A devotional for Holy Week prepared by Rev. Julie Jane Capel

A devotional for Holy Week prepared by Rev. Julie Jane Capel

The Prequel to the Passion Week begins with John 12:1-8 with a woman's act of worship and a friend's heart of greed.

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor... Then Mary took a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume, and wiped his feet with her hair.

But one of his disciples, Judah's Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected. "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages." He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put in it.



The Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem!

John 12:12-18 (also in Matthew 21:1-11 and Mark 11:1-10)

The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took out palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting...


"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"

"Blessed is the king of Israel!"



Two key events take place today: Jesus purifies the temple and performs healing miracles (Matthew 21:12-17 and Mark 11:11-18)

And he curses a fig tree in Mark 11:15-17... a very human response that stems for the unresponsive Jews in Jerusalem

The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.



Today Jesus is mainly debating the religious leaders in Jerusalem and teaching in the temple. (Matthew 21:23-23:39 and Mark 11:27-12:44)

Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. "By what authority are you doing these things?" They asked, "And who gave you this authority?"

Jesus replied, "I will also ask you one quest...ion. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John's baptism - where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?"

They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven' he will ask, 'then why didn't you believe him? But if we say, 'of human origin- we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet."

So they answered Jesus, "We don't know."

Then he said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things." (Matthew 21:23-27)



Today is sometimes called "Silent Wednesday" - Jesus and his disciples remain in Bethany for last time of fellowship. But Judas.

Oh, Judas...He alone returns to Jerusalem to make arrangements for the betrayal.

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over. (Mark 14:10-11)



The Passover meal and Last Supper take place in Matthew 26 and Mark 14. John 13-17 has the Upper Room discourse.

When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating he said, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me - one who is eating with me."

They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, "Surely not I?"...

"It is one of the Twelve," he replied, "one who dips bread into the bowl with me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples saying, "That it; this is my body."

Then he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them. Truly I tell you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."  Mark 14:17-25

Tonight  Jesus prays ferventlyin the Garden. Matthew 26:36-46

Then Jesus went with this disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."



Jesus is betrayed and arrested (Matthew 26:47-56, Mark 14:43-52)

Jewish trial - Jesus appears in three phases in front of:
- Annas (John 18:13-24)
- Caiaphas and the partial Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:57-75, Mark 14:53-65)...
- The full Sanhedrin assembly (Matthew 27:1-2, Mark 15:1)

Then the Roman trial took place in three phases:
- Pilate (Matthew 27:2-14, Mark 15:2-5)
- Herod Antipas (Luke 23:6-12)
- Pilate (Matthew 27:15-26, Mark 15:6-15)

Finally, our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified (Matthew 27:27-66, Mark 15:16-39)

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.


The now but not yet of Christianity... where most of us spend the majority of time. We recognize what has happened and hope for a future that is yet to take place. Holy Saturday can be painful place of waiting... and sometimes burying dreams.

Matthew 27:57-65...

There was rich man named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it up in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.



Witnesses to Jesus' resurrection are found in Matthew 28:1-9, Mark 16:1-8 and Luke 24:1-12

And then Jesus makes a bunch of appearances to his people to show that he is the risen king! Matthew 28:9-20, Luke 24:13-53 and John 20-21

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightening stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them

"Why do you look for the living among the dead?

He is not here; he has risen!" (Luke 24:1-6)