Sunday, February 26, 2017

The GREAT Passover... the Time of Preparation

 
But HE+ was wounded

for our transgressions,
HE+ was bruised

for our iniquities:
the chastisement 
of our peace

was upon HIM+;
and with HIS+ stripes

we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5
+  +  +
The Lenten Season is upon us once again. It starts on Wednesday, March 1. 


It is the season observed by many Christians in many church groups to remember the GREAT Passover of the LAMB+ of GOD… the Greatest Passover … and the Last Passover… recognized by GOD. 


The Lenten Season is NOT the sole property of the Roman Catholic, the Eastern Orthodox, or any of the liturgical churches. It belongs to all Christians everywhere.



During this time on the Christian church calendar, Ash Wednesday ( arbitrarily selected)  starts the remembrance of The LORD'S journey towards Jerusalem as HE+ headed towards His+ Crucifixion.


Many churches observe this Season as a time of serious reflection upon what it cost The LORD to save us from our sins --- and the Second Death in the Lake of Fire, for all Eternity ---  and thus, as a serious season of repentance. 


During this time, Christians try to bring the body under more control of the HOLY SPIRIT. To do this, supernatural strength is required. So, Christians fast, calling upon The LORD for help. 


Some Christians choose to fast from a favorite food (coffee,  pizza, chocolate, popcorn, sweets, all snacks,  etc.) simply as a way to REMIND their flesh that the spirit is in control, not the body. When they do this, they are usually shocked at the battle such a small commitment begins between their flesh and their spirit. 


Others choose to fast from a meal or  do one or two days of total fasting. Oddly enough, THIS type of fasting actually is easier; there is no battle, once the commitment is made. The "eating" time then becomes Quiet Time of Refreshment from The LORD.


There are other types of "fasts" that some Christians do during this( arbitrarily selected ) 40-day season.


Here are some little ways one could choose to submit the body to the spirit:  



   No parties or social get-togethers.
No games.

No reading, apart from the Bible.
An hour of total silence per evening / day.

No "chit-chat" or long conversations.

No un-necessary conversations.

Limited social interaction, be it by phone, emails, or visits.

No dining out.

No DVD's, No magazines, No computer... Nothing that could be construed as "entertaining."
No music or no up-beat music.
Only dark purple clothing is worn or no bright clothing until after the Resurrection.



The purpose of fasting is not to be ascetic but to cut away worldly distractions IN ORDER TO FOCUS more fully upon The LORD JESUS.


Time with HIM+;

Stillness with HIM+.


UN-CLUTTERED TIME WITH HIM+

.... a stillness that is SO STILL

that it ceases to think about

the day's events and duties.


Some Christians have heavy work-loads. Some work in the public; some attend classes and have time-absorbing assignments and exams; some have small children in the home; some home-school.


Whatever the situation,

The LORD will

show the WILLING HEART

what kind of fast is pleasing to HIM+

... and how much

... and WHEN

it is to be done.


Even a 5-minute break with The LORD . . . 
and a brief meditation on a verse of Isaiah 53 or a verse of a Psalm --- instead of a cup of coffee and a doughnut --- will increase the closeness one has with The LORD during this season.  Much good fruit of repentance and Quietness before HIM+ refreshes the body more than coffee and doughnuts.


 

But HE+ was wounded ...


is a good place to start the Lenten Season of Meditations focused upon The LORD JESUS CHRIST.


Other good Lenten Season Meditations include: Isaiah 53, Psalm 51, Psalm 32, John 14, John 15,  and John 17. Revelation chapters 2 and 3 lend themselves to serious reflection for repentance, also.



During Lenten Season, there is no great rush ...
to finish a Psalm or Isaiah 53. Line by line, phrase by phrase of Isaiah 53 ... one phrase a day...  works well for the spirit to meditate upon WHY HE+ was wounded.


What did your life, your sins cost HIM+ ?


What are your life and your sins

still costing HIM+ ?


Is HE+ being wounded

by your sins

that you choose to hide

and not confess and turn from ?


Is HE+ again being wounded

because you refuse

to yield the controls over to HIM+ ?


Are you wounding HIM+

because you are being sovereign

over some areas of your "own" life ?


Are there any worldly values or goals

you are holding or pursuing

that are wounding HIM+ afresh ?


+  +  +

Thus, whether "your church" does the Lenten Season remembrances or not, each Christian can still choose to observe the 40-day time of preparation for the Great Passover ... the greatest Passover the world has ever had, and the last.


Thus, I pray each one of you search your heart and see if HE+ is calling you to observe this season of the preparation for the Great Passover ... not from duty, but from a sincere heart of love for what HE+ has done for you. 
~ Sr. Judith Hannah  + + +

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