This Lenten season, join us for a fresh opportunity to embrace God’s amazing love for us, His baptized children, in new ways.
The Apostle Paul clearly says that “faith comes from hearing” (Romans 10:17), but the Gospel is also communicated through the physical senses of sight, smell, touch, and taste. Jesus mentions that a good teacher not only brings out new treasures but reminds people of old and rich treasures as well (see Matthew 13:52).
So each Sunday in Lent, we will take a weekly journey to concretely see, smell, touch, and taste a number of biblical elements.
Our Lenten series is called Promised Treasures. Just as Israel wandered through the wilderness under Moses for forty years, awaiting the Promised Land, we await heaven in the wilderness of this life. Life as exiles in the wilderness of this world is not easy and pain-free. In this vale of tears, we await our real home, the new promised land of heaven. Until we enter our eternal promised land, however, the Lord calls us to be His light in this dark world.
This series will begin with ashes, then proceed to salt, water, light, bread, and finally, palms. Then, during Holy Week, the focus shifts toward water and blood, wood, fragrant oil, and finally, on Easter, milk and honey. All these beautiful Old and New Testament elements will remind you of God’s eternal love in Christ, fill you with renewed hope, and increase your joy, knowing that because we are His baptized children, God is near to us now more than ever.
Lent begins with ashes. After Job endured ashes and crosses of suffering, God graciously delivered him out of them. Jesus Christ washes and raises you out of every suffering, trial, and sin with renewed purpose, hope, and joy. All of these were nailed to the cross with our Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul says, “[God] made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). In the righteousness of Christ, you are clothed anew to serve Him each day.
You are God’s own dear child, baptized, washed, and salted in Christ. This Lenten walk reminds us that Jesus died on Calvary’s cross to vaccinate us completely from sin’s power and eternal death. God is not distant from you but very near. He comes to deliver you and preserve you amid all your troubles. He is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Water circulates throughout Scripture to wash, cleanse, flood, and reshape. Like a potter, your heavenly Father remodels you every day, conforming you more closely to the image of His Son, Jesus. As a baptized child of God, you will grow to appreciate through the example of daily washings how rich an inheritance is given to you by the water and the Word in Holy Baptism.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world, who enlightens all who believe in Him. His light dispels sin and darkness and fills you with so much light and joy that you truly reflect His light to the world. Although God’s Word exposes all your sin, in Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. As His baptized child, you now walk as a child of the light, reflecting His light to others.
Jesus is the true bread of life given by the Father to us. In Him, and only in Him, is life forgiven, meaningful, renewed, and satisfied. Crave and desire the bread of life, Jesus Christ, who the Father has sent to feed the world. In Jesus Christ, you have all that you need every day and for eternal life.
Christians remain joyful and hope-filled even though life circumstances may change. All of God’s people remain victorious even amidst pain, adversity, trials, sin, and death. This is why palms are at the forefront for all the people of God. The Christian remains hopeful even when life, trouble, and circumstances declare something opposite. The ultimate victory in Christ encourages all Christians to remain strong even when sin, death, and trial oppose you.
The wood of Jesus’ cross brings peace, forgiveness, and salvation. By it, the lives of Christians are rescued, sweetened, and lightened.
As Joshua led the people of Israel across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land, so Jesus crossed the river of death by His death and resurrection and leads us to the promised land of heaven, which will never end. Although the promised land of heaven is not ours in its fullness yet, heaven still meets earth because Jesus Christ has risen from the dead.