Prepare Your Heart for Easter
Make the most of the Easter season as you meditate on the love that took Jesus to the cross.
As I sat in church on Palm Sunday last year, I smiled at the little children who paraded down the aisles singing and waving palm branches.
Oh, of course, I thought. This is Palm Sunday. How did Easter get here so quickly?
Like most people I know, I enjoy celebrating Easter. But I had been considering it a far second (if that) to Christmas.
As I sat there, it bothered me that I enjoyed celebrating Jesus’ birth much more than His death and resurrection.
At Christmas, we have presents, fun traditions, and it’s all about God sending the gift of His Son.
But Easter -- that’s about my sin and guilt, angry mobs, brutal crucifixion, and then an empty tomb. Or is it?
If not for Christ’s willing death, I would still be dead in my sins. If not for His resurrection, I’d have no hope of eternal life.
This is worth meditating on, even 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
By that final Sunday, I’ll be singing, “Christ Our Lord is Risen Today” with overflowing joy.
This is the very reason for observing Lent -- to come before the Lord and prepare our hearts for renewal. It’s a way of identifying with Christ, who endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him, according to Hebrews 12:2.
This year, I want to observe this Lenten season and grow deeper in my love and identification with Christ. Here are some ideas in the running:
- Read through Jesus’ life on earth in the Gospels, some verses each day. Then write a prayer or a poem in response to that day’s reading. Not a poet? You might be surprised! After all, it’s just between you and God.
- Sing or read hymns about the cross. You might find yourself humming them during the day, turning others’ hearts toward Jesus as well! Hymns like “And Can It Be,” “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” and “Amazing Love” have beautiful lyrics to meditate on and sing to God.
- Mark the days leading up to Easter with Resurrection eggs. This is a favorite of families with young children.
- Many people fast during the days until Easter. Don’t just fast, but fast and pray. If you fast from time spent in one activity and spend that time with God in prayer, you might find that it’s a habit worth continuing even after Easter.
- Read a book or devotional focusing on Jesus’ death and resurrection. Here are a few suggestions:
Pray about how you are going to observe this wonderful Lenten season. I’m going to try one of these ideas this year. Will you?
I want to focus on Jesus’ Passion during these days prior to Resurrection Day. Then when my mouth proclaims, “Alleluia, He is risen!” my heart will respond, “He is risen indeed!”