I love Easter! What pastor doesn’t? As one pastor commented, “I must be the greatest preacher in the world!” He wasn’t boasting. He was just observing that worshippers would crowd in on Easter Sunday and in a thirty minute sermon gain enough spiritual nurture to last for an entire year! I don’t mind the Easter crowd, though. I love to see God’s house full of people worshipping the risen Savior!
Easter brings out the hope in us. As BO Baker wrote, “Easter is more than a day . . . Easter is a garden of inspiration in a world of desperation.”
We live in a desperate world, and we need a moment of inspiration. Easter comes just in time. Spring bursts forth on Easter because Christ burst forth from the grave, and we celebrate the empty tomb and the new life Jesus brings.
Before we join the Easter parade, remember the other parade that preceded Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday marked His royal entry into Jerusalem. The surging Passover crowd saw Jesus riding into the city on a donkey, and spontaneously recognized Him as the Messiah King. They threw their garments in the street and waved at Him with palm branches. They cheered and blessed and cried out for salvation.
Someone outlined the events of Holy Week this way:
Sunday A Day of Triumph Mark 11:1-11
Monday A Day of Cleansing Mark 11:15-19
Tuesday A Day of Preaching Mark 11:27
Wednesday A Day of Preparation Mark 14:1-11
Thursday A Day of Communion Mark 14:12-26
Friday A Day of Suffering Mark 15
Saturday A Day of Silence (Nothing is recorded)
Sunday A Day of Resurrection Mark 16:1-10
How did people respond to Jesus during that week before the cross? Some cheered Him, some mocked and ridiculed, one betrayed Him, some tortured Him, some denied, and a few stood with Him. How do we respond to Jesus as we think through the events of Holy Week?
I invite you to walk where Jesus walked as you prepare for the celebration of Easter. Take advantage of Holy Week services in local churches. Read moving books such as Max Lucado’s The Final Week of Jesus. Take time to meditate. Rewatch The Passion of the Christ movie.
Here is a suggested list of Bible readings you could use beginning on Palm Sunday:
March 20 Matthew 20:17-34; 21:1-17
March 21 Matthew 21:18-46
March 22 Matthew 22:1-23:39
March 23 Matthew 24:1-25:46
March 24 Matthew 26:1-75
March 25 Matthew 27:1-56
March 26 Matthew 27:57-66
March 27 Matthew 28:1-20
Make the most of Holy Week not only to prepare for a meaningful Easter, but also to draw closer to Jesus.