The Lenten season is upon us, and everyone knows that it is the time to give up something. We do this in order to fast and remember the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for our sins. His 40 days in the desert is what Christians seek to replicate for themselves. Christians seek to use this time to resist temptation and recognize how to do that as opposed to continuing down the path of sin. Jesus is eventually crucified on Good Friday and is resurrected from the dead on Easter Sunday. Lent ends the day before on Holy Thursday.
What’s interesting is the name Lent is an old English word that means lengthen. The significance of that is that the days are set to get longer during the springtime when Lent takes place. Throughout the season at your church, you will find purple draped everywhere. The meaning behind this is that the color represents the suffering and pain of Jesus’ crucifixion and it displays the royalty that Christ had since he was God’s son and descended from King David.
During the Lenten season, you might observe the Stations of the Cross. The Stations commemorate the time of his crucifixion where he was the carrying the cross up to his death. If you are 14 years of age or older, you are mandated to not eat any meat foods or foods that are made with meat during Lent. To think about the meaning of Lent, it may be best to look at the different parts of the Bible that speak to the Lenten season.
“But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die,” Ezekiel 18:21 said. The idea of what such a book is saying is that if you follow the commands of what God is asking of you, you will always be in his graces and won’t ever suffer at the grips of the devil. Fasting is also noted to be of extreme importance.
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting,” Matthew 6:16-18 stated. “Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
What God is saying here is that while you are fasting, you should continue to go on with your life. You need to observe your fasting, yes, but do not change every single thing about your life. It merely says to fast and follow through on what you plan to give up or change the way your life has gone. It’s a necessary thing this season to go about focusing on following in Jesus’ footsteps but also being able to never lose sight of who you are as a person. You might wish to put yourself in Jesus’ mind as he was going through his 40 days in the desert.
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“At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan,” Mark 1: 12-15 stated. “He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Jesus went through the desert for 40 days and battled the temptations that were around him. It was all meant to give him the feeling of being human and to deal with the pains that are faced every day in the life of a human. It was to understand the very creations of God he would eventually sacrifice his life for in an attempt to rid them of their sinful ways.
While Lent allows us to fast and prepare for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it ultimately gives us the chance to rid ourselves of material possessions we often hold so dear and to connect us back with God and the commandments which he expects us to follow. As the Lenten season continues on, think about ways you could follow in the footsteps of God. Consider looking at how best you can focus on the sacrifice of God and connect with God by focusing on your faith and trust in God rather than the material items and temptations of the human world around us.
About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery, and the entertainment industry.