24 Feb 2012

The Season of Lent

Posted by Joanna

40 – the number of years the Israelites wandered in the desert
40 – the number of days Moses was on the mountain with God
40 – the number of days Jesus fasted in the wilderness to prepare for his earthly ministry
40 – the number of days Jesus was on the earth after his death and resurrection
40 – the number of days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday (excluding Sundays), the season of Lent

The number 40 is a significant number in the Bible. It reflects Jesus – His time in the desert preparing for his earthly ministry. It also reflects the years the Israelites spent wandering in the desert in preparation for entering the Promised Land.

As the Church universal enters into another season of Lent, we are reminded of the life of Jesus Christ as he made his way to that fateful day which took place on the first ever Good Friday. We are reminded of what he did in those forty days as he prepared for his immanent death – his beating at the hands of the Roman soldiers, his betrayal by one of his closest friends, his anguish as he sweat drops of blood during his prayer. However, we also remember those acts of love and sacrifice that will forever remain part of his legacy – washing his disciples’ feet, his loving tears as he learns of the death of his friend Lazarus, the teaching and soft words of comfort and encouragement to his best friends as they shared a last meal together.

The season of Lent is about spiritual renewal through the disciplines of fasting and prayer.  In our context, we often think of this 40 day period as a time in which we sacrifice or give up something. However, in our sacrifice we are to be reminded of the sacrifice that was made for us. We sacrifice in order to identify with our Lord who sacrificed himself on the cross 2000 years ago. We sacrifice in order to enter into an intentional journey of spiritual renewal through Christ.

What will you sacrifice?

Lamentations 3:40 states, “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.” I pray that this season of Lent will serve as a time to reflect on the meaning of the cross of Christ and that the Holy Spirit will lead us to a deeper understanding and commitment to our faith.

 

God bless,
Pastor Keith

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