The Final Days Leading to the Cross and Resurrection

Lent season, Holy week and Good friday concept. Palm leave and cross on stone background

This article was written by state missionary Rob Jackson.

I always look for ways to teach my congregation the Biblical timeline leading up to Resurrection Sunday. I used this outline as a tool during this exciting time in the life of the Church. Not original to me, retracing the days leading up to the Passion can be helpful to you:

1. Arrival in Bethany on Friday before Palm Sunday (John 12:1). 

Jesus celebrates with Lazarus, Mary, Martha, and many others. Mary anoints Jesus with costly perfume.

2.The Triumphal Entry on Sunday (Matt 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19).

Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey fulfilling prophecy (Zech 9:9). The people welcomed him with Hosanna (Ps 118:25-26). On the day that families choose the lamb for the Passover (the 10th day of Nisan), Jesus rides into Jerusalem as the Lamb of God, but Jerusalem doesn’t “choose” Him (Exodus 12:1-3).

3. Cleansing of the Temple on Monday (Matt 21:10-17; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-48). 

The Messiah was prophesied to come and cleanse the temple (Malachi 3:1-6)

4. Jesus Teaches on Tuesday (Matt 21:23-24; Mark 11:27-13:37; Luke 20:1-21:36). 

Jesus teaches in parables and warns the people against the religious leaders. Jesus teaches about the destruction of the temple and His second coming.

5. Unknown Wednesday. 

The Bible doesn’t tell us what happens on this day. To speculate goes beyond Biblical revelation.

6. The Last Supper on Thursday (Matt 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:70-23; John 13:1-30).

Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper. He goes to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prays in agony while His disciples sleep. He is betrayed, arrested, and turned over to the religious leaders.

7. Crucifixion on Friday (Matt 27:1-66; Mark 15:1-47; Luke 22:66-23:56; John 18:28-19:37). 

Following His unlawful trial, beatings, mockery, and desertion by His disciples, Jesus is taken to the Place of the Skull where He is crucified. He is buried in the tomb before 6:00 pm on Friday when the Sabbath begins. His body is in the tomb Friday afternoon, Saturday, until Sunday morning.

8. Resurrection on Sunday (Matt 28:1-13; Mark 16:1-20; Luke 24:1-49; John 20:1-31). 

The stone is rolled away. Our Lord is risen from the grave! Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Perhaps this tool can keep your congregation focused on our Lord and His Passion week as we prepare our hearts for Resurrection Sunday.