Since Ash Wednesday, we have entered into the ‘Lenten season.’ It is the Christian season that is a period of 40 days before Easter. It is a time when many Christians choose to fast, repent, do things in moderation, practice self-denial of certain enjoyable activities, or work on spiritual discipline in areas they feel could use some improvement. To many, the purpose of Lent is to take time for reflection on Jesus Christ—His suffering and His sacrifice, His life, death, burial, and resurrection.

Before He was crucified, Jesus spent time with His disciples. He prepared them. He told them about the soon-to-be events. He told them how He would be taken, beaten, and crucified. He told them they would abandon Him, but it would be alright afterward. He told them one of them would be the one to betray Him. He knew Peter would deny Him three times. Jesus knew everything and He spent the time before He left them preparing them and telling them how He knows everything and everything has a plan and purpose.

Jesus could have called thousands of angels to rescue Him, but then He would not been able to rescue us. His sacrifice and choosing to surrender have been the very thing that saves us all today from every failure, every mistake, and every regret. His sacrifice has allowed us to be healed and well. His sacrifice allows us to become the children of God.

During this six weeks of Lent, I have committed to self-examination and reflection. Some Christians who observe Lent may make a commitment to fast, or give up something—a habit, such as smoking, watching TV, swearing, or a food or drink, such as sweets, chocolate, or coffee. I want to make a commitment to read my Bible and spend more time in prayer to draw nearer to God. Some strict observers may not eat meat on Fridays, often opting for fish instead. The goal of my spiritual choices is to strengthen my faith and develop a even closer relationship with God.

I admit my sacrificial intentions usually only last about 6 or 7 days when I try to do things to become a better person and better Christian. I would be happy to give up stress and procrastinating and many of my other ‘bad’ habits. Truth be told, I have been a miserable failure at trying to do better in many areas.  I don’t want to just give up complaining, fearing, swearing, bad attitudes, lack of concern for others, and all my other shortcomings for 40 days, but forever.

I thank Jesus for choosing to come to Earth, be born a Baby, live His life, and suffer and die on a Cross to be raised from the dead three days later for me. I realize I do not have to suffer because He already has, but I want to reflect on Him and His goodness this season and all to come.

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