The world we live in, as the title of this post suggests, is sinful. I do not mean that the stuff of the world is sinful, but the peoples of the world are sinful. Each and every person is corrupt, polluted, and in rebellion. It has been said that the biblical doctrine of Total Depravity needs very little evidence to prove, just turn on the news.
A holy God cannot have sin remain. So, He did something about it. God has overcome death, the devil, and sin through the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
The church is entering into a time of the year in which we reflect upon the sufferings of Christ leading to His death that ended in victory. We spend 40 days leading up to Good Friday and Easter, and we call this time Lent.
Lent is not about you. It is not about, as many seem to assume, that you give up something (usually quite arbitrary) to get right with God, or to merit something from God. Sometimes people give up chocolate for 40 days to show God they are serious, but that actually makes a mockery of Jesus’s life and work. Giving up your favorite carbonated beverage is not the same thing as biblical fasting.
Biblical fasting is a humble recognition that apart from God’s grace you deserve to die. Fasting is the means by which we are cut off from the blessings of God, from our daily bread, and in judgment over our sins we deserve to starve. Fasting recognizes our condition before a holy God and it is a time of self-examination. Our abiding sin is a serious matter. Fasting should remind us just how serious our sin is, it brings suffering and death.
In this way, fasting during Lent ought to bring your mind to focus on your remaining sin, but to particularly focus on the price Jesus paid for the forgiveness and salvation of His church. In this way, our sufferings are meant to be joyous because the once-for-all sacrifice has been made. Death is overcome. Through suffering victory is won (Philippians 2:1-13).
As you fast during Lent this year, rejoice in Christ, be transformed into His image to the glory of God the Father.
Here is a Lenten Devotional for individuals and families, put it to good use, Lent CREC Devotions 2015.