Several years ago I looked for a reading plan that would walk me through Holy week. Specifically, I wanted to know what Jesus was doing each day of Holy Week so that I could walk alongside Him and better understand what He did for me. I wanted to know and feel His great passion for humanity – so powerful He gave himself to be crucified, giving His life for any who would accept His gift. Ultimately, I desired to prepare my heart for the true, superior joy of His resurrection!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a reading plan that fit what I was looking for. I wanted a few things:
- An easy to follow plan that relied on Scripture
- A plan that offered simple, straightforward readings
- A plan that followed Jesus each day
So, I made my own plan by looking carefully in the book of Mark. Mark uses such words as, “on the next day” and “in the morning” which make tracking the days of events easy for the reader. Also, Mark’s intent was to present Jesus as King to his primarily Roman audience. His gospel is detailed, yet straight to the point. These facets factored well into a reading plan, in my opinion.
What this plan does not do is break things down into carefully segmented sections that will give you a certain amount of minutes to read each day. Some days will require a longer passage to be read, other days will be short, and Saturday has no reading at all. While the inconsistency may be a drawback to some, this fit my goals perfectly.
More about Easter
Easter is an amazing holiday. It brings me such joy and fulfillment!
Easter (or Resurrection Sunday) is unique in that it’s a celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, proving that He is who He said He was and that all of His promises are true and trustworthy. Because of this, we may have hope—true hope. This kind of hope means we both believe and wait with happy expectation, looking forward (with certainty) to future events He has promised. Because He overcame death and destruction, those who believe in Him can do the same. (John 3:16) We all need a Savior, since not one of us is perfect! (Rom 3:23) And one day, Christians will be joined together with Jesus in Heaven (the home that He has prepared for us. (John 14:3-6)
Personally for me, it specifically means I’ll be reunited with many loved ones in Heaven one day. Foremost, I’ll get to meet my Savior face to face and behold the one who offered His life to save my soul! I can’t even imagine the beauty of that moment! And only because of what my Redeemer has done, I’ll also get to see all my extended family that’s gone before me. And I look forward with great hope and joy to see my sweet stillborn daughter. I’ll be reunited with her and she can take my hand and show me all around her Heavenly home. Oh, what joy!
So, I pray that this reading plan and reflection questions will bless you. I pray that your heart would draw near to Jesus, walk with Him through His final week as He gave His life as a sacrifice for your sins, and rejoice with the angels as you celebrate His amazing resurrection. May you have fullness of joy in your Savior who is exactly who He said He was – the Son of God, divine, trustworthy and true!
Palm Sunday: Read Mark 11:1-11
Monday: Read Mark 11:12-19
Tuesday: Read Mark 11:20 – 13:37
Wednesday: Read Mark 14:1-11
Thursday: Read Mark 14:12-72
Friday: Read Mark 15.
Saturday: No Reading
Resurrection Sunday: Read Mark 16.
Palm Sunday: The crowds hailed Jesus as He entered Jerusalem, yet one week later, they deserted Him. Jesus knew this would happen. Thankfully, His grace and forgiveness is greater than sin. How does your heart respond to His triumphant entry? Have you ever hailed Him only to forget about Him later? Pray for strength that you can always cry, “Hosanna! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!”
Monday: Jesus came through the temple and cleansed it from unholy practices. Today, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Do you need Jesus to cleanse you? Pray for strength that you can be cleaned and become a “house of prayer.”
Tuesday: Jesus left us with much teaching on His final Tuesday walking this earth. After you read, pray and let Him speak to you. What part of His teaching is He laying on your heart? Pray that He would help guide you and strengthen you to live prepared for the return of the “master of the house.”
Wednesday: The woman with the alabaster box of anointing oil gave an expensive and precious gift to Jesus. Because she loved Him, she gave her very best. What is God asking you to give Him? What is it that is very precious to you that you may be holding back from Him? Ask that God would enable you to give everything to Him, so that He can say of you, “She has done what she could.”
Thursday: The night Jesus was arrested, He prayed in the garden. He asked His disciples to wait and watch, but the kept falling asleep. Oftentimes when we need to be strong, we fall into temptation and our flesh becomes weak. Is God asking you to wait and watch? Pray that He might give you His armor so that you may not “enter into temptation.”
Friday: The crowds demanded crucifixion and Pilate consented. The innocent lamb was led to the slaughter. And an unnamed Roman centurion watched the events unfolding before him and saw the cry of Jesus as He breathed His last breath. At that moment, the centurion declared, “Truly, this man was the Son of God!” There was no longer any doubt. Pray that you could agree wholeheartedly and that God would wipe any doubts away.
Saturday: How must Jesus’ friends have felt this day? What could they be thinking as they were mourning His death? Fearing the Jewish leadership? Wondering about the truth?
Resurrection Sunday: Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James, and Salome went to give their final gift to the Savior early Sunday morning. Their beloved friend and Savior was dead and His body needed careful anointing. Imagine their shock and joy when the angel they saw gave them the foundation for the Christian faith with these words: “He is risen: He is not here!” Who can you share this soul-saving message with? Pray that God would give you courage and opportunity.
I pray that the reading plan and reflection questions have blessed you. I pray that your heart is filled to overflowing with joy so great that it sloshes out onto those around you. But most of all, I pray that you drew closer to Jesus as you walked with Him through His final week on earth. I pray you understand better what He’s done for you.
Be blessed today and every day, dear Christian! May we celebrate His resurrection together and cry out: Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!