Monday, March 3, 2014

40 Days of Lent is coming… Countdown to Easter!


Lent is coming. And I have a plan.

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, which is observed by Catholics. This year Ash Wednesday is March 5th.

Lent is observed by some Christian church denominations—in my mind mostly the Catholic church, although some Protestant churches also observe Lent. It seems to me more individual Christians are observing some form of Lent leading up to Easter, even if not following the traditions Catholics observe such as fish on Friday.

Lent is the time counting down to Easter. While Lent is 40 days, it is actually longer than that until Easter because Lent only counts six days a week. Sundays are not counted because Sundays are always a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, since he was raised on the first day of the week.

Why 40 days? The number 40 in the Bible is significant. It points to a time of waiting, or testing, or preparing. Moses was on Mount Sinai 40 days with God receiving the ten commandants. When the Israelites sent spies into the Promised Land to check it out, they were gone 40 days. When the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land under God's instructions, their punishment was to spend on year in the wilderness for every day the spies spent in the land (see Numbers 14:34), until that entire generation died off. Jesus spent 40 days fasting and communing with God in the wilderness preparing for his life's ministry after he was baptized by John the Baptist.

Lent is a special time to prepare our hearts and minds for what is coming. Easter is coming! (Tweet that!)

Personally, I'm glad God gave us these times to slow down, pause, and prepare. Otherwise I'd just be doing my usual full speed ahead continually, and when I do that I feel I miss the event because it just zooms by. Whether it's Christmas or Easter or another big event, I love it much more when there's a buildup in anticipation.

That's what Lent is for me.  

So here's the plan: Because I believe so whole-heartedly that looking at what God has done in the past can increase our faith for the future (and our present!), this Lenten season let's take a look at what God has done in the past.

Specifically, let's look at some of the prophecies God gave in the past about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Then let's look at how God fulfilled those prophecies perfectly.

You may think you know these things, but I think you might discover something new. Or you may not know any of these things. Perfect! What better time to start learning than in advance of Easter—the most incredible event in history!

Some of these prophecies I explored much more in depth in my book Prophecies Fulfilled in the Death & Resurrection of Jesus. But we're going to look at other events and prophecies too, including the coming lunar eclipses that have become known as the “Four Blood Moons.” (Tweet that!) I wrote about these in my soon-coming book Prophecies Fulfilled in the Life of Jesus. The first of the four Blood Moons will occur on April 15th, on Passover during the last week of Lent, just days before Easter.

I believe these lunar eclipses are extremely spiritually significant. Why? Because of what God has done in the past, and because of what He has promised to do in the future—which is “prophecy”!

So I hope you'll join me. Starting Wednesday, we'll begin the 40 days of Lent countdown to Easter. Tomorrow we'll talk about Shrove Tuesday. Please stop back by for that.

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