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PASSION WEEK

THE WEEK THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

PASSION WEEK - DAY 1

Palm Sunday

Today, Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter, when Christians all over the world remember our Lord Jesus' Triumphant Entry into the city of Jerusalem (see Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19). It is the Sunday that marked the beginning of the eight days that changed the world.

Some people call this day "A Day of Celebration." Others call it "A Day of Glory." However, it is popularly called Palm Sunday because the crowd that followed the Lord Jesus spread palm branches in front of Him as He rode into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey to finally accept public recognition of His messiahship and kingship. When the multitude heard that the Lord Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting 'Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord' . . . Blessed is the King of Israel (John 12:12, 13).

This event occurred just a few days prior to His betrayal, arrest, unjust trial, crucifixion, and death. Many of the people that followed to praise the Lord Jesus would later turn against Him (see Luke 23:18). Others would cry out "Crucify Him!" (Mark 15:13; Luke 23:21) when He stood on trial a few days later.

Blessings!

Ike Ozuome

PASSION WEEK - DAY 2

Holy Monday

Today is called Passion or Holy Monday! The Lord Jesus left Bethany with His disciples in the morning of this day (see Matthew 21:18; Mark 11:11). He cursed a barren fig tree on their way to the city of Jerusalem (Matthew 21:19; Mark 11:12-14).

While in Jerusalem, the Lord Jesus cleansed the Temple for the second time in His ministry (see Matthew 21:12-16; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-48 cf. John 2:13-25).

On this same day, some Greek proselytes, who went up to worship at the feast in Jerusalem requested to see Him (see John 12:20-26). The Lord also predicted His crucifixion—the necessity of the Son of Man to be lifted up (John 12:27-36).

He was rejected by some Jews—they did not believe in Him (John 12:37-43). The Lord made a final public appeal to the unbelieving multitude—the summary of His mission (John 12:44-50).

Finally, He left the city of Jerusalem in the evening and returned to Bethany with His disciples for the night (Matthew 21:17; Mark 11:19).

Blessings!

Ike Ozuome

PASSION WEEK - DAY 3

Holy Tuesday

Today is called Passion or Holy Tuesday! Part of what the Lord Jesus did on this day was to leave Bethany in the morning with His disciples to the city of Jerusalem. On their way to the city, they found the barren fig tree that He cursed the previous day withered. The Lord then used the incident of the withered barren fig tree to teach about the importance of faith in prayer (see Matthew 21:20-22; Mark 11:20-26).

This same day, the Lord Jesus’ authority was challenged by the Jewish council or the Sanhedrin—comprising of the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders (see Matthew 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8). Instead of answering their tricky question about the source of His authority, the Lord Jesus told them three parables: the parable of the two sons (see Matthew 21:28-32), the parable of the wicked husbandmen or vinedressers (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19), and the parable of the wedding or marriage feast of the king’s son (Matthew 22:1-14). These three parables depict Israel’s rejection of Him and its consequences.

Blessings!

Ike Ozuome

PASSION WEEK - DAY 4

Holy Wednesday

Today is Passion or Holy Wednesday! Most people call this day "A Day of Silence." Some call it "A Day of Anticipation." The reason is that the Bible does not really say or specify what the Lord Jesus did on this day.

The Lord probably remained in Bethany this day with His disciples—resting, praying, and preparing for the Last Supper that will take place the next day. It probably was this day that He had a feast at the house of Simon the leper and was again anointed by Mary (see Matthew 26:6-13).

It probably was the day that Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, and the Jewish authorities also prepared and finalized the plans and terms of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest. Scripture tells us that Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and the officers of the Temple guard and made arrangements with them on how he might betray Jesus. He collected thirty pieces of silver from them and from that time he sought a good opportunity to betray Jesus (see Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10, 11; Luke 22:3-6). So Sad Judas allowed the devil to use him to betray His Master. This is a lesson to all of us. We must submit ourselves to God, draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. We must resist the devil, and he shall flee from us (James 4:7, 8).


Blessings!

Ike Ozuome

PASSION WEEK - DAY 5

Holy Thursday

Today is Passion or Holy Thursday—the day that our Savior and Lord Jesus observed the Last Supper with His disciples at the Upper Room (see Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-23; John 13:1-35).

The term Lord's Supper has two different but related meanings. First, it refers to the meal our Savior and Lord Jesus shared with His disciples a few hours before His betrayal, arrest, illegal trial, and death. Second, this term also refers to the ceremony in which Christians eat bread and drink wine (or juice) in memory of that event.

