Where was Jesus during the Days of Holy Week?

         Sunday – Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem - Jesus rode a young donkey into Jerusalem, welcomed by crowd waving palm branches and shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the One who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" That evening, Jesus probably spent the night in Bethany with Lazarus, Mary and Martha.

       Monday – Jesus Clears the Temple - The next day, Jesus returned to Jerusalem. Along the way, He cursed a fig tree because it’d failed to bear fruit. Some believe His Cursing of the fig tree represents God's Judgment on the spiritually dead religious leaders of Israel. Others believe the symbolism extends to all believers, to indicate genuine faith is more than outward religiosity; True, Living faith must bear spiritual fruit in a person's life. Arriving at the Temple, He found the courts full of corrupt money changers, and began to overturn their tables saying: "The Scriptures declare, 'My Temple will be a House of Prayer;' Yet, you have turned it into a den of thieves.” On Monday evening Jesus probably returned to Bethany again.

      Tuesday – Jesus Goes to the Mount of Olives - On Tuesday morning, Jesus returned to Jerusalem. Passing the withered fig tree, Jesus spoke about the importance of faith. Back at the Temple, religious leaders were upset Jesus had established Himself as a Spiritual Authority. They organized an ambush with intent to arrest Him. He evaded their traps and pronounced harsh judgment on them. Later, He went to the Mount of Olives, east of the Temple overlooking Jerusalem, where He presented prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age. Tuesday was also the day Judas negotiated with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus. After a tiring day of confrontation and warnings, Jesus again returned to Bethany for the night.

      Wednesday – Scripture doesn't say what Jesus did on Wednesday. Some speculate after 2 exhausting days in Jerusalem, He spent the day resting in Bethany. Having previously revealed His Power over death by raising Lazarus; many believed Jesus was the Messiah.

      Maundy Thursday – Passover / Last Supper – The week takes a somber turn on Thursday. Jesus sent Peter and John to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to make the preparations for the Passover Feast. After sunset, Jesus washed the feet of His Disciples. Thus demonstrating by example how believers should love one another. Then, He shared the Feast of Passover with them, knowing He was about to fulfill the Meaning of Passover by giving His Body to be broken and His Blood to be shed in Sacrifice to free us from sin and death. He thus established Communion, instructing His Followers to continually remember His Sacrifice by sharing the Bread and Cup. Then they went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He prayed in agony to Almighty God. Finally, Jesus was betrayed by a kiss from Judas and arrested. He was taken to the High Priest, where the whole council had gathered to make their case against Him. As Jesus' Trial began, Peter denied knowing Him 3 times before the rooster crowed.

      Good Friday – Trial, Crucifixion, Death, and Burial – Jesus’ Journey turned treacherous and painful the final hours before His Death. Before 9 am, Jesus endured the shame of false accusations, condemnation, mockery, beatings, and abandonment, and being sentenced to death by Crucifixion (the most horrible and disgraceful method of capital punishment at the time). Soldiers spit on Him, tormented and mocked Him, and pierced Him with a Crown of Thorns. Then He carried His Cross to Golgotha, where He was nailed to It. He spoke 7 final statements from the Cross beginning with "Forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing," and ending “Into Your Hands I commit My Spirit." About 3 pm, Jesus breathed his last breath and died. By 6 p.m. Friday, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus' Body down from the cross and laid it in a tomb.

      Saturday – In the Tomb – Jesus' Body was guarded by Roman soldiers on the Sabbath. When the Sabbath ended at 6 pm, His Body was ceremonially treated for burial with spices purchased by Nicodemus. Nicodemus and Joseph were members of the Sanhedrin, that condemned Jesus to death. Presumably, both men had lived as Secret Followers of Jesus, afraid to make a public profession of faith because of their prominent positions. Both being deeply affected by Jesus' Death, they boldly came out of hiding, risking their reputations and lives because they believed Jesus was the Messiah. Together they cared for Jesus' Body and prepared It for burial.

      Resurrection Sunday –Early Sunday morning, the women went to the tomb and discovered the large stone covering the entrance had been rolled away. An Angel announced: "Don't be afraid! I know you’re looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn't here! He is risen from the dead, just as He said would happen." On the Day of His Resurrection, Jesus made at least 5 appearances: to Mary Magdalene, Peter, two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and then later to all of the disciples except Thomas, while they gathered for prayer.

Rev. Karen Fraser Moore