I only ask because I know I’m guilty of it. Or, at least, I’m guilty of growing numb to the meaning of Easter – the part that really matters. It’s not that I don’t care, but that it’s become so routine.

If you grew up in a Christian home like I did, you’ve experienced dozens of Easters. You’ve heard the story countless times. It’s become far too easy to fall into routine around Easter and check off the boxes of traditions like dressing up and going to church, eating lunch with family, and hiding candy-filled eggs for the kids. 

At the end of the day we say we celebrated Easter, but what did we really celebrate? 

I tend to get so caught up in all the Easter preparations – shopping for a new Easter dress, putting together my daughter’s Easter basket, planning what my family will eat for Easter lunch – that I forget the most important thing to prepare for Easter Sunday: my heart. And that’s why I fall into numbness.

Thankfully, we can look to the example of Christ in the days leading up to His crucifixion and resurrection to help us prepare our hearts to celebrate the true meaning of Easter.

Here are three ways to prepare your heart for Easter:

  1. Know what the Bible says
    Jesus’s knowledge of Scripture helped Him cling to truth and prepared Him for what lay ahead. In Luke 18:31, He tells His disciples, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.”

    Even if you’ve read and heard about Jesus’s death and resurrection a million times, read the accounts of His last days in all four Gospels again (Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 18-20). Ask the Holy Spirit to make the story come alive in a new way for you.

  2. Clean out the temple
    When Jesus reached Jerusalem, He cleaned out the temple by ridding it of everything that was not honoring to God. Matthew 21:12 says, “Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.”

    Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), so we too can take an opportunity to clean our temple of things that aren’t pleasing to God. Ask God to reveal those things to you and help drive them out of your heart so they don’t distract you from serving Him.

  3. Spend time in prayer
    Before Jesus was betrayed, He devoted Himself to prayer. Luke 22:39 says, “And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him” before he went to pray in solitude. Scripture says “as was his custom” because this was a habit for Jesus – spending time in prayer was a priority for Him!

    Regardless of everything happening around Him, Jesus didn’t allow the chaos to keep Him from prayer. In the same way, we shouldn’t let the stress and distraction of holiday plans hinder us from talking to the Lord either. Make prayer a priority heading into Easter.

I pray that we are able to prepare our hearts before the Lord as we head into Easter Sunday. Only then can we truly reflect on and celebrate the meaning of Easter: That the God of the universe sent His Son to die on a cross and rise again from the grave to forgive our sins and offer us salvation and eternal life. 

May we never grow numb to that amazing truth!