Wednesday, March 29, 2023

'Twas the Week before Easter!


Twas the Week Before Easter

Big Idea: How the week before Easter Sunday is valuable both for worship and as a teaching tool for God and His character.

‘Twas the week before Easter

Easter Sunday is a glorious day with tulips and spring dresses. The days are getting longer.

Easter celebrates new life. Eternal Life. It commemorates the day when Jesus, who paid the ultimate price, conquered death so all who believe might join this forever relationship with Him!

That week leading up to Easter is packed with drama and suffering in the life of Jesus, leading up to the grand finale. Some churches refer to that week as Holy Week.

Walking through the events of this week is a valuable teaching tool to learn more about Jesus God’s character through Him. Pondering these climactic events is worthy of our worship.

Palm Sunday

What it’s called: The Sunday before Easter is called Palm Sunday.

What it commemorates: Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem on a donkey, with people throwing palm branches down proclaiming “Hosanna!”

They hoped He would bring peace from Rome. His peace was not what they expected.

Churches: Children color palm branch scenes in Sunday School.

Palms are passed out at some churches to wave during the service. Sometimes they are dried and braided into a cross to remember through the year.

Spy Wednesday

What it’s called: Holy Wednesday or Spy Wednesday

What it commemorates: How Judas Iscariot emerged as a spy among the disciples, arranging to betray Jesus to the authorities the next day for 30 pieces of silver.

Maundy Thursday

What it’s called: Maundy Thursday (latin: mandatums, meaning instructions or commands)

What it commemorates: The Lord’s Supper where Jesus washed their feet, gave them His last instructions and broke bread together.

At the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed, then Judas arrived to betray Him. Roman soldiers took Jesus from the garden to trial to condemnation, under the chief priests, Pilate and then Herod. Beatings were administered.

Churches: Sometimes they have a service on Holy Thursday to have communion and perhaps foot washings, and reflect on these events.

Good Friday

What it’s called
: Good Friday. How can a day of unspeakable suffering be called “Good” rather than “Bad.”

Jesus’ death was for our benefit. By becoming the perfect sinless sacrifice once and for all for all time, (Hebrews 9) He rescued us from the penalty of death we deserve. His death coincided with the Jewish holiday Passover.

Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. 1 Corinthians 5:7c

What it commemorates: Jesus’ journey from court to the cross. It’s about what He said during the walk through Jerusalem to the cross, and while on the cross.

Churches: Good Friday services are appreciated. Sometimes local Protestant churches will have a community service.

Tenebrae Service: Reviews Jesus’ journey to the cross, dimming the lights as service progresses, leaving in total darkness at the end. It’s a powerful experience.

Via Dolorosa: a walk of Jesus through the city of Jerusalem to the cross sometimes re-enacted, also commemorated by the Stations of the Cross.

Personal practice: At our house we keep silence from 1-3 pm, to reflect the time Jesus was on the cross. No TV, no music, no talking. It is a good time to reflect.

Holy Saturday

We are mindful of Jesus’ body in the tomb.

Easter Sunday

What it’s called
: Easter Sunday, Resurrection Sunday

What it commemorates: That Jesus did not remain dead in a tomb, but by the power of God within Him, He was resurrected from the dead.  He is alive for eternity now, having conquered the sting of death, on the behalf of all who trust in Him.

Churches: Churches often sing about the greatness of God, victory over death, and that He is alive forevermore.

When our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”I Corinthians 15: 54-55 NLT

It is customary for one to say to the other, “He is risen!”

“He is risen indeed!” is the joyful response.

It’s a wrap

Perhaps this gives you a fresh idea for remembrance during the week before Easter Sunday.

He is risen!

He is risen, indeed!

Holy week: 'Twas the night before Easter   Check in next week for a special poem of mine here, inspired by playing with the title Twas the Night before Christmas.  

Up next: ‘Twas the night before Easter
Previous post: Ten reasons Lent is beneficial



1. Do you have a remembrance of a meaningful time during Holy Week? When was it and why was it significant to you?

2. Take a day and reflect on it in your mind.


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