The Easter holiday is one we celebrate with joy. We associate Easter with colorful pastels, hearty meals, and time together. Like many holidays, Easter may be filled with traditions for you and your family, or perhaps Easter Sunday will consist of brand new plans for you and yours this year. But honestly, what’s most important is that we take time to truly embrace this holiday—to prepare our hearts for Easter.
We know the significance of this holiday, but it’s important that we meditate on it, too, thinking and praying about what Christ’s sacrifice means for us. I want to feel the weight of Christ’s sacrifice and the insurmountable love He bestowed on us then and now. That love is embedded in our hearts and souls. Nothing compares to what the Easter holiday represents for us as individuals and for all of humanity.
With Easter quickly approaching, here are some ideas and thoughts on ways to reset our perspective this holiday. This is a list of ideas, but it is not a checklist. So while we can’t get in the right mindset or ready our hearts by checking boxes, it is often helpful to have some ideas on where to start.
Reflect on Christ’s sacrifice for our sin.
Christ came from heaven to earth. He first sacrificed His throne in heaven to come to us, not as an earthly king, but as a carpenter. After living a sinless life, Christ died on our behalf. First Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”
Identify our sins.
We can’t truly understand the greatness of Christ’s sacrifice until we recognize the seriousness of our sin. It is necessary for us to not gloss over the fact that we sin. None of us are perfect. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” so taking time to intentionally identify those areas where we fall short is crucial in moving forward.
Ask for forgiveness and repent.
Though we sin, Christ was perfect. He was fully human and fully God, and in His fully human form, He did not sin. In Matthew 4:17 Jesus says, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Repentance is not just the act of apologizing; it is experiencing a godly sorrow and turning from sinful ways. “Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19-20a). Christ’s sacrifice made a way for us to be reconciled to God and live with Him in heaven for eternity.
Give thanks for your new heart.
Out of thanksgiving and joy in reconciliation through Christ’s sacrifice, we are to ask Him to be Lord of our lives. When you ask Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of your life, you are given a new heart. What life-changing news! We don’t literally receive heart transplants, but as 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!” We are new creations in Him. Likewise, Ezekiel 36: 26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” What thanks we should give for this chance to be a new creation in Him.
Spend time in Scripture.
Devotionals, study books, and Bible resources are wonderful tools to use in conjunction with reading the Bible. But we should spend time in God’s Word. My Granny knew the Bible. She was a true woman of God, and when I would ask her what she read to learn, she would say simply, “the Bible.” For us to know God, we must know what comes directly from Him. Jesus tells us in Luke 21:33, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” For Easter readings, begin with Luke 22. In this chapter, Judas accepts the offer to betray Jesus, Jesus partakes in the last supper with His disciples and prays on the Mount of Olives, He is arrested, and His trial begins. Then read Luke 23, where Jesus is crucified and buried. And when you read Luke 24, rejoice! Jesus has risen from the dead!
In His time on earth, Jesus was compassionate. Matthew 9:36 tells us that as Jesus moved through the towns and taught of the kingdom, “he felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd.” Easter is a perfect time for us to revisit our priorities of helping people, caring for others, and being compassionate. Christ was compassionate in giving His life for us, but He was compassionate in the way He lived His entire life, too.
Spend time with others who are truly following Christ.
Seek out people who you recognize as following Christ. Look for people who make going to church a priority, who daily love others, and who are aligning their lives with Christ. Spend time with these people. Being in other Christians’ presence allows us to be encouraged and supported. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
I’ll close with words from Billy Graham, a man who devoted his life to spreading the good news, teaching the gospel, and leading countless souls to salvation. I feel blessed to have lived during his lifetime, and I believe it fitting to end with his words about the Easter holiday.
“God undertook the most dramatic rescue operation in cosmic history. He determined to save the human race from self-destruction, and He sent His Son Jesus Christ to salvage and redeem them. The work of man’s redemption was accomplished at the cross.” – Billy Graham
Rebecca Lee Curry is a born and raised Tennessean and Lipscomb University (Nashville, TN) grad. She studied eighteenth-century literature while earning her Master of Arts in English, and now she is happy to be enjoying the creativity that writing allows and the encouragement that words can bring. Rebecca has a lot of energy and loves to spend it reading, music[ing], camping, running, baking, dancing, and most of all, being with her family.