Consider the Meaning of Lent and the Coming Resurrection of Christ
- Thursday, March 20, 2014
Well, we’re approaching the half-way point in the season of Lent. Where does the time go?
Lent is traditionally a time for Christians to examine our lives and practice self-denial (by the way, how are you chocolate lovers getting along?). We’re also to engage in acts of charity, and recommit ourselves to living as Christ would have us live.
All of this, of course, is to prepare ourselves to celebrate the most important day in the Christian calendar: Easter. Or, as Chuck Colson preferred to call it, Resurrection Sunday.
And of course, the reason Easter is the most important day on the Christian calendar is because the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, from the dead is the most important event in the history of the world and of the entire universe. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, “it’s what the whole story has been about…”
And that’s why all of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, reach their climax with the empty tomb. “He is not here, for he has risen, as he said” (Mt 28:6, as well as Mk 16:6). “Why do you seek the living among the dead? Remember how he told you . . . that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise” (Luke 24:6). “Go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (Jn 20:17).
Today at BreakPoint.org, you can watch the second part of my five-part Re-Series videos on Easter. And don’t worry, Part one is there, too (as well as a video about Ash Wednesday, the day which starts the season of Lent). Together the series is called “He Has Risen!”
What I hope to accomplish with this series is to help Christians see Easter and the resurrection of Jesus as big as it actually is. We’re far too often tempted to make the resurrection only about our personal salvation and our own forgiveness. It is a personal reality, of course, and thank God, for that. But it’s not just personal. The resurrection is a cosmic reality in scope.
To put it another way, our worldview should be big enough to include all that the resurrection means, not just for you, not just for the church, but for all mankind everywhere and at every time.
To do this, the “He Has Risen” series walks through the five key events of that Holy week. We start with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday. Why did the crowd, who celebrated with palm branches and shouts one day, turn viciously on Jesus within the same week? And what does that have to say about human history? Here’s a hint: a lot.
Then we’ll look at what’s called Maundy Thursday—the day Jesus gave his disciples a new command: that they love each other as He has loved them, that they show it, as Jesus did by washing their feet. This day Jesus also established the Lord’s Supper. In the series, we talk about how his command to “take and eat” reverses the serpent’s temptation of Eve to take and eat, and how this event forever unites truth and love. Despite what our culture says, we can, and we must, embrace both.
And as the series continues, we talk about how the resurrection is the answer to both modern optimism and post-modern pessimism. We’ll talk about how true hope is established by the resurrection and how it’s not some airy-fairy exercise in wishful thinking. And finally, we’ll tackle head on the secularist dualism that has crept into the Church and that would separate this world from the Kingdom of God that Christ came to establish. That’s what the Ascension is about.
Recently on Lent
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content