Preparing for Holy Week / Passion Week

Last updated April 14, 2019

Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday. It ends with Easter Sunday.

Daily Scripture readings

Consider using the week as an opportunity to review days of the last week of Jesus’ pre-resurrection life. The following readings are arranged in The Final Days of Jesus:


  • Jesus enters Jerusalem – Matt. 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19.
  • Jesus predicts his death – John 12:20-36.
  • Jesus visits the temple – Matt. 21:14-17; Mark 11:11.


  • Jesus curses a fig tree – Matt. 21:18-29; Mark 11:12-14.
  • Jesus cleanses the temple – Matt. 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-48.


  • The lesson from the fig tree – Matt. 21:20-22; Mark 11:20-26.
  • Jesus teaches and engages in controversies in the temple – Matt. 21:23-23:39; Mark 11:27-12:44; Luke 20:1-21:4.
  • Jesus predicts the future – Matt. 24-25; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-36.


  • Jesus continues his daily teaching in the temple complex – Luke 21:37-38.
  • The Sanhedrin plots to kill Jesus – Matt. 26:3-5; Mark 14:1-2; Luke 22:1-2.


  • Jesus instructs his disciples Peter and John to secure a large upper room in a house in Jerusalem and to prepare for the Passover meal – Matt. 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13.
  • In the evening Jesus eats the Passover meal with the Twelve, tells them of the coming betrayal, and institutes the Lord’s Supper – Matt. 26:20-29; Mark 14:17-23; Luke 22:14-30.
  • During supper Jesus washes the disciples’ feet, interacts with them, and delivers the Upper Room Discourse (Farewell Discourse) – John 13:1-17:26.
  • Jesus and the disciples sing a hymn together, then depart to the Mount of Olives – Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26; Luke 22:39.
  • Jesus predicts Peter’s denials – Matt. 26:21-35; Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:31-34.
  • Jesus issues final practical commands about supplies and provisions – Luke 22:35-38.
  • Jesus and the disciples go to Gethesmane, where he struggles in prayer and they struggle to stay awake late into the night – Matt. 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46.


  • Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested by the authorities (perhaps after midnight, early Friday morning) – Matt. 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-12.
  • Jesus has an informal hearing before Annas (former hight priest and Caiaphas’s father-in-law) – Matt. 26:57, 59-68; Mark 14:53, 55-65; Luke 22:63-71.
  • As predicted Peter denies Jesus and the rooster crows – Matt. 26:58, 69-75; Mark 14:54, 66-72; Luke 22:54b-62; John 18:15-18, 25-27.
  • After sunrise on Friday the final consultation of the full Sanhedrin condemns Jesus to death and sends him to Pontius Pilate – Matt. 27:1-2; Mark 15:1.
  • Judas changes his mind, returns the silver, and hangs himself – Matt. 27:3-10.
  • Pilate questions Jesus and send him to Herod Antipas – Matt.27:11-14; Mark 15:2-5; Luke 23:1-7; John 18:28-38.
  • Herod questions Jesus and send him back to Pilate – Luke 23:8-12.
  • Jesus appears before Pilate a second time and is condemned to die – Matt. 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:13=25; John 18:38b-19:16.
  • Jesus is mocked and marched to Golgotha – Matt. 27:27-34; Mark 15:16-23; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17.
  • Jesus is crucified between two thieves – Matt. 27:35-44; Mark 15:24-32; Luke 23:33-43; John 19:18-27.
  • Jesus breathes his last – Matt. 27:45-56; Mark 15:33-41; Luke 23:44-49; John 19:28-37.
  • Joseph of Arimathea buries Jesus in a new tomb – Matt. 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42.


  • The chief priests and Pharisees place guards at the tomb with Pilate’s permission – Matt. 27:62-66.


  • Some women discover the empty tom and are instructed by angels – Matt. 28:1-7; Mark 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-7; John 20:1
  • The women, fearful and joyful, leave the garden and tell the disciples – Matt. 28:8-10; Luke 24:8-11; John 20:2.
  • Peter and John rush to the tomb based upon Mary Magdalene’s report and discover it empty – Luke 24:12; John 20:3-10.
  • Mary returns to the tomb and encounters Jesus – John 20:11-18.
  • Jesus appears to Cleopas and a friend on the road to Emmaus, later Jesus appears to Peter – Luke 24:13-35.
  • That evening Jesus appears to the Ten (minus Thomas) in a house (with locked doors) in Jerusalem – Luke 24:36-43.


The main characters

Holy Week Flashcards on QuizletSimplified quiz.

The Twelve Disciples quiz

A map of events

Like this one by Logos Bible.

Get “real-time” notifications on your phone

Easter Now (iOS)

Live with Christ – Easter App (Android)

Friday chart

Jesus’ Hours on the Cross (PDF)

Family activities that correspond to daily readings

Kid-friendly craft example.

Devotional videos

From the Gospel Coalition:

Devotional readings

A book on the last week of Jesus’ life

I love The Final Days of Jesus. It is accessible. It helped me enjoy Holy Week. Oh, the drama! “[Jesus] is about to force the ultimate confrontation…”

This year I am reading D.A. Carson’s The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus.

The Lumo Project

They are awesome. Their videos cover the entire Four Gospels.

I hope these will make Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday all the sweeter!

Other resources