A Holy Week Bible Study that will Help You Focus on Jesus

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A Holy Week Bible Study for individuals and families - Walk through the Gospels and spend time with Jesus. Questions and prayers to help you experience His love #HolyWeek #Jesus #PassionofChrist #God'sLove #PalmSunday #MaundyThursday #GoodFriday #WWGGG #CountingMyBlessings

Anne Graham Lotz wrote…

Why did Jesus have to die?

If there was any other way to offer us forgiveness of sin, to reconcile us to God, to give us eternal life, and to open Heaven for us when we die, God would have found it. He never would have sent Jesus to die on the cross. There simply is no other way.

I’m taking closer look at Holy Week because I want to make it personal. I want to see myself standing with the cheering crowds, sitting at the table in the upper room, asleep in the garden, and standing at the foot of the cross.

I’d love for you to join me and maybe even spend some time talking about the questions with your family.

I don’t want to rush through the pain to get to the promise. This year, I want to pause and see myself with His disciples … fully experiencing the Jesus’ gift of love that gave me the freedom to LIVE in LOVE!

A Holy Week Bible Study

A Holy Week Bible Study for individuals and families - Walk through the Gospels and spend time with Jesus. Questions and prayers to help you experience His love #HolyWeek #Jesus #PassionofChrist #God'sLove #WWGGG #CountingMyBlessings

Palm Sunday

Let’s start with a prayer…

Help me stop this week and look at my heart. Show me where I’m wrong. Show me my sin. Forgive me and help me change.

Thank you for saving me through Jesus. Thank you for saving the words of those who walked with Him. Thank you for allowing me to look closely and marvel at amazing grace. Teach me. Guide me. Draw me close in Jesus name. Amen.

So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for Him to ride on.

As He rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of Him. When He reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of His followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.

“Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”

Luke 19:35–38

Pause with me for a moment and let your heart and mind imagine the scene.

  • What do you see?
  • What do you hear?
  • What do you smell?
  • Who are you?
    • A follower?
    • A Pharisee?
    • A bystander?
    • A fan?

Are you being swept along by the excitement? Are you skeptical of the man they say can raise the dead? Are you angry? Are you confused?

  • Do you believe?

Read each Gospel account – Matthew 21:1–11, Mark 11:1–11, Luke 19:28–40, John 12:12–19

Later that day, Jesus said…

“Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to Your name.”

John 12:27
  • What would you like to say to Him?

Holy Monday

Back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and He stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

Mark 11:15–18

Pause for moment…

  • What do you see?
  • What do you hear?
  • How does it smell?
  • Who are you?
    • A worshipper?
    • A priest?
    • An observer?
    • A disciple?
    • A buyer? A seller?
  • How do you feel?
  • Do you believe?

My prayer…

Father, forgive me. I’m ashamed. I’m afraid I would likely stand in the courtyard surprised by Jesus’ passion and conviction. It’s probably I would find normal and satisfactory the way things have “always” been done. I wonder if I would even realize that a place of prayer had become a marketplace.

I’m challenged to ask if I’ve allowed subtle changes in culture to distort my perception of holiness and worship.

I want a passion for Your holy presence. I want to cherish what You call holy. I want to give the highest value to truth and honesty. I want to know Your truth. I want my heart to break for those things that break Your heart and I want to hold sacred that which is precious to You.

Please help me, Father. Forgive me. Guide me by the power of Your Spirit. Draw me close. Hear my prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Read each Gospel account – Matthew 12:12–17, Mark 11:15–25, Luke 19:45–48,

Maundy Thursday

A Holy Week Bible Study for individuals and families - Walk through the Gospels and spend time with Jesus. Questions and prayers to help you experience His love #HolyWeek #Jesus #PassionofChrist #God'sLove #PalmSunday #MaundyThursday #GoodFriday #WWGGG #CountingMyBlessings

In the Upper Room…

He got up from the table, took off His robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel He had around Him.

After washing their feet, He put on His robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.

