Why Christians have always prepared for the Easter
People prepare for the important things. John spent months preparing for the California bar exam, Joni is preparing for a new baby by nesting, and I’m already preparing for our anniversary trip to Hawaii. Yes, the important things. And there’s nothing more important than the cross and resurrection of the Easter story!
Ash Wednesday is the traditional beginning of the Christian season of preparing. God chose the number: 40 years in the desert and 40 days in the Judean wilderness. Forty is the number for getting rid of the old and getting ready for the new. And God chose the focus of that preparation – not the empty tomb but the empty cross. Paul explains the importance of the cross this way:
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)
The cross is where I remember Jesus’ finished work of my redemption – he’s not there! The cross is where we identify again with Jesus’ mission and his method: his mission of salvation and his method of self-sacrifice. The cross forces us to pause between the parade of the Palm Sunday and the party of Easter, reflecting the cost of God’s love for us.
Jesus still invites us to prepare for power of the Easter story. This season of Lent, our 40 days of preparation, we will be following Jesus to the cross, and we are invited to join Jesus in taking up our cross and following him. The 40 day countdown has started. Let’s get ready for the resurrection!
For the kingdom, Pastor Doug Fakkema, Anacortes CRC