Easter is an opportune time of the year for any pastor. It’s not only a celebration of the most extraordinary event in human history, but it also provides an opportunity to focus on something wonderful that sits within his church. I will explain the nature of this forgotten goldmine later in this article. First, let’s focus on the blessing of Easter.
God heard a sound 2,000 years that no one else could hear. It was the tiny thump of a single heartbeat in the body of His Son. Though minuscule, it reverberated like thunder throughout the universe, with eternal implications.
Jesus said He had the power to raise Himself from death (see John 10:18), and He did. What He said was finished on the cross (John 19:30) was indeed finished. His sacrifice satisfied the wrath of the Law and flung open the once-barred doors to everlasting life. The King of Glory could now grant immortality to the sons and daughters of Adam.
Easter is when we see visitors who wouldn’t usually darken a church door. Some come out of a sense of religious duty. Others come to please a spouse or a child who has asked them to come. Nevertheless, they will be there, giving us a God-given opportunity to proclaim the unspeakably good news of the gospel.
But how can we do that without undue offense? I say “undue” because we know the cross has a natural offense. But there’s a reason for that natural offense.
Think of a doctor with a patient in front of him who believes he is healthy. The doctor has seen x-rays and knows the man has just two weeks to live. He has a cure on his desk, but should he give him the treatment immediately or first show him the x-rays? If he knows what he’s doing and cares for the patient’s well-being, he will explain the severity of the illness before giving him the cure. This is because if the patient doesn’t understand the seriousness of his condition, he will not understand the need for the treatment.
The doctor must show him the x-rays and deliberately point out the poison seeping through his system. Once the patient understands the severity of the situation, he will be ready for the cure.
There is a way
The adage that we can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink sounds right, but it isn’t true. This is because we can salt his oats, and there’s a way to salt the oats of sinners and cause them to desire the good news of the gospel. Human beings are unique in creation in that God has placed eternity on our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11)—something in us cries out for immortality. We don’t want to die. Scripture tells us that the fear of death haunts us all our lifetime (Hebrews 2:14-25). The way to salt the oats of sinners is to address their will to live. I regularly use a phrase when talking to unbelievers: “In the Old Testament, God promised to destroy death. In the New Testament, we are told how did it.” What sane human being isn’t going to be interested in that?
Think of how a waitress approaches the table of important businessmen. She walks up and boldly says, “May I take your order?” She’s bold because she knows she has what they want—food. And we must be bold because we know we have what this world desperately wants—immortality. We have everlasting life in Jesus Christ. If only they knew that, they would plead with us to share the gospel. This is what Jesus said to the woman at the well:
Pastors, don’t let this opportunity pass you by this Easter! Deliberately address the lost by appealing to their will to live. And that brings us to the goldmine in your church. Jesus said the harvest is ready (Matthew 9:37). People are ready to come to Christ. Our problem is that the laborers are few. Change that this Easter by sharing the gospel with those who visit your church and stirring the consciences of those precious potential laborers who sit in your church. All they need is for you to equip them to reap the harvest—to share the gospel with those in the world sitting in the shadow of death. Tell your people about the waitress and her boldness. Speak of the importance of sharing their faith and remind them that love for the lost will help them overcome their fears. Such a sermon can potentially reach lost visitors, spark the fires of a genuine revival in your church, and spill over into your community.
8 Daily Devotionals from Palm Sunday to Easter
Ten Ways a Pastor Can Prepare for Easter