We’re now in the period of the Christian year known as Lent, on the start of a journey towards Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter. It’s a time when we consider the tremendous challenge Jesus experienced in the desert. Forty days when he prepared himself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually for the task he would accomplish on Good Friday: the victory of love over hate, good over evil, peace over violence, life over death.
In essence, the temptations Jesus faced were the same as we face:
- The temptation to put physical needs or desires before the things of God.
- The temptation to use power and influence for our own selfish ends, rather than for the things of God.
- The temptation to show off, to imagine that we are better (even spiritually) than others, rather than living a humble life that allows God the glory.
In the desert, Jesus showed us the way of obedience to God.
On the cross, he paid the price that we might know life in its fullness.
So often, we choose the way of imperfection, fuelled by self-interest and pride. How often do we crown our desires as the sovereign of our lives?
Yet Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn us, but to offer us the prospect of salvation and the restored dignity of humankind, a sacred gift of true life.
Once we accept the truth about ourselves and, in humility, reject material goals for spiritual ones, we are walking the way Christ walked for us; and one which, because of the resurrection, he is walking with us today.
Note: You can read the story in the Bible here: Luke 4:1-13