Matthew 4:1-4 (NV) — “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting for 40 days and 40 nights He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written, ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

This year the Lenten Season starts Wednesday, Feb. 17.

The history of the tradition of how the Lenten Season began differs depending upon which resource or branch of faith you’re referencing.

When Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone,” he was quoting the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy 8:3.

Lent is 40 days long, not including Sundays (that means the season is technically 46 days long).

The commentaries suggest that God’s servants generally faced testing before they were ready for their public ministries.

Searching out what Jesus had said in Matthew 4:1-4 leads to further study, which is like finding little nuggets of great value of understanding.

Jesus being led into the desert quickens my mind to the passages of the Old Testament of those tempted or tested for “40” periods of time. For example: Moses fasting before receiving the 10 Commandments.

Exodus 24:18 — “Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights.”

Elijah was also an example of the period of 40. 1 Kings 19:7-8 — “The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.’ So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled for 40 days and 40 nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.”

Lent ends three days before Easter Sunday on Thursday, April 1, 2021. The week before Easter Sunday is called Holy Week. Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, where palm branches were lavished upon His path. 

Throughout Holy Week, each day may have a specific acknowledgement. As I mentioned, much of the point of practice depends on your denomination and their practices and traditions.

The last day of Lent this year will be Thursday, April 1. The Thursday before Easter is known as Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday.

Maundy is derived from the Latin word for command. It’s a reference to Jesus’ command in John 15:12 — “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

The next steps in this parade are Good Friday, Silent Saturday … and Easter Sunday.

Hahaha, have you ever searched out the history of Mardi Gras? Its history is beyond that of New Orleans, beads and Bourbon Street.

Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday,” a celebration of indulgence, the last night of eating rich, fatty foods prior to ritual fasting and sacrifices of the Lenten Season. Like pigging out and overeating before starting your diet the next day.

Surely, you’ve heard the phrase, “I gave it up for Lent” — the practice of giving up some vice such as smoking, drinking, eating chocolate, watching television using Facebook, some sort of self-denial during this 40-day period. 

Of course, self-denial doesn’t have to be a taking away of something. It can be “doing things.” Each day do something for someone who can’t pay you back. Perhaps make it a point to practice it as a random act of kindness for 40 days.

Just thought I’d plant a few seeds before the Lenten Season starts. Wednesday, February 17 is the beginning of Lent, also known as “Ash Wednesday.” Do some good, grow in Christ.

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