Many know Easter as a religious holiday of Christ being the last sacrifice needed for us to have eternal life. Easter Sunday, however, is the ending of Jesus' stage for mankind's salvation. In fact, most Christians start to celebrate Christ's last week for their salvation the Sunday before calling it the Holy Week. The week leading up to Easter was full of events that were just as important as Easter.
Palm Sunday (The week before Easter Sunday)
There was a prophecy that the Savior would ride into town on a donkey. When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the citizens noticed and were overjoyed that the prophecy had been fulfilled. To show a sign of their excitement, the citizen both laid palm leaves down on the donkey's path and waved palm leaves in the air. The palm leaves were a symbol of triumph. Those who greeted Jesus as he entered Jerusalem also greeted him by shouting Hosanna, meaning savior.
Monday- Cleaning House
The day after Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, He went around to open the eyes of those who lost their ways. Jesus passed by a fig tree, cursing it because the tree was not bearing fruit. The cursing of the fig tree was a symbol of those saying they were following God's will but their actions aligned with their statements. The hypocrites and false religious leaders. Once He reached the temple, Jesus noticed they were gambling inside the court walls. Angered, Jesus flipped the tables and said "My Temple will be a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves". Christ then left Jerusalem and would stay in the city of Bethany.
Tuesday- Confrontations and Warnings
Traveling back to Jerusalem from Bethany, Christ passed the fig tree he cursed that was now wilted and used this as a teaching moment to his disciples of faith. When he reached Jerusalem they went into the temple. The embarrassed leaders that were called out, became angry at Christ that He established himself as the religious authority (the leaders believed only they had that right). The temple leaders organized an ambush to arrest Jesus for His actions. This is when Christ called them snakes, vipers to be exact, and said they were fake and forwarn them that their actions would send them to hell.
Jesus and His disciples left Jerusalem and headed towards the Mount of Olives. It was here where Jesus would deliver His Olivet Discourse- the prophecy on the destruction of Jerusalem; the end times; His 2nd return; and the Final Judgement. It was also the night that Judas Iscariot negotiated with the Sanhedrin (those who were wanting to arrest Jesus for His actions on Monday) to betray Jesus. The disciples and Jesus returned to Bethany.
Maundy Thursday- Passover (The Last Supper)
Prior to leaving Bethany, Jesus sent Peter and John ahead to prepare the Upper Room in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. Meeting back up, Jesus washed all His disciples' feet to show humility and an act of loving one another. Christ broke bread and drank with His disciples telling them this would be the last time He would eat with them. The breaking of bread and drinking of wine was a symbol He used of what would happen to Him and the way we would be saved. In discussions, Christ told Peter that Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster would crow in the morning.
After the Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples traveled to the Garden of Gethsemane. There Jesus went to pray. He knew He was going to die and He knew about Judas and Peter. Jesus, in His human form, was stressed, felt alone, and in agony cried to His Father: "Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me. Yet, not My will but Your will be done." Even in despair, Jesus knew the outcome was more important than His stress and His Father's work would need to finish. In an answer to Jesus' prayer, God sent an angel to comfort Jesus and renew His strength.