It’s only been recently that Lent has had any profound significance to me as a Christian. Oh, but I’ve observed it, for years and years actually. Once, when I was young and foolish, I actually gave up chocolate for Lent. BUT YOU GUYS. Cadbury eggs are only available during this time of year. I KNOW. I was ridiculous. (But not anymore, right, you guys?)
So during these forty days each year (give or take), I make myself keenly aware (here and there) of the occurrence of the crucifixion, that awareness heightened when I get an itch for whatever thing I have sacrificed to remind me.
Forty days. Out of 365. That’s 10.96% of my year, because I majored in math.
You’re welcome, Jesus.
And even then, how easy it is for me to forget that the time leading up to Good Friday is such a sacred one. I mean, it’s a full forty days long and I have a short attention span. Also? My kids are PHENOMENAL at demanding my undivided attention. It’s a skill, really.
But every now and then, and with precision and inconsistency, I can focus on the cross. (It’s a skill, really.)
It is then that I can only imagine how electric those days must have been, the days leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, the days he had to wrap up his earthly ministry. I believe he knew his timeframe, knew what he was working with, knew the magnitude of Heaven had to be condensed into a tiny pocket of time.
The days leading up to the grand finale.
I can only imagine the weight of those final days, every sunrise edging him closer to his death march, every village filled to breaking with souls in need of saving, everything hanging on common men who just didn’t get it yet.
The heaviness he must have experienced, most likely every day of his human life, knowing what was coming, knowing his mission, knowing, despite the passion and the purpose, that he would still be mocked, ridiculed, ignored, and brushed aside, knowing his sacrifice, even his existence, would be questioned and discredited, knowing his Father would be disregarded, mistrusted, labeled a virtual reality. In life, in death, in resurrection.
What a time. What time. And oh, how I waste my time all the while haphazardly focusing on his.
But maybe for fractions of these forty days I can — I will — be more purposeful about remembering.
Maybe I will be deliberate when I flip open my Bible and fill that hunger with more of God, and maybe I will catch just a faint shadow of the enormity of Jesus’ mission. Maybe I will get a taste of the weight of his desperation, not even for himself, but for his Bride. Maybe I will dip a toe in the eternity of Heaven and hear the hum of the infinite message of Life — true, unblemished, meaningful Life.
Certainly, from the corner of my eye, I will glimpse God.