Holy Week is here! Every year I find myself struggling to keep myself focused on that reality. I usually start off pretty well the Sunday before Easter with a desire to be intentionally aware of significance of the events that we are celebrating this week. By Monday morning, my life quickly hijacks my reflective, worshipful posture. Instead, I am barraged by the tyranny of the urgent, overwhelmed by caring for my 3 young children, leading work meetings, and slogging through the current house project.
The irony is that I actually work at a church and will be preaching both the “Good Friday” and Easter sermons this week! Maybe you are right there with me. Against your best efforts you have already lost sight of the significance of this week as we remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, the King of Glory.
Here are three things I am doing this week to combat the spiritual drift of the work week and make this Easter unforgettable:
- Prepare your heart.
Being connected to Jesus requires my heart. Giving him my mind isn’t enough. He wants my very essence, the secret part of me that makes me who I am. He wants my motivations, my emotions, my hopes and my fears.
To be able to make sure my heart is focused on Christ this week will require time. Every relationship requires an investment of time. That’s how relationships work. So here is what I am going to do. Every weekday this week I am going to pause at 6:00 pm to think about Jesus and his sacrifice. I am going to think about what Jesus was doing at that time 2,000 years ago and consider what was going through his mind as he considered the cross at the end of the week.
I am going to involve my kids in this. Every night at 6 we will take 5-10 minutes as we get ready for dinner and talk about Jesus and what this week means. I hope to build in them a deeper understanding about who Jesus is and why this week matters. It is my hope that they would make a personal decision to trust Christ with their life and through teachable moments like these, I hope that they would begin to love and trust Jesus themselves.
Would you join me in doing this? I think it would be amazing to have our church doing this as a greater gospel community. Imagine how cool it would be to have Christians around the city pausing for just a minute to remember who Jesus is and what he has done for us.
- Meditate on Christ’s sacrifice
Holy week isn’t just another religious holiday. It is the celebration of Jesus sacrifice where he gave his perfect sinless life up on our behalf. In his death, he atoned for our sin and appeased the wrath of God against sinners. What this means is that Jesus made it possible for us to enter into a relationship with God because he covered our sins with his blood. Those who have trusted Jesus are able to have community with God because Jesus ended the hostility between God and man.
This year I want to think deeply on what the sacrifice of Jesus means for me. I am going to be doing this in two ways:
First, I am going to make time to read (not skim!) through the crucifixion account in the book of Matthew and consider the heart of God for me in light of the cross.
Secondly, I am going to be a part of a Good Friday service. Being a part of a group of believers is one really important way I can break myself out of the pattern of my life which keeps me self-focused and inward looking. I find that gathering with other Christians to remember the death of Jesus changes my heart from being casual about the crucifixion and instead I become deeply moved by Christ’s suffering.
I encourage you to make plans to go to a Good Friday service. It will be a transformation experience for you. Our church is hosting at service at 6pm at 101 Bowling Ave and I would love to see you there.
- Share the resurrection with someone
One of the best ways you can celebrate the resurrection is by inviting someone else to experience the life-giving power of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Easter is about the new life that Jesus offers us. There is nothing more special than seeing someone experience that reality for the first time.
This Easter, I want you to invite a friend to church with you. Lifeway Research finds that 80% of people will attend church on Easter if invited by a friend. You have an extraordinary opportunity to be a missionary this week by simply extending an invitation to a friend. That invitation might be something that saves and transforms someone’s life.
Earlier this year, I invited our church to pray for 1 person that they would see come to faith in Jesus this year. If we all have 1 friend come to Jesus this year, we could change this city forever. This week is a perfect week to invite your friend to join us at 9 or 11 am.
I know that God is going to use our church powerfully this week to transform the destinies of men and women in this city who are far from God. Will you join me in partnering with the Spirit of God to call people to worship Jesus who has overcome sin and death and now lives forever?