The Bible doesn’t specifically mention what happened on this day, but it’s assumed that Jesus probably stayed in Bethany with His disciples. With that being said, I figured I might just do a quick post dealing with Lent again.
In a couple of days the Lenten season will be complete. Everyone will go back to eating meat, watching ESPN, devouring chocolate, and anything else they gave up. The question I ask is was the last 40 days truly a fast or a feast?
Fasting in and of itself doesn’t really do much spiritually. If we fast for the sake of fasting, we are simply testing our own will power. It turns into a game of “I really want it, but I’m strong enough to fight it. This is hard, but at least I’m not doing it.” All our focus becomes directed at the things we are fasting from, and we feel proud or accomplished when we overcome those desires. But in reality, the last 40 days are supposed to be a time of feasting. A time when we feast on the Word of God. In every moment when we feel a desire to return to what we fasted from, at every point we feel tempted or compelled to break the fast, we should be fulfilling ourselves with the Lord. Otherwise, there’s really no point in fasting…especially during Easter.
I feel many people “fast” during Lent because that’s just what you’re supposed to do. For most of my life I never fasted during Lent, mainly because I didn’t recognize the importance of fasting. I felt that people never really had the right motives, and it turned into simply a 40 day wait before they could indulge in their guilty pleasures again. Only over the past few years has it hit me that “even though others might have the wrong heart in things, I can redeem my own motives for the glory of God.” And since food has never been a huge issue for me, I’ve been fasting more from items of entertainment, such as ESPN or TV. What I’ve realized is that as time progresses, I simply lose the desire for those things. I recognize they aren’t a necessity for me, and I don’t long for them or desire to partake in it as often. Overall, that sounds good. But the problem is that once I reach that point, since I don’t have that strong desire, I don’t have the “reason” to be fulfilled by the Word of God, since I didn’t really fast from something that left me empty.
There are moments in my life when the Word of God seems so new and alive, and when I feel so much power in it. And there are other times it just looks repetitive and usual. Satan uses the “regularity” of Scripture to pull me away from the Word. And then he uses my personal pride in not being so addicted to worldly things to feel content with my current situation, and not long for anything greater. It’s a struggle and a battle to be consistent in studying the Word and meeting regularly with God. It’s a discipline that I can’t say I truly have together.
Many times, Jesus compared Christian life to that of building a house or growing a tree. He said that it needed a firm foundation or else it would be uprooted or washed away once troubles and torrents hit. And sometimes, the only way to make sure you have that foundation is through repetitive work. Digging a hole might seem very mundane over time, but the deeper you dig, the stronger your foundation will be. In the same way, reading the Word and praying might seem so simple and feel so old at times, but it’s disciplines like that that will keep you standing firm when strong problems arise.
As the Lenten season comes to a close, I know that I did grow closer to God during this time, but I know I didn’t chase Him as I should have. I can say right now that I have a stronger desire and passion to know God more. But once Sunday comes, will I give it up? Does my fast become my feast, and vice versa? Will I put God to the side again and indulge on chocolate, ESPN, meat, etc.? I sure hope not. The cross of Christ was not meant to be remembered just on Easter Sunday. That cross symbolizes my forgiveness for every sin. So with every sin, I need to return to the cross. Even though He’s risen, the blood continues to flow to wash me white as snow. Praise the Lord.