All the Gospels in the New Testament devote several chapters to the last week of Jesus’ life.
After all, there was so much going on that final week when Jesus took the sins of the whole world on Himself and died for us.
Satan thought he won, but he lost! Jesus rose from the dead on the third day!
When Holy Week and Easter roll around, I want my children to learn about and celebrate everything!
Besides being real history, this week is foundational for our faith in Jesus.
So, let me give you a birds’ eye view of the last week of Jesus life and ways to celebrate with your family.
Dinner at Simon's House
Starting on Saturday, Jesus dined with Simon the Leper in Bethany. Bethany was where Lazarus, whom he had just raised from the dead, and his sisters Mary and Martha lived. Anyway, while Martha served, Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus feet and wiped them with her hair. Jesus said that she had anointed Him for burial and commended her.
Family Fun: Give one another foot rubs
(Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, John 12:1-9)
Triumphal Arrival in Jerusalem
On Sunday, Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. The people were so excited, they worshipped Him, as well as spreading cloaks and palm branches on the ground for Him to ride over.
Family Fun: Dress up and act out the Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem
(Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19)
Clearing the Temple
Jesus was disgusted to see the corrupt money changers in His temple. He overturned their tables in righteous anger. Afterward, He healed the blind and lame before returning to Bethany for the night.
Family Fun: Jesus cleaned up the temple so have everyone clean their rooms
(Matthew 21:12-17, Mark 11:15-19, Luke 19:45-48,
On Thursday, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples in the upper room. While they celebrated, Jesus instituted Communion, explained how the bread represented His body and the wine represented His blood. He also washed the disciples’ feet, giving them a new commandment to love one another as He loved them.
Family Fun: Celebrate a Passover Seder together or Wash one another’s feet
(Exodus 12:1-36, Matthew 26:17-29, Mark 14:12-31, John 13, I Corinthians 11:23-25)
Prayer in the Garden, Betrayal, Arrest
Jesus and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane after celebrating the Passover where Jesus prayed earnestly, and the disciples fell asleep. He asked God to take away the cup of suffering but surrendered to His Father’s will. He also prayed for all those who will believe in Him in the future. He prayed for you and me! Jesus is betrayed by Judas with a kiss and then soldiers arrest Jesus. Peter defends Jesus by cutting off a servant’s ear. Jesus heals the ear.
Family Fun: Decorate Easter Eggs
(Matthew 26:36-56, Mark 14:26-52, Luke 22:39-54, John 15:1-18:14)
Trial, Torture, & Death
Taken to the Sanhedrin, the high priest and elders could find no evidence against Jesus until He admits that He is the Christ. Then Peter denies Jesus and Judas kills himself. Jesus is sent to Pilate who finds nothing to charge Him with, yet the crowds demand Jesus’ death. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and tortured. A crown of thorns is placed on His head and he has to carry His cross to Golgotha where He is nailed to the cross. While on the cross, one criminal believed and received eternal life. Jesus also asked John to take care of his mother. From noon to 3 p.m., darkness covered the land. After Jesus died, the temple curtain was torn in two and dead people who had loved the Lord rose from their graves and were alive again.
Family Fun: Worship together at 3 p.m., the time that Jesus died.
(Matthew 26:57-27:56, Mark 14:53-15:37, Luke 22:54-23:46, John 18:12-19:30)
His mother Mary and some other women prepared Jesus’ body for burial and Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus wrapped the body and placed it in a new tomb. A set of guards was posted at the tomb.
Family Fun: Make preparations for Easter celebration tomorrow
(Matthew 26:57-66, Mark 14:40-47, Luke 23: 50-56, John 19:31-42)
The women went to the tomb early in the morning and saw Jesus after His resurrection first. They told the disciples who ran to the tomb and saw the strips of linen in an empty tomb. Satan’s plan to kill the Lord of Glory was destroyed, along with sin and death. Jesus rose from the dead, the Victorious One! He appeared to His disciples many times over the next 40 days before He ascended into Heaven.
Family Fun: Enjoy a family feast, act out the Resurrection story, or have an Easter egg hunt in the backyard
(Matthew 28:1-15, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24: 1-12, John 20:1-18)
FREE Celebrate Easter Devotions here. (Scripture passages, prophecies fulfilled, songs, activities, and prayer focus for 15 days)
Until next time, Happy Easter!