We're once again within days of Easter—one of two yearly occasions when church attendances increase. Everyone who grew up with some connection to a Christian culture knows of Easter, but do we truly know the essence of the once-a-year celebration?
Easter, also known as resurrection Sunday, is the day of Christ's resurrection from the dead. The resurrection is a doctrine of extreme importance to Christians. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:14, "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain."
That's why it's important for us to truly integrate Christ's finished work and resurrection into our daily living. Easter is not the only time we are to remember that Christ is risen. We must live every day with the realisation that He is alive. But Easter can be a time to refresh ourselves of that revelation.
Here are four ways to prepare your heart for Easter and the message of Christ's resurrection.
1. Apply the gospel to your most felt needs
The gospel is the answer to every single problem we face—lack, relational hurt, sickness, lack of purpose, and so on. Because Christ's death and resurrection conquered sin, it also conquered for us all the consequences that come with sin. If we learn how to truly apply the gospel to our most felt needs this season, it won't be long until we find an eternal solution to those needs.
2. Look beyond the signs
Easter, just like other Christian holidays, is full of symbols and signs. But beyond the signs we must look to the Person whom the signs point to. John said on the signs and wonders He recorded, "but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (John 20:31)
Signs, symbols and memorabilia are great reminders, but if we stop at the sign and not look to that which they point to, we miss the point. All the signs point us to Christ, who He is, and what He has done for us.
3. Live as if Christ is alive
Living as though Christ died for our sins is not enough. We must live as is He is risen. Jesus was not a martyr that was just defeated for our transgressions, but a reigning king resurrected and victorious over the sting of sin and death. This causes us to walk in victory, not defeat, over the problems and trials we face in life.
4. Celebrate Christ with others
At the heart of Easter celebration is the communion—a time to commune with God and others. Christ's victory was not meant to be celebrated alone but with the body of Christ. Together we share in the knowledge and assurance that our heavenly place is set because Christ rose from the dead on the third day and is seated on the right hand of the Father.