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  • Writer's pictureAnush A. John

One Week that Changed the World

This is a concise account of the events that unfolded in the last week of the life of Jesus, commonly known as Passion Week. It starts slow and then peaks in its gruesome reactions on Friday and then explodes with the glorious and inevitable outcome on Sunday.


Jesus leaves Bethany hungry and goes into Jerusalem again. On the way, he denounces a barren fig tree for its barrenness. He enters the Jerusalem temple and cleanses it for the second time. He heals the sick in the temple to the ire of Jewish authorities and children cry “Hosanna” to Him.

In the evening he returns to Bethany.

Matt. 21:12–22; Mark 11:15–26; Luke 19:45–48.


Today is a busy day. Jesus leaves Bethany again and heads to Jerusalem for his last day of public ministry and his last day in the Temple. On the way, the disciples notice that the fig tree had withered.

He says a last series of parables to the Pharisees and the people on the way to Jerusalem.

Matt. 19:30-20:16; 21:28–22:14; Mark 12:1–12; Luke 20:9–19

At the Temple, the authority of Jesus is challenged. The Jewish authorities try to trap Jesus politically and religiously – Jesus appropriately counters them and then proceeds to pronounce woes against them.

Matt 22:15-40, 23:1-39; Mark 12:13-34, 12:38-40, Luke 20:20-40, 20:45-47

The Jews reject their Messiah. John 12:37-50

In the evening, Jesus takes his disciples to the Mount of Olives. They sit on the Mount and face the city of Jerusalem. Jesus warns his disciples of the events of the end times.

Matt. 24; Mark 13.; Luke 21:5–38; 12:35–48

He also gives 4 parables concerning readiness: Matt. 25:1–13; Matt. 25:14–30; Luke 19:11–28.

It is night already. Jesus takes his disciples to Bethany and leaves Jerusalem one last time.


Today is a quiet day. Jesus stays at Bethany and enjoys an early Sabbatic rest day. But it is the calm before the storm. For, tomorrow will be a different day. Tomorrow the plan that had been brewing in the omniscient mind of God will be unveiled. Tomorrow the dreaded immeasurable agony will begin. Almost as a sign of things to come, Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, meets with the Jewish leaders and agrees to betray His Master, for the paltry sum of 30 denarii, the price of a slave. But today, the Master rests. He will need every last ounce of human energy to get through the week.

Matt. 26:1–5, 14–16; Mark 14:1, 2, 10, 11; Luke 22:1–6.


Jesus comes to Jerusalem for what will be a long, unending day. He asks his disciples to prepare for the Passover Meal at the home of John Mark’s parents.

Matt 26:17-19, Mark 14:12-16, Luke 22:7-13

He celebrates the 3-part Paschal Meal with the Twelve disciples during which He washes their feet.

Matt 26:20, Mark 14:17, Luke 22:14-16,24-30, John 13:1-20

Jesus points out Judas as the betrayer, after which Judas promptly leaves to prepare for the betrayal. Jesus warns his disciples that they would desert Him and informs Peter that he would deny Him. They seem appalled at the possibility and are saddened that that could happen.

Matt 26:21-35, Mark 14:18-31, Luke 22:21-38, John 13:21-38.

He institutes the Eucharist.

Matt 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:17-20, 1Cor 11:23-26

The time is quickly upon them, so Jesus gives His disciples last-minute encouragement and calls the soon-to-desert-and-deny disciples as “friends”. He promises the Holy Spirit as their constant companion and then proceeds to pray for them. John 14-17.

Thursday Evening

In the late twilight of that gloomy day, Jesus leaves the city of Jerusalem, crosses the Kidron valley to reach the north side of the Mount of Olives to a hiding place where he often retired – the Garden of Gethsemane. Here, he begs his disciples to pray with Him, but they are sleepy and let Jesus suffer alone.

Matt 26:30,36-40, Mark 14:26,32-42, Luke 22:39-46, John 18:1