Saturday, February 13, 2016

What is '40'? - Lent 2016

Living Bread ~ Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35 

During this season of reflections and renewal, join me in exploring the Bread of Life. When we encounter Jesus Christ, this Living Bread feeds, satisfies, and transforms us. Let’s come to the table and remember this True Bread “is broken for you”. ~ Donna Oswalt

During the forty days after His crucifixion, [Jesus] appeared to the apostles from time to time and proved to them in many ways that He was actually alive. On these occasions He talked to them about the Kingdom of God. Acts 1:3 NLT

Forty days measure the traditional Lenten Season, from Ash Wednesday to the Saturday before Easter. Sundays are not counted but remain days to celebrate Christ, our living Savior. While every day brings opportunities for the Christian to come face to face with Jesus, choosing these forty days before Easter for spiritual renewal and increased giving, for emphasis on God’s Word and the cost of Jesus’ sacrifice, and the need for Grace could bring unexpected blessings. 

Throughout Scripture, either in days or years, ‘40’ represents purification rituals and periods of rain, prophecies and days of fasting; it counts the lashes for punishment and days of taunting, defines the time for mountain top experiences, wandering in the wilderness, and testing in the desert. Biblical characters - Noah, Moses, Israel, Goliath, Jonah, Elijah, and Jesus - all experienced ‘40’. History reveals ancient civilizations would track time, measure cycles, and record events, frequently using the number ‘40’. So, what is ‘40’? Is it centuries upon centuries of scriptural, historical, and scientific tradition? Is it significant or symbolic? As best I can tell, ‘40’ represents a period of time. The Life Application Study Bible’s commentary for Acts 1:3 says, “Jesus spent 40 days teaching His disciples, and they were drastically changed.” Spending forty days encountering Jesus is life changing.

Lord, in these forty days - teach me, transform me. Like seekers centuries before, my spiritual hunger begs, Lord, always give us this bread.” – dho

Focus Point: Spending forty days encountering Jesus is life changing.

All rights reserved; copyright 2016 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author;  Breathing Room For My Soul (blog)~ Follow on Twitter @soulchat

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