John 13:4–5, 12–15

Let’s pause…

  • What do you see?
  • How does it smell?
  • What do you hear?
  • How do you feel?
  • Who are you?
    • Matthew?
    • Nathaniel?
    • James or John?
    • Judas?
    • Peter?
    • An observer watching from the corner?
  • Are you humbled? Are you ashamed? Are you confused or embarrassed?
  • Are you willing to serve those with stinky feet?
  • Do you believe?

Father, I picture myself with teachers I’ve respected and admired; and I can’t imagine one of them washing my feet. It seems awkward and embarrassing. It’s easy to relate to Peter’s word, “You will never wash my feet.”

But then I hear Jesus’ words and I see His humble love and I want to follow His example and love like Him.

Please forgive me. I fail repeatedly. I allow “self” to get in the way of love and service. I’m self-protective and self-righteous. Help me. Open my eyes to see those who need me to love them with humble love. Help me to follow Jesus’ example. Help me trust and obey. Amen.

Read each Gospel account – Matthew 26:17–30, Mark 14:12–26, Luke 22:7–30, John 13:1–17

In Gethsemane’s Garden

Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and He said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 

He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

He went on a little farther and bowed with His face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine.”

Then He returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

Matthew 26:36,38–41

And again, let’s pause…

  • What do you see?
  • What do you hear?
  • What do you smell?
  • Who are you?
    • Peter?
    • James?
    • John?
    • Thomas? Philip? Matthew?
    • Judas?

Are you embarrassed? Are you trying to stay awake? Are you confused by Jesus’ emotion on this night of celebration? Are you afraid?

  • Do you watch and pray?
  • Do you believe?

Lord, I can’t imagine the anguish of that hour. The pain of knowing what was about to happen. The pain of knowing the beginning to the end. Knowing the pain, the betrayal, denials, lies, rejection…

I am so sorry. Please forgive me. My sin. My shame. My punishment.

Help me to live by the power of Your Spirit. Help me to embrace the freedom you’ve given. Help me to love You with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. Help me to love like Jesus. In His name and for His sake I pray. Amen.

Read each Gospel account – Matthew 26:36–46, Mark 14:32–42, Luke 22:39–45,

Good Friday

Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put a purple robe on Him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped Him across the face.

John 19:1-3

Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away. Carrying the cross by Himself, He went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). There they nailed Him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

John 19:16–19

At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Mark 15:33–34

Jesus knew that His mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.”

When Jesus had tasted it, He said, “It is finished!” Then He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

John 19:28,30

And finally, let’s pause to make it personal one more time…

  • What do you see?
  • What do you hear?
  • What do you smell?
  • Who are you?
    • John?
    • Mary Magdalene?
    • A Soldier?
    • Mary, His mother?
    • A Mocker?
    • An Observer?
    • A Thief?
    • A Priest?
  • How do you feel?

Are you afraid? Are you appalled? Are you ashamed? Self-righteous? Devastated? Confused? Satisfied?

  • Who is this man? Who is Jesus to you?
  • Do you believe?

Father, Jesus said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” 

Draw me close, Father. Pull me to the foot of the cross. I don’t want to look away . . . to shrug off hard to face truths. That my sin caused Jesus suffering and death. My hand held the hammer. I stand with the mockers and Pharisees.

I want to see myself as John or one of the Marys. But that’s just my foolish pride. It allows me to judge those who history credits as causing your death. It allows me to separate myself. It makes it possible for me to think—at least I’m not as bad as…

But, I’m wrong. Forgive me. I am a sinner. As hard as I try, I will always fall short of Your perfect will for me. I’m so sorry.

Thank you for never giving up on me. Help me to keep my eyes, my heart, and my mind focused on Jesus—the One who authored and perfected my relationship with You through faith. I come to the cross that brings me to You. Thank you, Father. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

Read each Gospel account – Matthew 32 27:32–56, Mark 15:21–41, Luke 23:26–49, John 19:16–27

A Holy Week Bible Study for individuals and families - Walk through the Gospels and spend time with Jesus. Questions and prayers to help you experience His love #HolyWeek #Jesus #PassionofChrist #God'sLove #PalmSunday #MaundyThursday #GoodFriday #WWGGG #CountingMyBlessings

I’m praying for you this Holy Week.

