Holy spirit

The Holy Spirit will strengthen our faith – Redwood Falls Gazette

Pastor David R. Rupp Christ Victory Lutheran Church

Dear friends in Christ, in the Gospel text of Luke 4:1-13 we read about the time when the devil personally tempted Jesus in the wilderness. God the Son took on human flesh. He brings the battle to earth. He is the one who will crush the serpent’s head. Shortly after, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in bodily form, like a dove; this same Spirit led Jesus in the desert for forty days of temptation. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were finished, he was hungry.

My first response to this little nugget of knowledge was, “Well, sure, he was hungry. I can’t go without food for forty hours without complaining. Who knows how crazy I would be after forty days without food? Isn’t that just common sense? But there is a difference here. Jesus is not only true man, but he is also true God. I’ve heard more than one person say, “Jesus on the cross isn’t much. All he had to do was administer a little divine anesthesia and the cross wouldn’t hurt at all.

This phrase – he was hungry – is one of the many clues that tell us that Jesus did not always use his divine power. He tells us that when Jesus took our place under the law, he didn’t use any resources that we didn’t have ourselves. The Holy Spirit working through Luke wants us to understand that Jesus endured the temptations of the devil and the tortures of the cross without using his divine power in any way. We often fall for the devil’s lies, but Jesus never did. Jesus resisted the temptation of the devil on our behalf. He is our champion. He never sinned. He remained on the hard way of the cross.

Eventually, the world was coming back to him, but not by compromise. Jesus fulfilled all the promises made by God. Jesus resisted the devil himself in the desert of hunger. He endured temptation all the way to the cross. Jesus never wavered. In the end, Jesus defeated sin, death, and the devil. He rose from the dead. He redeemed us with His precious, holy blood and His innocent suffering and death so that we could be His and live under Him in His Eternal Kingdom.

With Christ’s victory on the cross, Jesus won forgiveness for us. The Holy Spirit brings us this forgiveness as He works faith in us through Word and Sacrament. The Holy Spirit will help us in our fight against the temptations of the devil, including the temptation to compromise the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will strengthen our faith and bring us back to eternal life.

God bless our Lenten journey, Amen