“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” Ephesians 5:2 (NLT)
Have you ever noticed the great lengths we go to prepare for important life events? We do a considerable amount of preparation for weddings, anniversaries, births, and retirements.
While these are all significant milestones that should be celebrated; there has never been an event that eclipses the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This series of events changed eternity and allowed us to have a personal relationship with God. Yet, it seems Easter is a celebration we often gloss over. We spend weeks, months even, preparing for Christmas; but it seems like Easter can sneak up on us, leaving as quietly as it came.
Here are four ideas that might help you focus your attention on Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection in the weeks leading up to Easter:
1. Study the Gospels. Read the story of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection in a different Gospel each week. Dig into those chapters in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Imagine yourself in the shoes of Mary, the disciples, and the thief on the cross. Retrace the events in order, and allow the Scriptures to come alive in a fresh way.
2. Create a resurrection-focused playlist. Curate a playlist of worship songs that focus on Christ’s sacrifice and the power of His resurrection. Then, listen to the playlist in your car, at home, and while working out. Soak in the lyrics and let them penetrate your heart.
3. Fast. Most people associate fasting with food, but you don’t have to solely give up food to fast. Choose to give up something that will allow you extra time and space to read the Bible, pray and focus on God. Fast from social media. Fast from your afternoon coffee run. Fast from Netflix.
4. Give above and beyond. Give an amount that exceeds your regular tithe to a local ministry or a family in need. Allow sacrificial giving to remind you of Christ’s sacrifice.