Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the forty days leading up to Easter, not counting Sundays, which are considered “mini-Easters.” Lent is a time of introspection, to consider anew our need of a Savior and Jesus’ call to repent and turn to him. Many people spend the forty days denying self—fasting—from something they enjoy; in order to remind themselves that Jesus denied himself and calls his people to do the same and take up their crosses and follow him.
Jesus knows we are incapable of saving ourselves, which is why he came to earth—the Word became flesh and lived among us
. . . but to all who receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gives the right to become children of God.
Jesus sacrificed his life for ours—he is our substitute death!
The ashes of our repentance can be exchanged for the beauty of pardon and new life in his resurrection, oh the joy of Easter!
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me . . . to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of
despair . . . ” Isaiah 61:1-3
Copyright 2011 - S.A. Keith
*Today, the ashes used to mark foreheads are usually from burnt palm
branches from Palm Sunday of the previous year.
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