Pastor, right now you are probably knee deep in your preparation for Easter. You have already sent out invite cards and are fine tuning your message. Your staff is getting everything ready for a larger than normal crowd this weekend, including making sure you have enough coffee and donuts. You've even gotten ready for Easter at home by buying extra candy for your kids or grand kids. In short, you're doing everything to get ready for Easter. But what about you? What are you doing to prepare yourself for Easter? That is the focus of today's blog: how to prepare ourselves for Easter.
Remember Your Salvation
Easter is about changing eternities. It's about the change that Jesus can make in a person's heart. I remember the day I gave my life to Jesus even though it happened over thirty years ago. I was watching a local TV show in Atlanta and knelt down in my one bedroom efficiency and invited Jesus to be the Lord of my life. I remember the emptiness I felt before my salvation and the weight I had of my sin. I also remember the freedom I felt knowing my sins were forgiven eternally.
What about you, pastor? Do you remember what your life was like before coming to Christ? Before this Easter, remember how your life was before Jesus saved you and the changes He has made in your life since then.
Reflect on the Resurrection
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event in human history. In fact, 1 Corinthians 15:16-17 says,
For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
But Christ HAS been raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20). He came back to life after three days and proved for all time that He is Lord of all and that our sins are forgiven in Him.
Before Easter, reflect on how the resurrection has changed your life personally. It's important to preach about how the resurrection changes other people's lives but I think we also have to think about how it has changed us as pastors. For me, the resurrection gives me hope. Because I know Jesus rose again, I have hope in a great future on earth and an even better future in heaven. I have hope today because Jesus rose again.
Realize Everyone Can Change
One of the greatest qualities we need as pastors is perseverance. When we see people make big mistakes in their lives it is easy to give up on them. But sometimes it takes people longer to change than others. You might have prayed for someone in your church or neighborhood for years and have begun to wonder if they will ever give their lives to Christ but God is not through with them yet. The story of Easter is the story of perseverance. The nation of Israel had to wait hundreds of years before the Messiah came to earth but their perseverance paid off and ours will, too. Galatians 6:9 says,
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Pastor, you are doing good things in your community. Every time you preach the Gospel you are giving people the opportunity to find life change in Jesus. Keep trusting that Jesus is at work in your church and that He can change the hardest heart and turn it to Him.
So, remember, reflect, and realize this Easter and let Jesus do a work in you before He does a work through you.
Happy Easter, Pastor!