The name “Lord’s Supper” comes from 1 Corinthians 11:20. Other names for the ceremony include “the breaking of bread” (Acts 2:42), “Holy Communion” (based on 1 Corinthians 10:16, KJV), “the Eucharist” (the Greek word for “thanksgiving,” see Mark 14:23), and “the Mass.”

The picture above depicts the Last Supper which took place on the night before the death of our Lord Jesus. At that final meal, which was connected to the Jewish Passover meal or feast—first instituted by God in the days of Moses (see Exodus 12:1-14; Numbers 9:1-5)—the Lord Jesus gave His disciples bread to eat and wine to drink. He compared the bread to His body and the wine to His blood, both of which He was about to offer in a sacrifice for sinners. He also asked them to repeat the ceremony in later times, remembering Him as they did so (see Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:1-23; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25).


Blessings!

Ike Ozuome

PASSION WEEK - DAY 6

Holy Friday

Today is Passion or Holy Friday! It is generally celebrated as Good Friday. This is the Friday before Easter when Christians all over the world mark the day of the crucifixion of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

Christians remember this day because the Lord Jesus was put to death for our sins, placed in a grave with those who were evil, and buried with the rich, even though He never committed a crime or told a lie. His death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness. He willingly gave His life that we might be forgiven of our sins.

The name Good Friday seems like an incorrect or unsuitable name since it commemorates the Lord Jesus’ death. It was a good day, however, in the sense that Christ provided atonement for our sins when He died.


Blessings!

Ike Ozuome

PASSION WEEK - DAY 7

Holy Saturday

 

Today is Passion or Holy Saturday! It is the 7th day of Passion Week and also the Jewish Sabbath day. The Lord Jesus’ physical body still lay in the tomb. It would appear as if the Lord would never leave that tomb because His enemies (in an attempt to scuttle or thwart the fulfillment of Jesus’ own prediction of His resurrection) had requested for maximum security over the entrance of the tomb from Pontius Pilate. They not only demanded that the entrance be sealed, but they also demanded that the tomb be guarded by the Roman soldiers so that it will be impossible for anyone, particularly Jesus’ disciples—to steal the body. Their request was granted by Pilate who was the Roman procurator or Governor over Judea, and Jesus’ tomb was sealed and secured, with no chance of anyone breaking into the place.

Gloom filled the world, and Jesus’ enemies thought that it was all over. They believed that now that the Lord Jesus was tortured, humiliated, crucified, dead, and buried, that they were freed from His troubles.

Even the Apostles of the Lord Jesus were in total shock and disbelief—they were in utter despair and hopelessness because they thought it was all over for them. Their Master, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, “the Revealer of God’s way, the Doer of His work, and He who was going to redeem Israel had been condemned to death and crucified” (Luke 24:19-21). What a sad day!


Blessings!

Ike Ozuome

PASSION WEEK - DAY 8

Easter Sunday

Today is Resurrection Day—popularly known as the Easter Sunday—the very Sunday that our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead, after being betrayed, arrested, tortured, unjustly tried, crucified, and was buried—just as He said would happen.

This day marks the end of an eight-day eventful week in the Christian Church year calendar that changed the world. It has been a week of somber reflections as well as rejoicing, for all Christians.

After days of somber reflections on the sufferings Christ went through (His betrayal, arrest, trial, torture, crucifixion, death, and burial in a tomb), every Christian believer now rejoices because of His resurrection. God raised Jesus from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him. In order words, death could not hold Jesus down (Acts 2:24).


Blessings!

Ike Ozuome

DON'T BE DISCOURAGED

JESUS IS ALIVE

Don’t be discouraged by doubters who deny the Resurrection. Be filled with hope because of the knowledge that one day you and they will see the living proof when Christ returns.

The resurrection of Christ is the cornerstone of our faith and hope. It is the central doctrine of Christianity that affirms that God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day. It is also the fulfillment of Jesus’ pronouncement: “I am the resurrection” (John 11:25). This is the main reason Easter (even though the Passion or Holy Week is marked with several memorable events and activities) is often considered the most significant event of the Church year.

But make no mistake about it, the Christian celebration of Easter is not the same as the secular celebration of Easter which makes no reference to either the Death or Resurrection of Jesus Christ, but focusing instead on the Easter bunny and candy and decorated eggs: symbols of fertility and springtime.

 


Blessings!

Ike Ozuome