The First Sunday in Lent

Today's Reading: Matthew 4:1-11

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 4:1-26; Mark 2:18-28

"Then Jesus said to Him, 'Go away, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only you shall serve.'" (Matthew 4:10)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Adam was tempted. But then he sinned and lost the image of the God who created him. He fell, and all of creation fell with him. Death entered the world with sin. All sinned, and so all died. Every last child of Adam for all time, including you and me, will die because of Adam's fall. Round 1 went to Satan.

No one lived for God. No one. Even the children of Israel, after God rescued them from Egypt, worshipped the golden calf and doubted God's power to give them the land He had promised them. God judged them, sending them into the wilderness for 40 years. And, like Adam, they all died in the wilderness.

Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit for Round 2. There, He's going to do an Israel, wandering the wilderness for 40 days. If Jesus falls in the wilderness, we're done. If Jesus sins, you and I won't just die, but we'll go to hell. That has to be said again: If Jesus falls, we will all go to hell.

He is tempted. He doesn't sin. He resists the devil with the Word of God. He corrects Satan's twisting of the Word. Then, Satan tries his last temptation: You can have everything--just don't go to the Cross. Jesus doesn't fall for it.

Jesus is headed to the Cross to save you! He's going to die so that death won't hold you. He's going to rise again from the dead and you are going to live forever in His resurrection. And not just you--everyone who believes in Him. For just as we all fell with Adam, we will all be saved by Jesus, the Second Adam. In Adam, we get death. In Jesus, we get life.

Today, give up thinking that you can fix your sins on your own. Stop imagining that, if you are just strong enough, you can overcome temptations on your own. You can't. You won't--not all by yourself. You are a son of Adam, and you will fall.

But Jesus has overcome your temptations. In the Second Adam, in your Baptism, in the Word, and in the Lord's Supper, you have overcome them, too. The answer to resisting your temptations is to be made alive by the forgiveness of sins. In Jesus, you won't sin. In Jesus, you can't sin. In Jesus, you have overcome death itself.

Adam fell. We fell with Him. Jesus died and rose again. We have life in Him. In Him we have eternal life. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.


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