For the better part of the past year, our family has enjoyed being a part of a small home church gathering. We continue to marvel at all God is doing in our family and in the families of those involved. Yesterday we celebrated Palm Sunday and one of the men from our group felt led to write a Bible Reading Guide for Holy Week.

This morning (Monday), Selena and I went through it with our daughters and had one of the most amazing conversations around prayer, fruitfulness, and Jesus’ love for his Church! I looked across the breakfast table and said to Selena, “I wonder if Daniel would let us share this with our Fierce Parenting readers?”

So, here we are!

Holy Week is a special time of year that is central to our faith and, therefore, our lives. You, like us, might not have time to plan your own readings for each day this week. For that reason, we hope you find the reading guide below as helpful as we did.

Be blessed, and may your family flourish in light of all Christ has done!


"He is not here, for he has risen, just like he said."

Matthew 28:6


Read Luke 19:28-44

Before His arrival on Palm Sunday, the last time Jesus had been in Bethany (near Jerusalem) was when he raised Lazarus from the dead. Many knew of His victory over death and came out to celebrate Him as He entered the city. They treated Him as they would a returning King.

While their praise was correct (He is the eternal, victorious King!), they had no idea of the true glory to come. Not everyone believed, however; as Jesus looked out over the city He loves, He wept over their unbelief.

Questions to consider

  • Why was Jesus moved to tears for Jerusalem?
  • What greater glory was to come that would overshadow even Jesus’ command over death at Lazarus’ tomb?


  • Ask the Lord for the grace to see His Glory fully
  • Intercede for those who do not yet know Him, that they would turn to Him while His invitation stands open


Read Matthew 21:12-22

The events here are told out of order (Not to worry! This is a common thing in the book of Matthew!) The fig tree affair happened first and the cleansing of the temple second. Jesus woke up on Monday hungry (and God). Bad day to be a fig tree with no fruit. Then, after being disappointed at breakfast, Jesus finds His father’s house a mess. Nobody was worshiping as they ought. Everybody was just looking out for themselves. So, the heir apparent to the house does some tidying up. Jesus’ tidying doesn’t look much like mom’s tidying, though. Tables were flipped, chairs were thrown. It was an epic sermon.

These two stories don’t seem connected at first, but they are. Jesus is King! He is King over the affairs of man as much as He is over the affairs of the plants. He seeks the faithful and prunes away the fruitless. He is God over all Heaven and Earth.

Questions to consider

  • Jesus says His house is to be a house of prayer.  He also later tells his disciples that sufficient faith can accomplish anything.  How are prayer and faith connected?
  • How do we exercise faith?
  • In whom or what should we place our faith?
  • What does a fruitless life look like?


  • Ask the Lord for fruitfulness in your life, your family, your church, your region, and the world.
  • Invite the Lord to shape your house into a house of prayer that looks like His house.


Read Matthew 21:23 – 22:46

There is a lot to say about this day. We can’t cover it all herein fact, the story of this day goes all the way through Matthew 26:5.

This is the last day of public teaching before Jesus is crucified. He had a lot to tell His people, to get them ready. Let’s focus in on this section at the end of chapter 21 through 22.

Here we see Jesus in a debate with various groups of religious leaders. We see two things in Jesus’s responses to them:

  1. He isn’t afraid of them at all
  2. He is the one with authority, not them.

At the end of chapter 22, when Jesus goes on the offensive, they cannot respond and have to give up the debateread on into chapter 23 if you want to see more of that glorious offense!

So what was the big problem with the Pharisees and Sadducees? They weren’t ready and they missed seeing Jesus for who He really was! This is the point of much of Jesus’ teaching on this day: be ready!

As 2 Peter 3:9-10 tells us, the Lord is being patient, giving everyone an opportunity to respond, but that patience won’t last forever. He will return, and His return will be in the fullness of His glory and in victory.

Questions to consider

  • In what ways might you be refusing to acknowledge Jesus fully in your life?
  • What holds you back from eagerly embracing Him in those areas?


  • Pray that the Lord will show you areas of blindness in your life, where suffering or sin holds you back from full readiness to stand before your King.
  • Ask Him to transform those areas and bring life and renewal so that your joy may be complete on the day He comes.


