Lenten season is one of the oldest observations in Christian life. In Catholicism, they call it Ash Wednesday. Usually, Lent is a period of 40 days preceding the day of the celebration of Easter. However, the early Church observed the Lenten season for two to three days. So, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation accompanied by fasting, praying, self-examination and self-denial in the lights of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lenten Season in The Bible
As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ Himself laid the foundation for the Lenten season in the New Covenant. After John has baptized Him, the Lord Jesus went into the wilderness. Christ spent there 40 days and 40 nights praying and fasting. Moreover, three-time Satan attempted to test the Lord. However, all three times Jesus Christ rebuke the wicked one with the power of the Living Word of God (Matthew 4:1-17; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-14).
In the Old Testament, Moses prayed and fasted for 40 days and 40 nights twice. First, he was receiving the two tablets with Ten Commandments from the Lord (Exodus 24:18). Second, Moses was interceding before God so the Lord God will have mercy on the Children of Israel (Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 9:18). While Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving Ten Commandments from the Lord, they make a golden calf to worship. Thus, Israelites broke the 1st and 2nd commandments (Exodus 20:1-5).
Lenten Season today
Nowadays, I can hardly imagine people fasting for 40 days in such a crazy rhythm of life. However, our lifestyle should never stop us from devotional ourselves to God. Moreover, our service and worship to the Lord must shape us, creating new habits and the way we live in this world. The Lenten season is not about eating less or abstinence from some pleasures, although that must be present. At its core, the Lenten season is about Jesus Christ and us. That is to say, about the life, death and resurrection of the Son of God, the one who is perfects and righteous. And on another side, about totally depraved, spiritually bankrupt and wicked people.
Thus, I will be doing three series of weekly insights about the Lenten Season based on Mark 14, 15, and 16. Read. Pray. Stay tuned.