How to Prepare Your Heart for Holy Week

Mar 20, 2024

What is Holy Week?
Every year, Christians around the world observe what’s called “Holy Week” in the church calendar. Beginning with Palm Sunday and ending on Easter, Holy Week is a time to reflect on and rejoice in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

In 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul reminds believers at Corinth to hold fast to the gospel they had received (verses 1-2).

In verses 4 and 5, he reminds them of a few of the core beliefs to which they were called to hold fast:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our
sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the
third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the

What does this mean for us? Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection are essential doctrines of our faith!

During Holy Week, we get to reflect on the most important events in history. These events changed the trajectory of the entire world—and of our own lives as believers.

    Here are three ways to make the most of Holy Week this year.
    1. Create space for reflection
    2. Confess sin to God
    3. Commit to community

      How Can You Prepare Your Heart for Holy Week?

      1. Create Space for Reflection

      We get it—life gets incredibly busy! To really soak up all the goodness of Holy Week, try to create some space for reflection. This might look like saying no to extra commitments this week if possible. Or you may want to intentionally spend time in the morning or evening reading the biblical accounts of Holy Week. A third option is to ponder the events of Holy Week and journal your thoughts in response each day. 

      Here is a simple reading plan for Holy Week with a journaling question for each day.

      Palm Sunday: Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey and is hailed by crowds as their king.
      Read Matthew 21:1-10.
      Journal: How does Jesus’ humility stir your awe of Him? How can you honor and receive Him as your king today?

      Holy Monday: Jesus cleanses the temple, provoking religious leaders to seek His arrest.
      Read Matthew 21:12-17.
      Journal: Give Jesus your unashamed praise today. Thank Him for who He is and all He has done!

      Holy Tuesday: Jesus teaches in the temple and is worshipped by children as the Messiah.
      Read Matthew 21:18-46.
      Journal: Has God ever used a seeming setback to bring about His good purposes for you? Reflect on His wisdom and grace in doing so—and praise Him for ensuring the completion of His perfect redemption plan through Jesus!

      Holy/Spy Wednesday: Jesus is anointed by Mary, preparing Him for burial.
      Read Matthew 26:1-13.
      Journal: How does Mary giving everything she had for Jesus inspire you, convict you, or move you? How can you imitate her love for Jesus today?

      Maundy Thursday: Jesus shares the Last Supper with His disciples and is arrested soon after.
      Read Matthew 26:14-56.
      Journal: How does Jesus’ love and care for His disciples in the final hours before His arrest make you feel? How does it feel knowing Jesus faithfully carried out His mission to die the death you deserved as a sinner?

      Good Friday: Jesus is crucified in the morning between two thieves. He dies and is buried.
      Read Matthew 27:1-61.
      Journal: As you consider all Jesus suffered on your behalf and how He demonstrated deep love for you through His death on the cross, take some time to mourn over your sin and thank Jesus for His sacrifice.

      Holy Saturday: Jesus’ body lay in the tomb, while His disciples mourn His death.
      Read Matthew 27:62-66.
      Journal: Spend time reflecting on this day in history. Ask the Lord to reveal if and how you have had unmet expectations about Jesus and confess these to Him. Thank Him for His wise and sovereign plan of salvation! And get ready—Sunday is coming.

      Easter Sunday: Jesus is raised from the dead, having conquered death forever!
      Read Matthew 28:1-20.
      Journal: Today we celebrate—Jesus is alive! And because of Him, so are we. How has your new life in Christ transformed you? However you choose to do it, carving out space is a great way to prepare your heart to truly reflect on and rejoice in Jesus during Holy Week!

      2. Confess Sin to God

      As we read the biblical accounts of the events of Holy Week, we see people of various ages, races, religious backgrounds, genders, and nationalities respond to Jesus. Some respond in faith; but most reject Him as the Messiah, resulting in His arrest, crucifixion, and death.

      Puritan William Perkins wrote,

      “The serious consideration of this, that the very Son of God Himself suffered all the pains and torments of hell on the cross for our sins, is  the. . .most effectual means to stir up our hearts to a godly sorrow for them. . . .Every man must be settled without doubt that he was the man that crucified Christ; that he is to be blamed as well as Judas, Herod, Pontius Pilate, and the Jews;. . .his sins were the nails, spears, and thorns that pierced Him.”

      – William Perkins

      The tragic reality is that we are the ones whose sins held Jesus to the cross. As you ponder the events of Holy Week, make time to intentionally confess your sins to God and thank Him for sending Jesus to pay the price for them in full!

      This act of confession is not merely a morbid exercise; it’s a chance to center our hearts and remember how desperately we need a Savior—and how kind our God is to give us a perfect one in Jesus. 1 John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

      As we become more aware of our sins through confessing them to God, we will also become more appreciative of how we’ve been completely cleansed through Christ’s blood shed for us on the cross!

      3. Commit to community

      To make the most out of Holy Week, try to gather as much as possible with other believers. Maybe you can make plans to attend a Good Friday service or throw an Easter lunch for members of your church family. Whatever you decide, try your best to embrace Christian community more than ever this week!

      Before Jesus was arrested and crucified, He prayed for His disciples that they would “be one” as He and the Father are one (John 17:20-21). One of Jesus’ primary desires is unity among believers. He knew that His death and resurrection would forever break down the walls dividing believers of various backgrounds and make us the vehicle God uses to demonstrate His radical love to the world!

      During Holy Week, we have a chance to remember all that unites us to other believers in Christ. Regardless of denominational leanings, doctrinal differences, or longstanding traditions, we all need Jesus—and we’re all one in Him. As we fellowship together during Holy Week, we are living out Jesus’ prayer and showing the world how great our Savior is.

      As you prepare your heart for Holy Week, join us on social media! Each day of Holy Week, we’ll be walking through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

      Let’s celebrate Jesus together. He is risen indeed!

      Follow the journey on Instagram and Facebook!

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