Got your chocolate bunnies and Easter basket preparations finished? (I’m really kidding with that question.) If I arrived on this planet as an alien this week and walked down the store aisles to investigate what our culture values as important, I would walk away knowing an significant event is about to be marked, a huge celebration is about to occur . . . something to do with bunnies, chicks, colored eggs, baskets and frilly hats.
But I wouldn’t have a clue about what historical and spiritual event is buried beneath all the pastel-colored hoopla.
I’m not necessarily opposed to chocolate Easter bunnies (especially if they’ve got a creamy peanut butter filling) but I am opposed to a commercialized major distraction occurring when this is a season for reflecting on the most amazing event in history. I find the amount of bunny-stuff being pushed in my face a tad irritating when I consider how it serves to detract from the significance of this event.
This is a most holy, sacred season.
Some of us begin preparing for Resurrection Day (aka “Easter” on the calendar) long before it arrives. Some observe the tradition of “Lent” which begins on Ash Wednesday (40 days before Easter if you don’t count Sundays). This is a season set aside for focusing on Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice, to meditate on the work of the Atonement, the miracle of the resurrection, and what it means for us today. It can involve the spiritual discipline of fasting, extended times of prayer, and using Lent devotionals or reading materials that cultivate a greater appreciation for Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection.
Currently, Revive Our Hearts is airing a beautiful series that can be used as a devotional to prepare for Easter: The Wonder of His Name. It started in March, but it’s not too late for you to pull up the past programs and join in! I’ve embedded the link to that series (you can read the transcript or listen online) here.
Below are a few of my favorite resources that I’ve used through the years:
One of my favorite books related to this topic is The Incomparable Christ by J. Oswald Sanders. Nancy Leigh DeMoss has a powerful series based on that book. This series is a great resource for heart preparation (anytime, but especially during this season). I’ve embedded the link to that series (you can read the transcript or listen online) here. Or you can order the book with the CD series at this link.
A lengthier and a bit heavier work on Christ’s Passion Week is The Suffering Savior by F. W. Krummacher. Originally published in 1854, Krummacher provides an intimate and personal account of Jesus’ final days. I literally feel as though I am in Gethsemane with Christ as I read Krummacher’s detailed description. This is truly one of my favorite books. I keep it right beside my Bible study chair and refer to it often.
A few years ago one of my favorite bloggers, Justin Taylor, posted a blog series that provides a helpful harmony/chronology of the words and actions of Jesus in the final week of his pre-resurrection life. I encourage you to access that series here.
These are just for starters, I’d love for you to add to my list by leaving a comment and include some of your favorite heart prep resources for this season.
I’ll be sharing several posts to prepare our hearts over the next two weeks, so I hope to hear from you as we focus on Jesus’ work on the cross and celebrate His resurrection.
How are you preparing for celebrating Resurrection Day?