RIVERSIDE, Calif. Three weeks in advance of the worldwide celebration of Easter, Southern California pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie has released a new book designed to replace the superficial trapping of Easter bunnies and eggs with the profound significance of Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
In "Road to the Resurrection," which releases April 1, Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, strives to broaden the reader's understanding of the sacrifice of Christ, deepen the Easter experience, draw the reader closer to the risen Jesus, and prompt them to worship.
Gary Zelasko, director of Harvest Resources, said a prime example is found in Mark Chapter 14.
"While others failed to understand the meaning of Christ's words, a woman with an expensive alabaster jar of perfume was listening," Zelasko said. "She allowed His words to penetrate her mind and to break her heart. That broken heart led to a broken jar, and the fragrance of her worship filled the house.
"That is what Easter is aboutthe love of God. A love that endured pain, ridicule, anguish and death for the sake of all of us. And what should our response be? Worship: pure and unadulterated worship."
In addition to the book, a guidebook will help readers with the facts and circumstances surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.
"The reader will examine the people, places, and timeline of that first Easter," Zelasko said. "But more than that, the reader will delve into the prophecies of those events, given hundreds of years prior, as well as what happened after Christ rose from the dead."
In the weeks leading up to Easter, Harvest will also provide free daily devotional e-mails with downloadable bonuses such as special music, videos from the Holy Land and messages by Laurie.
Other resources include an audiobook, created by Christianaudio. The audio book will be released during Passion Week.
In addition, Harvest Ministries has entered into an agreement with a major book distributor, Midpoint Trade Books, to provide national distribution and availability of the book to complement Harvest's own efforts.
"Midpoint Trade Books is a well-established company that works directly with independent publishers and has a strong reputation for the best in sales and service," Zelasko said.
Laurie, founder of the 20-year-old worldwide Harvest Crusades, is a prolific author, having penned more than 40 books on issues ranging from evangelism to discipleship to church growth. One of the most recent is "Lost Boy," an autobiography that has been made into a movie, "Lost Boy: The Next Chapter." The film has won eight awards at international film festivals and continues to be instrumental in bringing people into a relationship with Christ.
Laurie's nationally syndicated radio program, "A New Beginning," is heard on more than 700 outlets, with as many as three million listeners each day.