Read Mark 14:3-11

After a couple of full days, we don’t get a whole lot about Wednesday. It’s like the calm before the storm. But we do see something beautiful, and something dark. In a way, it is a day of contrasts. Calm against the chaos of the week, and betrayal vs. the beauty of sacrificial worship. Is this just a juxtaposition for narrative purposes or is there something deeper at play here?

Jesus is at peace in this passage. Just the day before he taught through some of the hardest topics of His teaching on earth, and won a heated debate against the people who would begin the process of killing him the next day. He knows all of this and yet He sits reclining, enjoying His time and talking with friends.

Why? Because He knows who He is. And while He knows the path ahead won’t be easy, He is confident in the plan He made with the Father before the foundations of the world were put into place.

Meanwhile, another contrast plays out: Mary (Lazarus’ sister, she is named in John 12:3, though not here) comes to worship Jesus by giving to Him a gift worth a full year’s salary. On the other hand, we see Judas agree to betray Jesus for a few pieces of silver.

What is the difference? Mary knows who Jesus is. She knows that He is the true Messiah and she is willing to give Jesus all that she has in gratitude for what He is about to do for her. Judas, on the other hand, is willing to trade Jesus for a few silver coins. Jesus is worth that little to him.

It seems that knowing trulywho Jesus is makes a big difference!

Questions to consider

  • Who is Jesus?
  • What is He worth to you?
  • Do you have peace before Him?


  • Ask the Lord to give you an even greater understanding of who He is.
  • Invite Him to align your values with His true worth that you might be able to serve Him fully and freely with everything you have.


Read Luke 22:7-71

A lot happens on Thursday: Jesus has dinner with his disciples, settles an argument over who’s the best, sweats blood, gets betrayed and arrested, is denied by his closest friends, and is mocked and falsely accused by the authorities.

We see in Matthew 26:53 that Jesus could have stopped all of this with just a quick word of prayer. But He didn’t. That was an intentional and significant decision.  The God of creation submitted himself to the cruelty of sin among His chosen people.

Questions to consider

  • Why did Jesus allow this to happen?
  • What does this tell you about how He feels about you?


  • Thank Jesus for His willingness!
  • Pray for the strength to stand firm in faithfulness to Him, even when things are hard

  Good Friday     

Read John 18:28-19:42

Jesusthe Word, Creator, Righteous One, Holy, Pure, Eternal, Ancient of Days, Immanuel, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, God of All Creation was murdered.

He who knew no sin became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21). He suffered the punishment we deserve. He bore the wrath that rightly should have fallen on us. His body broke so that our bondage to sin and shame would be defeated. Our Lord and King lay in a tomb.

But it’s not over yet.

Questions to consider

  • What did Jesus bear on the cross for you?


  • Confess your sin to Him. He already died for it, forgiveness is offered. Confess and be cleansed by His blood.


Read Matthew 27:62-66

God’s people wait and pray. They grieve and wrestle with confusion. And while the Pharisees believed that they had won, they still seem uneasy. Like they know the story isn’t done.

Questions to consider

  • Are you waiting for the Lord to act in some way in your life?  What are you waiting on?
  • In the waiting, do you go to the Lord in prayer with all your griefs and hopes?  Or do you set guards against your fears and stew in uneasy expectation that things will get worse?


  • Ask the Lord for the peace to wait for Him and His timing.
  • Confess your anxiety and unease and instead pour out your heart to Him.

  Easter Sunday    

Read John 20:1-18, Luke 24:13-35, John 20:19-23

The day death lostJesus is alive!

Interestingly, on that first Easter, not many knew what had happened. Jesus revealed himself to his disciples, and they were surprised. But nobody else knew yet.

The resurrection wasn’t a big loud productionit was a quiet victory. A silent defeat of death that reverberates throughout history with power. And some still don’t know. They need to know.

Questions to consider

  • Your new life in Jesus starts here, at the empty tomb. He conquered death to give you new, eternal life. Dwell on that. Celebrate that. Rejoice in that today.
  • Who else needs to know the resounding power of this quiet, profound victory?


  • Thank Jesus for His victory on your behalf!
  • Pray for those who don’t yet know Him as their savior to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.