How do you prepare for things? Maybe you prepare by studying your talking points before giving a presentation at work, or maybe you start packing weeks before your family goes on vacation. The season of Lent is a journey of heart-preparation for one of the greatest celebrations in the Christian faith, Easter. Jesus sacrificed for us and rose from the grave to allow us hope, a relationship, and eternal life with Him! Starting on March 2nd, Ash Wednesday kicks off the 40 days of Lent until April 14th. (Sundays are not counted in the 40 days of Lent.)
The season of Lent was not specifically observed in Scripture, but we do see different accounts of key people pursuing God in 40-day increments. In the 40-day period, we experience people praying and fasting as well. In Greek, “tessarakosti” means “the 40.” A period of 40 days was a significant pattern in the Bible. So, while the specific season of Lent is not commanded or lived out in Scripture, we can see a biblical pattern of man pursuing God. You won’t go wrong by intentionally pursuing Jesus for 40 days in preparation to celebrate what He did for us.
Moses spent 40 days fasting on Mt. Saini, and Noah spent 40 days in the ark during the Flood. Most importantly, let’s look at the example of Jesus. Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness in preparation for His journey. He was tempted by the devil and responded to temptation every time by stating Scripture. What a great example for us! Jesus’ comeback was always scriptural. In these 40 days of Lent, see how you can reject temptation of any kind by intentionally responding with Scripture.
Christian Youtuber Jon Jorgenson explained Lent as a season of reflection, repentance, and preparation for our hearts to celebrate Easter and Christ’s resurrection. Reflection is defined as taking time to deliberately ponder, mediate, and study something. There are many creative ways to reflect during the Lent and Easter season. Maybe for you, reflection looks like coming up with a reading plan to work through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible, to reflect on the times of Jesus. You could also reflect by meditating on specific Scriptural passages multiple times a day. Another way to reflect would be to ponder what Jesus has done in your life and write it in a journal; or, read a Psalm each day.
Psalm 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
Repentance is the act of turning fully towards God. During the Lenten season, we can take time to examine our lives and hearts. We can always find an area that needs to be turned to God. Maybe it is an area of unbelief in God, an unrelenting sin habit, or an attitude towards someone. When we sit and spend time with Jesus, we will look more like Him. When we sit with Him, He shows us what areas we need to bring to Him. Try scheduling 10 minutes a day during Lent to sit in silence and ask God to show you the areas in your life and heart that you need to repent of.
1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
There are so many distractions battling for our attention every single second. In this season of Lent, allow your God and Creator to take precedent over each distraction. Spend intentional time in prayer. Think about something you can give up, in order to come closer to Jesus in this season. Maybe it is a hobby, a commitment, an hour of sleep, a meal, or anything that allows Jesus to have more of your time, heart, and life. Jesus gave the Ultimate Sacrifice for each one of us. As we prepare to celebrate and honor that Sacrifice, challenge yourself to sacrifice things for more time to focus on Him. Pursue Jesus during Lent as never before, so you can celebrate Him more deeply and mindfully than ever this Easter. What can you remove in your life to make room for Him?
Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”