Got your chocolate bunnies and Easter baskets ready? (I’m really kidding with that question.) If a space alien arrived on our planet this week and walked down the store aisles to investigate what our culture values as important, he would walk away knowing a significant event is happening, a huge celebration is about to occur . . . something to do with bunnies, chicks, colored eggs, cute baskets, and frilly hats. (Not that I believe in space aliens for those of you who are wondering!)
That alien 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’m not a fan of the commercialized distraction during a season to celebrate the most amazing event in history. Today’s post is just a reminder for us to guard ourselves from letting the bunny-stuff detract from the significance of this event.
We are entering a most holy, sacred season.
It’s good to start preparing for Resurrection Day (aka “Easter” on the calendar) long before it arrives. You may be observing 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, using Lent devotionals or reading materials that cultivate a greater appreciation for Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection.
Or you may never have followed that tradition, but you’d like to begin preparing your heart today. 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.
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 crafts 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.
The next few weeks, I’ll be sharing several posts to help with our heart-prep, and 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?