“Ash Wednesday” is our unique way to begin the Lenten season. Ashes have two meanings. First, they indicate repentance. Job repents in the last chapter of the book named after him. He wears dust and ashes (42:6). Jeremiah 6:26 described this: “O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth, and roll in ashes; make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation, for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.” Oddly, Jonah (3:6) was angry when his message met a favorable response: “The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.” Jonah needed to repent as much as the Ninevites. They were unrighteous. He was self-righteous. As Paul said, “Therefore, you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges” (Romans 2:1).
Dust is the second image of Ash Wednesday. Genesis 2:7 says, “… then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” Abraham recognized his limitations, too: “Abraham answered and said, ‘Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes’” (Genesis 18:27).
Speaker: Tom Harrison
February 21, 2021
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