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For centuries, Christians have observed the season of Lent to honor and commemorate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is done by meditating on the life of Christ, praying, forsaking worldly pleasures and repenting of sin.
“While the meaning of Lent varies from religion to religion, almost all believers agree that setting aside a time to honor and remember the sacrifice of our Savior is important in the Christian life, ”Pastor Lucas Miles, a faculty member at Summit Ministries and pastor of Nfluence Church in Granger, Indiana, told Fox News Digital in an interview.
As the war continues in Ukraine, the pastor noted that in 2018, he was part of a special religious delegation that traveled to Ukraine to celebrate the year of the Protestant Reformation.
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“I remember the excitement at the overwhelming reception we received with about 200,000 Christians gathering to celebrate their independence in Christ,” Miles said.
This year, he said, while believers around the world are celebrating Lent, we should “remember deeply our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been affected by the crisis in Ukraine. “
Miles said Lent is a good time to reflect on God’s promises. At the heart of Lent is the idea of a covenant, or promise from God to man, he said.
Looking at ancient history and scripture, Miles points to Genesis 15: 6, where God made a covenant with Abram: “Abram believed the Lord, and hearkened not unto them; [God] he hath justified him.
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More than 2,000 years before the birth of Christ, Miles said, the scriptures first described the gift of righteousness received through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
Miles explained the history of the Old Testament of the covenant, noting that at that time, “the blood covenant was a binding agreement between two parties. They would also dig a shallow trench in the earth lined with the carcasses of slain animals. “
Miles continued, “As the blood of the corpses fell into the trench, both sides clasped hands and walked between the pieces, showing non -observance of the covenant by let one do to another what is done to the animals.. ”
This is the nature of the covenant God made with Abram – called the “Abramic Covenant,” Miles explains.
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“In the history of Abram’s covenant with God, the difference is that even though God made this covenant with Abram, Abram did not go through the trench,” he said.
“But the Bible tells Abram ‘was fast asleep’ and he had a vision of a ‘burning fiery furnace and a flaming torch’ walking between the pieces.”
Miles said that Christians believe this refers to the idea that the covenant was made “in the spirit” between the “Father and God -man Jesus Christ – rather than Abraham himself,” although And the thing was good in the eyes of Abram.
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This is repeated in Luke’s Gospel in the New Testament, according to Miles, through the transfiguration account of Jesus. Here, he reveals his divinity to the disciples Peter, James and John – and his coming sacrifice on the cross.
Luke 9: 29-30, “According to him [Jesus] as he prayed, his countenance was changed, and his raiment shone like lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in great glory, conversing with Jesus.
Pastor Miles further explained, “If our righteousness is related to our ability to keep a covenant with God, none of us have any hope of survival.
For Christians, however, this is not the case. By the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, He fulfilled man’s purpose in agreement with God. “
Saying that when “Jesus accepted the punishment we deserved, we were saved by grace,” Miles knew that Christ had become “the sacrificial lamb and the man who accepted a solemn agreement with the Father. “
To confirm the covenant with God in the Old Testament, Abram had to sleep, Miles said.
But in the 9th chapter of Luke, Peter, James, and John declare that they were “awakened” to see the glory of Jesus Christ before them. “In this beauty of the body of Christ is our hope for salvation,” Miles said.
“During this Lenten season, while the world is raging around us, each of us will wake up to see the beauty and goodness of our Lord, who gave his life as a sacrificial lamb to we may enjoy eternal peace and life in his name. “
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He spoke of the war in Ukraine in the context of Lent. “As believers, we join with Ukraine, praying for God’s protection in their lives,” he said.
Second Sundays of Lent: Pastor commemorates worship with Christians in Ukraine
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