“And he said to them, ‘I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer’” (Luke 22:15 ESV).
This coming Sunday begins what many Christians call Holy Week or Passion Week. It is called “Passion” week because of its connection to the Greek word πάσχω (pas’-kho) which is usually translated as “suffer” in the New Testament. This is the word that Jesus used to describe His crucifixion.
A wonderful way to remember Christ’s passion is to visit the Holy Land. I’ve had the privilege of visiting Israel several times. In the attached photo, I’m visiting The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which traditionally contains the empty tomb. Here, I’m touching the Stone of Anointing, a slab of reddish stone flanked by candlesticks and overhung by a row of eight lamps. It commemorates the place where the body of Jesus was laid, anointed, and prepared for burial.
But you don’t have to go to Israel to remember Christ’s suffering and resurrection. In fact, all the church buildings, slabs and memorials added through the ages by well-meaning church folk can be a distraction. I’ve found that reading the Scriptures that describe the Lord’s final week leading up to the Cross, the Tomb and the Resurrection to be just as moving and beneficial to my spiritual life. With this in mind, I offer this daily reading plan for Passion Week for your edification.
- Palm Sunday – The Triumphal Entry. Read Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, or John 12:12-19.
- Monday – Clearing the Temple. Read Matthew 21:10-17; Mark 11:15-18, or Luke 19:45-48.
- Tuesday – Teaching in the Temple. Read Matthew 21:23-24:51; Mark 11:27-13:37, or Luke 20:1-21:36.
- Wednesday – Anointed in Bethany. Read Mark 14:1-11.
- Maundy Thursday – Last Supper & Garden of Gethsemane. Read Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26, Luke 22:7-23, or John 13:1-30.
- Good Friday – Crucifixion and Death. Matthew 27:1-56; Mark 15:1-41, Luke 22:66-23:50, or John 18:28-19:37.
- Saturday – In the Tomb. Read Matthew 27:57-66; Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, or John 19:38-42.
- Easter Sunday – The Resurrection. Read Matthew 28:1-13; Mark 16:1-20, Luke 24:1-49, or John 20:1-31.
There are two weeks in the Bible that the Lord inspired its writers to make daily diary entries. They are the seven days of creation and Passion Week. In the first week, He made the world, and in the second, He brought its redemption. God must have thought these two weeks important enough to keep a journal…
… And one worth reading and meditation.
This is an edited version of an earlier post I wrote on April 10, 2014.