Week of Apr 14

Passion Week – What is it?

Passion Week (also called Holy Week) takes place between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Sunday).

Why is it called “Passion Week”? This name represents the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross. He did this to pay for your sins—the sins of all of His people. To study the biblical accounts of Passion Week, read Matthew 26-27 or other Gospel accounts:  Mark 11-15, Luke 19-23, and/or John 12-19.

Sunday- Psalm 31:9-16

It’s the last few verses that help bring hope.

14 But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.”  15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me. 16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.

It’s good to remember the Jesus spent considerable amounts of time in prayer with His Heavenly Father.  It’s likely that He prayed this very prayer.  Maybe this will be your prayer this Holy Week. 

Monday- Matthew 26:14-35

What prompted Judas to turn Jesus in?  Judas greed may have been a factor in his accepting 30 silver coins to betray Jesus.  Some speculate that Jesus’ talk of his burial (v. 12) disillusioned Judas, who may have been put off or confused by the idea that the real Messiah could die.  Others think Judas was disappointed because Jesus seemed unwilling to establish the earthly kingdom many expected.  Whatever the cause, Satan was behind Judas’ act of betrayal.

Tuesday- Matthew 26:36-56

Could God have provided another way for salvation?Scripture tells us that God’s law demanded a sacrifice to atone for our sins, and the death of God’s perfect Son was the sacrifice of atonement made once for all.It is essential for us to grasp the enormity of our sin and the utter hopelessness of our depravity as well as the extent of God’s amazing and gracious love.

Wednesday- Matthew 26:57-75

Why did Jesus refuse to answer the false charges?  These same men had resisted and twisted Jesus’ words before.  Why should he speak to them now?  This was a biased, hostile trial, not an impartial hearing.  The unfair and contradictory changes did not deserve a response.  Jesus did answer, however when the high priest charged him under oath to tell them if he was the Messiah (vv. 63-64)

Maundy Thursday- Matthew 27:1-32

Since Judas confessed, was he forgiven?  It’s obvious that Judas deeply regretted his actions.   Seeing that Jesus was condemned, Judas was seized with remorse (v. 3).  He returned his ill-gotten gains and confessed his sin.  Yet remorse does not necessarily equal repentance.  The despair that led Judas to take his own life suggests that he did not receive the inner peace that comes with forgiveness.  His sorrow, not the kind that leads to forgiveness, seems to be a prime example of what Paul wrote about:  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death (2 Corinthians 7:10). 

Good Friday- Matthew 27:33-56

Did one criminal repent or not?  According to Luke, one criminal had a change of heart.  The apparent difference between the Gospel accounts of Matthew and Luke seems to stem from the timing of events.  Matthew recorded earlier events when both criminals hurled insults at Jesus.  Luke picks up the story when one of them seeing Jesus forgives his executioners (Luke 23:34), decides to believe in Jesus. 

Holy Saturday- Matthew 27:57-66

What kind of seal would have made the tomb secure?The stone covering the tomb’s entrance probably had a rope or cord wrapped across it.The cord was then sealed in wax or clay at each end, so that no one could open the tomb without breaking the seal or cutting the cord.It is possible that the seal included the official imprint of the Roman Empire, so anyone who broke the seal would have been violating imperial law.Of course, the detachment of the soldiers stationed by the tomb added force to the seal.