During the season of Advent, I attempted to fulfill a 24 day study of the book of Luke. There are 24 chapters in this telling of the greatest story ever told. Unfortunately on the 22nd day, I became ill and by the 24th day I was in the hospital with a serious UTI. I didn’t finish my study. However, chapters 22 through 24 deal with the betrayal, denial, trial, suffering, death and resurrection of Christ – the perfect study for this season of Lent. In an attempt to finish what was started, I will continue my walk through these last chapters.
A few years ago, wrote a series on Mary’s journey through the life of her son, Jesus. I plan to include that in this Lenten study. Those articles were written from Mary’s point of view as a mother, disciple and saved Christian. I cannot begin to imagine what was going on in her heart and mind at the time, but as a mom, a follower of Jesus and one of His saved co-inheritors of God’s everlasting kingdom, I think I might have an inkling of the emotional roller coaster ride she was on.
On this Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, there will be feasting and overindulgence as a worldly exhibition of overdoing it before we make small sacrifices tomorrow. The idea of giving up what we left behind has little significance unless we do so with a repentant heart – and the promise of forgiveness by an unconditional loving God.
We should look at this 40 day season as a walk in the wilderness – a time of contemplation and self-examination. When we finally approach the cross of Christ on Good Friday, will we be ready for the price He had to pay for our redemption? He took every one of our sins to that bloody cross so we could have eternal life – so that we would appear sinless in the sight of our Holy God. The glory of His resurrection on Easter Sunday fulfills our confidence that we shall also be risen from death and share eternity with Him.
The colorful beads, the demonic masks, the parades and celebrations will go on today. What once was a casting off of worldly desires and opulence has gone to the extreme, but maybe that is what we’re talking about here. The things of this world are insignificant. Jesus gave up His throne in heaven to live among us, become our brother and to die in our place. Greater love has no man than that he lay down his life for his fellow man.