By DeAnna Kane
ASCEND Director of Operations
Today is Ash Wednesday. This is the time of the year where we have six Sunday’s before Easter, and in the liturgical calendar, the Lenten Season begins, leading us into one of the most holy holidays in the Christian Faith.
For the next 40 days, many will participate in this season of preparation where they will give up something considered a luxury (i.e. coffee, t.v., sports, chocolate, alcohol, etc) in representing the 40 days Jesus fasted in the desert and endured Satan’s temptations. This 40 days is representative of Christians in preparation through prayer, penance, and repentance of sins. On the 40th day, we break the fast on Palm Sunday, which is the Sunday before Easter.
This then takes us into the Holy week commemorating the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ beginning with the crucifixion on Good Friday (also known as Friday of Sorrows), and ending with the celebration of our risen King on Easter Sunday.
What was truly significant about this event over 2000 years ago, was the significance of Christ’s death and its coinciding with the Jewish Passover. In John 19:31-37 biblical scripture tells us of this significance in that when Christ had died on the cross, it was the day before the Sabbath, which was a very special Sabbath as it was Passover.
Why is this so important? God’s timing is so perfect because at this time, the customary Passover practice was to slaughter the Lamb in remembrance of the time when the Israelites were freed from Egyptian rule by God passing over the marked houses from the blood of the lamb. Each year this practice is held by Jewish faith traditions to signify their being saved. In Christ’s crucifixion, Christ becomes the Lamb that saves His people through his blood being shed for us.
I can’t think of a better time to shout out Yes! and Amen! for God’s grace and mercy, and the gift of life he gave us through the death of His son.