8 Holy Week Reflections from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday

Contributing Writer
Published Oct 24, 2022
8 Holy Week Reflections from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday

In anticipation of Easter, church pews fill with people eager to connect with Christ—our hearts in awe of the suffering Savior who endured a weeklong series of events that entailed adulation, betrayal, and torturous death on a cross reserved for the worst of criminals.

As we prepare our hearts for Resurrection Sunday, this collection of Holy Week reflections will remind us of Christ’s limitless love and challenge us anew to remain faithful to the one who offered Himself so that we receive eternal life.

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palm branch on bench, holy week reflections palm sunday

Holy Week Reflections for Palm Sunday

Today’s Reading: (Mark 11:8-10)

When Jesus entered Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey, fulfilling a prophecy from Zechariah 9:9,  he knew his kingly ride signified more than an earthly kingdom. His was a government established to answer the heart-cry of the people—a supernatural kingdom designed to meet a God-sized need.

While the people thought Jesus would be enthroned as their new king and rescue them from harsh Roman rule, the streets echoed with the word, Hosanna, which means “save us.” Yet Jesus intended to save them from a far greater enemy—sin.  

The beautiful palm branches waving in the air represented more than a victory. They were a link to the Feast of Tabernacles and a familiar picture of  God’s presence—a foreshadowing that Jesus would reside with and within those who love Him.

Reflection Question for Today: Have you been tempted to trust earthly government leaders for justice or provision when you should rely on God?

A Palm Sunday Prayer: Father, we praise you for Jesus Christ who entered the heart of Jerusalem to shouts of “Hosanna” that first Palm Sunday. May we, too, invite Christ into the hidden places of our hearts—a people desperate for him to triumph in our lives. As we remember the sorrow and suffering of our Savior this week, deepen our faith and teach us to rejoice in his ultimate victory. Amen

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Fig tree against blue sky, holy week reflections holy monday

Holy Week Reflections for Holy Monday

Today’s Reading: (Mark 11:12-17)

The day after the kingly procession, Christ curses the fig tree and erupts in anger. 

Jesus intentionally voiced his complaint about the tree within hearing of the disciples. He was demonstrating his righteous anger against those in Israel that feigned love for God but only served themselves. How? The tree in full leaf should have been budding. Instead, it was dead at the core.

In the same way, the merchants in the temple caused righteous indignation to stir in Christ’s belly. Rather than praising God, people were swindling one another. Like the fig tree—to which Israel had been compared in scripture, God’s people lacked fruit.

Similarly, worshippers may appear alive but lack faith. Only when we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior will we flourish and bear fruit for the kingdom.

Reflection Question for Today: What fruit do others see in your life?

A Holy Monday Prayer: Lord, only days before your death, you entered the temple and cleared the courts of unfaithful followers. Guard us against religiosity and grow us in relationship with you through the Holy Spirit, Jesus. May we faithfully bear fruit as you transform us day by day. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

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Matthew 24, holy week reflections for holy tuesday

Holy Week Reflections for Holy Tuesday

Today’s Reading: (Matthew 24:3-6, 44)

News feeds flood television screens, iPhones, and other digital tools with stories about road rage, mass murders, and global wars. Is it any wonder that anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses are surging as our minds swim with overwhelmingly negative information?

Yet Jesus exhorts, “See that you are not troubled.” The word translated troubled also means “thrown into confusion.” Panic. Fear.

The world imploded around the disciples only a few days before Christ faced the Sanhedrin and Pilate. Some of Christ’s followers expected revolution, but their leader succumbed to arrest, and they cowered in an upper room.

Perhaps the men and women spoke Christ’s words as encouragement to one another. “Don’t you remember? He told us not to be troubled.”

Even in our uncertain times, we can look ahead with excitement to His return (Matthew 24:6-8).

Reflection Question for Today: How can you comfort or encourage others struggling with worry because of current events?

