The 40 days in Noah's arc was a purging, a cleansing of centuries of moral pollution, washing away generations of unreflective gratification.
The 40 years Israel wandered in the wilderness was training to live into the promises of God, to live by faith in the risky high promised land of blessing.
The 40 days of Elijah "on the run" brought him out of the dangerous illusions emanating from Jezebel's court to the place of revelation.
The 40 days of Jesus' temptations was a probing of motive and intent, a clarification of the ways in which God worked salvation in contrast to the ways in which religious idolatry seduces us away from God, away from faith.
The 40 days of Jesus' resurrection appearances provided verification for the new reality that was now to characterize life in God's kingdom.
-Eugene Peterson Under the Unpredictable Plant
Check out the experiential calendar for postures and practices this Lenten season