Editor’s note: Easter will be here sooner than you think! Ash Wednesday falls on March 5 this year, and Easter comes six short weeks later, on April 20. How will you help everyone in your church prepare their hearts to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection victory? A few years ago, CTA revised our popular prayer journal for Easter preparation, Journey to the Cross. The adult version is still available, as is the youth edition. We still get comments from users like you about how helpful they are. Here’s one excerpt, adapted slightly from the adult version.
Opening thought: When the people in Jerusalem heard about Lazarus’s resurrection, they wore the path to Bethany bare, hoping to catch a glimpse of Lazarus—and of Jesus. What did they hope to see? What would you have wanted to see?
Read John 12:1–11.
Focus: Such a contrast! Judas pretends to care about the poor, thus cloaking his greed and unbelief. In contrast, Mary pours expensive, perfumed oil on Jesus’ feet, drying it with her hair. This ointment was likely her dowry, the savings of a lifetime.
If you are using this devotion on your own, try writing out your answers to the questions in “Reflect” below. If you are in a group, spend some time writing individually, then share a few thoughts with a partner.
Reflect: When are you more like Judas? When are you more like Mary? Write about either or both of these questions.
Pray: Because of your cross, Lord Jesus, forgive my greed and unbelief. As you wash these sins from my heart, flood me with a deepening awareness of who you truly are and thankfulness for all you have done for me. Then, let me lavish all I am and have on you. . . .
Note: All Journey to the Cross materials come with six weeks of free sermon outlines and group discussion questions. (And you won’t believe the value pricing on the journals!) Don’t wait! Check it out!