Lent 2021 - TURNING POINT
Saturday, February 20th
40 Days, Lenten Sacrifice -Written by Ben Kraihanzel
Matthew 4:1,2 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Matthew 3 ends on profound moment in the life of Christ, his baptism. This moment was significant because it not only gave us a glimpse of the humanity of Jesus, but also allowed Jesus to identify with sinners (us). Heading into Matthew 4:1-2, we see another moment of identification as Jesus is led into severe temptation by the devil. There is a remarkable contrast between the imminent glory of Jesus’ baptism and the dark challenge to be tempted by the devil. The timing of 40 days and 40 nights is a callback to the nation of Israel wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. Jesus will succeed where Israel as a nation failed. Temptation is a certainty for everyone, even Jesus. Jesus did not need to be tempted to help him grow, but instead, he endured the temptation so he could identify with us and to demonstrate his sinless and perfect character.
As you reflect on this story today, how often does temptation break into your world by coming to where you are as opposed to placing ourselves in difficult situations where it may be easier to cave to our own selfish desire?