Reflections by the Sea: Holy Week

Published 5:25 pm Sunday, April 2, 2023

By Betsy Ore Glass

Easter is a time of joyous celebration, wearing our Sunday-best, going to church, Easter parades and chocolate bunnies. But, to some, Easter has a more in-depth meaning.

What is Holy Week and why do we celebrate it? It is a very sacred week that walks us through the jubilation of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Followed by his persecution, crucifixion and resurrection, giving new life to all who believe. And Easter Sunday brings all joy in recognition of God’s goodness to send His Son to die for our sins.

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On Palm Sunday, Jesus traveled from Bethany to enter Jerusalem with the disciples while riding a borrowed donkey. When Jesus arrived, He was greeted with celebration and shouts of Hosanna. Read the following scriptures to deepen your understanding: Mark 11:1-11; Luke18: 29-44; John 12:12-19; Matthew 21:1-11.


Jesus goes to the temple and with his authority, He throws everyone out who was conducting business. They began to plot to kill Jesus because of his power. Learn more here by reading Mark 11:11-33; Matthew 21: 12-22 and Luke 19:41-48


Jesus is challenged by the priest, temple leaders and elders about scripture and theology. Most of all they wanted to know by which authority did he do his work. Parables given by Jesus were spoken and he gave warnings to his disciples. Luke 20 and Matthew 21:23-27 explain more.


I admit to never hearing the term, “Spy Wednesday.” But that is when Jesus continued on with his teaching to the anger of leaders. Jesus offered more Parables. Judas became angry and offered to turn Jesus over to the leaders. Mark 14:1-11 offers more information.


On Maundy Thursday the end of Jesus’ earthly life nears. Jesus celebrates Passover, which is also known as the Last Supper with his disciples. After supper, He retired to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, Jesus warned his disciples not to fall into temptation. It is in the Garden that Judas came with the leaders that wanted to kill him, and Jesus was arrested. Meanwhile Peter denied Jesus three times just as Jesus said he would. This account of events can be found in John 13:1-17:26, Luke 22: 7-64.


Good Friday seems to be anything but good. The leaders put Jesus on trial with Pilate presiding and a death sentence was given. That day Jesus was crucified on the cross. A disciple wanted Jesus’ body to prepare for burial. Jesus suffered so much for us. Read the passages to follow Jesus’ last steps: John 19-20Matthew 27:15-61 and Luke 23: 13-25.


On Holy Saturday, which was the day before the Sabbath, Jesus’ body was put in a tomb. The leaders went to Pilate requesting that the tomb be made secure with a guard until the third day. They went and made the tomb secure by placing a large stone in front of the entrance and posting a guard outside. Matthew 27:62-65 and John 9:38-42 tell more.


On Easter Sunday, some women went to the tomb where Jesus’ body was kept to anoint Him with oil for burial. But when they arrived, He wasn’t there.

The tomb was empty and an angel greeted them with the news that Jesus was alive. The women hurried back to tell the others and Jesus surprised his grieving disciples by showing up in their midst. Read about the resurrection in Matthew 28:1-10 and John 20:1-29.

God bless as you prepare for this very important week.

Betsy Ore Glass has long-standing ties to the Outer Banks. From Virginia Beach, her family bought a vacation cottage in the 60s and her love of the area began. Later in the 90s, Betsy and her husband bought a weekend cottage and introduced the area to their children. Then Betsy’s parents retired to KDH where the family gathered often. Reach her at To learn more about her books, visit