A Holy Tuesday Prayer: Jesus, you warned the disciples that as the age of grace draws to a close before your return, the world would be thrust into turmoil. But along with the warning, you offered encouragement, reminding them not to fear. Lord, we confess that the headlines of the day sometimes cause our knees to weaken. Empower us with the word of truth and enable us by the strength of your mighty hand to stand in difficult times. Amen

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Bag of 30 pieces of silver, holy week reflection holy wednesday

Holy Week Reflections for Holy Wednesday

Today’s Reading: (Luke 22:1-7, John 12:-8)

One of Christ’s closest companions, he witnessed the miraculous, observed love in action, and ate bread from the hand of God. But proximity did not equate to personal change or closeness to conversion.

Instead, scripture reveals that sin continued to wield power in Judas Iscariot’s life. Despite the admonitions and warnings of Jesus, Judas allowed avarice to strengthen its grip—making a practice of stealing from the group’s money bag.

Why would Judas have betrayed a man who he had followed for three years? A man of obvious power? In Luke 21, Christ prophecies about Jerusalem’s destruction and warns that those who love him will suffer hatred, persecution, and even death. Perhaps anger festered in Judas’s heart as he imagined his beloved temple in shambles. Or fear might have swayed his decision to give Jesus up to the religious leaders.

But the decision of the betrayer initiated a series of events that evening that altered history’s course. A few coins and a kiss sealed Christ’s fate—as well as those who would later proclaim his name as Savior. May his name be on our lips today as we give thanks and praise for Jesus’ sacrifice.

Reflection Question for Today: Is there a sin in your life that you have been reluctant to or find difficult to give up? If so, confess it to Jesus and start fresh today.

A Holy Wednesday Prayer: Father, we see the rising tide of anger and animosity toward those who believe in you. Help us to hold firmly to you no matter the storm. Strengthen our faith and embolden our spirits as we offer our lives to you (Romans 12:1). Amen.

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Garden of Gethsemane, holy week reflections maundy thursday

Holy Week Reflections for Maundy Thursday

Today’s Reading: (Matthew 26:20-46)

Gethsemane. A place called the olive press. Here, the knowledge of the future forced drops of blood from Christ’s body—anxiety crushing Jesus in the same way oil is crushed from olives.  

Unable to understand, Christ’s closest friends slept while the Lord knelt in prayer and petitioned the Father. Perhaps there was another way? But God’s answer remained the same. Only Jesus’ death on the cross could rescue slaves to sin. 

Resolute, Christ rose as though waiting for the angry mob of men. Sorrow would not stop the Savior from offering self for our sins. As believers, we benefit from his brave determination. The passion of Jesus resulted in our purification; his pressing as our propitiation

We recognize that as the Christ’s earthly existence drew near, God revealed the horror that awaited. Both fully man and the Son of God, Jesus could have chosen differently. But because of love, Jesus chose us. 

Gethsemane. A place of triumph. Here, Jesus awaited the kiss of betrayal so that we might receive a bounty of eternal blessing.

Reflection Question for Today: In what way does the meaning of Gethsemane deepen your understanding of the garden in which Christ was praying, captured, and betrayed? How does the garden of Gethsemane compare to the garden of Eden?

A Maundy Thursday Prayer: Lord, where sin abounds grace abounds more (Romans 5:20-21). Because of your limitless mercy and love we were saved from our sin and like the disciples, we will one day join you at the table, feasting in your presence.  Today, we affirm our commitment to you and proclaim your name as Savior. Amen.

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Cross, nails, and crown of thorns, holy week reflections good friday

Holy Week Reflections for Good Friday

Today’s Reading: (Matthew 27:51-52)

Sixty feet long and thirty feet high, the veil separated sin-stained people from a holy God. Only a Jewish priest could go beyond it into the Holy of Holies. But when Christ died, His sacrifice provided the opportunity for a relationship and right standing with the Father. 

As Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb, exhaled His final breath on the cross, God miraculously split the veil—clearing the way for men, women, and children to seek salvation through Christ, who is the door to eternal life.

