And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.

Luke 4:1-2a

It is very interesting to me that when Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit (which offers an interesting place to ask some Trinitarian questions, but that is for another day) that the Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness fasting for forty days.  Immediately after this profoundly Trinitarian interplay, Jesus was prompted to withdraw into the wilderness.  He went into battle, in a sense, full of the Holy Spirit.

This battle was not all glory though.  Instead He faced tremendous hurdles and temptations that I would never even dream of facing.  Jesus encountered temptation of pride and desire.  How can I ever think for a second that Jesus does not know what it means to be human?  Jesus (read: God) is our High Priest, as the author of Hebrews reminds us.  This High Priest understands hunger, the oppressive powers, loneliness and despair.  He knows intimately what is needed to get through and how horrible life can be sometimes.  He bore the brunt of it.  Indeed, it was more than what was deserving of Him.

The God of this universe and the essence of beauty descended onto this planet in order to reconcile the world back to Him.  As we are reminded of the promise made to Christ-followers in Col 1:22, “He has now reconciled in his body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him…”  The entire passage is so incredible because it goes from this brilliant God of the cosmos to His intricate action to bring about reconciliation with fallen, rebellious humanity.  He moved from grandeur to self-emptying humility (see Phil 2).

This is the God of Abraham.  The One who makes a covenant and then keeps it despite the failures of those in Abraham’s line.  He acted in order to redeem us.  He kept the covenant and then allowed us to be reconciled through justification by faith in Christ.  That is why we can trust in Christ; we are both heirs of salvation and promise.  The faithful one of Israel (Jesus) has brought us into an abundant life and it’s time to live in that reality.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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