The Lenten Season

Less than a week ago, we celebrated Ash Wednesday, signifying the beginning of the Lenten season, or Lent. My family and I are not Catholic, and growing up as Baptists we never really acknowledged Lent. My memories of the Easter season began with a holy reverence for Good Friday and ended with the celebration of Easter Sunday, but we didn’t do anything for Lent.

The church we went to in California strongly encouraged us to consider giving something up for the 40 days before Easter. It was suggested that we forego something we really enjoy in an attempt to barely understand the magnitude of all that Christ gave up for us by willingly going to the cross and suffering on our behalf. When I gave up coffee for 40 days, I wanted to make funny comments about ‘now knowing what it felt like to go to the cross’, and flippantly toss the words ‘crucify’ and ‘coffee’ in the same sentence, but I couldn’t.

You see, when we moved to Baltimore for our first coaching assignment it was the very first time all our kids were in school. I really wasn’t sure what I would do, but I sure didn’t think I’d be plopped smack dab in the middle of God’s incubator, as I referred to my spiritual experience. As soon as I dropped them off at school, I’d come home (OK…AFTER my Starbucks) and read the Bible, listen to any teaching tape I could get my hands on, and for some reason I’d cry. I don’t really know what I was crying about, but I sure must have needed to cry. During those days I developed such a longing to read the Word for myself; I no longer wanted to accept the teaching I received all my life. I wanted to know it for myself. I wanted to know why I believed what I believed.

One of the tapes I listened to was ‘Redeemed from the Curse of the Law’. It was taped a few years earlier during the Lenten season, and it went into great detail about the Curse of the Law, a term I heard all my life but couldn’t really define if pressed to. The gist of the message was that when Jesus went to the cross, He did so to redeem us from the curse of the Law. So I got down to business and figured the best place to start would be to study exactly what those curses were, which are found in Deuteronomy 28:15-68.

Over the next few weeks, I will attempt to deepen your understanding of Jesus’ purpose for going to the cross. I probably won’t be able to scratch the surface of all that God orchestrated in His infinite wisdom, but the more I learn and understand, the greater appreciation I have for what He did. Which is the reason I couldn’t make light of my momentary discomfort from giving up coffee for a little over a  month. Hopefully, you too will have an even deeper respect for His love for us after gaining some new insight.

So lets journey together through this Lenten season to a deeper level of gratitude for Jesus’ tremendous sacrifice on the cross. Read and re-read the Deuteronomy 28 passage over the next few days.

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