The great gift of Easter is hope

Faith & Reflection

The next few articles will be dedicated to Easter, but I will begin by presenting a panoramic view of the biblical account of the “Passion Week”. This coming Sunday marks the beginning of the Passion Week. It is so named because of the passion Jesus exhibited as He willingly went to the cross of Calvary in order to pay man’s penalty for sin.

Passion Week begins with the Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday) and goes up to, but does not include Christ’s resurrection the following Lord’s Day (Easter Sunday). Many events take place between these two Sundays and while space does not permit the inclusion of all of them, the most notable are listed below chronologically (For this article I’ve taken the liberty of including the resurrection):

Jesus cleansed the temple for the second time in Luke 19:45, 46. This is followed by a debate with the Pharisees with respect to His authority. Later, on the Mount of Olives, He gave His famous and remarkable “Olivet Discourse” in which He taught about end times and explained what the signs of His second coming would be.

Also during this week, Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Passover in the upper room. Jesus washed His disciple’s feet and instituted the Lord’s Table at this time (Luke 22:7- 38). (Maundy Thursday services are connected to these events)

From the upper room, Jesus and His disciples walked to the garden of Gethsemane. Here Jesus communed with God, accepted His Father’s will and was betrayed by Judas. He was arrested and placed on trial before the chief priests, Pontius Pilate, and Herod (Luke 22:54-23:25).

Roman soldiers mercilessly scourged and beat Jesus and then compelled Him to carry His own cross (the instrument of His execution) through the streets of Jerusalem. Jesus was crucified at Golgotha, was buried and remained in the tomb until Sunday, the day after the Sabbath, when He was gloriously resurrected.

The Passion Week is the most unusual, moving and dramatic week in the history of the world, at least that is my opinion. But don’t take my word for it. If you could carve out a little time over the next week or two you can read the entire account for yourself in about 40 minutes.

If you are up to the challenge the record is found in Matthew chapters 21-27 Mark chapters 11-15, Luke chapters 19-23 and John chapters 12-19. (Add one chapter to each gospel to incorporate the resurrection of Christ)

“The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in His ultimate triumph, and in His goodness and love, which nothing can shake.” – Basil Hume

— Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church