Lent is a time in which we should reflect on the upcoming season of Easter and the powerful meaning of the events we’re celebrating. Traditionally for many Christians it has been a time of giving something up and/or fasting. I don’t think anyone should do things out of tradition or obligation, but there is certainly something to be said for pondering the theme of giving something up in the run up to Easter.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 10:17-18 – The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life–only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
Romans 6:9-11 – For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Easter is very much about giving and sacrifice – Out of love for the world God gave up His son Jesus, that all humanity might have access to forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Out of love for God Jesus willingly laid down his life and, crucially, took it back up again. We are left with the most important choice of all time – to accept Christ and die to ourselves, or continue on stubbornly under the burden of our sin, guilt and shame.
Give up sin, or give up salvation. These are your choices this lenten season