If you could be God for one day what would you do?
Remembering the period of lent has not been a significant part of my Christian heritage or practice. Having just taken a school assembly on lent I am having a rethink. Traditionally we use this 40 days to prepare for Easter. (Lent begins 46 days before Easter as Sundays are not considered part of Lent as we always celebrate the resurrection on Sunday). I have always know that lent is for 40days as this was period that Jesus fasted, prayed and was tempted in the desert. What I had never done intellectually was to see the link between the forty days of Jesus in the desert and the Easter week – well not until I was preparing my assembly on lent and reading again the temptation of Jesus (Luke 4:1-13). What I discovered was that the temptations were Satan tempting Jesus to be God in the way we would be if we were God for the day.
So we see Satan tempting Jesus to perform a miracle that would show he had the solution to world hunger, we then see him tempting him to crush all the evil kingdoms in the world with one blow by owning and controlling the world and finally we see Satan tempt Jesus with a visual demonstration to the world of who he really was. And if we are honest if we had the power of God we would probably act in one of these ways. I like the film ‘Bruce Almighty’ as it explores this concept of what we would do if we were God. The conclusion is we would be God by meeting purely our physical needs – our appetites, desires and self worth – the temptations Satan through at Jesus.
However Jesus challenged Satan’s view of why God had come to earth. Jesus,I came to realise, had been in the desert 40days reflecting on his mission, reflecting on what it meant that God had come to earth. Therefore at the end of the forty days he could resist the temptation having through scripture,in his humanity, settled on the purpose of his life. His purpose was the will of God, the cup of suffering, the abandonment of God and the taking of our sin. So lent is a good time for us to spend 40days reflecting on why Jesus came to earth, why he came to die for us?
Further we see from the answers Jesus gave we see not only how Jesus had come to accept his mission but the purpose for each of our lives that Jesus came to restore. And so lent is a great time to reflect on the purpose of our lives and this lent for me I am going to do so under the three main themes of the answers Jesus gave to Satan.
1. Jesus came to make us alive spiritually to God and therefore our greatest need is for spiritual life and food which comes from hearing the Word of God.
2. Jesus came to show us our one purpose in life is to worship, to glorify God. His word shows us how to do this?
3. Jesus came to show us how to find God’s will and purpose for our lives and be content in that.
So during this lent I am going to reflect on how the mission of Jesus helps me grow in these three areas. Do you want to join with me on this 40days journey? You can follow me daily on twitter (@Acts2020Simon) or at our Wallingford Baptist Church Facebook page or less frequently here. But however you remember lent this year, know that ‘faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ’ Romans 10:17. So read the bible, read a gospel and receive saving faith and sustaining faith.