Wednesday, November 02, 2005

And Wonders of His Love

This is the second half of the post from last Tuesday. You can find the first half here.

The Second Adam

Romans 5:19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.

The stark differences between the temptation of Christ and that of Adam are profound and yet the implications are glorious.

Matthew took 11 verses and Luke 17 to describe it, but in just two short verses, Mark throws us immediately into the harsh realities of Christ’s temptation:

Mark 1:12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.

Mark doesn’t waste words. Immediately he brings us face to face with what seems to be, on first glance, a shocking statement: The Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. In Adam’s case, Eve had merely stretched out her hand and he ate, and so he fell. Nothing complicated about that. But in the case of Christ’s temptation, it was the same Spirit that had just descended upon Him as a dove at His baptism that “drove” Christ into the wilderness. Adam had been placed in a pristine garden and given dominion over the animals by that same Creator God, and yet Christ was driven alone into the wilderness. Mark alone tells us that he was with wild animals. Matthew and Luke fill us in on a few details; Christ suffered from hunger; forty days and forty nights without food.

Think of that! That is a hunger that very few have ever experienced in this life! In contrast, Adam was well fed, enjoying the blessings of God’s perfect creation, in the company of the wife that God had given him. But Mark tells us that Christ was alone, and hungry in a cursed wilderness full of wild animals when the tempter came. And the tempter was not just any tempter, but Satan himself.

Adam was driven into the wilderness by the Lord, too, but it was into a wilderness of his own making. “He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:24) Stop a minute and think about the implications of that! How hopeless he must have felt! But there was hope for Adam, and for us, because God sent the Second Adam into this fallen world to reconcile it to Himself.

2 Corinthians 5: 18-19 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself.

Jesus, the One by Whom the world was created, was hungry and alone in this world made corrupt through Adam’s sin and yet, when tempted, He did not sin. Angels came and ministered to Him. I wonder if they were the ones set in place to guard the Tree of Life, for surely with the coming of Christ, through His obedient life and sacrificial death, the way to Life was again open to men.

Hebrews 2:17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

He identified with us, being born as a babe, being baptised, though he knew no sin, and being tempted, and yet without sin, so that he can be our Great High Priest.

Joy to the world! the Savior reigns!

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