For as long as I can remember, I have been taught to “Get ready” for Easter. Growing up, Mom made each of the four girls a new dress to wear for that day. My brother had his Easter attire. Even if rain was predicted, Dad would make sure that the car was washed, cleaned out and looking its best for Easter Sunday, too. (Larry does that as well). Although we went to church every week, we knew that Easter was a special day because of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross when he died for our sins and then three days later rose again.
Most of our Easters were celebrated in Pasadena, but there were years where we made the 560 mile drive to Lubbock to spend the weekend with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We would worship at First Baptist Church and then go to my grandparent’s house to eat a big meal together. Even with the long drive, it was always great to spend that special weekend with family.
During college days at Texas Tech, because of distance and a short holiday schedule, most kids stayed in Lubbock for the weekend. First Baptist Church made arrangements for the 2 hour college Easter Celebration service to take place at the Tech Coliseum each year. There were weeks of planning, preparing, practicing, visiting and inviting friends as we “Got ready” for Easter. More than 2,000 college students gathered for worship on those Sundays.
As our boys were growing up, Easter continued to be an important time to teach, celebrate and prepare for. Seven of those years, Tallowood presented “Celebration of Life”, a drama and musical presentation, in preparation for Easter. It was an incredible visual of Jesus’ ministry on earth as well as a reminder of God’s love for us, Jesus’ sacrifice as He willingly died on the cross for our sins and three days later came back to life. Larry portrayed the role of Jesus each year and the boys were also a part several of the years.
In recent years, the Maundy Thursday service, receiving the Lord’s Supper, and Good Friday service have been an important part of my “Getting ready” for Easter.
Through the years, I’ve realized that even though I want to dress my best, attend Easter presentations, take the Lord’s Supper as a way of remembering what Jesus did for me and you, and even have a clean car, the most important part of “Getting ready” for Easter is to have a clean, forgiven, and obedient heart.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
He is risen! He is risen, indeed!