Beans, beans, and beans! And, what would we do without peanut butter? During Great Lent, we voluntarily deprive ourselves of some earthly pleasures, like TV and meat. It seems to me that it is not so unusual for stress to increase, problems to arise, and conflicts with others to occur during the fast period. I often remark it is just the evil ones trying their best to derail us on our Lenten journeys.
As I was contemplating all of this, it occurred to me that this is mankind before Christ's Resurrection. Man's hope was in himself that somehow he has to live his life 'good enough' to earn salvation. Reminds me of a little child who strives to be 'good' weeks before Christmas, hoping to get a bigger reward, but never quite sure if their efforts are even noticed.
As we approach Holy Week, we can see our journey is almost over but on a cosmic scale, we can say the same about Jesus. On His voluntary crucifixion, He pronounced, "It is Finished." What is the "It"? Man's offer of rebirth in Christ to new life where our hope is not in us being good enough (which we can never be) but in His pefect, sinless obedience.
So, we wil be shouting 'Christ is Risen' for, by his Resurrection, He conquered, for us, sin, death, and the devil. No longer is man separated from Holy God. 'Peace I give to you', Jesus said. And, in the backdrop of Pascha, His offer of peace takes on eternal proportions! He healed mankind.
All of our discomforts, conflicts, deprivations that we may have experienced during Great Lent are reminders to us of how we once had to live before Jesus!
Glory be to our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!