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Holy Week Family Worship Guide

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This week is Holy Week—the most important week in the history of the world! Use this worship guide to help your family walk day by day with Jesus from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday. Each day there is a short reading, a Scripture passage, a couple of questions, and a short prayer. Let this be a blessing to you and your family as you set your hearts on Jesus this week!

Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday. On this day we remember that Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the Savior King. New kings would often ride into the city as the people celebrated with shouts of joy and praise. As Jesus rode into town on a donkey, they laid down their coats. They waved palm branches. And they shouted, “Hosanna!!” The crowds were praising God for the coming of this new king. But Jesus wasn’t coming to start a war or push his way to the top. No, Jesus was coming as a much different kind of king. He came as a king who would be lifted up as he laid his life down.

Read John 12:12–15

Talk About These Questions:

  • Why do you think the people were excited to see Jesus coming into Jerusalem as God’s new king?
  • Why do you think Jesus would have such a public entrance into the city when the Jewish leaders were trying to kill him?

Close with a prayer of praise for Jesus being our Savior King.

Monday

Today is Monday. On this day we remember that Jesus went to cleanse the temple. He saw the people selling animals in the temple. He saw the money-changers in the temple. And he was angry. He made a whip and drove out the animals. He flipped over tables. And he chased everyone out. The temple was a place for prayer, not a place to make money. Jesus had a passion for his Father’s house. And it was this passion that would make the Jewish leaders decide to get rid of him once for all.

Read Mark 11:15–17

Talk About These Questions:

  • Why was it wrong for them to be selling animals and changing money in the temple?
  • What message did Jesus send to Jerusalem by cleansing the temple?

Close by asking Jesus to cleanse your hearts as he did the temple that day.

Tuesday

Today is Tuesday. On this day we remember that Jesus returned to the temple. He taught the crowds of people and won their hearts. But the religious leaders were not impressed. So they sent their smartest people to test Jesus and try to trap him. But one after another Jesus answered their questions. He spoke not as a teacher but one with authority. Jesus didn't just teach them about the blessed life but he seemed to be the very Author of Life as well.

Read Matthew 22:35–40

Talk About These Questions

  • What does it mean to love God with everything that we are?
  • How did Jesus show us how to love others?

Close by praying that Jesus would help your family to love God and love others.

Wednesday

Today is Wednesday. The gospels don’t tell us anything specific that happened on this day. But Matthew and Mark use this space to tell us a story about treasure. John tells us this happened on the Saturday before Palm Sunday. Jesus was at the house of Lazarus and his sisters. And one of them, Mary, took a jar of very expensive oil and poured out on Jesus. Judas grumbled that it was a waste of money. But Jesus said Mary did the very best thing she could have done with the oil—she used her treasure to prepare Jesus for his burial.

Read Mark 14:3–9

Talk About These Questions

  • Why was Mary willing to give up her treasure for Jesus?
  • Why is it important for us to remember what she did for Jesus?

Close by asking the Spirit of God to help you treasure Jesus above all things.

Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday. Maundy comes from a Latin word that means commandment. And it is on this day that we remember that Jesus had his last meal with the disciples before his death. It was there that Jesus gave the great commandment to love one another as he has loved us. Jesus gathered with his friends to celebrate the Passover meal. But this one was different. Jesus said the meal was all about him and the new covenant he would bring by his blood. After supper, Jesus washed the disciples' feet. Then they went to the Garden of Gethsemane, which means pressing. Like oil pressed from olives, Jesus was about to be crushed under the weight of what was coming for him in the morning.

Read Luke 22:39–44

Talk About These Questions:

  • Why did Jesus ask the Father to take the cup away?
  • What can we learn from Jesus' prayer here in the garden?

Close by thanking Jesus that he was willing to die for his people.

Friday

Today is Good Friday. Lots of things happened on this day. In the middle of the night, Jesus was betrayed and arrested. All his disciples deserted him. Jesus stood trial three times before the Jewish leaders before morning (trails in the middle of the night are certainly up to no good). Peter denied Jesus three times. Jesus stood trial three times before the Romans early in the morning. Pilate then condemned Jesus and let Barabbas go free. Jesus was beaten. A crown of thorns was pressed into his head. He was given a purple robe to mock him. And he was nailed to cross outside the city. Then all of creation shook as the Maker took his last breath and died. It was a whirlwind of a day, but it had been God's plan even before the world was made. Jesus was finally becoming God's king. He was crowned, robed, and lifted up on his throne—the cross. The worst thing that could ever happen in the world became the best thing God would ever do: We killed Jesus. Jesus died to save us.

Read John 19:28–30

Talk About These Questions:

  • Why was the death of Jesus the only way that God could save sinners?
  • How does it give you hope to know that as Jesus died he said, "It is finished,"?

Close by thanking Jesus for dying on the cross in our place and dying for our sins once for all.

Saturday

Today is Holy Saturday. On this day we remember how the Light of Life lay dead in his tomb. As the sun went down on Good Friday, two Jewish men came and took Jesus' body. They wrapped him in grave clothes and put spices on the body. One of them was Joseph of Arimethea and his family had just bought a tomb outside the city. They took the body of Jesus and the laid him in this tomb. A large stone was rolled across the entrance and Roman guards were stationed there to make sure no one stole the body. It was a Sabbath day of rest. And now the One who rested on the 7th day was resting in his tomb.

Read Luke 23:50–56

Talk About These Questions:

  • Why is it important for us to remember that Jesus actually died and was buried in a tomb?
  • Why do you think Jesus ended up dying on the Passover and being buried in his tomb on a Sabbath day?

Close by praying that God would help you to remember just how far Jesus went to save us from our sins.

Sunday

Today is Easter Sunday! On this day we remember that while Jesus did die, he didn't stay dead. On the first day of the week, Mary and some other women went to the tomb to make sure Jesus was buried properly. To their surprise, the stone was rolled and the body was gone. They were told by angelic messengers that he was not dead but alive. Then Jesus appeared to the women. And he told them to go and tell everyone that he was alive. Jesus' resurrection is the proof that he did in fact die for our sins. It is the proof that Jesus was in fact the Messiah, the Savior of the word. And it is the proof that one day Jesus willright every wrong, heal every wound, and wipe every tear. Today we celebrate, like we do every day, that Jesus is not dead. He is alive.

Read Matthew 28:1–10

Talk About These Questions:

  • Why is it important that Jesus actually, physically rose from the dead?
  • How can we celebrate that Jesus is alive every day of every year?

Close by thanking Jesus for rising from the dead so that we can have his hope, his peace, and his love forever.