Have you seen them? It only happens once a year, buy you have probably noticed. They walk around with that “black stuff” on their foreheads. It looks like it is in the shape of a cross. What’s that about?
It is about Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the season of Lent. The black stuff is ash and it is worn as a sign of repentance–sorrow over sin. Ashes were often used this way by God’s people in the Old Testament. Today, Christians use them on the first day of Lent because it is a season of preparation for the remembrance of Jesus’ death.
During Lent, Christians reflect on their lives and how they have sinned against God. This isn’t a morbid self-deprecation because it leads to a greater appreciation for what Jesus did so that we can have eternal life. The more we understand our guilt, the better we grasp the greatness of Jesus’ love. If you are only a “little” sinner in your eyes, Jesus can only be a “little” Savior for you. But you are not a little sinner! God says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). If you have sinned just once, you, according to God’s rules, deserve to die. That is no “little” matter.
God has good news for you. Don’t despair. He says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus loves sinners just like you. He took your guilt upon Himself and suffered God’s wrath over your wrongs so that you are forgiven. No matter how great a sinner you are, Jesus is a greater Savior. That is how much He loves you.
Is it time for you to put on ashes and draw close to your Savior? Lent is a perfect time to do so. Join us as we gather together to reflect on our sin and the greatness of Jesus’ love. Then, you will be truly ready to remember Jesus’ death on the cross for you.