At first, when pondering how I might best prepare for Easter, my mind stays blank. To be honest, I don’t know that I usually prepare for Easter. Does unpacking the Easter dish towels count? What about the egg shaped soap dish or the baskets of goodies? And what is Easter without a few Cadbury eggs? I prepare my home, but do I prepare my heart? “Lord, how would you like me to prepare for Easter?” The answer comes quite softly as I take the words of His Word, and search. How did the first disciples prepare for the first Easter? When I read the four Gospels it seems that none of them really fully grasped the meaning of Jesus’ words until they were fulfilled. Except one. But the others, they must not have been prepared for that first Easter because they didn’t yet understand that Jesus would die and rise again. When it happened, it was as if they had an "Aha!" moment, and all of Jesus words came flooding back so clearly. The one I mentioned, who was she?
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly."Leave her alone," said Jesus. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."
Who was she? This was Mary, the sister of Lazarus, the same Mary we found at Jesus’ feet before, eagerly receiving instruction.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 3She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 0But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!""Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." – Luke 10:38-41
Again, we find her at Jesus feet, this time to surrender her concern.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
By Jesus words in the first passage we see that Mary understood the time to worship was now, but it seems she always understood that. So to prepare for Easter, I look to Mary’s example. To spend time at his feet, his nail pierced feet, lifting praise, receiving instruction, and surrendering my concerns. This is how I am to prepare for Easter. And as I ponder further, this too is how I can honor him daily and how I look for his return.