Lent is a time where Christians remember Jesus’ journey through the desert, where he went without eating for 40 days. To remember his journey through the desert, some Christians fast (go without food or water) during that period. Most Christians simply don’t eat any treats (sweets, crisps, chocolate etc.) during Lent.
Christians use Lent to prepare for Easter.
The day before the start of Lent called Shrove Tuesday is the last day before the start of Lent. It is also known as Pancake Day. Pancakes are traditionally cooked on this day to use up ingredients such as fat, eggs, milk and flour.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. Ceremonies take place where Christians have an ash cross marked on their forehead. This is usually used to represent grief, and they will wear the cross for the entire day to grieve Jesus’ death.
Jesus’ journey into the desert
Once Jesus was in the Judaean desert, Satan (the devil) tried to tempt Jesus. Jesus refused each temptation. Satan then went away.
One of the things Satan tried to tempt Jesus to do was to turn stones into bread. Jesus had been without food or water for 40 days, yet despite this he still refused. He responded by quoting Jewish scripture:
A person does not live by eating only bread, but by everything God says.Matthew 4:4
The devil then took Jesus to Jerusalem. He tried to tempt him into throwing himself off from the Pinnacle (the highest point of the Temple.) Satan said, “If you are the Son of God, [the angels] will catch you in their hands so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.” (Matthew 4:6). Jesus replied by saying (also quoting scripture): “It also says in the Scriptures, ‘Do not test the Lord your God.'”
Satan then took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all of the kingdoms in the world. He said Jesus could have all of the money that the kingdoms had – but only if Jesus bowed down and worshipped him. Jesus responded by saying:
Go away from me, Satan! It is written in the Scriptures, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him’Matthew 4:10