I do at least two things to prepare my heart for Easter each year. First, I read through the accounts of the passion week at least once and often more than that. The simple recitation of the account of Christ’s death and resurrection is sobering and invigorating and always stimulates in me grateful worship.
And secondly, I always read a book or portion of a book related to the cross. I have accumulated many such books and this morning was pleased to discover that Tim Challies had assembled a list of five books that he has found particularly helpful in preparing his heart for Easter. I have read all five with much appreciation; my comments would echo what he has written about them (the first I read 2-3 years ago after reading a recommendation on his blog). Here is his list:
- The Cross He Bore by Frederick Leahy
- Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney
- The Truth of the Cross by R.C. Sproul
- The Cross of Christ by John Stott
- Pierced for Our Transgressions by Jeffery, Ovey & Sach
To these I would add Nancy Guthrie’s Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross. This book is a compilation of portions of 25 different sermons from a variety of pastors and teachers — including men like Augustine, Martin Luther, and three Johns — Owen, MacArthur, and Piper. I highly recommend this book.