Christian Living

The Season of Lent

Celebrate Jesus and His Death on the Cross to Save Us

Traditionally, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. It continues through to Maundy Thursday (the day before Good Friday and Jesus’s death). Some church calendars, however, end Lent on Good Friday and others on Holy Saturday. This is the season of Lent. (Resurrection Sunday begins the Easter season.)


Lent is a time when some followers of Jesus practice weekly fasting. This starts after Ash Wednesday. Though fasting is a Biblical concept, Ash Wednesday and Lent are not. There are no Scriptural mentions of either day. They were added later to the church calendar.

We think of Lent as lasting forty days. This mirrors the forty days Jesus spends in the desert being tempted by Satan (Mark 1:12–13). This time of testing prepares Jesus for his public ministry.

Three years later, his work culminates with his death on the cross to cover humanity’s sins and his subsequent resurrection from the dead. Him rising from the grave proves his mastery over death.

In truth, Lent spans more than forty days. Some church calendars tweak the details to make Lent cover forty days, by not counting Sundays. But let’s not worry if it’s actually longer.

Ash Wednesday

Depending on the year, Ash Wednesday can start as early as February 4 or as late as March 10. This is because Ash Wednesday always occurs forty-four days before Good Friday, which falls on a different date each year.

Regardless of the details, the purpose of Lent stays the same. During the season of Lent, we focus on Jesus and his sacrifice for us. One way we can do this is by fasting or giving up something during this season. We can use this depravation as a reminder to turn our focus on Jesus and what he did for us.

The Sacrifice of Jesus

By his crucifixion on the cross, Jesus died as the ultimate sin sacrifice to end all sacrifices. In doing so he fulfills the Old Testament law and makes us right with Father God. He proves his power to do this on Easter when he rises from the dead.

Discover more about celebrating Jesus and his passion to save us in Peter’s new book, The Passion of Jesus. It is part of the Holiday Celebration Bible Study Series.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.