What do you make of Easter?

What do you make of Easter?

A much needed long weekend in which you can relax, catch up with friends, gather with family. An excuse to indulge: chocoholics delight!

These are not bad things – enjoy and be thankful.

easter-lily-Christ-risen

But please reserve your greatest thanks for God. Remember again the promise of an empty tomb. Hear the words again: ‘He is not here, he has been raised.’ Why are we surprised by such words? This is what Jesus always said would happen? And now that it has we’re invited to live in his resurrection.

And here’s the tragedy – too many of us fail to live as Easter people; resurrection people. We shuffle around – timid, barely raising a smile at the greatest news ever heard. Christ is Alive!!! Death is defeated!!! Our sin forgiven!!! We live again!!!

Let us celebrate with thanksgiving: as the hymn ‘We are an Easter People’ by Bill Wallace puts it “… our fears have died, we rise to dream, to love, to dance, to live”.

 

Holy Week Devotional

Holy Week begins on Sunday March 24 this year, Palm Sunday.

As a preparation for Easter and to help maximise the impact of the Easter weekend I believe it is helpful to use the week before it in prayer and bible study.

There are many ways to do this, but one good resource, and it’s free, I have discovered is a small book from John Piper, which will make the lead up to Easter more meaningful for you.

Love-to-the-Uttermost-copyAbout the Book

Love to the Uttermost: Devotional Readings for Holy Week is designed for Lent 2013. The readings begin on Palm Sunday (March 24), end on Easter Sunday (March 31), and aim to focus our attention on Jesus he displays his love to the uttermost (John 13:1). These meditations on the self-giving love of Christ are all excerpted from the preaching and writing ministry of John Piper.

Comprised of eight excerpts (plus one prologue reading) selected from John Piper’s extensive writing and preaching ministry, this new devotional was compiled and shaped for use in personal devotions or family and group settings.

As Pastor John explains, this one term — uttermost — is loaded with significance. When used of Jesus’s willing death for his friends, it means he endured unimaginable degrees of suffering to do so (John 13:1, NAS).

To love to the uttermost is to love freely, without reserve or limit, and without flaw or failure. As we watch his arrest and trial and death unfold for eight days, we gaze on a God-man who begrudges no pain or reproach on his pathway to redeem lost sinners. This is the man who “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).

“Fix your gaze steadily on him,” John Piper writes of Holy Week, “as he loves you to the uttermost.” To that end, you can download the free devotional — Love to the Uttermost — in three formats:

Note: To load the eBook on a mobile device it may be necessary to view this blog post from within your device, then to click the download option.

Table of Contents

Editor’s Preface
Prologue: A Vision for Holy Week
1. Palm Sunday: Seeing the King on Palm Sunday
2. Monday: He Set His Face for Jerusalem
3. Tuesday: Depth of Love for Us
4. Wednesday: Why Jesus Is All-Trustworthy
5. Maundy Thursday: Thursday of the Commandment
6. Good Friday: What Good Friday Is All About
7. Saturday: A Holy Week Volcano
8. Easter Sunday: Such Amazing Resurrection Love