Easter is fast approaching. As Christians begin to turn their gaze towards the death and resurrection of the Savior, it seems appropriate that we should look for resources that will help us meditate on the cross and that will help prepare our hearts. To that end I'd like to suggest five books you may wish to read as Easter approaches. Each of these titles deals with the cross. Each will benefit you immensely as you prepare to remember the Lord. In each case I've provided my thoughts on the book and have listed a couple of representative endorsements.
The first three titles are short, meditative, inexpensive and easy-to-read for any Christian. All three are appropriate for devotional or study settings and are ideal for giving away to others. All three will guide your gaze to the cross and to the great work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. The next two are longer and a little bit more difficult to read, but are certainly no less valuable.
The Cross He Bore by Frederick Leahy
There are few books I've recommended more highly and more often than this one. An absolute gem, this book contains a series of beautiful, stirring meditations on the cross. Here is how I concluded my review of the book. "Perhaps part of the beauty and significance of this book, was that it came unannounced. There was no lofty position for it to attain to. And perhaps it is best that way. And so I will leave it with merely my wholehearted recommendation and the knowledge that I will return to it often. This short book is an invaluable treasure and I am certain that the reflections it contains will stay with me and come to heart and mind whenever I meditate upon the cross of Christ."
"I found myself more than once compelled by emotion to stop--and then to worship. I cannot help feeling that this is exactly how they were written and that the author's chief desire is that each of us who reads should be brought to gaze in fresh understanding and gratitude upon 'the Son of God,' who loved me and give himself for me."
Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney
From my review: "Mahaney delights in the cross. The reader will only be able to conclude that the cross is what motivates his life and his ministry. His enthusiasm, his desire, his love for the gospel message in infectious. Always focused on the truths of Scripture, Mahaney draws the reader back to the very center and focus of the Christian faith. The reader will be given much grounds for rejoicing and much grounds for deeper, prayerful reflection. The reader will be led near to the cross where he can experience the power of the Son of God. He will learn the need for the cross, the power of the cross and the wonderful benefits that have been extended to us because of the cross. He will learn why this cross stands at the center of our faith and why we must always hold it there."
"Every Timothy needs a Paul. C.J. Mahaney is mine...and this book contains his life-message. Read it yourself, and let God realign your life."
"With tenderness and power, C.J. illustrates the critical difference between snacking on the benefits of the cross and surveying the wonders of the cross. This is a must and magisterial read!"