Many refer to Catholics when talking about the Lent or the Lenten Season. This is especially true for Ash Wednesday. However, the season is Biblically based and for all Christians.
The first day of Lent always falls 46 days before Easter Sunday. During this time, Christians take the time to reflect on Christ’s life and repent. They remember the 40 days He fasted in the wilderness and His battle with Satan. Believers use this time to emotionally process their feeling His ministry; His last Passover and His subsequent arrest, the trials, and brutality; His crucifixion which took place on the day now revered as Good Friday; and ends with Easter, celebrating Resurrection Day.
Ways Followers Can Observe Lent
There are daily devotionals that can be found on the internet. Perhaps Chruch followers attend have ideas. Facebook has Christian groups such as GlorifyChrist Christian Fellowship Group, Not Ashamed of Christ, Christianity Today. The first is an open group and, there, readers will find posts each day for the season of Lent, and discussion is encouraged.
On the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, some Christians use ash to mark their foreheads as a symbol that they are not alone but walk with Jesus, even death cannot keep them from the love of God. After Job recovered from the trials Satan put him through he told God he repents “in dust and ashes,” Job 42:6 (NIV).
Observing lent varies from Church to Church and from person to person. Some Christians fast as Jesus did in the wilderness when he wrestled with Satan. Some choose to give up something important to them. Essentially, the act of prayerful self-denial.
The way a person chooses to observe Lent is personal. The point of observing Lent is focusing their heart and mind on Jesus and His journey to Easter.
Why Lent Does Not Begin on The Same Day Every Year
Many ask, “Why doesn’t Easter happen on the same Sunday every year like Christmas is on December 25th every year?” The primary explanation is that since the Bible refers to Jesus’ crucifixion and “resurrection around the time of the Jewish Passover, which was celebrated on the first Full Moon following the vernal equinox,” according to Time and Date’s website.
At the end of the second century, some churches celebrated Easter on the Jewish Passover. Then in 325AD, the Council of Nicaea declared:
Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.
Easter is delayed by 1 week if the Full Moon is on Sunday, which decreases the chances of it falling on the same day as the Jewish Passover. The council’s ruling is contrary to the Quartodecimans, a group of Christians who celebrated Easter on the day of the Full Moon, 14 days into the month.
No matter when Easter takes place, Lent begins 46 days before His crucifixion, the heart of the matter is God sending His only Son to live as a man.
Jesus was born and lived like most any other child except one great thing — Jesus did not sin. He died to take away the sins of every man and woman who accepts Him into their hearts and proclaims He is their Savior.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV).
Spending time considering the events that led up to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection and then pondering its effect on humankind is the reason for Lent.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Bible Gateway: What is Lent?
Crosswalk.com: We are Not Our Own: The Counter-Cultural Season of Lent
Crosswalk.com: Evangelicals Remember Lent
Holy Bible: New International Version; Zondervan 2011
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of joegoauk Last Namegoa’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License