When you read that title, for most of us, the first thought in our heads is “that’s impossible”! And for some of us, the next thought might be “through God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26)! Okay, probably that was not your next thought. But that’s the hope!
According to the Canadian Bible Engagement Study (May 2014):
- 55% of Canadians never read the Bible
- 28% seldom read the Bible
- 7% read it a few times a year, and
- 11% read it once a week or more frequently.
Why Read the Bible
As Christians, we are not forced to read the Bible. So why should we? Simply put, it is to remind us of God’s promises.
God made it convenient for us to get to know his character. Since the moment God cast out Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, he never left them, not really. He made clothes for them to make sure they could brave the elements and he told them that he will rescue them from their fallen state. With Moses, we were given the Pentateuch to be read at every festival to remember God’s promises. And finally, with Jesus, we are given both the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. We are given the creation account, our gruesome yet miraculous family history, as well as a sneak peeks of what is to come for our own personal perusal! We no longer have to wait to be reminded of God’s promises! We have his Word! How precious!
Why 40 Days
So why 40 days? The number 40 is a significant number throughout the Bible. The most famous account is Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness being tempted by the devil and fasting during this time (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; and Luke 4:1-13).
With this in mind, each year, some Christians around the world observe Lent, which is a reminder of Jesus and His walk to the cross. It begins on Ash Wednesday (February 26), which is 40 days prior to Good Friday. This year, we invite you to participate in this Bible plan over lent as a church: The Bible in 40 Days (PDF).
Through the development of audio Bibles, we have learned that we can read the entire Bible in about 75 hours. That is less than two hours a day if you follow the 40 days plan. And if you were to make the speed two times as fast in the audio Bible app, that is an hour a day. This speed-reading through the Bible is meant to give you the opportunity to see the big picture.
After the Fall, God makes a promise in Genesis 3:15, of which the entire rest of the Bible is set to accomplish – the crushing of the serpent aka Satan’s head. God, throughout the Old Testament, does everything and anything to protect the Seed in order for Jesus to be miraculously born through a virgin in the New Testament, culminating ultimately with Jesus dying on the cross to pay for our sins so we could have a personal relationship with God once again. This is the meaning behind “Good Friday”.
We hope that this reading plan will remind you of Jesus’ greatest sacrifice for us and the impact it has for all eternity.
Next week I’ll post again on how to prepare for this challenge.