I’m asking God to bless you and remind you once again of how very much He loves you…

 God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, “I love you.” ~ Billy Graham

And I’d love for you to join me on Friday when I’m going to God with prayers inspired by the things Jesus said from the cross.

May God encourage you and hold you close as you SEEK Him.

Don’t forget to bookmark this Holy Week Bible Study so you can refer back to it throughout the week and focus your heart and mind on Jesus.

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  1. Deb, I’m going to save this post in my “personal” file for this week so I can pray and reflect and seek forgiveness with you. This is masterful, my friend, and an inspiration to us all!

    1. I’m so glad, Martha! Thanks for being such a faithful and kind encourager. God bless you! Praying your celebration of Jesus is full of joy and countless blessings!

  2. Thank you, Deb! This morning as I read Job 37:14, the words ‘stop and consider’ jumped out at me. We have been given a special opportunity to stop and consider God’s wondrous works. And what is more wondrous than His death and resurrection? So thank you, I will pause and consider along with you the actual events of this earth-changing week.

    1. I love how God uses His Word to nudge our hearts, Carlie. “Stop and consider” what a beautiful place to sit in his Word. I recently had a commenter on Twitter challenge a post insisting the Bible was fiction and Jesus was just a character in that story. I responded by telling Him of my faith and how Jesus had changed my life. Oh, to be able to stop and consider … putting myself in those accounts and realize the love of the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God bless you, my friend. Praying your celebration of Jesus’ resurrection is blessed abundantly!

  3. Jane Haas says:

    Deb, thank you SO much! God has blessed you with the gift of writing. I’ve shared your Holy Week post with friends and pray that they’re blessed through it as I have been! God’s peace and joy to you and yours! Blessed Easter too! Jane

    1. Thank you, Jane! Your kind encouragement is a lovely blessing. Thanks so much for passing this along, I appreciate it! May God bless you and fill your celebration of Jesus’ resurrection with joy!

  4. Beth Steffaniak says:

    I love how you’ve encouraged us to personalize these passages, Deb–to be that eye-witness to all of these crucial events leading up to Christ’s death. Makes it so real, memorable and meaningful! I’m pinning this for sure! Happy Resurrection Day to you, my friend!

    1. Thanks, Beth! Your encouragement is a blessing. Praying your time with Jesus is abundantly blessed this week!

  5. Dear Deb, This is absolutely Beautiful and so meaningful to be in the moment.. and to imagine being present with Jesus and the disciples. I am sending this on to family and friends too. I also loved the “stop and consider” comment from Job. Bless your heart for All that you do. Happiest of Easter Wishes to you and yours.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind encouragement, Judy. I’m so glad this blessed you. May your Holy Week and celebration of Jesus’ resurrection be abundantly blessed.

  6. Cassie Creley says:

    This is such a powerful study! I’m especially struck by the questions “Who are you?” and “Do you believe?”
    I’m reminded of the full Easter musical I was a part of in my church years ago. That experience really impacted me by showing me what it would have been like to live out everything that happened in the Gospels. Thank you for these exercises to further personalize Jesus’ journey during Holy Week.

    1. Thank you, Cassie! I’m so glad it blessed you! I appreciate your visit and that you took the time to say hello. Asking God to bless your celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection Day.

  7. Debbie Drago says:

    Thank you for a beautifully written study. My family and some friends are doing a Bible study with this via Zoom tonight. I hope everyone is as touched by this as I was.

    1. Debbie, your comment totally made my weekend. Thank you so much for letting me know! I hope you had a blessed time on the Zoom call with your family and that you all were blessed by your time studying the Word together. Thanks again and God bless you!