“With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.” (Mark 15:37) “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46) These are the last words of Jesus as recorded in the Bible. This paper looks at the events leading up to Jesus’ death on the cross as well as the controversy caused by the events.
The week that led up to Jesus’ death and the events that occurred during this week are known as the Passion Week. The passion of Jesus is his sufferings between the night of the Last Supper and his death on the cross. Five main events occurred during Passion Week:
• Jesus going to Jerusalem
• Jesus in the Temple
• The Last Supper
• The arrest of Jesus
• Jesus’ interrogation and crucifixion
Sunday: Jesus traveled to Jerusalem on a donkey, which symbolizes humility and peace. Upon his arrival he received a grand welcome with people shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”(Sanders- 252) The people were calling him “King.” He went to Jerusalem to observe the Jewish Passover. This event fulfilled a prophecy in Zechariah, a book in the Old Testament:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
Some scholars think that either the prophecy created the event or that the prophecy created the story and that the event never occurred. In this case we can not be sure if Jesus acted out a prophecy or if Christian tradition depicted him as doing so. I feel that Jesus really did fulfill the prophecy. He read the prophecy in the Old Testament and decided to do as it was written and ride into Jerusalem on a donkey.
Monday: Jesus went to the Temple and turned over the tables of money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer” (Isaiah 56:7), but you have made it “a den for robbers.” (Jeremiah 7:11) Jesus found the Gentiles in the temple making a large profit. He then forced them to leave. In a sense, Jesus felt that trade in the temple was dishonest and felt that it should not occur because it robbed the temple of its sanctity. The result of this visit to the Temple was that the chief priests and the teachers of the Jewish law began looking for a way to kill Jesus. Why? Because they feared him.
Thursday: The next main event is when Jesus shared a last supper with his disciples, saying that he would not drink wine again “until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” (Mark 14:22) At the Last Supper, Jesus prepared both himself and his disciples for his death. The loaf of bread symbolized his body, which was soon to be sacrificed and wine, which symbolizes his blood which was soon to be shed. After the Supper, they went to the Garden of Gethsemane. Here, Jesus prayed earnestly and asked the disciples to pray with him. However, the disciples fell asleep. Jesus prayed three times,...