At the same time, the Earth rebelled. Rocks shifted and ruptured as people lurched on unsteady feet. Minutes before, both the religious and the Romans mocked the man on the cross. While some were confused and afraid, others marveled because they realized Jesus was the Son of God.

Reflection Question for Today: Which of the miracles mentioned in today’s scripture is most impactful to you and why?

A Holy Friday Prayer: Jesus, your death altered worship forever. Now, we can stand in the presence of a Holy God, lifting our hands in adoration—fully forgiven. You opened the door for us to enter the kingdom if we confess and believe. We glorify your name and praise you for your inexpressible love. Amen

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blank dark space, holy week reflections holy saturday

Holy Week Reflections for Holy Saturday

Today’s Reading: (Matthew 27:62-66)

Though Christ lay in a borrowed tomb, the Jewish rulers still feared Him and sought assistance from Pilate. Offering a guard which consisted of at least four trained soldiers, the Pharisees and priests returned to the gravesite.

Before sealing the tomb, each group of men likely inspected the grave—confirming that Jesus lay inside. The stone was once more rolled in front of the small entryway and, finally, sealed.

Although Christ’s death had been authenticated by His disciples, the Jewish leaders and Roman authorities also affirmed this truth. But neither the dark chains of death nor the snares of Satan could overpower the King of creation.

Jesus tasted death so that we might enjoy everlasting life.

Reflection Question for Today: People went to extreme lengths to quell any rumors that Jesus might rise again. How does this buoy your faith?

A Holy Saturday Prayer: Lord, we grieve over your pain and suffering—knowing you endured its shame and horror on our behalf. Jesus, you tasted death to deliver us from it. But death could not confine the conquering King or consume the Creator of life. We thank you for freeing us from the bonds of sin. Help us to remember that others need you as much as we do. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

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empty tomb, holy week reflections resurrection sunday

Holy Week Reflections for Resurrection Sunday

Today’s Reading: (John 20:13-16)

After witnessing Christ’s traumatic death, Mary Magdalene hurried to the tomb, hoping to anoint His body (Mark 16:1), only to discover the massive stone had been rolled away. Grief-stricken, Mary’s heart thrashed against her ribcage--tears blurring her vision as she stumbled along the path.

A man’s voice interrupted her sobs, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

Perhaps this man could help her find the Master.

But as the sound of Mary’s name fell from His lips, she recognized Him. Jesus. 

Finally, Mary understood.

The words of her beloved Savior reverberated in Mary’s thoughts, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27-28 NKJV)

Christ calls each of us by name, as well. Can you hear the love in His voice? 

As we celebrate His resurrection, may we pause to remember that sin entered the world in one garden, but Jesus triumphed over its power in a second garden? Because of the Shepherd’s victory, we will follow Him to our forever home. 

Reflection Question for Today: When was the last time you thanked Jesus for the gift of eternal life?

An Easter Sunday Prayer: Jesus, this Easter Sunday, we celebrate and thank you that our names, imprinted forever on your palms, stand testimony to your faithfulness. Although our eyes sometimes shift to the temporal, help us to serve others selflessly, love generously, and walk faithfully after you. Guide us in your ways, Lord, and fill us with your Spirit so that we might know your peace. Amen

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Tammy KenningtonTammy Kennington is a writer and speaker familiar with the impact of trauma, chronic illness, and parenting in the hard places. Her heart is to lead women from hardship to hope. You can meet with Tammy at her blog www.tammykennington.com where she’ll send you her e-book, Moving from Pain to Peace-A Journey Toward Hope When the Past Holds You Captive.

Learn more about the meaning and significance behind the Easter holiday and Holy Week celebrations:

What is Lent? and When Does Lent Start?
What is Ash Wednesday? and When is Ash Wednesday?
What is Palm Sunday?
What is Maundy Thursday?
What is Good Friday? and When is Good Friday?
What is Holy Saturday?

What is Easter? and When is Easter Sunday?
Easter Bible Verses
The Resurrection of Jesus 
Easter Prayers


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