February 13, 2005 - Invocavit Sunday

"And then Jesus was lead into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil."  (St. Matthew 4: 1-11)

In the name of Jesus. Amen. The One whose birth we celebrated Christmas morning, to Whom the Magi from the East brought gifts and worship, Who was baptized by John, is now led into the wilderness to be tempted by devil. Jesus’ temptation saves you from hell. Keep your eyes fixed only on Him!

Everything about our salvation rests solely on Jesus. Everything. If Jesus gives into the temptations of the devil, we will be lost forever. If He falls in the wilderness, we will fall. If he goes under, we all go to hell. This is a real test, a real temptation!  Thanks be to God!  Jesus doesn’t fall!  He doesn’t give into temptation. He is faithful to the Father’s Words and promises. Fix your eyes on Him!

Some teachers would have us take our eyes off Jesus today and put them back on ourselves. They think that the big deal about the temptation of Christ is that Jesus provides an example of how to overcome temptation in our lives by using God’s Word.

Yes, the Lord does use the Word to overcome the temptations of the devil, but that’s not the Gospel. Being like Jesus doesn’t save us, because we aren’t like Jesus, not one bit. He overcomes the temptations of the devil, even when the devil Himself uses the Word of God to tempt Him. We fall into temptation every day. We don ’ make it a day, an hour, a minute, or even a second without sinning.  Jesus made it His whole life.

The good news of the temptation is that despite us, Jesus puts Himself as one of us. In our place and on our behalf, Jesus resists the snares of the devil. Where we would fall, where we did fall, He does not. He wins salvation for us for all the times we have failed to resist the devil, and for all the times that we have. He remains faithful, even unto death, even death on a Cross.

In the Lord’s Supper today, what Jesus did for you on the Cross is delivered to you. Take and eat, the Body of Christ given for you. Take and drink, the Blood of Christ given and shed for you for the forgiveness of all your sins. And the Body and Blood of Jesus will strengthen and keep you steadfast – that is, able to stand against temptation – in the one true Faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

"O Lord, mercifully hear our prayer and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to defend us from them that rise up against us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. " (the Collect for Invocavit)

Higher Things Reflections are written by Rev.George F.Borghardt III,Assistant Pastor at St.Mark Lutheran Church,Conroe,TX