In my March Firm Foundations article, I shared about this time of year… Lent on the Christian calendar. Latin for the number forty, Lent began this year on February 17 on Ash Wednesday and leads up to Resurrection Sunday on April 5. This is counted by the six days of the week. Sundays themselves are not counted as part of these forty days because they are generally set aside as days of renewal and celebration similar to "mini-Resurrection of Sundays" of sorts.
Purpose for Fasting
The whole purpose of fastings and praying for 40days is to spend excessive ample amounts of time meditating on our personal sins and weaknesses in light of Christ. Then reflecting instead on glimpses of the cross, focusing on Christ who is our only Savior and perfect holy sacrifice for our sin. This is a season of clinging to Christ and drawing deeper in Him through increased times of worship, confession, repentance, fasting, contemplation and prayer. Seeking and devoting ourselves to the matters of the heart and soul while stripping and unraveling the entangled habits of the flesh. This time focuses our eyes on the intense significance of Christ and His crucifixion – increasing our longing and delight for Resurrection Sunday. Participating in this fast also increases our heart joy declaration of praise and worship to God for sending Christ His only begotten Son to die on our behalf, taking and appeasing for our own personal sins then, celebrating the victory over Satan, sin and death. Christ Jesus was crushed by God through crucifixion so that anyone has the opportunity to be adopted by God Himself. Christ Jesus was raised by God showing the example that we also have that same opportunity to be adopted by God and raised in the same like manner by God. The diligent discipline of focus for our heart, mind, emotions and soul to be fully captivated and involved by totally immersing ourselves in this miraculous true account so that we ourselves grow and become transformed and grow deeper in our personal relationship with Christ and that we will be so delighted that it catapults us to share and declare what Christ tells us in the great commission of Matthew 28: 19-20
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Westminster and NO Decay
The Westminster Confession of Faith nails it (pun intended) in chapter 8 of their creed.
"The Lord Jesus was born under the law and perfectly fulfilled it. He endured most grievous torments in his soul and most painful sufferings in his body; he was crucified, died, and was buried; he remained under the power of death, yet his body did not undergo decay; and he arose from the dead on the third day with the same body in which he had suffered. In this body he ascended into heaven, where he sits at the right hand of his Father, making intercession, and he shall return to judge men and angels at the end of the age. The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself—which he through the eternal Spirit once offered up to God—has fully satisfied the justice of his Father. He purchased not only reconciliation but also an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven for all whom the Father has given to him."
Notice the phrase “yet His body did not undergo decay”. On the cross, where Jesus’ body was nailed, beaten, broken, not once did Jesus’ body begin the death process. Not once did His tissue, cells, skin, muscles, nerves, organs, bones, etc. begin the process of atrophy. Not once did His body experience a progressive decline in any shape or form physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, etc. NOT ONCE did his body decay.
New Testament Church
These same steps of the cross were magnified through the Holy Spirit, a gift given by God to all those who will receive Jesus a promise fulfilled by Jesus Christ Himself.
Right before Jesus’ ascension into heaven, He encourages the apostles in Acts 1:8
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”
As promised, in chapter two, when Pentecost had come, all the Apostles were together in one place. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them the ability to do so. There were approximately 20 different, nationalities, districts, languages, ethnicities all there hearing them speak. They were all amazed! What were these saying in all these various languages that brought such amazement? Declaration of Jesus Christ his death, resurrection, ascension and promise of the Holy Spirit delivered on Pentecost and still given today to any and all who want it.
The end of Lent is our focus of OUR resurrected Christ seated at the right hand side of the Father…currently praying for us right now...every second, every moment, every day.
If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, with a sincere heart
ask Him and He will shown you who He is through the pages of your Bible.
He calls you His friend and He died shedding His blood for the remission of your sins…inviting you to partake in eternal life gloriously reflected in our soon to be resurrected bodies for all those who believe and follow Him.