It is often said that there are two things in this world we cannot escape: taxes and death. If you have a creative accountant you may be able to avoid taxes. But no matter how wise or intelligent your doctor is, no one can escape death. Death is a fact of life. If something is alive, then there will come a time when it will die.
Death is such a regular part of our experience that we tend to think of it as normal or natural, that it is the way that God designed the world. But it isn’t!
When God first created Adam and Eve, they had life. God said to them “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen 3:16-17). It was only after they ate the forbidden fruit that they suffered the curse of death. At the end of his curse, God says those famous words, “for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Gen 3:19b).
Since the whole world is descended from Adam, that same curse now stands over each and every person: “dust you are and to dust you will return.”
The season of Lent, which begins with Ash Wednesday (yesterday), is a time to remember our own sinfulness and the judgement that stands over us. At the same time, we do this in light of the gospel, the good news that Jesus came to take that judgement upon himself so that we might hear a different judgement; ‘‘Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Some question the validity of the season of Lent. I like to think of Lent as a jeweller’s black cloth, which is laid out so that the true brilliance of the diamond can be seen. The resurrection is the jewel of our faith, a jewel that shines so much brighter when laid against the reflective nature of Lent.
Amongst your busy schedule, may you make time to reflect on the brokenness of our world and its need for a Saviour, so that come Easter, you are able to see it and celebrate it in all its brilliance.
Spiritual Development Leader