Take your darkest hour and the worst week you’ve ever had and hold it up to Christ’s. The week I’m referring to is, of course, what is known in the Christian world as Holy Week, commemorating Christ’s crucifixion and culminating in His resurrection. To be honest, “Hell Week” would describe His week more accurately. In His final week Christ faced the forces of Hell, invaded Hell, and conquered death, Hell, and the grave. According to Dr. Dave Bookman of Bookman Ministries, this is how Jesus spent the week of His crucifixion and resurrection.
On Sunday Jesus makes His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem and spends the night in Bethany, Matthew 21:1, Mark 11:1, Luke 19:29, John 12:12.
On Monday Jesus leaves Bethany, curses the fig tree on the way into the city, weeps over Jerusalem, cleanses the temple for the second time in His ministry and then leaves the city, spending the night in Bethany, Matthew 21:12, Mark 11:22, Luke 19:45.
On Tuesday Jesus leaves Bethany, finds the fig tree withered; teaches on faith, possesses the temple and its precincts; confounds and pronounces woes upon His enemies and leaves Jerusalem; gives the Mt. Olivet Discourse on the way back to Bethany and spends the night in Bethany, Matthew 21:20, Mark 11:20, Luke 20:36, John 12:20.
On Wednesday the scriptures are silent on how Christ spent that day. Some surmise after a rigorous three days and knowing what the rest of the week would entail, He rested.
On Thursday Christ sends Peter and John to make preparation for the Passover meal and after sunset, eats the meal with the twelve; washes disciples’ feet; Judas departs and the Lord’s Supper was instituted. Jesus travels to the Garden of Gethsemane and spends the night in prayer and travail. Jesus is betrayed by Judas and after His arrest by the Sanhedrin is taken to the house of the High Priest as the Sanhedrin is convened; Matthew 26:1, Mark 14:1, Luke 22:1.
On Friday six different trials of Jesus Christ occur. The final trial is before Pilate when Jesus is scourged; the city cries, “Crucify Him!” At this time Jesus is finally turned over to be crucified. Jesus is mocked by Roman soldiers; and a crown of thorns is placed on His head. Jesus bears His cross to the gate on the north of the city and is crucified around 9 a.m. Jesus makes seven statements from the Cross, “Father, forgive them…” “Today you will be with me in paradise…” “Woman, behold thy son…” “My God, My God…” “I thirst.” “It is finished.” “Into Thy hands…” Jesus dies about 3 p.m. An earthquake occurs and Jesus’ side is pierced and Jesus is buried by sundown, Matthew 26:1, Mark 14:53, Luke 22:54, John 18:13.
On Saturday at the request of the Jewish leadership, Pilate grants a guard and sets a seal on the tomb of Jesus, Matthew 27:66.
On Sunday Jesus Christ rises from the dead (before dawn) and makes five appearances on the day of His rising: to Mary Magdalene [given a message to the disciples], to the other women who come to the tomb [intending to complete the burial preparation of His body], to two disciples on the Road to Emmaus, to Simon Peter [nowhere recorded, but alluded to in Luke 24:33 and 1 Corinthians 1:5], to the astonished disciples… Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1, Luke 24:1, John 20:1.
How’s that for a week’s worth of events?! Jesus kept the main thing the main thing to the very end. His last week on earth wasn’t about His needs and desires and having a big going-away party thrown on His behalf. It was about pleasing His Heavenly Father, even when His earthly family didn’t understand His decisions.
I don’t know about you, but I give thanks for Jesus’ worst week because His worst was surely for my best. As you go through the remainder of this Holy Week and look towards Sunday, be sure to express gratitude to the One who bore it all, the sin and shame, the beatings and the nails, for YOU!