. All of this combined to put Jesus on an inevitable collision course with the Jewish authorities. He spends all of Tuesday interacting with them, meeting their objections and raising questions of his own. But what exactly made the Jewish leaders so mad? Why was Jesus viewed as such a threat?  

LEARN MORE ABOUT DAY 3
Wednesday

Wednesday, April 1, AD 33

As Jesus is teaching his disciples, going about his business, another story is taking place inside the walls of Jerusalem. The members of the Sanhedrin—the Jewish religious body—are having their own intense internal deliberations about how to get rid of Jesus once and for all. Who were these Jewish leaders? What were they seeking to accomplish? What were their motivations for wanting to bring the life and ministry of Jesus to an end?

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Thursday

Thursday, April 2, AD 33

It is Passover week, so Jesus instructs his disciples to secure a pascal lamb, and to go and get an upper room in the city of Jerusalem so that they can celebrate their own Passover supper together. Later that evening, Jesus is arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, and so begin the Jewish trials of Jesus. Was it significant that Jesus's last week took place during Passover week? What is the relationship between the Last Supper and the Passover meal?  

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Friday

Friday, April 3, AD 33

The trials of Jesus begin with the Jews, including a brief appearance from Herod Antipas. But ultimately the decision, under God, must rest with the Roman governor Pontius Pilot. Jesus is sentenced to crucifixion, a barbaric form of torture in Roman times. Good Friday is, for Jesus and his disciples, the darkest of days. Yet for those who have eyes to see, there is also glory to be found in this most important of days in salvation history.

LEARN MORE ABOUT DAY 6
Saturday

Saturday, April 4, AD 33

Biblically, this day is a day of silence. The disciples are laying low, perhaps fearful that they might meet the same end as Jesus. As for Jesus, his body lay in the tomb wrapped in shroud, a linen cloth. But how did Jesus–who normally would have been buried in a simple shallow grave in the ground because he was a poor man—end up in the rich family tomb of Joseph of Arimathea? And where was his spirit? How should we think about this quiet day that falls between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?

LEARN MORE ABOUT DAY 7
Resurrection Sunday

Sunday, April 5, AD 33

We finally arrive at Easter Sunday. Jesus gloriously and triumphantly rises from the dead! This is not only the first day of the week, it is the first day of the new creation. As we read the Gospel accounts, what can we say is the significance of the reality that women were the first to witness the resurrection? And what can we learn about God's sovereign plan as he orchestrates this week, and all of eternity, for our good and his glory?

LEARN MORE ABOUT DAY 8

 

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