What is the significance of the cross...?

The cross in the New Testament also has a... personal and individual meaning as a symbol or an image for the path of transformation, for what it means to follow Jesus. It means to die and rise with...

Holy Week

An overview of Jesus' final days

Written By Tom Ehrich

For reflections on Holy Week, visit Mary Earle's Holy Week devotions.

The days at the end of Jesus' life were remembered in detail by his followers and became the basis for Christian witness.

The four Gospels, composed 40 to 70 years after Jesus’ death, have been described as “Passion Narratives with other material added.” That means each author started with a detailed account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, his final teachings, his arrest and trial, his death on Calvary, and his empty tomb and resurrection.

Then each added various stories from Jesus’ ministry to explain how the final days came about.

The four Gospels present different details, but the overall shape of the Passion Narrative is remarkably consistent, suggesting that these events were remembered keenly and discussed avidly among the earliest followers.


Also known as Passion Sunday, this Sunday before Easter remembers Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem near the end of a public ministry spent almost entirely outside Israel’s capital city. Read more.

Wine and BreadMAUNDY THURSDAY: The Last Supper
The Thursday before Easter remembers the night before Jesus died, when he shared a “last supper” with his friends and washed their feet as a sign of the “new commandment” (Latin: mandatum novum, hence the name “Maundy Thursday”), namely, that they “love one another.”
Read more.


Cross at EveningGOOD FRIDAY: Crucifixion
Called “good” because of all the wonder and meaning that flowed from it, this is the day when Jesus was handed over to trial, tortured, forced to carry his cross...through the streets of Jerusalem, nailed to the cross on the hill...and allowed to die a slow and agonizing death... Read more.

Baptismal Font
This is the day of waiting. Not much is said about it in the Bible, except that the disciples were in hiding and a group of women were preparing to visit the tomb in order to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. Read more.


EasterEASTER DAY: Resurrection
Like the day of Jesus’ death, the day of resurrection is described by the Gospels in detail, both to verify that it happened and to explain the meaning that the first Christians took from it. Read more.