Lent is an annual religious tradition within Roman Catholic religion. It is described as the period of liturgical year starting from Ash Wednesday to end of Holy Week, which is Resurrection Sunday (or Easter as many are calling it).
As per records, the purpose is to prepare the believers through prayer, penitence, alms giving and self denial in remembrance of the passion of Christ until His death and resurrection. Historically, the practice was largely observed until the Protestant Reformation in the time of Martin Luther (a former Catholic Bishop).
Many modern Protestant denominations these days observed the Lent in a refined and simplified manner. Their teaching foundation is somehow different as they directly read the Bible for the story (mostly quoting from the four Gospel: Matthey, Mark, Luke and John). Their observance has its difference as its purpose is focus on remembrance to Christ sacrifices for the salvation of mankind, without inflicting pain or sacrifice on ones self (or penitence). As they say, “salvation is a free gift from God when you sincerely accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior. Salvation is by God’s grace through our faith, not gain through good works or sacrifices.” This they believed from (John 3:16), “ For God so loved the world (or you), that He gave his only begoten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
Lent was also traditionally the term used to describe the period leading up to Christmas before the Advent officially recognized. As there are differences in the observance within Catholic religion, there are also differences in many aspects in different countries.
The title of the painting is “Forgiven” by Thomas Blackshear. Excerpt from Google Images.
To better understand the Lent is to view the movie “Passion of Christ” by acclaimed Direct, Mel Gibson. To me, this movie is the most honest Jesus movie ever made.