Preparing for Easter

This post is for the March 21st Alta Vista Baptist Church service. Pastor David Elliot will be starting a short series preparing us for Easter.


Join the service livestream at 10:30 on Sunday morning:

Sermon Audio

The sermon audio is here.


Printable notes: Sermon-Notes-1-Preparing.pdf

Easter is not something to be explored

it’s something to be _______________________!

She did what she could.  She poured perfume on My body beforehand to prepare for my burial. (Mark 14:8)

1. Mary’s preparation was ___________________ (vs.1-3)

2. Mary’s preparation was ________________________ (vs. 3-6)

  • An extravagant gift is not an _______________ kind of thing.
  • An extravagant gift  __________________ people who are ___________ and stingy.
  • An extravagant gift demonstrates a ____________ attitude.

I have seen a grievous evil under the sun; wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner (Ecclesiastes 5:13)

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cups runs over. (Psalm 23:5)

…No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9b)

It is possible to give freely and become more wealthy, but those who are stingy will lose everything. The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:24,25)

3. Mary’s preparation was _____________________ (v.3)

She has done what she could and has anointed my body for burial ahead of time. I assure you, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be talked about in her memory. (Mark 14:8,9)

There will always be some among you who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share your resources freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need. (Deuteronomy 15:11)

Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing. But a curse will come upon those who close their eyes to poverty. (Proverbs 28:27)

4. Mary’s preparation was ____________________ (v. 8)

As I prepare for Easter I want to continue the legacy of Mary of Bethany.        I don’t want to be a Judas. So, in light of God’s extravagant gift of salvation given to me through the death of Jesus on the cross, I want to express my love and appreciation to the Lord by giving an extravagant gift this Easter.  As a sacrifice of praise to God I will joyfully give an extravagant gift of _______________________ to __________________________.

Digging Deeper

(For personal study, family devotions or Care group use)

Q1: What are some of the most memorable experiences of your life?  What made them so special?

Q2: What are some examples from your own life of things that require preparation?  What does careful preparation both indicate and communicate about the person doing the preparation?

Q3 Read Luke 22:7-13.  What kinds of things do you think were part of the Passover preparation?  What might have happened if Peter and John had not bothered to get things ready?

Q4: What negative consequences can we experience if we fail to prepare properly?

Q5: Read Mark 13:32-36.  Jesus compares his ultimate return to the owner of a house returning home to servants that were tasked with caring for his home while the master was away. What words in this text stand out as being important motivations to be ready and prepared?

Q6: Do you have any Easter plans this year?  What might you specifically do in order to prepare spiritually for this most sacred and holy time of year?