Friday, April 19: Trust It: Complete Fast from Food (drinks are okay).
Today is Good Friday, the day in which we remember the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. On this day we remember his torture and death, ironically called “Good” because we know the Resurrection is coming. But until then, the Christian Church typically reflects on these next couple days with great emotion and awareness. One of the primary ways that the Church reflects upon Good Friday is through fasting,recognizing that Jesus was unable to eat anything following his Last Supper with the Disciples (and doesn’t eat again until later on Easter day).
In sync with many Christian Churches on Good Friday, today’s challenge is a complete fast (or withholding) from all food for 24 hours (drinks are okay). People who normally do not have access to adequate nutrition are encouraged to avoid today’s challenge. Those with necessary dietary and medical needs are also not subject to this ancient Church tradition and are encouraged to spend much of the day in prayer, Bible reading, and reflection. For the rest of us, we’re about to be hungry, but that’s okay.
Consider this: 13% of the world’s population goes to bed each night without access to food. In America, this number is actually higher, exceeding 20% of our population. Over 41 million people in America go to bed hungry each night, including 13 million children. This is a shocking statistic in a country blessed with high-speed internet, digital television, and incredible medical technology. Those of us who are reading this devotion have plenty of food in our pantry. Most of us are not worried about where our next meal originates, so we shouldn’t blink an eye at taking 24-hours to honor Jesus with a fast.
You can do it. If you haven’t eaten since last night, you’re already ahead. Just complete the challenge for remainder of the day. By dinnertime tonight, you’ll have succeeded in the challenge. Today, fast from all food!
“Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph. He was a member of the Jewish high council, but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come. He went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock. This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation,as the Sabbath was about to begin.” (Luke 23:50-54, NLT).