Jesus' last week on earth (Passover timeline)
I want to provide something that you could read with your kids around this time every year. Mid March to early April (depending on the year) is the time of Jewish Passover (Exodus 12, Leviticus 23:5, Deuteronomy 16:1-8). The Passover is a seven day remembrance of God’s bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. Sometimes it’s cool to read the Bible with your kids when the actual holiday is happening. So, here is a simple breakdown:
John 12:1 – “Six days before the Passover…” That would have been on Sunday (Passover is Saturday). So Jesus was in Bethany and eating dinner that night with Lazarus (who he just raised from the dead), Martha, and Mary.
John 12:12 – “The next day…” This would have been Monday. He entered Jerusalem with all the entire nation of Israel on Monday.
Tuesday and Wednesday passes making preparation for the Passover. We don’t have much insight into what happened on Tuesday and Wednesday (only a few conversations).
John 13-17 All four chapters are at “The Last Supper” on Thursday night. There is a lot here to digest. For the kids, the washing of the disciples feet and when he did “Communion” with His men (see Luke 22:14ff for that detail) would be good to highlight and explain servant hood and the body and blood of Christ to them.
John 18 “After Jesus had said these things, He went out…” This is still Thursday night. Jesus weeping in the Garden, The betrayal (Judas), Peter denying Jesus around the fire, all happened Thursday night.
John 18:28 This is the first thing Friday morning. Herod, Pilate, Ciaphas, and Annas, Romans beating Jesus, Romans casting lots for his robe, anything He said on the cross, were all Friday morning. Luke 23:44 talks about Jesus dying about Noon on Friday. It was dark from Noon to 3pm. They buried Jesus sometime that afternoon.
I hope that helps you explain to your children about days and times. My kids loved hearing “that was today” after we read Scripture.