“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.“ – John 3:16.
Another week filled with uncertainty and anxiety over COVID-19 wars and such has come to an end. But we cannot allow these crises to rob us of the love and hope found in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is a celebration of the Good News of God’s love, demonstrated in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a gift and what a gift it is.
The account of Jesus’ resurrection can be found in all four of the Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each book (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20) tells a slightly different account of the Easter story from four different perspectives. Jesus knew this day would come. He, being God, was on this earth for that very reason. Easter remains an intentional reminder of the redemptive work of a loving God. While Easter calls our attention to Christ’s remarkable sacrifice, we should never lose sight of His willingness to give His life for our sake.
We are nearing Easter and many people are thinking about church and their relationship with God. This is a wonderful time to assess where you are in your spiritual walk and how you connect with God. We’re at our best when we’re in communion with Him. Be intentional about seeking Jesus in the weeks leading up to Easter because Easter is all about Him.
Prepare for Easter through prayer. Jesus made prayer a priority in His life as an excellent example for us to follow. “After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.” (Matthew 14:23) He prepared His heart before His crucifixion by spending it in prayer. In preparation for Easter, pray for a time to give your attention to what He treasures. Pray against distractions from worries, schedules, or life’s problems- anything that leads you away from the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. Pray for an open heart to hear Him, listening for His guidance and direction.
Immerse yourself in the Easter story by meditating on Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Leading up to Easter, immerse yourself in the Easter story and discover how to hold onto hope when you feel forsaken, alone, or unworthy. Interact with God in the early morning, curled up with a cup of coffee. Or maybe on a late afternoon walk with the sun sinking low behind the trees. Reflect on His sacrifice made for you. His sacrifice began when He left the perfection and glory of heaven to come to earth, to live, work, teach, and die.
Finally, start thinking about inviting people to Easter services. Easter is the perfect time to invite someone to church. The question is who should we invitee and how do we go about doing it. Is it that neighbor you casually say hi to when checking the mail? Or is it your brother who hasn’t been to a service in years? Maybe it’s someone you haven’t seen for a while, but they’ve been on your mind. Think of three or more people. Write down their names. Pray for them, then reach out with some type of invitation to church. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “…you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”
- What can you do this week to prepare for Easter?
- Pray that people everywhere will take a step this Easter and either return to church or visit for the first time.
- What three people can you invite to the Easter services?