9 ways to prepare for Easter this weekby Chuck Lawless, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
This coming Sunday, the world will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Here are some ways to get ready for that celebration:
1. Spend this week reading the story of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
Read one of the accounts in the gospels each day (Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 18-21). The stories may be repetitive, but you’ll be seriously ready to celebrate Easter Sunday!
2. Make this week a week of confession and repentance.
Today, ask God to begin revealing to you each and every sin in your life. Throughout the week, let God deal more deeply with you than ever before. Cleansed, renewed people rejoice more on Easter.
3. Restart something.
Maybe you’re far behind in your Bible reading plan, or you haven’t memorized Scripture like you intended. Perhaps you haven’t kept your commitment to a date night with your spouse. Whatever you need to restart, do it with joy this week. Renewal is what Easter’s all about.
4. Ask somebody’s forgiveness this week.
The resurrection is about new life and hope. If you’re angry at someone, let it go this week. Offer a new beginning. Say, “I’m sorry.” Seek forgiveness. Show somebody what life in the resurrected Jesus really means.
5. Take an intentional walk around a cemetery.
Read the words on headstones. Note how long people lived. Think about the lives represented there. I know that’s a morbid suggestion, but here’s the point: Easter is about breaking the bonds of death that hold bodies in the grave. Look around that cemetery, but then rejoice that there are no graves in heaven!
6. See others with “resurrection eyes” this week.
Begin to look at everyone with this question in mind: “I wonder if the resurrected Jesus means anything to this person.” Look at everybody this way. The store clerk. Your mechanic. Neighbors. Coworkers. Family members. Your teacher or professor. Begin to notice how many people will not fully grasp Easter this week, and pray for them.
7. Pray for missionaries around the world who teach where Jesus is not known.
If you don’t already pray for missionaries, take at least one day this week to do so. They’re often living and working among people for whom Easter will mean absolutely nothing this week.
8. Invite everybody to attend church with you this week.
It’s Easter – so somebody who’s unchurched is thinking about attending this week. Invite a bunch of people you see, and it’s likely somebody will accept your invite.
9. Pray more intentionally for your pastor.
I’ve written elsewhere about the strain of Easter on pastors. Check out that post, and then spend this week praying for your pastor. Go to church this weekend knowing that you’ve covered your pastor in prayer.
What would you add to this list? Help all of us get ready for this Sunday.
Editor’s note: Chuck Lawless is dean and vice-president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. This article was originally published on chucklawless.com and is used with permission.