Lent is About Jesus
Lent (“fortieth” in Latin) is the forty days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Sundays themselves are not counted in these forty days, but serve as days of renewal and celebration.
Lent is a season of fasting in preparation to celebrate Jesus’ death (Good Friday) and resurrection (Easter Sunday). It reminds us of Jesus’ forty days of fasting and testing in the wilderness (Matt 4:1-11; Mark 1:9-12; Luke 4:1-13). During those forty days, Jesus was nourished by God’s Word and demonstrated He was indeed the Son of God, who would be crucified for our sin and be raised from the dead, victorious over sin and death.
While Lent is a season of fasting, it is not primarily about fasting. Lent is about Jesus–His humble service, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection. In fasting, we give up lesser things (food, entertainment, technology, etc…) so that we might aim for a higher happiness: knowing Jesus. We clear the excess to make room for repentance and renewing our delight in Christ through prayer and reading God’s Word. Through the hunger pains, we are reminded that He fills those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Through the absence of distraction from our phones or social media, we are able to see our sin and faithlessness that stifles our devotion to Him. Through the extra time set aside for prayer and reading God’s Word, we deepen our desire and delight for our Savior.
As we enter into the Lenten season, we must be prepared to carry an added weight with us–the weight of our own mortality, of our ongoing struggle with sin, and of the broken world around us. Through carrying this weight, we learn what it means to mourn, lament, and repent–to be broken over the things God is broken over and to align our hearts with His. We are reminded of the weight Jesus carried in the Garden of Gethsemane as He prepared to go to the cross. We see His grief and yet His submission to the Father’s will–not my will, but Your will be done. We see His rejection and the darkness that fell when He was crucified on the cross. But the the increasing weight and darkness of our sin gives way to the glorious light of the resurrection. Jesus rose from the dead. He is victorious. We are forgiven and free. He will make new all that is broken. In Christ, we find even more than all we were longing for. He is better. Lent is about Jesus and these truths being worked down into the depths of our hearts and worked out in our everyday lives.
During this Lenten season, we invite you to join in the following practices with us at Treasuring Christ Church. As we give ourselves to these practices, our prayer is that we more deeply discover the weight of our sin, the joy of repentance, and an ever-increasing delight in our great God and Savior:
Reading the Word: Make time to read God’s Word. Consider reading through the New Testament or slowly reading through one of the Gospels. In addition, there are a few helpful Lent devotion guides that can help you reflect on God’s Word daily. Here are a few free resources TCC recommends: Journey to the Cross, Lent Guide (The Village Church), and Your Sorrow Will Turn to Joy.
Prayer: Disrupt your normal routine to make more time to pray. Consider using a resource like the Valley of Vision to help you pray. Practice journaling your prayers or making prayer lists to help you stay focused.
Fasting: Consider giving up something during Lent to more fully focus on and delight in God. You may choose to fast from food for the entirety of Lent or set aside certain days you will fast from food. You may choose to give up some form of entertainment or something that consumes your time and energy so that you can give yourself more fully to God–through reading the Bible and prayer.