Lent is a period of forty days prior to Easter that is recognised by many Christian traditions. It was designated as a time for fasting and prayer to help believers prepare to celebrate the great events of Easter, and to be enriched spiritually.

However, at times the practice of Lent has been approached – consciously and unconsciously – as a kind of “work” by which Christians atone for their own sins. Yet, the Bible teaches that it is Christ alone who does this for us, from which we then receive the benefits of righteousness and forgiveness solely by grace through faith (1Jn 2:2; Gal 2:15-21).

This great work of Christ was achieved in His crucifixion and death on Good Friday, paying the price for all sins, and vindicated on Easter Day, when He was raised from the dead to eternal life. And it is precisely these events that are the focus and goal of Lent.

When we see the great gifts of grace that we have received in Christ’s death and resurrection, we will want to put other activities, and even eating, second (i.e., fast) in order to immerse ourselves in this good news in God’s Word, and to thank Him (i.e., pray)!

Grace upon grace, Jonathan.