16 Holy Week Verses to Prepare for and Celebrate Easter
- Hope Bolinger Author
- 2021 8 Feb
Although we may hold church services on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we may not realize that during each day of the week that led up to Jesus’ death, something important happened. Below we’ve provided Holy Week verses for each day of Holy Week to recognize the events from Palm Sunday through Resurrection Sunday.
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Palm Sunday Verses
On Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. The people waved palm branches (a symbol of victory) and cried out “Hosanna!” Save us now! In less than a week, they’d cry out for his death.
Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
John 12:13: “So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
For more Palm Sunday verses, check out this article here.
Holy Monday Verses
Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday seem to be mixed together, depending on what theologian you ask. But on these days Jesus cleanses the temple from people who have turned it into a place of mere economic gain. He also curses the fig tree (see the Holy Tuesday section below).
Jeremiah 7:11: “Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord.”
Luke 19:45-46: “And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”
Holy Tuesday Verses
Jeremiah 24:2: “One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, but the other basket had very bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten.”
Matthew 21:19-21: “And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.”
Spy Wednesday Verses
Wednesday is known as spy Wednesday to remember when Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ followers, agreed to betray Jesus to the religious leaders in exchange for 30 coins. Upon hearing Jesus’ death sentence a few days later, Judas immediately regrets his actions and the role he plays in Jesus’ crucifixion.
Zechariah 11:12-13: “Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter.”
Matthew 26:15: “(Judas) asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.”
Maundy Thursday Verses
We know Maundy Thursday as the night in which Jesus washes his disciples’ feet, and they partake in the Last Supper. We recognize this meal every time we have communion in church. We “partake” in Jesus’ blood and body until he returns once again, recognizing the ultimate sacrifice he endured for our sake.
Then Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. There, Judas approaches with a mob to betray Jesus and lead him to his trial, and ultimately, his execution.
Matthew 26:39: “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Luke 22:19-20: “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
Good Friday Verses
After a number of false witnesses can’t seem to get their story straight, Jesus is beaten and sentenced to death by the crowd. He is crucified on a place called Golgotha (the Skull) next to two criminals. People jeer at him from the road that passes by. Mid-day, the world turns dark, the temple curtain tears in two, and Jesus breathes his last.
Mark 9:31: “because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
For more Good Friday verses, check out this article here.
Holy Saturday Verses
Right after Jesus’ birth, Jesus’ followers set about preparing his body for burial and he lies in the tomb from Friday to Sunday. On Holy Saturday, the world waits for what’s next. People have often compared our lives here on earth to Holy Saturday. We wait for Jesus to return again and set the world right.
Romans 6:3: “Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death?”
Colossians 2:12: “Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.”
Resurrection Sunday Verses
As the story goes, Jesus does not remain in the grave. Instead, he conquers death on Resurrection Sunday, just as he said. The stone is rolled away, and one by one Jesus’ followers see Jesus resurrected. Many believe, but some doubt. Throughout the rest of Jesus’ days on earth, he appears to more than 500 believers. As much as the religious leaders try their best to dissuade the news, people cannot help but rejoice. Jesus has conquered the grave. And in doing so, has allowed us to experience eternal life with him.
Mark 16:5-6: “As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
Luke 24:6-7: “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’”
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/RomoloTavani
Hope Bolinger is an acquisitions editor at End Game Press, and the author 21+ books. More than 1400 of her works have been featured in various publications. Check out her books at hopebolinger.com for clean books in most genres, great for adults and kids.
This article is part of our larger Holy Week and Easter resource library centered around the events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We hope these articles help you understand the meaning and story behind important Christian holidays and dates and encourage you as you take time to reflect on all that God has done for us through his son Jesus Christ!
At Easter, the Son of God took on the world’s sin and defeated the devil, death, and the grave. How is it, then, that history’s most glorious moment is surrounded by fearful fishermen, despised tax collectors, marginalized women, feeble politicians, and traitorous friends?
In The Characters of Easter, you’ll become acquainted with the unlikely collection of ordinary people who witnessed the miracle of Christ’s death and resurrection. This FREE podcast provides a fresh approach to the Lenten season and can be used as a devotional or study for both individuals and groups.