Holy Week: Jesus' Last Week on Earth

Updated on April 5, 2020
revmjm profile image

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

Christians recognize Holy Week, also known as Passion Week, as the last week Jesus spent on earth before His death, burial, and resurrection. That was a busy week for Jesus because every day was filled a lot of activities.

Holy Week is from Palm Sunday on April 5 to Easter Sunday on April 12, 2020.

Palm Sunday

The last Sunday before Easter Sunday is called "Palm Sunday" because Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on a colt and was followed by a very large crowd who waved palm branches. This was to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9.

According to Matthew 21:1-11, some in the crowd ran ahead and put their cloaks at the feet of Jesus. Most of them in the crowd sang "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"

Palm Sunday
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a new colt. People honored him by waving palm branches
Matthew 21:1-11
Jesus turned over tables in the temple. Jesus was hungry. He cursed the barren fig tree.
Matthew 21:12-17; Matthew 21:18-22
Jesus did his final teachings from morning to night. Most of his teachings were about the parables.
Matthew 21:28-25:46
Spy Wednesday
This day was known as "Spy Wednesday" because Judas let the soldiers know where Jesus could be found.
Matthew 26:14-16
Maundy Thursday
Jesus had the Last Supper with disciples, and he washed their feet.
Matthew 26:17-75
Jesus was crucified on the cross. We know this as Good Friday.
Matthew 27:26
Jesus descended and set the captives free.
The Apostles' Creed, Ephesians 4:8
Easter Sunday
Jesus rode from the dead.
Matthew 28:11-15


On the next day following the Palm Sunday event, Jesus drove the money changers out the temple for making it a den of thieves instead of a house of prayer, according to Matthew 21:12-17.

Also, Jesus was hungry, but when He passed a fig tree He cursed it because it was barren with no figs even though it was full of leaves, according to Matthew 21:18-22.


Tuesday was a very busy day for Jesus. He taught from sun up until late at night. It was His final teaching as the earthly Jesus. He taught the parables found in the Gospel of Matthew.

That evening He relaxed at a house in Bethany where a woman opened her alabaster box of expensive perfume and anointed His feet. It was a foreshadow of Jesus being anointed for burial.


This day is known as "Spy Wednesday" because the disciple Judas Iscariot plotted against Jesus. He betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and let the soldiers know where to find him.


This day is known as Maundy Thursday. The Latin word mandatum means commandment. On this particular day, Jesus had his Last Supper with his disciples and washed their feet.

Later that night, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and was arrested by soldiers.


Jesus was on trial and sentenced to die on Friday. It has come to be known as Good Friday by Christians.

Jesus died at 3 p.m. on the cross between two thieves. His body was taken down and buried in a tomb that belonged to Joseph of Arimathaea, according to Luke 23:50-53.

Pilate gave permission to seal the tomb and assign guards to watch it.


Saturday was the day between Jesus' death on the cross and the day He was resurrected. Many Christians don't talk too much about that day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Jesus made His descent with his soul to set the captives free in Hades, according to Ephesians 4:8 and the Apostles' Creed.


Some people have begun to call Easter Sunday Resurrection Day. It is the last day of Holy Week and the day Jesus rose from the dead just like He said He would, according to all four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

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    • profile image

      Kelli Finch 

      8 weeks ago

      A perfect breakdown of a very important week, thank you!

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks, Dora, for reading and commenting on my article about Holy Week which was Jesus' last week on earth.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for these explanations. I accept the meaning of Christ's death and resurrection but was never involved in Easter celebrations.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks so much, ericjperry, for your feedback about Passion Week. You are absolutely correct. We could study Jesus' final week for a long time and still find something new to discuss.

    • ericjperry profile image


      2 years ago from Cullman, AL

      Great breakdown of Passion Week! Jesus was very busy that week. I find it especially amazing how people laid down palms and coats for Him to walk on as He came into town, yet just a few days later they would be calling for His head and the freeing of Barabas. I believe we could study this week nonstop and continually find something new. Again, thanks for posting this great read.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Eric, thanks for reading my article about Jesus' last week on earth. I have never seen a source to answer the question you asked.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Quite insightful. Thank you for breaking it down so well.

      A question for you. Is there any credible source that Judas was told and thought that the turning over was just for Jesus to meet with the High Priest?


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