February 18, 2015 is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, but what does the Bible say about it? What are specific verses about the holiday for inspiration?
Oddly enough, despite its modern observation, the Bible never identifies Ash Wednesday as holiday. And it also isn’t a Holy Day of Obligation on the official church calendar for both Catholics and other denominations.
Still, Christians everywhere recognize Ash Wednesday as a period of rebirth. Here are some Bible verses about rebirth for inspiration.
“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” – Job 42:5-6 ESV
“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6:16-18 ESV
“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” – Genesis 3:9 ESV
“Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” – Corinthians 5:7-8 ESV
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers…” – Isaiah 6:1-11 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17 ESV
“All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.” – Ecclesiastes 3:20
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 4:16
“And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” – Genesis 2:7 KJV
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:1 KJV