The season of Lent ends this week. This religious ceremony begins Ash Wednesday, the day after Mardi Gras concludes. Since Lent lasts forty days, human nature offers individuals one last day to indulge your fleshly desires in the form of Fat Tuesday. This Catholic tradition was designed to give Christians time to spiritually prepare themselves for Easter, giving up meat on Fridays during these six weeks. The goal of this spiritual season is to empty yourself, to deny self so that you become more like Christ.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me,” Luke 9:23.
The Bible uses a Greek term to describe a similar process. Kenosis refers to the renunciation of the divine nature in part by Christ based upon the virgin birth of his mother Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit. In layman terms, kenosis is the relinquishment of divine attributes by Jesus Christ in becoming human. To avoid any type of addiction to the sinful nature, Christians should strive to do the opposite, replacing selfish desires by making room for God.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me, Galatians 2:20.
The apostle Paul highlights this process in the verse above. Starting over spiritually requires drastic measures, crossing out your own selfish ambitions with a devotion and passion to serve the Lord. Although changes are hard to make permanently, this is where faith comes into the equation. May the reality of Jesus’ resurrection inspire depressed individuals with a new sense of hope for transformation. As Easter draws near, don’t be afraid to give your life over to Jesus.
by Jay Mankus