The First Sunday in Lent and Forgiveness Sunday
First Reading: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
Second Reading: Romans 5:12-19
Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11
Temptation and Forgiveness
In (Genesis 22:1) God tested the depth of Abraham’s faith to see if he would actually sacrifice his son. When God sees that Abraham fears him enough that he “would” give up his own son, God sends and Angel to stop him.
Adam and Eve’s fall from Grace!
In (Gen: 2:15-17,3:1-7) God tests Adam and Eve with an apple in the garden.
“And the serpent was craftier than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made.”
The serpent tells Eve that she will be like God, knowing good and evil. Both Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit….” Then the eyes of both were open”.
Jesus and Adam (Romans 5:12-19)
Paul tells the Romans. “For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the “grace of God” and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many.”
Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11
“After Jesus was baptized, he was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.”
At first you think about Jesus spending 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness. We don’t know how he was able to do this, but by faith. We do know… that he was sent there by his father and filled with the Holy Spirit.
He was not alone and the Angels came and began to minister to Him. (Matthew 4:11) But not until he was tempted by Satan. Matthew 4:3-11 describes how Satan tempted Jesus several times. Satan wanted Jesus to turn stones into bread if he wanted to eat. Jesus says: It is written ‘One does not live by bread alone.’
Jesus fought off Satan’s temptation several times.
We humans need more than the simple necessities to keep us biologically alive. We need things that feed us mentally and spiritually. We need things that give our lives meaning! While food will satisfy our physical needs, a relationship with God will satisfy our spiritual and emotional needs and that feeds the soul. The “angels” had seen Jesus, “as God” previously to Him becoming a man.
Jesus fasted 40 days and he was hungry and thirsty; the devil thinks he see’s a weakness in Jesus and moves in to temp him. Satan temps Jesus several times and Jesus and Jesus said to him “Again it is written,” ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
But Satan does not give up and continues to try one more time…promising him the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; if Jesus would fall down and worship him.
“Away with you….it is written, Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”
The beginning of Lent is the time we realize that God has given us this free gift of Grace and Salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is a time of forgiveness, not just for ourselves but forgiveness of others in our lives.
Because of our relationship with God, He has shown us the way. Hes put people in our lives for a reason. Trust the Lord your God and Worship the Lord your God with all your hearts and all your minds.
We spend the next 40 days with Jesus and we can simply meditate on the Lord’s Prayer.
Whatever you need Father… ” Your will be done”
Spiritual Food… ” feed our souls and our spiritual needs”
Forgive our sins Father… ”As we forgive those who sin against us”
Lead us Father… “away from temptation”
Deliver us…. “away from evil”
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen
Rev. Lola Culbreath