Book Review: Jesus’ Final Week

Jesus’ Final Week by William F. Cook III is a straight-forward look at Jesus’ last days leading up to his crucifixion and resurrection, covering from his triumphal entry of Jerusalem to the empty tomb. (Yet, despite what the cover says, it also includes the Saturday before Palm Sunday where Mary anoints Jesus, which I found to be an interesting and important prelude to the coming week.) This brief read includes the relevant historical, cultural, and biblical information for a deeper understanding of the events, including information from all four Gospels and the Old Testament. The author also briefly tackles interpretive or historical challenges to the text, such as perceived contradictions between the Gospels’ accounts. At under 200 pages, Jesus’ Final Week does a decent job of covering all the needed information while not being overwhelming. It would be a great guide for a Bible study or a pastor to use for a series leading up to Resurrection Sunday. Though there is a “Final Reflections” section at the end of each chapter (as well as a corresponding “Hymn of Response”), I found the book more helpful as a source for information than as a devotional. I am using it as a guide at my micro-church as I lead a series on Jesus’ “last week” before that amazing Sunday when we discover that it wasn’t, in fact, his last week. He is risen!

*B&H Academic provided me with a free copy for review.

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