Redemption: Preparing Our Hearts for Easter

Lent

There are seasons in the life of the church where we pay specific attention to the way God has moved in human history. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection is a chief example of an event to be cherished all year long, but it is right to have a period where we pay particular attention to the grace that has been extended to us through our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no more dramatic event in human history than the story of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

This is a time to pause and reflect on an impossible story. How could one conquer both sin and death? How could love prevail over evil? How could God rescue us once and for all through that bloody cross? The unfathomable came true as Jesus stepped out of the tomb, announcing to the world’s corrupt power that justice, love and grace had overcome every deceitful scheme of the enemy. It is finished; our victory is in Christ alone.

So We Stop –

We Remember –

We Renew Our Faith in Our Only Hope for Redemption...

As we anticipate Easter (Resurrection) Sunday, the church has a season of reflection and remembrance which is known as Lent. Lent is a 40-day season of reflection and preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is a time of repentance, of considering Christ’s sufferings and rethinking how we are called to take up our own crosses. Some of us give up things like chocolate or Facebook during this season as a sort of fasting, and others try to integrate something new into their lives, like visiting folks in prison, consistent prayer times, intentionally caring for others. It is a good season to rethink how we live and to let some things go, or maybe even develop some new holy habits.

One wise sage said of Lent: “Lent stimulates us to let the Word of God penetrate our life and in this way to know the fundamental truth: who we are, where we come from, where we must go, what path we must take in life…”

It’s a season where we remember Jesus holy words that, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” (Luke 9:23-25)

The roots of our faith have always taken time to remember the deliverance that we have received from our Lord. The Israelites would remember the way God rescued them from the oppression of Pharaoh and established them in the Promised Land.The ancient Israelites would recall in Psalm 22, “In You our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.”

During the season of Lent we pay special attention to ways that we too were rescued from both sin and death. We remember the perfect Lamb of God that for the “joy set before him endured the Cross” (Hebrews 12:2) and has now called all to repentance and faith in Jesus.

So as we walk through this season of Lent, let us all be challenged by the words Jesus has to speak to us. He calls us anew to follow him, identify with his sufferings and choose the way of love just as he did. Let us make space for him in our lives, since he made space for us first. 

Tom Rich
Discipleship Pastor

One comment

  1. Tom, thanks for this. I think we miss out sometimes by not taking some of the “past disciplines” and applying them in our daily lives. This past Lent I tried to give up television. I wasn’t totally successful, but I gave up enough of it to realize the hold it has over me and to consider if this is something I want. I think you also capture the essence of why we “do something” during such a time as Lent… So We Stop – We Remember – We Renew Our Faith in Our Only Hope for Redemption. Thanks for keeping us focused on important things. Tom

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