Easter and Christmas are my favorite holidays because I’m able to celebrate the birth and resurrection of my Savior. Easter is especially sacred since it is the time to remember, reflect, and commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus to redeem a lost and depraved world. Yes, I should recognize these events all year long, but the week of Easter is a perfect opportunity for concerted endeavors to draw closer to the One who gave everything that I might live.
Over the years I’ve developed some favorite traditions to prepare my heart for Easter that I’d love to encourage you to implement:
- Study passages each day from Mark 14-16 and John 12-20 as they relate to Jesus’ activities during His final week.
- Read Adam Hamilton’s book 24 Hours that Changed the World.
- Spend Thursday evening, which was the Last Supper, in repentance and conduct a private communion ceremony in remembrance.
- Perform an act of service for someone else in response to Jesus washing the feet of the disciples.
- View the Easter meditation It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Comin’on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRiIpsbJW8o.
- Watch The Passion of the Christ.
- Spend Saturday in a mood of sorrow for our sin, but gratitude for what Jesus endured in death to save us
- Awaken at sunrise on Easter morning to celebrate by listening to Arise My Love by NewSong
By preparing my heart for the holiday, it gives me a bird’s-eye perspective on the week leading up to the empty tomb. These traditions always churn many emotions as I visualize witnessing the events that changed the world.
- I watch Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey, surrounded by a rejoicing crowd shouting and waving palm fronds.
- Peeking into the last supper, I observe Him washing the feet of the disciples and peering into the eyes of Judas.
- I listen to His anguished prayers as He submits to God’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane with tears pouring down His face.
- In sadness, I witness the kiss of betrayal, the arrest, the desertion of His closest friends, and the crowing of the rooster as Peter runs in shame.
- With horror, I flinch at the trials, beatings, scourging, and the painful trek up the hill to Golgotha.
- I watch in grief as they nail my Savior to the cross amid the mocking people and guards gambling for His robe.
- His voice rips at my heart as He cries out to God and then utters His last words.
- I follow the footsteps of Joseph of Arimathea while he claims the body of Christ, wraps Him in spices, lays Him in the tomb, and rolls the stone to seal the opening.
- Every part of me aches as God is silent while His son remains wrapped in linen in the grave.
- But soon my soul begins to sing because I observe Peter and John racing to the tomb to discover it’s empty.
Rejoice and celebrate because Jesus Christ is risen! The grave could not hold the King of Kings!!
Happy Resurrection Day!!
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/