The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are at the very heart of Christianity. The good news of the gospel is that God has acted in history to conquer evil and reconcile sinners to himself through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. For those who have been united with this Jesus – who have submitted to Him as savior and Lord – have been united with Him in the likeness of His death and will one day be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection (Rom. 6:5). Lent, therefore, is about living out of our union with, and identity in, Christ. Lent is first and foremost about the gospel making its way deeper into our lives.
On the Christian calendar, Lent (from Latin, meaning “fortieth”) is the forty days beginning on Ash Wednesday and leading up to Easter Sunday. Sundays themselves are not counted in these forty days, as they are generally set aside as days of renewal and celebration (“mini-Easters” of sorts).
The number forty carries great biblical significance based on: the forty days of rain Noah and his family endured in the flood, the forty years Israel spent in the wilderness, Jesus’ forty-day fast in the wilderness, the forty days Jesus spent on the earth after his resurrection, and so much more. Forty days has been used by God to represent a period of trial, testing, and preparation.
Likewise, Lent is a season of preparation and repentance during which we anticipate the death (Good Friday) and resurrection (Easter Sunday) of Jesus. It is this very preparation and repentance – aimed at grasping the intense significance of the crucifixion – that gives us a deep and powerful longing for the resurrection, the joy of Easter.
As the title of this devotional suggests, Lent is a journey to the cross: meditating on our sin and weakness, looking to Jesus as our perfect example and substitute, and being heightened in our worship of his victory over Satan, sin, and death. On the cross, Jesus took our place to appease God’s righteous anger toward our sin and rebellion. He was separated from God so that we could experience union with God. He was crushed by God so that we could be adopted by God. He was raised with God so that we too might be raised with God. The drama of how this unfolded is the story of Lent.
The journey of Lent is to immerse ourselves in this grand story so that it might increase our appreciation of Easter and love for Jesus. May we mourn the darkness in our hearts and rejoice in the light of God who came into the world to save us!
– from Journey to The Cross by Providence Church
- Journey to the Cross: One of our elders, Greg Mathias, has recommended this great daily devotional for the season of Lent. Please be encouraged to use it personally and as a family.
- The Passion of Jesus Christ by John Piper — Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die.
- Holy Week Daily Devotional: A daily devotional to lead you through the week leading up to Easter.
- Lent to Maundy Thursday —This site allows you to stream the second installment of Page CXVI’s Church Calendar Project. It is music specifically written and recorded as an aid to worship Christ during this season of reflection upon the cross.
- Lenten Lights by Noel Piper – Eight Biblical Devotions to Prepare for Easter — to be used weekly during Lent OR daily during Holy Week.
- The Lent Project – A collaborative collection of devotionals from authors such as Dallas Willard and John Ortberg compiled by Biola University’s Center for Christianity Culture and the Arts.
- Lent Devotional – this is a weekly devotional put together by Graham Michael from one of our church plants (Exchange Church in Rolesville).
- Lenten Devotional – Tim Keller and others at Redeemer Presbyterian Church have put together a helpful brief daily devotional for the season of Lent.
Family Lent Resources
Lent gives your family an entire forty-day season to remember Jesus is best. We fill our busy lives with candy, toys, sports, extra curricular activities, video games, television–you name it. During Lent we remember the happiness we find in those things is temporary. Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). Every toy your child has will one day lie in a junk yard. The treasure of this earth makes us happy, but that happiness is temporary. During Lent we stop filling our lives with temporary happiness and make more room for Jesus. – Jared Kennedy
- Forty Names of Jesus: A Lenten Devotional For Families: This guide is a devotional study of the names and titles of Jesus found in the Old and New Testaments, for families with children ages 5-10.
- Mission Accomplished — Rediscover the greatest rescue mission in history with your children. Spend the week before and after Easter walking with Jesus through the suffering of the cross, the joy of resurrection, and the beginning of Christianity. Each of the fourteen devotions takes just ten minutes and is suitable for children of all ages. Included are family activities and hymns to help your family remember and apply the truth that Christ is risen indeed!