One of the discrepancies in different people’s observation of Lent, is when you stop. You see, the interval between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday is not, as you might think, 40 days. It’s 46. This is why J. Wilson from Beervana did a 46 day fast. He went from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. But most people you talk to, will talk about the 40 days of Lent.
40 is one of the numbers that pops up with significance in the Bible. It rained for 40 days during the flood. Moses was with God on the mountain for 40 days. The Israelites eat manna in the wilderness for 40 years. Goliath taunted the Israelites for 40 days. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness. Jesus remained on earth for 40 days after his resurrection. Women are pregnant (generally) for 40 weeks (not just in the Bible). There are a whole lot more (many measurements are in 40s, as well as reigns, ages, etc).
The above instances are all times of preparation or renewal. And so we use the interval of 40 for preparing for Easter, in this case, 40 days. Read More