No one likes to acknowledge that they will die. It’s one of those things we try to keep in the back of our mind until a friend or loved one passes away. It raises its ugly head when you receive a difficult test result from the doctor. We’re reminded of it during this season of repentance as we think about the great sacrifice Jesus made to pay for our sins so we can be with Him in heaven.
Today is Ash Wednesday – a day when we’re reminded of the cost of our salvation. Ashes on the forehead is a reminder of that cost and also give us time to repent of all our wrong doings and sins. Some will give up something important in their lives – something that has controlled them for a while – something that takes them away from God – something that we’ve grown accustomed to over a long period of our existence. It is necessary for us to repent before God will grant us forgiveness. We must first put our faith in Him and trust that He has our lives in His hands.
No one likes to admit their wrongs. We don’t like to be reprimanded, reminded or forced into submission. God doesn’t want that for us either. Our sins have already been forgiven through the final sacrifice of the most holy, unblemished lamb. However, our God wants us to be like the woman who was accused by the Pharisees of adultery – and told by Jesus to go and sin no more. This time of repentance is for us a time of grace which God gives us to admit our guilt, ask His forgiveness and go and sin no more.
I used to have a computer that enjoyed pointing out my mistakes. The beast of a box would chastise me whenever I made an error. It would verbally scream, “it’s not my fault” at the slightest flaw. That infernal machine put up with my yelling back at it, “Yes, it is!” for a number of years. Sin is like that. We make a mistake, and a little voice goes off in our heads to tell us about it. We’d rather not be reminded, so we throw the voice away or muffle it with self-righteousness. We try to cover up our wrongs with good deeds, but none of that is going to get rid of the sin. That little voice within us (our conscience) is like a trigger, sounding an alarm. It’s an alarm we need to pay attention to.
Today, as we observe Ash Wednesday remember that we are all mortal and will experience death, but because of a loving God, we will receive eternal life through Him.