As you may or may not realize, there is no biblical directive to observe a season of Lent for 40 days leading up to Easter. It’s an ancient church tradition – one which, nevertheless, has great merit. The time span is loosely based on the 40 days of temptation which Christ endured in the desert.
Notably, Jesus resisted all temptation and did not sin. Heb. 4:15 The rest of us have a mixed result. Often, we are tempted and do sin. Wisely, early church leaders set aside the Lenten season to consider this difficult reality. It prepares us appropriately for remembering the cross of Christ. After all, “He was wounded for our transgressions” Is. 53:5 and “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree”1 Peter 2:24. In Jesus’ own words, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32
I realize there is lots of discomfort and resistance associated with the conversation about ‘sin’ and ‘repentance’. However, unless we come to terms with it, the cross of Christ is meaningless. Ignoring it is arrogance. Admitting our brokenness and need is humility. As Peter further writes: “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and in due time he will exalt you.” 1 Peter 5:6
The gospel is the honest appraisal of the human condition followed by the astonishing, undeserved action of God to restore and heal us through the sacrifice of Jesus. Let’s remember this together as we share in the Lord’s Supper on the First Sunday in Lent: March 6th.
In Christ’s love,