Ash Wednesday

It is when we weep and howl in the agonies of distress that our rescue is all the more rejoiced in. When we see the contrast of our mourning turned into dancing and our ashes replaced with a crown, it gives us a picture of where we came from and what we deserve and what we get through the free salvation of Christ Jesus. 

Ash Wednesday is a day of penitence but it leads to a party—new life in Jesus! We see our dire state and we see our sweet salvation! 

Ash Wednesday is a type of looking down. Looking at ourselves, the state that we’re in. But we look down so we can have the right perspective as we look up and out to Jesus. 

Ash Wednesday is a tangible and powerful symbol of our need. And when we know our need we rejoice in the One that comes for the poor and needy. 

Ash Wednesday reminds us that “we are dust and to dust, we shall return” but it also reminds us “that God is mindful of us.” He cares for us. 

He cares for us so much that Jesus took on flesh—the dust of the earth—to be a curse for us. 

On Ash Wednesday we cry out: “Wretched person that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” 

But we don’t stop there.  

We also say: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:24-25)! Death and ashes are not the end! For all those who have trusted in Christ death will soon be swallowed up in glory (1 Cor. 15:54)! 

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About Paul O'Brien

I am a lot of things; saint and sinner. I struggle and I strive. I am a husband and father of three. I have been in pastoral ministry for 10 years. I went to school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary but most of my schooling has been at the School of Hard Knocks. I have worked various jobs, including pheasant farmer, toilet maker, construction worker, and I served in the military. My wife and I enjoy reading at coffee shops, taking walks, hanging out with friends and family, and watching our three kid's antics. :)

2 responses to “Ash Wednesday”

  1. Fool says :

    To be a curse for some of us.

    Like

    • Paul O'Brien says :

      Yes, Jesus became a curse (2 Cor. 5:21) for whosoever believes as John 3 says. “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

      Like

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