I saw this great post from a southern baptist church that said, "If Adam and Eve had been Cajun, they would have eaten the snake and saved us all a lot of trouble."
If only! But the matter at hand today is sin. The issue of this entire season is sin. The focus need not be on how sinful we have been but more on how we can be recreated. That reincarnation of sorts is the incredible power of God's grace. That long rambling letter Paul wrote to the Romans about Adam and the first sin, and Moses and the law, and Jesus regarding salvation (Geeze, even summarizing it takes a while!) basically boils down to this.
"Dat one man who mess dis all up? Well, a nudda man gonna make it all-right!" - I hope you could read that in a cajun dialect.
Jesus kicks evil to the curb. Satan does the devil's best to tempt Jesus because this fallen mighty angel God had created cast doubts about God's True Rule. That's what got him kicked out of heaven in the first place. Satan (who still loves God, mind you) tries to tell people there isn't only one way, but you have an option. Satan never denies there is a True way; he only ever points out the other possibilities. Unfortunately for us, those possibilities are empty and lead us to the void. Those false promises leave us disappointed and sad in this world and could rob us of God's endless love in the next.
Jesus, on the other hand, demonstrates for us how we can take the God option, the option that leads to life, happiness, and fulfillment. Just the other week, Jesus told us we have the choice between life and death before us, let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no. Jesus puts his money where His mouth is this week's account.
The question I have to pose about Jesus' seemingly brutal rebuttal of the devil is this: "Could Jesus do this because He is God, OR is it because Jesus was using his full humanity?"
If we take the easy way out and say that Jesus could refute Satan because Jesus is God, then we don't stand a chance against evil as regular people. No, I mean, Jesus unleashes the human authority over the worldly sin in this exchange. Christ takes every lesson He learned from His sinless mother, Mary, about rejecting temptation and demonstrates its power succinctly. Jesus doesn't even bother to use His own words, He only quotes scripture to the devil, and it works! Maybe that's why we dwell on the Word as much as Sacrament?
But, what better way for us to look at these weeks of Lent? Can we allow God's Word to unleash the best of our humanity to defeat sin? If we agree it is possible through the examples of Jesus and Mary, then there is nothing to stop us but our own foolishness. (I'm saying that for myself because I am a damn fool)
If we utilize God's Word effectively, then we find ourselves drawn deeper into a relationship with Him in Sacrament. That journey only brings us to a better place in life. We see the evils of the world and can draw upon God's strength to defeat them. Like I always say, Jesus is the ultimate life-hack when it comes to True Happiness.
A good challenge for myself is going to be resisting the cozy sins I've come to think will lead me to happiness and embrace some more time with God's Word. You've gotta keep me accountable here. I want to spend more time thinking about and praying over these scriptures this Lent so don't let me slack on writing reflections.
If you have anything to add, please feel free in the comments section and know that if someone trolls this site, I'll ban them like Jesus banned Satan from the mountain top.
P.S. Here's a little mantra to meditate on.