From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday: A Guide for Holy Week

Holy Week—the week before Easter Sunday—commemorates the final week of Jesus’ earthly ministry. In this post is a timeline complete with Scripture references and prayer points you can use as a guide for reflection, repentance, and reverence as you join with believers in our church and worldwide in remembrance of the profound sacrifice and love demonstrated by our Savior. 

Palm Sunday (read Zechariah 9:9; Matt. 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-10; Luke:28-40; John 12:12-19)

On the Sunday before Easter, we commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey as prophesied in the Old Testament. This event symbolizes Jesus’ kingship, but it also foreshadows the events to come. Despite the jubilant reception, Jesus knew the true purpose of His entry into Jerusalem was to fulfill God’s plan for salvation.



🙏 Prayer Points:

  • Thank the Lord for keeping His promises, especially His promise made in the Garden of Eden after the fall of man to send a Savior to crush sin and reconcile our relationship with Him.
  • Confess and repent of moments of distraction. Ask forgiveness for times when you’ve missed the presence and power of the Holy Spirit like the Pharisees and Sadducees missed the historic and triumphant significance of Jesus’ entry.
  • Ask God to open your heart to acknowledge His presence and be in tune with His will. Pray He will give you the humility to trust His plans even when they look different from what you might envision.


Holy Monday (read Matt. 21:10-22; Mark 11:12-19; Luke 19:45-48) 

On the Monday before Easter, we reflect on Jesus’ cleansing of the temple and cursing of the fig tree. Many scholars believe these events are a metaphor for God passing judgment on those who present themselves as religious to others but have not allowed themselves to be transformed by a personal relationship with God.

🙏 Prayer Points:

  • Thank the Lord for inviting you into an intimate relationship with Him. Praise Him for His desire to know you personally!
  • Confess and repent of ways you’ve neglected your relationship with Him.
  • Ask God to cleanse your life of things that tempt or distract you from Him. Ask Him to give you growth and allow you to bear fruit.
Holy Tuesday (read Matt. 21: 23-25:46; John 12:20-38) 

On the Tuesday before Easter, we consider Jesus’ last public address before His crucifixion. A crowd gathers and He tells several parables (stories that illustrate a specific point) that reiterate the message He preached throughout His ministry: the Kingdom of God is near—repent and believe.



🙏 Prayer Points:

  • Thank the Lord for His wisdom and teaching in your life, and for His patience as you learn His will and His heart.
  • Confess and repent of ways you’ve judge others instead of serving, loving, and sharing the gospel with them.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to imprint the words and lessons of Jesus’ teachings on your heart so you may be equipped and mobilized to share His message with others.
Holy Wednesday (read Matt. 26:1-16; Mark 14:1-11) 

Wednesday is the day we mark three events: the religious leaders’ scheming to arrest and kill Jesus, Jesus’ anointing, and Judas’ agreement to betray Jesus.

🙏 Prayer Points:

  • Like the woman who anointed Jesus’s feet with oil, take a moment to acknowledge the reverence of God—how He is worthy of all our praise and of everything we can bring Him.
  • Confess and repent of ways you’ve been like the disciples who were more focused on the cost of the oil than they were on the significance of the gift.
  • Take a moment to lament Judas’ betrayal. Lament times you’ve been unfaithful—whether that be in your walk with the Lord or ways you’ve betrayed loved ones. Pray for forgiveness and for strength to follow Christ.
Maundy Thursday (read Matt. 26:17-75; Mark 14:12-72; Luke 22:7-62; John 13:1-38) 

The word “maundy” comes from the Latin word mandātum, meaning “mandate or command.” Early believers chose this word to describe the Thursday before Easter because this is the occasion on which we remember the Last Supper at which Jesus washed His disciples’ feet and said the words, “a new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

🙏 Prayer Points:

  • Praise the Lord once again for making a way for us to be reconciled in our relationship with Him. Thank Him for the sacrifice He made.
  • Consider the events of that Thursday night, when Jesus predicts Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial. Reflect on Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Meditate on His words, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Mourn the events of His arrest.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit for endurance in your spiritual journey and strength to resist temptation.
Good Friday (read Matt. 27:1-62, Mark 15:1-47; Luke 22:63-23:56; John 18:28-19:37) 

Good Friday is the solemn day when we commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion and death on the cross. It is a day of deep sorrow and reflection on the immense sacrifice Jesus made for the forgiveness of sins. This is why many believers, including us here at Mt. Bethel, observe Tenebrae on this day.

Fulfilling multiple Old Testament prophecies, including Isaiah 53:5, He endured betrayal, mockery, and physical torture as He was unjustly condemned to the most shameful way a person could die according to society at the time.

After long, anguishing hours of suffering on the cross, Jesus said the words, “It is finished,” before taking His last breath. These words, which in the Greek is “tetelestai”, refers to Jesus’s mission on earth—the atonement for humanity’s sin.

🙏 Prayer Points:

  • Acknowledge God’s righteousness, His holiness, and His deep love for us.
  • Confess and repent of times you’ve picked back up or held on to the ways of the world instead of living in the abundant freedom Jesus’ sacrifice provides for us. Speak the words, “it is finished” to yourself as a reminder of the ways the enemy has waged for your heart that have already been won by our Savior.
Black Saturday (read Matt. 27:62-66, Mark 16:1; Luke 23:56; John 19:40) 

Sometimes also referred to as “Holy Saturday,” this day is a day of anticipation and waiting as we remember the time between Jesus’s final breath and His resurrection. For the first disciples, this was a dark day that was heavy with feelings of grief and defeat. But post-resurrection, we know we can have hope during periods of waiting.

🙏 Prayer Points:

  • Praise God for His omniscience (all-knowing), His omnipresence (ever-present), and His omnipotence (all-powerful). Thank Him for the times between when He is at work, even though we might not see it.
  • Confess and repent of times you’ve failed to wait or failed to trust Him in the waiting.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to give you patience and to help you trust in times of waiting.
Easter Sunday (read Matt. 28: 1-15, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18) 

The week ends in celebration on Resurrection Sunday! Jesus died for us to give us eternal life with God, but He rose again to give us eternal, living hope. The resurrection of Jesus validates His identity as the Son of God and the fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan.

🙏 Prayer Points:

  • Rejoice in our Lord’s victory over sin and death! Praise God for His redeeming love!
  • Lament the souls of this lost and dying world around us who have not yet heard and accepted the truths of Easter.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to give you boldness to proclaim this story and message to those who have not yet called on Jesus as their Savior.