By Crosswalk.com Editorial Staff, Crosswalk.com
Use this 7-Day Holy Week Devotional to focus on the cross of Jesus and the hope that we have through him! For each day of the Holy Week you will find related Scriptures and a guided prayer. May this daily devotional time bring peace and joy to your mind and heart in the days leading to Easter and the glorious Resurrection of Christ!
Palm Sunday Devotional
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter that begins the Holy Week. It is the day that we remember and celebrate the day Jesus entered Jerusalem as Savior and King. As Jesus rode a donkey into the town of Jerusalem a large crowd gathered and laid palm branches and their cloaks across the road, giving Jesus royal treatment. The hundreds of people shouted "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
The Triumphal Entry
And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, "Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' you shall say this: 'The Lord has need of it.'" So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying the colt?" And they said, "The Lord has need of it."
And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near--already on the way down the Mount of Olives--the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out."
Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, "Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation." (Luke 19:28-44)
Palm Sunday Prayer
"Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord..." We give you praise and honor for your ways are righteous and true. We give you worship for you are holy and just. We will declare that your love stands firm forever. For your lovingkindness endures forever.
Thank you that your ways are far greater than our ways, your thoughts far deeper than our thoughts. Thank you that you had a plan to redeem. Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you that your face is towards the righteous, and you hear our prayers, and know our hearts. Help us to stay strong and true to you. Help us not to follow after the voice of the crowds, but to press in close to you, to hear your whispers, and seek after you alone.
We praise you, we bless you, Lord! Thank you that you reign supreme and we are more than conquerors through the gift of Christ! In the Mighty Name of Jesus, Amen.
Holy Monday Devotional
Holy Monday is the second day of Holy Week, right after Palm Sunday. It is the second day that Jesus was in Jerusalem, and the Bible records Christ teaching and debating the religious leaders over Holy Monday and the next day (Holy Tuesday).
Whose Son Is the Christ?
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "The son of David." He said to them, "How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, "'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet'? If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?" And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:41-46)
Holy Monday Prayer
O God, Son of God, you took on yourself our nature and suffered death on the cross for us. By your Passion, you have set us free from eternal death. Preserve us in your grace; through your mercy, O our God, you are blessed and govern all things, now and forever. Amen.
Holy Tuesday Devotional
On Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus taught in the Temple courts and instructed his disciples about faithfulness.
No One Knows That Day and Hour
"But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master is delayed,' and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:36-51)
Holy Tuesday Prayer
Lord God, the message of the cross is difficult to take. How can death give way to life? How can weakness be a strength?
Yet your word says that Jesus, being God, took on human flesh and suffered the worst kind of death. How can this be?
This message is indeed difficult to take. But your foolishness is wiser than our wisdom. Your weakness is greater than our strength. Help us to know that none of us can boast before you.
It is only in Christ Jesus that we can boast. In his name, we ask you to help our unbelief. That we may love you, and walk in the way Jesus taught us. In his name, Amen.
Holy Wednesday Devotional
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth. Like a lamb he was led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent in the presence of her shearers, so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7) Almighty God, grant that we who are continually afflicted because of our evil deeds may be freed by the passion of your only-begotten Son; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
On Wednesday of Holy Week, Jesus may have rested. Matthew gives us a flashback to Jesus being anointed at Bethany and Judas starting his plot to betray Him.
The Plot to Kill Jesus
When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, "You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified." Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, "Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people." (Matthew 26:1-5)
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor." But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her." (Matthew 26:6-13)
Judas to Betray Jesus
Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?" And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. (Matthew 26:14-16)
Holy Wednesday Prayer
You, Lord, are always faithful. We stumble, we become lost, But you are steady and sure.
Give us the grace to endure our troubles, And reveal to us the glory of your kingdom, Through your son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Maundy Thursday Devotional
Christ's "mandate" is commemorated on Maundy Thursday--- "maundy" being a shortened form of mandatum (Latin), which means "command." It was on the Thursday of Christ's final week before being crucified and resurrected that He said this commandment to His disciples. Jesus and his disciples had just shared what is known as the Last Supper and he washed their feet saying:
The Passover with the Disciples
Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?" He said, "Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, 'The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'" And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, "Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me." And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, "Is it I, Lord?" He answered, "He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." Judas, who would betray him, answered, "Is it I, Rabbi?" He said to him, "You have said so." (Matthew 26:17-25)
Institution of the Lord's Supper
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." (Matthew 26:26-29)
Maundy Thursday Prayer
The world will know we are his disciples If we love one another. Strengthen our hands and our wills for love And for service.
Keep before our eyes the image of your Son, Who, being God, became a Servant for our sake. All glory be to him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.
Good Friday Devotional
The cross is where we see the convergence of great suffering and God’s forgiveness. Psalms 85:10 sings of a day when “righteousness and peace” will “kiss each other.” The cross of Jesus is where that occurred, where God’s demands, his righteousness, coincided with his mercy. We receive divine forgiveness, mercy, and peace because Jesus willingly took our divine punishment, the result of God’s righteousness against sin. “For the joy set before him” (Hebrews 12:2) Jesus endured the cross on Good Friday, knowing it led to his resurrection, our salvation, and the beginning of God’s reign of righteousness and peace. (Excerpt from What’s So Good about Good Friday?)
The Example of Christ's Suffering
Slaves, in reverent fear of God, submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. "He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed." For "you were like sheep going astray," but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:18-25)
Good Friday Prayer
Lord God, We wait, on Friday, for the resurrection of Sunday And sometimes our lives seem a succession of Fridays And we cannot see what is “Good.”
Teach us to call your name As Jesus did. Help us to trust in you like little children. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Holy Saturday Devotional
The day preceding the miracle is yes, a Sabbath, a day to rest, but it is also a day to be still. Exodus 20:8 is the original verse explaining to God’s people how to observe this law, “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God.” The act of keeping something Holy is to keep it set aside or reserved for a purpose, and this specific day is meant to rest in dedication to the Lord. On Holy Saturday Christians today can take this a step further in resting or abiding in what the Lord is doing today.
Jesus Is Buried
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. (Matthew 27:57-61)
The Guard at the Tomb
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, 'After three days I will rise.' Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last fraud will be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can." So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. (Matthew 27:62-66)
Holy Saturday Prayer
Help us to hope always in you, and through Your resurrection, the making of all things new. In Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
This article is part of our larger Holy Week and Easter resource library centered around the events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We hope these articles help you understand the meaning and story behind important Christian holidays and dates and encourage you as you take time to reflect on all that God has done for us through his son Jesus Christ!
At Easter, the Son of God took on the world’s sin and defeated the devil, death, and the grave. How is it that history’s most glorious moment is surrounded by fearful fishermen, despised tax collectors, marginalized women, feeble politicians, and traitorous friends?
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Christ’s resurrection is extremely powerful. Through Jesus’ resurrection, we are taught many powerful lessons. While in actuality, one could write an entire book on lessons from Christ’s resurrection, today we will discuss four of the most powerful lessons from Jesus’ resurrection. If you want to learn more about the resurrection and its power, this article is for you: 4 Powerful Lessons from Christ's Resurrection
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