Lenten Season, the Holy week in particular, for most of us means doing sacrifices—abstaining from meat, fasting and refraining from engaging ourselves in joyous activities—believing that in doing so, we emulate the passion and the suffering of Jesus Christ. We forgo our pleasures believing that it is needed for penance or atonement for our sins.
As my faith and understanding have grown, I’ve learned that the lenten season is a time to remember and be thankful for what Christ has done for us. He died on the cross because it is the only way for us to be saved from sin and its wages (death). As it is written in scripture, yearly sacrifices will not take away our sins:
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
— Hebrews 10:1
No amount of our own work can save us from our sins. Someone has already paid for our sins, and that is Jesus Christ.
Lent is not about what we can do for God. It’s about what Christ has done for us. It is a reminder for us to be grateful for the quintessential manifestation of unconditional love that Jesus alone can do. It’s time to put on our gracious attitude and celebrate for we have been freed from our sins.