Easter is a special time of year to remember the very basis of our salvation which the apostle Paul summarises for us in 2 Corinthians when he speaks about Jesus’ death and resurrection and what that has achieved for us:
…one has died for all, therefore all have died, and he died for all that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. …Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold the new has come.2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 17
These are deep truths to consider, and it would do us well to take the time in the week or weeks leading up to Easter to reflect and prepare our hearts to celebrate what God has done for us in Christ. To help you with that, here are some recent books and resources that you may find helpful for both young and old.
1. Advent calendars / story books
The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross
Like their Christmas Promise Series, this storybook about the story of Easter from Genesis to Revelation called The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross comes with an Easter advent calendar version as well as a colouring in and activity book version.
2. Family Devotion Booklets
A Jesus Easter (Barbara Reaoch)
Following on from her “Jesus Christmas” family devotion booklet, Barbara Reaoch has created a 30 day Easter version that takes families through the Old Testament all the way up to Easter itself and how Jesus is the fulfillment of all God’s promises.
The Wonder of Easter (Ed Drew)
These family devotionals are great for families with a wide range of ages – each study has at least one question for 3-4’s, 5-7’s, 7-12’s, teens and adults and really only take 10 minutes each, so perfect for the breakfast table before the family rushes off to all the busyness of the day.
30 Prophecies: One Story (Paul Reynolds)
While strictly not a devotional book, it’s still a great one to read through leading up to Easter. 30 Prophecies: One Story takes us on a tour of thirty different places in the Bible where you can find a prophecy about Jesus, and a number of them focus around the Easter story.
3. Books focusing on Easter
Rich Wounds (David Mathis)
From the promotional blurb: “Many of us are so familiar with the Easter story that it becomes easy to miss subtle details and difficult to really enjoy its meaning. This book will help you to pause and marvel at Jesus, whose now-glorified wounds are a sign of his unfailing love and the decisive victory that he has won”.
The Cross in Four Words (Kevin de Young, Richard Coekin, Yannick Christos-wahab)
Freedom, forgiveness, justice, and purpose. We long for them in our lives and in the world. The cross delivers them! Yet sometimes we are so familiar with the cross that it loses its impact on us. We forget that Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection are the most important events in human history and our lives. The cross is the fulfillment of God’s salvation plan, promised from the dawn of time. It is central to the Bible, central to our faith, and central to the meaning and purpose of our lives. This foundational book looks at passages from both the Old and New Testaments to sum up the victory of the cross in four words: freedom, forgiveness, justice, and purpose, and what that means for us personally. Marvel at the cross afresh and be moved to love and serve the Lord Jesus with renewed zeal and joy. This short yet profound book is a very useful discipleship tool. It can be read individually, in pairs, or in small groups.
Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross (editor – Nancy Guthrie)
Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter
An oldie but a goodie. Like her Christmas book “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” Nancy Guthrie has collected a series of twenty five writings and sermons from both classic and contemporary theologians such as Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, John Piper, and Joni Eareckson Tada, inviting us to focus on the wonder of Christ’s sacrifice.
Hope in Times of Fear (Tim Keller)
This is a book about the Resurrection and how Jesus is at the heart of the Christian faith, bringing God’s power – which will some day heal and renew the world – into our lives now. As Tim Keller puts it, that power is here only partially, but substantially; and this gives Christians a realistic, but irrepressible, hope. It is a hope for change in our lives and in our society; a hope that changes Christians in every way, shaping every aspect of our lives.