As Lent draws to a close and Easter approaches, perhaps the first thing that pops into your mind is the big-bang church production happening over the weekend, or that it’ll be one of those weeks where you have to head to church twice for Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Without realising it, we may have lost sight of the treasured opportunity to reflect upon our faith in light of what Easter represents, and deepen our walk with our Lord and Saviour. How can we make this Easter meaningful once again?
In this devotional, Viola Wu of The Journey KL and Benita Lim, a PhD student from Fuller Theological Seminary encourage us to step back and reflect on Jesus’ life, death and resurrection in seven ways. Don’t tackle all the steps in one session; sit with your thoughts and feelings through each step, allowing the Holy Spirit to minister to you.
As you go through this reflection, you may wish to find a quiet spot to journal your responses as God reveals more of Himself to you.
1. What does Jesus’ journey to the cross mean to you?
If you’ve been a Christian for a long time, you may not often think about Jesus’ journey to the cross. Take some time to consider the life and death of Jesus Christ. What is its relevance and significance in your life today?
2. What’s one emotion that arises as you think about Jesus’ suffering?
It’s hard to imagine how much our Lord and Saviour went through on His journey to the cross. Take time to engage your senses by putting yourself into Jesus’ story on His journey to the cross. After confronting the depth of His suffering (and the undeservedness of it all) ask God what responding authentically in light of His love looks like for you in this season.
3. In what areas of your life are there sins that require God’s forgiveness?
We cannot reflect upon Jesus’ journey to the cross without considering the reason He died for us. Jesus died on the cross so that we can be made right with Him (Romans 5:1–11) and with one another (2 Corinthians 5:18). With God, we can be vulnerable and honest. His love for us, as evidenced by Easter, is unfailing.
Take some time to honestly reflect on your life. Are there choices you’ve made, acts you’ve carried out or a lifestyle you’re living that the Holy Spirit is convicting you of and inviting you to turn from?
4. Take a moment to thank God for His grace and mercy.
You may already be thanking God everyday for all that He’s blessed you with, but in this season choose to be grateful for the grace and mercy He has poured into your life (Ephesians 2:4-5). Ponder how your life would look like without Jesus, and thank Him for His presence that is always with us, and His love that is always for us (Psalm 73).
5. Is there someone you need to extend grace and forgiveness to?
As you reflect upon Jesus’ journey to the cross, you may experience a greater awareness of His grace and mercy in your life. You may then find names or individuals coming to mind, with whom you may be harboring unforgiveness, resentment or bitterness towards.
Bring these names before the Lord. If you feel led to extend forgiveness to them, ask for His grace and strength to do so and actively release your hurts to God (Ephesians 4:32).
6. How are you blessing others with the resources God has given you?
Consider your time, talents, energy and resources. What does being a good steward of all God has given to you look like? Take some time to pray, asking God to show you how to use the resources you have to meaningfully impact others by His love (Ephesians 4:7-13).
Then don’t stop there! If you aren’t doing so already, take active steps and seek out ways to bless those around you.
7. Make a plan to read John 11-21.
The recommended Scripture reading to accompany your reflection of Jesus’ journey to the cross is John 11-21 (chapters). As you read each chapter, journal your thoughts, feelings, observations and responses.
Don’t let an opportunity to sit with the Lord and reflect upon His journey pass you by this week. Our Christian walk is not meant to be stagnant or mundane. After all, Jesus came not just to bring life, but life in full abundance (John 10:10)!
May the Holy Week and Easter this year bring you closer to Jesus, giving you a glimpse of His heart for you as you walk in His ways.
May it be a season of renewal as you remember His love and grace upon your life, and may you be encouraged and empowered to be a blessing to those around you.