If you’re looking for a Holy Week reading plan to prepare your hearts for celebrating the joy of the Resurrection, you’ve come to the right place!

Reading these Scriptures with your family is a very simple way to learn and remember the things that happened during Jesus’ last week among the people before His crucifixion. 

Here is a simple Holy Week Bible reading plan that will take you through the entire week of events leading up to the cross.

The gospel accounts lead us through the path Jesus took during the final week of His earthly life and the glory of His resurrection. The additional verses from God’s Word support the truth of the Easter story. 

There are a few passages to read each day. I’d encourage you to have your children take turns reading if they are doing it with you!

>> You can also incorporate some family activities during Holy Week using these ideas.

Holy Week Bible Reading Plan

Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday, we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry when He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and the people waved palm branches to signify his kingly arrival and victory.

Jesus came with authority. Each gospel writer shares a unique perspective on the events of this day.

Bible Verses:

  • Mark 11:1-11
  • Zechariah 9:9-10
  • John 12:12-16
  • Matthew 21:1-11
  • Luke 19:28-38

And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus of Nazareth of Galilee.” Matthew 21:9-11 

Monday of Holy Week

We learn in Matthew 21 that around the same time He arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus drove out those who bought and sold in the temple. He spent another part of that day healing the sick and lame.

Even the children cried out “Hosanna!” and still the chief priests and religious leaders wanted to kill Him. He confronted them and told them who He is as the Son of God.

Bible Verses:

  • Matthew 21:12-17
  • Isaiah 56:1
  • Luke 19:39-48
  • John 2:13-22
  • 2 Samuel 7:12-13

“But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant.” Matthew 21:15

Tuesday 

On the Tuesday of Holy Week, we remember Jesus’ teaching in the temple and how he spoke with the religious leaders and others present, full of wisdom and truth.

There were some people, even in these final days, who sought out Jesus and believed in Him. 

This day’s readings are a bit longer, and you can choose just a couple if you are limited on time.

Part of the reason I included the entire chapter 20 of the Gospel of Luke is because it lays out a lengthy conversation between Jesus and the Jewish leaders in which they questioned Him about various topics and tried to catch Him saying things that would condemn Him to death.

Bible Verses:

  • Mark 4:30-32
  • Mark 14:1-2
  • Matthew 21:23-22:46
  • Luke 20:1-47
  • John 12:20-26

Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.” Mark 14:1-2

Wednesday

This is the day of Holy Week when attention is drawn to the account of Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles, who agreed to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. 

Some churches refer to this day as Spy Wednesday.

Bible Verses:

  • John 12:1-9
  • John 13:1-30
  • Luke 22:21-23
  • Acts 1:24-25

“I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’ John 13:18

Maundy Thursday

On this day of Passion Week (another name for Holy Week), we reflect on the Last Supper, which was the last time Jesus gathered with all twelve apostles.

At that time, He explained through the breaking of bread that He would be giving up His life for the world to fulfill prophecy and make a new covenant.

Many churches also celebrate the Lord’s Supper during a service this evening.

This is also the day when Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray before He was betrayed.

Bible Verses:

  • Matthew 26:17-30 (verses 26-29 are sometimes called the “words of institution”)
  • Luke 22:7-20
  • 1 Corinthians 11:23-28
  • Luke 22:39-46

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. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Matthew 26:26-30

Good Friday

On this day, we remember Jesus’ crucifixion and death for the salvation of the world.

As He made the journey to the cross, His mind was fixed on doing His Father’s will, though the suffering would be excruciating. 

You can choose one or both of the gospel passages about the crucifixion. 

Bible Verses:

  • John 1:29
  • Psalm 22:6-8
  • John 18:28-40
  • Isaiah 53:1-12
  • Luke 23:1-49 and/or John 19:1-37

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46

Holy Saturday

On this day, we remember the burial of Jesus, where His friends Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus gently laid him in a tomb.

Bible Verses:

  • Psalm 130:3-4
  • Luke 23:50-56
  • Isaiah 52:13-15
  • John 19:39-41

Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. John 19:40-41

Easter Sunday (Resurrection Sunday) 

The Holy Week timeline culminates on the glorious day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Celebrate with your church family and later, take a moment to read these passages about the empty tomb. He is Risen!

Bible Verses

  • Isaiah 52:7-10
  • Matthew 28:1-10
  • Luke 24:1-12

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him, the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:1-6

You can download our Holy Week Bible Reading Plan by clicking the button below.

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