Sackcloth and ashes often go together during the Lenten season. Sackcloth is used as an outward sign of repentance. During our Ash Wednesday we were each given a small square of sackcloth (burlap) as a reminder of our own sinful ways and need for repentance. What did you do with your little piece of sackcloth?
Many times in the Old Testament there was mention of sackcloth either as the symbol with ashes or people wearing sackcloth. It was part of “heartfelt sorrow”, or a repentant heart. Remember sackcloth is a course material that would be uncomfortable to wear.
Later we learn that God’s forgiveness in response to genuine repentance is celebrated by David’s words: “You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy” (Psalm 30:11)