You can prepare for Easter by learning about what happened during the week before Jesus Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection. Starting eight days before Easter, read the events and scripture verses listed for each day.
An important holiday called Passover was only six days away. Many people were coming to Jerusalem so they could offer sacrifices in the temple on that day. Jesus walked to Bethany, a village near Jerusalem. He would stay there for five nights with His friends Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Mary anointed His feet with oil.
See John 12:1–3.
Jesus walked from Bethany to Jerusalem. He rode into the city on a donkey, as a verse in the Old Testament said He would. People recognized Him as their King, shouting, “Hosanna,” and laying down palm leaves in front of the donkey to keep dust from getting on the Savior. Jesus visited the temple and then returned to Bethany.
See Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1–11; Mark 11:1–11.
Jesus saw people buying and selling things in the temple. Because He wanted the temple to be a “house of prayer,” He made them leave. Then He healed people who were lame or blind. The jealous priests were angry with Him.
See Matthew 21:12–17; Mark 11:15–19.
Jesus taught people in the temple and on a nearby hill called the Mount of Olives.
The priests plotted to kill Jesus. One of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, agreed to turn Jesus over to the priests in exchange for 30 silver coins.
See Matthew 25:31–46; 26:14–16.
The scriptures do not say what Jesus did on this day. He may have spent the day with His disciples. You could read the parable of the ten virgins, a story Jesus taught to His disciples to help them prepare for His Second Coming.
See Matthew 25:1–13.
Jesus’s disciples got ready for the Passover meal. During the meal, Jesus told the disciples that one of them would betray Him. Then, to help them remember Him, He gave them the sacrament for the first time. Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to suffer for our sins and to pray to God. People came with swords and arrested Him. The disciples ran away in fear.
See Matthew 26:17–29, 36–56.
Jesus was taken to the high priest, Caiaphas. Jesus’s disciple Peter denied that he knew Him. Jesus was questioned by the governor, Pilate, and by the king, Herod. He was condemned to die on the cross. Jesus was crucified. A rich man named Joseph laid Jesus in his tomb. Jesus’s mother, Mary, and Mary Magdalene visited the tomb.
See Matthew 26:57–72; 27:1–2, 27–37; Luke 23:44–46, 50–56.
Jesus’s body lay in the tomb. A large stone was put in front of the door. The wicked priests asked Pilate to have guards stand outside the tomb to make sure no one went inside.
See Matthew 27:57–66.
Jesus was resurrected! He had risen from the tomb. An angel descended from heaven and rolled away the stone. Jesus told His disciples to teach and baptize others and promised to always be with them.
See Matthew 28.
Photograph by Matthew Reier; top, from left: Jesus Goes Out to Bethany in the Evening, by James Tissot; Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, by Harry Anderson © IRI; Healing of the Blind Man, by Harry Anderson, courtesy of Pacific Press Publishing, Inc., may not be copied; The Voice from Heaven, by James Tissot; detail from Five of Them Were Wise, by Walter Rane, courtesy of Church History Museum; Christ in Gethsemane, by Harry Anderson © IRI; detail from The Crucifixion, by Harry Anderson © IRI; The Burial of Christ, by Carl Heinrich Bloch, used by permission of the National Historic Museum at Frederiksborg in Hillerød, Denmark, may not be copied; bottom: He Is Risen, by Del Parson