As the Lenten Season approaches, many will be fasting in preparation for Easter. Fasting is an appropriate way to prepare for the glorious Resurrection of Messiah. From Lent to Easter there are forty days. Matthew Gross writes:
The significance of the number forty in Scripture is hard to overstate. It was the number of days that Noah was in the ark, the number of days Moses fasted on Sinai while receiving the Ten Commandments, and of course the number of days Jesus fasted in the wilderness in preparation for His public ministry. Thus it is an appropriate choice for the number of days of preparation prior to the celebration of Easter.
Lent is not to be for show. We do not put on perpetual sadness. It is as Schmeman writes, ” a bright sadness.” It is as N.T. wright observes, “a present-futurity.” While we mourn the sufferings of Messiah now, we look with anticipation to the triumphs of Messiah in the future. While the Church encourages us to fast in this Lenten Season, we are called to put all fasting aside on the Lord’s Day feast. All Sundays are perpetual easters looking to the future easter of our bodies. Therefore, Lent cannot be continuous fasting. On Sundays, we feast in the goodness of God and in anticipation of the Resurrection of His anointed One.