Ahhh Holy Week. The week that held the greatest events in the whole history of the world. This morning our kids paraded into church with palm branches and praises, and the days ahead will hold every emotion known to mankind. This afternoon I sat down with my Bible to sketch out a family reading plan to help us keep the main thing the main thing this week.
To have experienced the events of this week first-hand, like Mary Magdalene or Peter or John, would have been unfathomable. But we have this precious treasure of God's Word, that has recorded the events of that week in stunning detail, through the span of four Gospel accounts. What a privilege to get to dive into that week through the pages of Scripture. Rather than rushing from the "Hosanna!" of today to the "He is Risen!" of next Sunday, let us pause and deeply consider the painful prayers of Thursday, the "Crucify Him!" of Friday, and the silence of Saturday.
I'd love to share this reading plan with you; but first, some disclaimers:
So, here's what our family will be reading this week:
Sunday: Luke 19:28-40 and 45-48 (The events of Palm Sunday; Jesus cleanses the temple)
Another Look: John 12:12-19 (Same account, interesting insight)
Monday: Matthew 26:1-16 (The plot to kill Jesus; Jesus gets anointed; Judas plans to betray Jesus)
Another Look: John 11:45-12:11 (Same accounts as in the above Matthew text, but with more detail)
Tuesday: Luke 22:1-23 and 31-34 (The last supper; Jesus tells Peter about his denial. These events actually happen Thursday evening)
Another Look: Mark 14:12-31 (Another look at the Last Supper)
Wednesday: John 13:1-17, John 14:1-6 (At the last supper when Jesus washes disciples feet; Jesus teaches about preparing a place for us. These events also actually happen Thursday evening, after they share the meal at the last supper)
Another Look: John 17 (Jesus prays for his disciples and for all believers)
Thursday: Luke 22:39-62 (Praying at the Mount of Olives in the Garden of Gethsemane; Jesus gets arrested; Peter denies Jesus three times)
Another Look: John 18:19-24 and 28-40, 19:1-19 (zooming in on the trials with the high priests and Pilate)
Friday: Mark 15:1-41 (The crucifixion account as told by Mark. If you normally do your reading at the kitchen table, I suggest moving to the living room for this one...it's longer and deserves the time it takes).
Another Look: Matthew 27, Luke 22:66-23:56, John 19:17-42 (the trial and crucifixion accounts in each gospel account)
Saturday: Matthew 27:62-66 (The chief priests’ concerns on Saturday); Colossians 1:13-20 (beautiful description of Jesus and the Cross)
Another Look: Isaiah 53:1-12 (one of the most detailed prophecies of our Savior being crucified);
Sunday: Pick any (or all!) resurrection text: Mathew 28:1-15, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18 (Personally I suggest reading the accounts in both Matthew and John. John zooms in on Jesus’ interaction with Mary, and the Matthew texts tells of the earthquake, the guards’ fear, and the response of the chief priests when they hear of the resurrection).
Another Look: Luke 24:13-35, (or all the way to verse 53) I suggest reading the above resurrection text first thing in the morning, as it happened at dawn. Then, at supper or bedtime, read this Luke 24 account of Jesus walking with two friends on the way to Emmaus.
Easter Monday: John 20:24-21:15 (Jesus appears to Thomas & then makes breakfast on the beach for his friends. Don’t you just love John 20:31!?)
Another Look: John 21:15-25…the restoration of Peter.
If your family hasn't developed a habit of family devos, this would be the perfect week to start.
And last, cling to John 20:31: "These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."
He is risen indeed. Amen and Amen.