It’s Ash Wednesday!
Today marks the 1st day of Lent leaving 40 days, not including Sundays, until Easter. This 40 day period of Lent is symbolic of Jesus’ forty days of fasting and temptation in the wilderness (Matt. 4:2). According to the Bible ashes were used as a way to express mourning. Therefore, on Ash Wednesday people often observe this day as a day of repentance by placing ashes on their foreheads as a way of expressing repentance for their sins.
Many people will fast a certain type of food such as chocolate or soda or perhaps for some it will be the internet. Whatever, is chosen it is a period whereby people deny themselves a pleasure or release a stronghold as a way of identifying with Jesus’ 40 day fast.
Personally, as I enter into this time I am striving to daily spend time in quiet reflection on Jesus’ sacrifice for me. This is a time to reflect on what matters most to Him and focus my thoughts and actions on them. All throughout scripture Jesus has given us a model to shape our lives by and from time to time we all get off track. During Lent I want to experience a deeper relationship and experience His presence in my life like never before.
In 40 days from today (excluding Sundays) our Savior conquered the grave and death on our behalf to unite us with God the Father for eternity. He paid our debt and a little retrospection, meditation and study into His Word to deepen our understanding and increase our faith is worth all the time and effort that it takes out of our daily routine.
Whether you choose to observe Lent or not, I am praying for you and encourage you to spend some quality time with Jesus today and this next 40 day period.
Jesus said, Whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matt. 6:16-18)