In preparation for serious reflection upon the Lord’s cross and his victorious resurrection from the dead many Christian faith traditions practice Lent. Lent, in essence, is a period of time set aside by worshipers to reflect upon the significance and magnitude of Christ’s cross work in light of their desperate need for grace, mercy and forgiveness. The observance of Lent is usually accompanied by fasting, prayer, mourning, self-denial and repenting over sin.
As a Christian practicing his faith in the sphere of Baptist tradition, Lent is typically frowned upon, so I’ve never participated in it. However, I must admit, that I’m not totally opposed to such practices on the condition that reflection upon our sin, Christ’s cross, fervent prayer and a holy lifestyle of self-denial aren’t solely practiced only within the limited confines of the 40 days of Lent. We as Christians should keep these sacred truths close to our hearts at all times, especially every time we sit down at the Lord’s Supper.
In recent years I’ve seen the wisdom in setting aside and sanctifying a period of time for serious reflection upon the glorious cross of Christ and subsequent conquering of death, hell and the grave. For those not comfortable with the idea of participating in Lent, perhaps I can offer an acceptable alternative. I highly recommend reading a couple of short books on the passion, purpose and application of Christ’ sacrifice on the cross. These books are brief with short, succinct chapters that can be read as a devotion everyday over the course of the month preceding Easter Sunday.
The first book is titled: The Cross he Bore by Frederick S. Leahy. The second is titled: The Truth of the Cross by RC Sproul. Below I’ll post a review of each, including a list of the chapters contained in each volume. Continue reading