This week, we enter the season of Lent. It is a time when we think about giving up, laying down something that we enjoy. For the next 40+ days, we find ourselves tempted with the lure of what we have given up. For some, it is a favorite snack or food. For others, it is an activity, like TV or video games. Each time we are tempted to return, we remember Jesus’ temptation to avoid the Cross.
In this week’s text, we find Jesus in the wilderness. He is famished; he has not eaten for 40 days. The devil comes to him and attempts to throw him off course. He makes at least three efforts to lure Jesus away from the Father’s will. In each instance, Jesus is faced with an easier route, a shortcut. But Jesus is faithful, resisting until the devil flees.
As we study the Temptations of Jesus, we are reminded of our own temptations. We consider the ways in which we are attacked by the evil one each day. Jesus models for us a strategy for temptation. He keeps His eye on the Father’s plan and refuses to bend to the schemes of the evil one.
At the same time, we must be careful to understand Jesus’ stand as the antithesis to Adam’s failure. Adam’s defeat impacted us all. We were booted from the Garden and forced to live in a broken world. Jesus, on the other hand, restores what Adam destroyed. Paul puts it this way,
(1 Corinthians 15:22 NIV) For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
As we face temptations each day, we can mimic our father Adam or follow the example of Jesus. Just as Adam’s response led to death, falling into temptation will ultimately destroy us. Yet when we follow Jesus’ example of resisting the lures of the dark one, we will find life. Join us on Sunday as we explore Matthew 4:1-11 together.