Preparing for Easter
Categories: Pastor John Dodd's blog
HOW TO PREPARE FOR EASTER
We all prepare for things in our own ways. But I want to talk about how to prepare for Easter. Now, maybe you haven’t given that much thought. I mean, we do a good job of preparing for Christmas. There are signs everywhere that something special is going to happen. We hang wreaths, light candles, trim the tree, wrap gifts, and string enough electrical lights all around our houses to keep the man in the moon up at night.
But Easter. If you’re a real fanatic, you dye a few eggs and buy a new outfit and BAM! You’re done. All set. But for Christians, Easter is the most important day of the year. . .or it should be. It’s the day we celebrate the central event of history, the day Jesus rose from the dead in order to make eternal life possible for you, and me.
Yet, in Luke 19:29-40 the word tells us how we are to prepare ourselves for Easter by doing what the Lord asks of us.
Look at the first part of the Palm Sunday story, Jesus approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.’” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
Jesus sent two of his disciples on a strange little mission. He said, “Go to this little village up the road untie the colt you’ll find, and bring it to me.” The Bible doesn’t tell us which two went. The Bible also doesn’t tell us what they talked about on the way.
But if it had been me, I’d probably been saying,
– “You really think we should just untie the colt and take it?”
– “You think the Master knows the owner?”
– “You think this is a test of some kind?”
– “You really think they’ll just let us walk off with their colt?”
– “What if somebody takes a swing at us? Jesus didn’t say what we should do if somebody takes a swing at us!”
We tend to read the Bible like a play, as if all the characters knew the script. But they didn’t. No more than you or I do. But those disciples, whoever they were, did what Jesus said. The Bible says: At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him. That they were part of the great plan of God.
They were fulfilling prophecy without even knowing it.
And look at the result. Their simple obedience brought glory to God. The Bible says, When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen. The streets erupted with the sounds of praise, singing and shouting… “Hosanna, save us, blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord, peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”
You could do no better than to follow the example of those two disciples
who–though they had no way to know what the future would hold
and what their actions would bring about–they simply obeyed.
Pastor John J. Dodd