Readings for Passion Week

To help us remember this week the events leading up to our Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection, I have attached a set of readings containing harmony of the Gospel accounts, focusing primarily but not exclusively on the Synoptics. The readings for each day of Passion Week generally correspond to the events that happened on that day, with the notable exception of Wednesday, on which the Gospel accounts do not record any events happening. Therefore, to even out the readings across the week, the events that happened on Thursday of Passion Week are divided into readings on both Wednesday and Thursday in this schedule; Wednesday’s readings cover those events leading up to and including the Last Supper, and Thursday’s readings cover Jesus’s betrayal and trial.

The names given to each of the days of Passion Week are descriptive, rather than traditional. The traditional names, in fact, are misnomers. “Palm Sunday” comes from the reference in John 12:12 where it talks about the branches of palm trees being waved; the Synoptics omit this, focusing instead people spreading their cloaks before the Lord’s triumphal entry. “Maundy Thursday” comes from the Latin phrase, maudatum, referring to the “new” commandment that Jesus gives in John 13:34, however this commandment was not entirely new nor was it the focus or the climax of the events that transpired on that evening. As in the words of institution for the Lord’s Supper continually recalls, it was “on the night that He was betrayed.” Lastly, “Good Friday” can be confusing as well; it was “good” in the sense that atonement was accomplished for us on the cross, but that accomplishment was made at the price of the worst injustice the world has ever seen and the most horrible death imaginable to that point.

May these readings help you in focusing this week on the work our Lord did on our behalf, that our sins may be forgiven that we be adopted into becoming sons and daughters of the Living God.

To God be the glory!

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