The real drama of the Easter season is about to begin: Palm Sunday (that’s this coming Sunday) is the start of what is often called “Holy Week”—the final days leading up to Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection.
The account of Holy Week makes for a very exciting read—partly because of the spiritual importance behind its key events, but also because it’s simply a powerful, emotional story. As Holy Week unfolds, a large cast of characters play out a drama that touches on every extreme of human emotion: joy, hope, fear, betrayal, pain, and grief—and then back to joy with its incredible conclusion on Easter Sunday.
But the story’s depth makes it somewhat complex. To help you track the people, places, and events of Holy Week, here’s a chart that visualizes each of the different strands of the Easter story as they lead up to Easter Sunday:
(Click the image above for a full-size version. It’s also available in PDF.)
Each line in the chart represents a different person or faction that played a major role in the Easter story. Follow the lines to see how these individuals and groups interacted with each other during the events of Holy Week; read the Bible passages associated with each major event to learn about them. See this post for more information about how to read this timeline and what it does and doesn’t show. (And please note that this chart is an interpretation, drawn from the different Gospel accounts. There’s room for some interpretation in the timing of some of these events.)
This visualization was released under a Creative Commons license, which means that you should feel free to print copies (we recommend printing the PDF) and share them with people at your church.