Leveraging Easter for evangelism
Easter is approaching and it holds the central place for Christians all over the world.
Almost to two billion believers will gather to commemorate and celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The first Easter was very evangelistic. Will yours be?
In Luke 23:47 the most unthinkable and unlikely conversion happened at the foot of the cross with the words, “Certainly this man was innocent” (Luke 23:47).
It says that the Roman centurion “saw what had taken place, and he praised God…” A Gentile, Roman mocker became a Gentile, Roman believer.
Luke’s gospel has now come full circle. We see a conversion take place before our very eyes from the community that Luke’s gospel was targeting.
A few verses before, we see another unimaginable conversion take place. A former criminal who must have done some unmistakable wickedness received untold mercy in the moment of imminent death.
If grace was ever tested it was when the criminal said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42).
We hear Jesus’ words clearer than ever: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). And this all transpired during the pinnacle of the cross.
And just lines before this interaction we see the foundation laid by our Lord Jesus Christ that will now pave the way for who and how we share the gospel.
As His hands and feet were being nailed to the cross Jesus extended unconditional forgiveness towards His very enemies: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
We see from Luke’s gospel that the gospel is for everyone, everywhere, and especially at Easter.
A quarter of Luke and Mark’s gospels cover the last week of Jesus’ life.
Almost a third of the gospel of Matthew covers the week before Easter Sunday and half of the entire gospel of John is given to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Why? Because this was the main point of Jesus’ life.
He was born to die, and His death was going to purchase the deliverance that all sinners needed.
Knowing the dedication and priority the gospel writers gave to this all-important time period, should we also seek to mirror this importance and leverage this time period for evangelistic purposes?
This time for Jesus’ was quite intensely evangelistic and yours can be too.
Below are five ideas for how you can involve evangelism in your Easter. Consider trying one of them, asking God to forgive a few unlikely converts who “know not what they do.”
How can you make Easter Evangelistic?
- Invite someone to read through the gospel accounts of Easter week with you during Lent. You can download or purchase The Easter Story or just read the Easter accounts out of the Bible itself. Each gospel has one and you could read it weekly with them leading up to Easter.
- Do an Easter Evangelistic Bible Study for your friends. You can take a look at this study called Seven Easter Meditations to get some pointers on what you could discuss and work through during the weeks leading up to Easter. Jesus uttered seven sayings upon the cross and each one is an entry way into gospel conversation. See if you can get some friends interested.
- Invite someone to an Easter service. Have them join you to be around the body of Christ and probably hear a message that will be very foundational to becoming a Christian.
- Hand an Easter tract, booklet, or short book to a friend that God can use to spark discussion, provoke thought, or give them freedom to read personally if they are a little too anxious to look into Easter with another person or a group.
- Be prepared to follow-up Easter or even precede it by asking them about how they spent their Easter or how they are planning on spending it. When they ask you back you can note that you attended or will attend a service that will focus upon the resurrection of Jesus. Though it may sound far-fetched to many, it’s what Christians believe. Ask them, “What do you think happened to Jesus after He died?” Prepare to follow-up their response hoping for a chance to talk more deeply or invite them to look into it more deeply through a “Risen” discussion-based resource.
May God make our Easters very evangelistic and follow in the steps of our Savior evangelist!