Lent and Significance of Number 40

Lent and Significance of Number 40 by Myra Kahn Adams for Town Hall

Thanks for joining our study. I write “our” because comments from knowledgeable readers well versed in the Word of God make this a virtual group Bible study extending and enhancing my initial “quick” 1,000 words.

Today is the first Sunday of Lent and the “Lenten season” that began on March 2, with Ash Wednesday — defined as “a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption” — according to Catholic.org.

And, since today’s topic explores the biblical significance of the number 40 — count 40 days from Ash Wednesday, and that is April 10 — Palm Sunday. On that day, we commemorate when Jesus entered Jerusalem and received a palm-waving king’s welcome. Yet, five days later, he was crucified on Good Friday and then gloriously resurrected on Easter Sunday.

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The seven days from Palm Sunday to Easter is called Holy Week. A good friend calls it “Christian pass week.” That is because media critical of Christians tends to cease out of respect, and Christians are given “a pass.”

I mention Holy Week early in Lent for all the “young Myras” out there. Since I was raised Jewish, I thought Palm Sunday “glorified palm trees,” and Good Friday was a “Friday in spring that was good.” Not a joke and first mentioned my youthful ignorance in Vol. 6.  

Now, before we begin exploring the miraculous number 40, here is an Easter season public service announcement:

I ask you to join my crusade against chocolate crosses. Please complain to the store manager if you see an edible crucifix next to the marshmallow eggs in the Easter candy aisle. Express outrage about that disrespectful travesty and request removal. Perhaps atheist candy manufacturers think a milk chocolate cross complements Easter baskets full of yellow marzipan bunnies and pink jellybeans? The thought of eating an instrument of Roman torture upon which our Lord Jesus Christ was nailed is a tasteless abomination. That said, let’s turn to how 40 symbolizes God’s purposeful plan and is mentioned 146 times in Scripture.

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