Lent Day 1: What If I Don’t Believe?
As they all approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage. It was on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent out two disciples. He said to them, “Go to the village ahead of you. As soon as you get there, you will find a donkey tied up. Her colt will be with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them. The owner will send them right away.” This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet would come true. It says, “Say to the city of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you. He is gentle and riding on a donkey. He is riding on a donkey’s colt.’ ” (Zechariah 9:9) The disciples went and did what Jesus told them to do. They brought the donkey and the colt. They placed their coats on them. Then Jesus sat on the coats. A very large crowd spread their coats on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Some of the people went ahead of him, and some followed. They all shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Psalm 118:26) “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. The people asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus. He is the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” – Matthew 21:1-11
I love talking to people who don’t share the same beliefs as I do. It’s so interesting to learn why people believe what they believe. It challenges my own beliefs and forces me to see things from a different point of view. That’s a good thing.
When you hear the word “Lent” (not to be confused with “lint”), I’m not sure what images come to mind. For the longest time, I always associated Lent with having to “give something up”. And yes, observing a fast is part of many Lenten traditions. Lent, in its simplest terms, is a period of time we use to prepare for Easter – the day Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. But I had this thought… What if you don’t believe that Jesus really ressurected? What if you’re not sure what you think of Jesus? Can you still “play along” this Lent?
Yes! I want to use this Lenten season to get to know Jesus better. You can too, and you don’t have to go in with any endgame in mind. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey the week he was to be crucified, some people worshiped Him. But others did not. Some people simply asked, “Who is this?” If that’s all you can say about Jesus right now, that’s okay. I’d encourage us all to keep asking questions.