The Final Mile
Jesus’s Last Week

John 12:12-15 “The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:

‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
The King of Israel!”

14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”

This scene is called the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, and is the origin of Palm Sunday.

It also begins the countdown of Jesus’ last week leading up to His crucifixion.

It’s worth noting that the final third of each of the 4 gospels is dedicated to chronicling Jesus’s last week.

So I want to take us on a brief sweep through the last week in Jesus’ life by highlighting the major activities of each day.


In Bible times Sunday, not Monday, was the first day of the week.

So on Sunday, the first day of the week—six days before His crucifixion—Jesus made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey as prophesied in Zachariah.

As He entered the city a very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:1-9)

Then that Sunday evening, Jesus made His way back over the Mount of Olives to the village of Bethany and the home of his friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus.

And it’s worth noting that each evening during His last week, Jesus slept at their home!

That was Sunday!


On Monday morning, Jesus left Lazarus’s house in Bethany to make His way back to Jerusalem.

We read that He was hungry and looked for figs on a particular fig tree.

Finding none He cursed the fig tree for having no figs.

While this may seem odd, the fig tree was actually symbolic of how Israel had become spiritually dead, with no fruit, and would soon come under judgment as the fig tree had!

Then that Monday afternoon, Jesus arrived at Jerusalem, went straight into the Temple, and drove the money-changers out!

What had once been a sacred place had become a pigsty!

Jesus was incensed: “This is my father’s house and you have made it a den of thieves.”—Matt. 21:13

That was Monday!


As the sun rose on Tuesday it would prove to be the busiest day leading up to His crucifixion on Friday.

Jesus spent all day in Jerusalem sparring back and forth with religious leaders, teaching parables, and healing the sick.

In one day He taught the Parables of:

the Great Supper,
the Good and Wicked Servants,
the Ten Virgins,
the Two Sons,
The Owner of the Vineyard,
The Wedding Banquet,
and the Ten Talents.

He then pronounced eight woes upon the Scribes and Pharisees:

“Woe to you” he said,

—you don’t practice what you preach;
—you pray to be seen by men, and so on.—Matt. 23

Then, He stood at the door of the Temple and watched how people gave.

It was there He commended the widow for placing all she had into the Temple offering plate.

And on that Tuesday He once again predicted His coming death and resurrection to His disciples—yet they still had no clue what he was talking about.

Later that Tuesday evening as he was sitting on the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem, He wept over the coming destruction of the city (Matthew 24).

Jesus spent the rest of that evening delivering the longest prophecy of His ministry regarding the signs preceding His return and the last of the last days.

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” (Luke 21)

That was Tuesday!


The highlight of Wednesday occurred at evening time when Jesus was anointed by Mary, the sister of Lazarus, in Bethany (Matthew 26:6-13).

As Mary poured the expensive perfume onto Jesus, He was a mere 36 hours from His death on the cross.

—And the only person who had figured out His crucifixion and coming resurrection was Mary.

Later that Wednesday evening, immediately after supper, the traitor Judas snuck off and cut a deal with the religious leaders to betray the Lord for 30 pieces of silver (Mathew 26:14-16):

That was Wednesday!


The next day, Thursday, would be the day Jesus was betrayed and arrested.

On that morning the disciples came to Him and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’”—Matt. 26:18

So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and found the man and his house just as He had predicted.

That evening Jesus introduced the Lord’s Supper.

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’”

“Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”—(Matthew 26:17-30)

Following this, Jesus predicted his betrayal by Judas as well as predicting Peter’s denial. (Matthew 26:31-35).

Then Jesus delivered His farewell message to the disciples summed up in the words:

“All men will know that you are my disciples by your love for one another” (John 13:35).

Finally, before leaving the Upper Room, Jesus prayed His intercessory prayer for his disciples as recorded in John 17:

“Protect them by your name that you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one.”

Then He resolutely led the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane where he would be betrayed.

Soon thereafter while He prayed in agony of soul, Judas came marching into the garden with soldiers carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

The traitor walked straight up to Jesus and kissed Him.

Jesus said to Judas, “Must you betray me with a kiss?”

The Greek suggests it was a fervent kiss of mockery and feigned affection.

One commentator writes: “None of His most intimate disciples and friends had ever kissed the Lord. The traitor alone dared to profane with impure lips the face of Christ.”

Then He was arrested.

That was Thursday!


On Friday major events took place in rapid order:

ONE: Filled with deep remorse, Judas hanged himself (Matthew 27:3-11).

TWO: The Jews dragged Jesus to Pilate and then to Herod, and then back to Pilate where he was mocked, ridiculed and crowned with thorns.

THIRD: Even though Pilate insisted Jesus had done nothing worthy of death the people shouted:

“Away with this man! Release Barabbas (an insurrectionist and murderer) to us!”

And they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

So after his third plea on Jesus’s behalf failed to sway them, Pilate decided to grant their demand.
Hence, on Friday morning at 9 o’clock, Jesus was crucified (Matthew 27:32-61);

“When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with two criminals—one on his right, the other on his left” (Luke 23:33).

Six hours later at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, our Lord cried out, “It is finished!” And He gave up His Spirit!

That Friday night, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for Jesus’ body.

He and Nicodemus (Nick at nite) wrapped His body with spices and linen and laid Him in the tomb, guarded by Roman soldiers (John 19:38-42).

And that was the end of Jesus’s final week but NOT the end of the story!—Come next Sunday to hear THE REST OF THE STORY!

Two closing observations:

ONE: Jesus was not deterred by man or devil.

TWO: He fully trusted the Father in His darkest hour.


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