Ashes to Ashes

Today is Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a 40 day season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. Christians all over the world will commemorate today by participating in ceremonies in which ashes are placed on their foreheads in the form of a cross. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us and to which we will return (Ecclesiastes 3:20)

“The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you…”

Genesis 3:14

In Genesis 3, we encounter a God who curses!

He responds to Adam and Eve’s disobedience and the serpent’s treachery decisively, with the pronouncement of a curse and judgment for each of them.

And on that day there is a reversal of God’s gracious creative works.

Adam, who was created from the dust, is now destined to return back to it.

Eve, who was created out of Adam, has now become dominated by him.

The serpent, who was more crafty than any of the wild animals, is now humiliated, groveling on its belly, eating dust.

This text speaks to our current desire to overlook our sins on the basis that everyone is doing ‘it’

God does not respond lightly to sin. Let’s remember that death entered the world through sin, and with it came all manner of sorrow, suffering and despair.

Despair that many of us suffer on a daily basis as a result of our own sin and folly

But God in His mercy created a relief valve for us…

Paul says it best in Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us — for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.’”

Jesus would take upon Himself a curse in order to redeem humanity’s status…and He’s still in the deliverance business…the choice is ours.

Let us pray…

Dear Father, I know you cannot take lightly the sins that I commit because you are a God of holiness who loves justice and does not allow evil to go unpunished. But I thank you for your wisdom and mercy in devising a plan that would allow the curses that was rightfully mine to fall upon your Son Jesus Christ…I pray that you will forgive me and grant me the grace to forgive myself. Amen.

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