Sarah Condon at Mockingbird asks, What Would Jesus Do (for Lent)?
What Jesus did in the desert and what we attempt to do at Lent are almost wholly unrelated.
I would argue that Lent is not about us giving something up. In fact, it is not about our actions at all. Lent is a moment when we watch Jesus from afar. We are on the other side of the desert, watching him deny himself, bearing witness to his teachings and miracles, observing the disciples failing to stay awake, knowing that the agony of the cross is close at hand. Lent is not sad because we can’t eat carbs. Lent is sad because we are forced to watch the slow, deliberate movement of our Savior from his ministry to his cross. And it reminds us of our sin and our powerlessness over it.
We were not in the desert for 40 days fending off the devil and all manner of temptation. Jesus was. For us.