Stumbling onto Easter makes no sense, yet it seems like that always happens. Some years, the only preparation I make is to check if I have a light-colored tie, paint a few Easter eggs, and read through one of the Gospel accounts of Christ’s last week on earth—all of that hurriedly before Easter morning. Hardly adequate preparation for the day that symbolizes the death of death through our Living Savior!
This year we wanted to do better. We want the power and cosmic significance of Easter to be as weighty in our own hearts as it was in human history. As our children grow, our burden for them is to see this as meaningful and life-changing—just as God has shown me how we need it to be more so in our lives. So my wife and I started perusing resources and recommendations to make Easter special. There’s a lot of great stuff out there!
- Here’s a free excerpt from “Treasuring God in Our Traditions.” This resource gives some excellent suggestions on how to make these weeks special for the whole family.
- Here are eight devotional Scripture readings with helpful suggestions on making each day memorable. You can even use these much like advent readings with advent candles.
- Or you could read a great book that highlights the resurrection. Michael Barrett’s Complete in Him discusses the cross and resurrection in light of our salvation. Another is Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross by Nancy Guthrie.
- If you have small kids and like cooking, here’s a recipe idea that pictures the empty tomb.
We finally settled on creating something for our family. Here’s our plan:
- We’re choosing passages of Scripture that we will read every night for three weeks. We’ll spend one week on OT anticipation of the Messiah, one week on His ministry and death, and one week rejoicing in His resurrection and eternal victory!
- Just to cement it all for my two-year-old (not to mention the two-year-old in me!), I’ll draw a picture every night for that passage. Some nights we’ll even sing or listen to a song as a family. We begin on April 6.
And you can join us! Since we’ll be going through the work anyway (and because the accountability won’t hurt), we’re inviting anyone to try it with us. Each morning we’ll send a brief email with that day’s picture, the Scripture passage (5-15 verses), and a link to the hymn. (Warning—I’m a really mediocre artist). If you’re interested, every day you can:
- Save or print the picture for your kids.
- Read through the passage together (usually 10-15 verses)
- Sing through the hymn. We’ll try to provide a simple one if you have kids and a more profound one for adults.
You can sign up here. After April 26th all addresses will be deleted, and even before then you can unsubscribe at any time.
If this will be a distraction for you, don’t do it! But if it would help you anticipate Easter and meditate on our Lord, we invite you to join our family in considering these 21 passages of Scripture. We’re looking forward to it already.
One more thought—schedules and plans can be helpful. But nothing will replace awe in your own heart. When we forget the vastness of our personal sin and our hopelessness in every way, then we also miss the magnitude and blazing beauty of Christ’s sacrifice for us. Remembering our helpless state is hardly comfortable or cultural; it also surprises with rich, deep blessings for your soul. And that will overflow to worship for our Savior. “He who loved much was forgiven much.” If your love is dry or stale, consider again the weight of sin that your Savior cancelled.
But not only did Christ die for our sin. He’s alive! Without this, Jesus is like so many other good examples and spiritual leaders. When Christ rose, death died. And God offers us His power, the same power that raised Christ from the dead, for us to grow in Christlikeness! (Eph. 1:19-20) There is hope—powerful, earth-shattering, sin-conquering hope.
Over these coming weeks, make time to fill your soul with awe and hope. Jesus is alive!