(Consider Luke 9:51-53)
“When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.”
“Why Lent?” “Why Repent?” If you’re like me and grew up going to a church that didn’t participate in Lent, or if you never went to church, you might have some questions about this Ash Wednesday and Lent stuff. That’s fair.
Let’s start with scripture, Jesus, and trying to follow him well.
In reflecting on Luke 9:51-53, two key points jump out. First, Jesus understood there were special appointed times and seasons. And second, those special seasons required intentional action.
“Setting his face” is an expression to mean that Jesus was going to Jerusalem with determination and purpose. With intention he was going to the cross, his death, his burial, and his resurrection… all for the purpose of being “taken up.”
So, why Lent?
Lent is a season, where – like Jesus – we intentionally reflect on the cross, the death, the burial, the resurrection, and the good news that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. A season dedicated to repentance and renewal isn’t a time for despair, but a cause to praise God for his grace.
Jesus is our model. The time between Jesus setting his face toward Jerusalem and his ascension is full of ushering in the Kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven; and it leads to repentance and renewal.
Many observe the season of Lent as forty days of fasting in preparation for Easter. Scripture does not prescribe, nor command, a single “right way” to observe Lent, but following Jesus well usually looks like doing what he does. The Gospel account of John notes that when Jesus got to Jerusalem, he shared time in an upper room with his disciples and told them, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
This season of Lent, let's Follow Jesus’ example and set our face toward the cross, the death, the burial, and new creation.
QUESTION TO PONDER
Jesus entered creation and set an example; that his disciples should do as he has done for them. In what ways have we deviated from the example of Jesus in creation? Paul says that if we are in Christ we are a new creation. In what ways can we be more like Jesus in this season as a new creation?
Heavenly Father, in sending your son Jesus into creation you have done what no person can do for themself. Through the work of the cross and resurrection, you have opened up right relationship with you. Through unity with Christ, we have access to the Holy Spirit and are a new creation. Help us remember and live into that identity and power during this season as we set our face toward you and new creation.
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