How Do You Prepare For Easter?
When I was young I loved spending time with my grandma baking lemon meringue, chocolate pies, and strawberry jelly cake. My mom tossed marshmallows, whipped cream, and strawberry jello into a decorative bowl. My young sons would drip multi- colored spots all over the tablecloths while dying eggs. We all shrieked with delight when they bounced around the yard discovering the carefully hidden plastic eggs. Taking pictures with the Easter bunny and chasing the lambs at the petting zoo are long behind this mama.
My sons are grown now and not coming home for Easter, so how do I prepare for Easter this year?
On the day of Unleavened Bread, the same day that the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed Jesus spoke to Peter and John, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover (Luke 22:7).
So, I already missed the Passover dinner. Is all lost? Can I still prepare for Easter dinner?
Here are four ideas how I am preparing this year.
I’m praying that I will not fall into temptation.
After Passover, Jesus had advised his disciples, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” The disciples had no idea how their life would be turned upside down in the next few days. How they would struggle internally during their sorrow. We should pray that we would not fall into temptation too because we also have no idea what the next days will bring either. But always remember, Sunday is coming!
2. Part of my preparation this year is to learn more about Christ
R. W. Dale suggested reading the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) as suggested by in Preparations for the Lord’s Supper.
At least that is my goal, who knows what this weekend will bring?
Important Things to Remember about Jesus:
- Remembering that Christ has lived a perfect life on Earth and “who by dying delivered us” (Matthew Henry Commentary).
- Being thankful that Jesus chose the following:
“Around a table, not a tomb, He willed our gathering place should be; When going to prepare our home, the Savior said, “Remember me.” And at that table, meeting, and communing with his friends, we may feel sure and can realize forcibly that our living Lord is, in spirit and in truth, in the midst of us (W. Clarkson, The Lord’s Supper).”
How fortunate we all are to be invited to eat and drink with Jesus.
Self-examination is another important part of preparing for the Lord’s Supper.
We should look for evidence in ourselves whether we are a true of false disciple. To most at that table, even Judas Iscariot, was one of the twelve.
We recognize true disciples by Faith, Joy, and Love that burns within us. We are strengthened so that we can abide in Him (W. Clarkson, The Lord’s Supper).
4. Gather in the presence of our Lord
Trust Jesus with our heart, thank him for being our joy and hope (C.H. Spurgeon, The Ordained Memorial).
R. Ferguson author of The Cup of Sneering and of Communion wrote, “When heart communes with heart it is like the mingling dew drops” on the rose petal.
The Passover is a memorial to an unbelieving world that we believe in Jesus, who lived, died, and three days later was resurrected. Jesus is alive and still lives at the right hand of God (C. J. Ridgeway in The Holy Communion).
So How did Jesus spend the Passover?
Jesus desired to eat the Passover with his disciples in the guest room of a house.
Not with his family like my tradition. Jesus eagerly desired to eat this Passover with his apostles reclined around a table (Luke 22: 15). He gave thanks with his disciples and breaking the bread, He said to them, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” He continued to explain that “this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you (Luke 22:20).
Jesus is speaking of what is to come but the disciples were focused on other things. They were actually bickering about who was the greatest.
Okay, to be honest…I can’t help but smile when I hear that a dispute began at his table too. I know all the momma’s reading this can relate. But Jesus is speaking about important topics, so let’s try to re-focus.
Jesus responded to his bickering friends, “Satan has asked to sift you as wheat (Luke 22:31).”
Ouch! Are we being sifted like wheat? There are so many distractions surrounding the Easter holiday. Chocolate peanut butter eggs, Easter baskets, stuffed bunnies…not to mention Peeps!
Jesus knew Simon Peter would be sifted as wheat just as we are being sifted every day. But listen to what Jesus said next, “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail (Luke 22: 31).
I couldn’t help but stop and replace his name with mine. Place your name in the blank below:
“But I have prayed for you, ___________, that your faith may not fail (Luke 22:31).
Jesus knew he would blow it big time, in the same way that I have through the years of many Easter traditions. But listen to what Jesus says next, “And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Jesus knew he would fail, just as he knew I would fail. But Jesus also knew he would turn back just like he knows you will turn back too. So, if you have failed like me. Take heart, because we can always turn back. And when we do, we can strengthen our brothers and sisters.
May I pray for you?
Let’s pray with Dr. Valpy, a Greek Scholar:
“In peace, let me resign my breath, and thy salvation see; My sins deserve eternal death but Jesus died for me.”
I pray that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. That we would all thank Jesus for forgiving us of our wrongs and for appealing to God in his last moments to “Forgive us, for we do not know what we are doing.” In his last moments, Jesus was thinking of us. Let us all this Easter, not be distracted but deliberately remember Jesus. Let us all turn back and strengthen our brothers and sisters. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
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