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Why You Need to Preach the Easter Story to Yourself



It's officially Holy Week, and it's time to start preparing our hearts for the upcoming Easter holiday. If you've been a Christian for any amount of time, you know the story: Jesus died on the cross, rose from the grave, and now we're saved from our sins. So many of us have grown numb to the power and love behind Easter, and so we can't fully celebrate what Christ did for us.


In past years, I really struggled with this. I knew the story, and I struggled to make it relatable or impactful to my life. I knew the story, I knew all of the historical information, I studied it the same way every year - and it didn't really hit my heart the same way anymore.


This year, though, I'm not settling for that. I'm not settling for numb, and I'm not going to let the holiday sneak up on me. I'm not going to walk away from the season without knowing that I truly celebrated and appreciated what Christ did for me.


I'm doing this by preaching the Easter story to myself, every day, and sitting in it.


Every night at the beginning of my Bible study, I sit on the ground in front of my prayer wall for about five minutes and I talk to Jesus. I try to focus on gratitude, thanking Him for the day and the way He showed up, but I never leave without preaching to myself what happened on the cross and in the grave. I remind myself of the weight of Jesus' death, how gruesome and heavy it was, and how He did it out of love for me. I remind myself that He gave up His life for me, in a great grand gesture of grace and an invitation to redemption. I remind myself that He rose from the grave with such unimaginable power, conquering death and sin and every struggle that I could ever face on this side of heaven.


And I teach myself why it matters, why it still is relevant to my life today.


Because Jesus died, I can be satisfied in the love that He has for me. I no longer have to look for love anywhere else, in anyone else, because He went to the ends of the earth to prove that He chooses me.


Because Jesus died, my sins are wiped away, clean, forever. He bore the weight of all my failure, and His blood has renewed my broken heart. He looks at me as if I'm wearing the cloak of His righteousness.


Because Jesus died, I can experience an intimacy with the Father unlike any other. My sin no longer forms a gap between us, because Christ was the bridge, the mediator, and I can walk through each and every day in communion with God Himself, the creator of the universe.


Because Jesus rose from the grave, every chain that the enemy tries to hold me with is broken. The devil is conquered and defeated; he has no more power. Death is not the end anymore, and temptation is not inescapable.


Because Jesus rose from the grave, I know for a fact that He is greater. He is greater than any fire or trial that I walk through, because even the grips of death could not hold Him down. He has claimed victory, and because I am hidden in Him, I get to walk in and claim that same victory.


These are the things I preach to myself, every day, no matter how close Easter is or not.


And let me tell you, it has changed my life and my heart. Daily, I remember what Christ did for me, and my gratitude grows every time. I want to worship Him, and often throughout the day I recall the sacrifice and the pain and the victory. My mind is renewed and my heart is refreshed, because the Easter story isn't just for one weekend in the spring, it's for every day, for all of eternity. And it shook eternity, transformed our forever.


This is why you need to preach to yourself the Easter story. But let me start for you. Let me remind you, inspire you, with what He did for you.


There once was a man named Jesus, perfect and holy. He was indeed God in the flesh, although many rejected Him. He never once sinned, never once disobeyed the Father. He partnered in the creation of the universe, in the formation of you and I, but He chose to put on flesh and come from heaven because we are so broken. He saw our sin and our failures, how it was impossible for us to save ourselves, and He loved us. Jesus knew that He is the only one who could be the perfect sacrifice for us, the only one who could reunite flawed humanity with a flawless God. But out of love and compassion for us, He made that sacrifice. He chose death for our sake, because He wanted to extend the invitation of salvation and redemption and grace to us. He knew we may or may not accept it, but He offers it anyway.


This sacrifice wasn't simple, easy or convenient. It was humiliating and gruesome, painful beyond words. Even though He could have healed Himself, leaped from the cross with a snap of a finger, He endured it because He know that in the end, it meant reconciliation with us - and that was the true desire of His heart. He was whipped and beaten, scorned and mocked. They placed a crown of thorns on His head, and they spit in His face. This Jesus - the one who only loved, only forgave, only healed - was being crucified for you and I, the worst of sinners. The crowds stood and watched as He bled, as He took His last breath and cried out to the Father, asking for this cup to be taken away. The cup was not taken away, though.


So He was buried in a grave, and they rolled a stone in front of it. Soldiers took watch, ensuring that none of the disciples would steal His body and claim that He resurrected. No stone or soldiers could stop what came next, though. Because three days later, when Jesus' followers came to the tomb to finish the burial procedures, He was gone. The cloth laid neatly on the ground, but no trace of Jesus. He was alive. He is alive. Just when hell thought that it won, Christ couldn't let them have the final word - and He defeated it all. Death, sin, and every chain now was conquered through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is living and breathing, with nail scars still in His hands.


And today, this Easter season, He invites you to celebrate with Him. He invites you to know for yourself how so very loved you are, to know how chosen you and how badly He wants to be in a relationship with you. He died for you - that's how far He'd go for you. he invites you to dance in the grace that He offers to wrap you in, to celebrate that sin no longer taints your identity or your worth because He washed it all away. He reminds you today that you can have a personal, intimate relationship with your creator, with the author of the universe and all of eternity, because He paid the price to make it happen. He encourages you that every trial you are walking through and every battle your fighting has already been won, and He claims the victory for you. And you are secure in it, because He has chosen you and declared you His co-heir.


This is the Easter story. This is what I'm preaching to you and I, because it changes everything. Absolutely everything. My identity, my value, my morals, my beliefs, my future, what happens after I die - it all is radically transformed by this Easter weekend. And it's impossible to be numb, to let it slide by, after we sit in and really meditate on the gravity of it.


So, I'd encourage you to preach it to yourself. To remind yourself of these truths, of this story, of what Christ did for you. Refuse to allow your heart to grow numb, because the enemy would love for you to lose sight of everything that Jesus conquered and defeated. Then he would have some power - but in the name of Jesus, through the cross and the grave, we don't have to allow it. We can shut him down and walk in everything that Jesus has offered us.


That's what I'm doing this Easter season, or trying to, at least. And it's my prayer that you would as well.


How are you preaching the Easter story to yourself this season? Let me know down in the comments below, and let's encourage each other in the process. :)


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