Ash Wednesday

The total life length of Jesus maps to the history from Adam to Jesus. This makes the birth of Jesus equivalent to the fall of Adam. We explore in earlier articles the exact date of Jesus’ birth, here we explain how Jesus’ birthday is remembered in the Christian holiday of Ash Wednesday. Dust we are and to dust we shall return.

Background

One of the oldest Christian holidays is Lent. Lent is a season of cleansing. It is often celebrated with prayer. The start of Lent is Ash Wednesday, the day that marks the start of 40 days before Palm Sunday, the day at the start of Passion Week when Jesus entered Jerusalem.

The name Ash Wednesday springs from a verse in Genesis 3 where Adam is told that he is made from the dust of the earth and to dust he will return.

19In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground for out of it you were taken, for dust you are and to dust you will return. Genesis 3:19

The date for Ash Wednesday is chosen because it precedes by 40 days the entry of Jesus on Palm Sunday into Jerusalem. The first time Jesus ever entered into Jerusalem was at his 40th day, at the end of Mary’s time of cleansing after having given birth to Jesus. The start of Mary’s 40 days was on February 17, 1 AD as we have also explored earlier.

The first day of Jesus life, that February day in 1 AD, was a prophetic replay of the first year of Adam’s life. Jesus’ entire life replayed all the years from Adam up to Jesus and his birth. That structure to Jesus’ life means that Jesus’ first day was a replay of Adam’s fall.

Ash Wednesday is also a holiday that remembers Adam’s fall. The point? The Ash Wednesday holiday is the Church celebration, carried down through two millennia, of Jesus’ birthday.

By setting the date on a Wednesday it does not align exactly on the February 17 date each year, but it does align with Lent and that aligns with Mary’s cleansing as well as Jesus’ 40 days of fasting a year before the end of his public ministry.

Phil Stone, Updated 2016-11-06