In efforts to prepare my heart and mind for the week ahead, I plan on meditating and reading scripture this week that is in reference to Passion Week (aka Holy week). With that, I find it a joy to share some of my insights with you and I hope that God may unveil new things to you.
Background Info Regarding Holy Week
Passion Week or Holy Week is the last week of Jesus’ life before His resurrection (Easter). Passion week and Easter are Christian celebrations that fall in the same time frame with the Jewish celebrations of Passover. Today in Jewish calendars is the 15th day of Nisan, which marks the first day of Passover week that lasts for seven days. Passover is the Jewish celebration in remembrance of when the Israelites were released from bondage in Egypt (book of Exodus). I know this may all sound a bit confusing, but to truly understand the breadth of Holy Week and Easter, one must know a little bit about Passover. It’s a beautiful and powerful story when you get to piece it all together! And after all, Jesus was Jewish and he took part in these Passover celebrations (in more ways than people knew in his time!)
Before I go into more details about Jewish Passover, I want you to think back just a few days prior to what Christians normally refer to as “Palm Sunday.” Do you know why palm Sunday is called palm Sunday? In my own words, to Christians, palm Sunday marks the beginning of the last week of Jesus’ life before His resurrection. Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week. At church sometimes on Palm Sunday, we read/remember Jesus’ triumphal entry to Jerusalem through the sheep gate and to the temple. That’s when Jesus comes riding in on a donkey. The crowds are cheering for him and waving palm branches. Please read the Palm Sunday/Triumphal Entry scripture references below.
The Triumphal Entry
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
“Say to the daughter of Zion,‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt,the foal of a beast of burden.’”
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
For us that love charts and visuals, attached is a holy-week-timeline from Bible Gateway.
In my next message, I hope to go into a little bit more about Passover. This is so exciting!