Holidays - Blog

Prepare Your Heart for Easter

Hayley Newsom

As I sat in church on Palm Sunday, I smiled at the little children who paraded down the aisles singing and waving palm branches. 

Like most people I know, I enjoyed celebrating Easter. But I had been considering it a distant second to Christmas. As I sat there, it bothered me that I enjoyed celebrating Jesus’ birth much more than His death and resurrection.

At Christmas, there are presents and 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, a brutal crucifixion, and then an empty tomb. 

Embracing the Meaning of Easter

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 for as long as 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. By that final Sunday, I want to 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.

I want to focus on Jesus’ passion during the time prior to Resurrection Day. Then, when my mouth proclaims, “Alleluia, He is risen!” my heart will respond, “He is risen indeed!”

Next Steps: 

As you observe the Lenten season, consider these ideas to help you grow deeper in your love for and identification with Christ.

  • Read through the accounts of Jesus’ life on earth in the Gospels. Write a prayer or a poem in response to each 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 leading up to 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:

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