Consider their advantages. They lived in a perfect world filled with clear evidences of their heavenly Father’s love. Their home was a garden in which every earthly need was more than adequately met. They were physically healthy and strong. They had each other to support one another in joyful obedience to the God who loved them. And yet, inexplicably, when the devil accosted them on the battlefield of temptation, they fell. And all of us with them. Paul sums it up bluntly: “By the disobedience of the one man, the many received the status of sinners” (Ro 5:19a).
Consider his disadvantages. He lived in a world in which evidences of his Father’s love were often sordidly clouded by human sin. His 40-day home was a wilderness where his earthly needs seemed staggeringly unmet. Fasting for 40 days and 40 nights he must have been anything but an outward specimen of physical strength. There was no human companion to support him in his obedience to his Father. And yet, wondrously, when the devil accosted him on that battlefield of temptation, he stood. And all of us with him. Paul sums it up triumphantly: “By the obedience of the one man, the many will receive the status of righteous” (Ro 5:19b).
Each year Lent 1 summons us into that wilderness (a Sunday that could rightfully be named Active Obedience Sunday!). Nowhere does the substitutionary nature of our Savior’s perfect obedience (so much more than mere example!) stand in starker contrast to our disobedience.
Yes, we rightly marvel this Lenten season at the culmination of Jesus’ obedience at his cross. Yet don’t fail to marvel also at 33 years of obedience. The latter is as gloriously for you as the former!