“He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” Hebrews 9:12-14#
Today will be a day when many Christians receive a cross of ashes upon their forehead. This is done on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. What do ashes have to do with the season,though?
Ashes signify where we came from…dust. They signify God’s love, but also his punishment. They reflect our need for repentance from our uncleanliness and sin. It is a reminder that we need to “cleanse our consciences…so that we may serve the living God.” They were a sign in biblical times of humility and repentance. They serve as those same signs today.
We are broken people. We carry with us unclean hearts at times and consciences full of shame, guilt and many other things that can weigh us down. The only way we can be clean is by coming, broken and humble, before God and offering our complete selves to Him.
Let us humble ourselves before the Lord, confessing our sins in full repentance on this, the first day of Lent.
Lord, I humble myself before you on this, the first day of Lent. I pray that you cleanse me from any uncleanliness and sin that have been in my actions and words. You and You alone can create in me a new heart and a new spirit. Amen.