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Ash Wednesday – 2022

1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”


Ash Wednesday is traced back into ancient Rome where believers would dress in sackcloth and sprinkled with ashes as a way to commemorate the beginning of lent. Although Ash Wednesday isn’t necessarily mentioned within scripture, there are various times in scripture where ashes are used for a sign of sorrow and grief. For example, Job talks of repenting in dust and ashes after hearing the Lord’s voice gently convict him. 

“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5-6)

As we enter the 40 days of Lent ahead of us (symbolizing the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert), we are called to mourn and repent of our sinfulness. We cannot save ourselves and no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to do so. But, we have a good Father who sent His only son to be our reconciliation, dying for our sins on the cross. 

We hear consistently that Christ died for our sins; He took the cross in place for us, a people who could never save ourselves. Yet, it’s easy to become numb to remembering our salvation. We thank God for our salvation and ask for forgiveness of sins but rarely truly recognize the weight of the GIFT that salvation is. 

We gossip. We slander. We fall captive to sexual sin. We cheat. We lie. We are full of pride. We hurt others. We worship idols of money and approval. We are apathetic. We indulge in drinks and food. We disobey God’s voice. We sin, every day, in the smallest white-lie ways to the biggest betrayals against those we love, especially God. 

But Jesus.

Those two words hold all the power: But Jesus.

But Jesus hung from the cross feeling the weight of every single one of our sins, letting all of our wickedness and shame sweat from his brow and pour from His side. Why? So that we could live in freedom and receive the undeserved gift of salvation.

1 John 1:9 tells us “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

God, our Father, is more than “just”. He is merciful and abounding in grace. And all we have to do is confess our sins to receive His forgiveness.

When was the last time that you sat at the feet of the Father and confessed your shortcomings? Confessed that secret sin that you are drowning in day by day? 

When was the last time that you repented? Turning away from your sin and asking God to purify you and bring you to righteousness?

Do not let shame tell you that you are too far gone or too stuck in sinfulness to be saved. And do not let pride tell you that you do not need a Savior. As we enter these 40 days of Lent before the resurrection of our Jesus – mourn. Weep. Repent.

It is time to prepare our hearts to celebrate the good news: Jesus died for our sins and ROSE FROM THE GRAVE!! We are saved, reconciled, and forgiven.


Happy Ash Wednesday from Essential Worship!