This week is referred to as the Passion Week or Holy Week of Christ.
It begins with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, what has traditionally been referred to as Palm Sunday, his final entry into Jerusalem on his way to the cross.
It consists of Jesus’ celebration of the last Passover meal with his disciples, a meal which will transition and be transformed into the Lord’s Supper after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
It consists of the crucifixion of Jesus, what is referred to as Good Friday. It is not good in the sense of what we would normally consider good. But it is good in that it is through the death (and resurrection) of Jesus that our sins can be forgiven and we can experience peace with God. This is reflected in Jesus’ final words from the cross, “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30).
It culminates in the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ on “the first day of the week,” Sunday, which transformed this day to be known as the Lord’s day (Rev. 1:10). After his resurrection and upon meeting the disciples, Jesus greets them with the words, “Peace be with you” (Jn. 20:19, 21, 26).
The bookends of Jesus’ last words on the cross and these first words spoken to the disciples go together. The peace promised in his birth (Lk. 2:14) is accomplished through his death on the cross, which is the foundation upon which we, through faith, have peace with God (Rom 5:1).
Here is a series of readings from the Gospel of John for your mediation, reflection and worship this week.