Can you repent now? That’s a loaded question, isn’t it. It assumes that 1) you’re sinful. 2) That you want to repent in the first place.
For there to be ashes at all – something has to burn. Schmearing ashes onto a person’s forehead might seem a little strange, at first, but it is a powerful reminder of what we will be one day – dust and ashes. What will you do when you must stand before your God? Thankfully we don’t need to wonder. Ash Wednesday begins our Lenten journey to the cross of Calvary where we find Jesus offering himself for us. We are forgiven in Jesus.
We are only dust and ashes before our Holy God. David knew that too well. In 2 Samuel 24 he repents of his sin, but the consequences are catastrophic.