Mar 3, 2023

I love to go to big events, but part of that is getting ready. Ugh, I have to find just the right outfit (ok, guys won’t get that part), I have to get my hair done, I have to brush my teeth, shower, put on all that make up, I have to get a manicure, and of course a pedicure. It can take me a day or 2 depending on the event. 

April 9 there will be a big event, Easter.  I may put on a nice dress, but I will not go to the extreme to deck myself out. It’s not that kind of event. Instead, for the next 40 days, I am going to focus on Jesus’ life, his death, WHY he died and what that means to me. 

Easter is an amazing day! We sing wonderful songs, there is such joy in the air at church. Everyone is excited. April 2 is Palm Sunday. Such a fun day when the Sunday School kids walk through the church waving palm branches to signify Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Think about the weeks before his crucifixion, things were going well, for Jesus and his followers. People were committing their lives to Him, many being healed.

So many things happened that week. Judas betrayed Jesus, Jesus was alone praying while the others were to watch, but they kept falling asleep! The soldiers came and took him.  He was sentenced to beating, torture and the worst death…. For NO crime that he committed. He was buried on Good Friday, but on Sunday, he arose again. Hallelujah! Jesus overcame death and now we, who love and follow him, will have everlasting life with him in heaven one day. 

I often have a hard time giving up things for lent. A couple of years I gave up chocolate. Some people say that’s not a legitimate sacrifice, but if you knew how much I like chocolate…. And part of the concept of fasting is to make you think of the reason for fasting (prayer) every time you think of your particular sacrifice. So, I did think to pray constantly. As I think of chocolate that often. 

But my real point here is not chocolate!! My point is, in these next weeks, leading to Easter, we can go our merry way as we do every other day, or we can make an intentional effort to dwell on the weeks before Jesus’ death. We can spend time with him reading one of the gospel accounts. The more time we spend reading and thinking about his incredible sacrifice for us, the more we grow to love him.

But like any big event, we need to get ready! Are you ready to get ready?

Lord, help us to use these weeks leading up to Easter to remember your incredible sacrifice. Help us to learn to be more like you, help us to be pleasing to you, and help us to get ready for the most exciting event in history. AMEN.

Shirlene Peterson