Christ’s Time of Temptation
The ideal of the desert and the number Forty also are useful motifs for penance in the New Testament. These symbols as used in the Old Testament also relate to the New testament and continue the theme, especially in the case of Christ and his tempations in the desert. Christian Counseling sessions should utilize this motiff for Lenten discussions.
Again emphasis is placed on the desert as a place where sacrifice and renewal is found against Satan. Satan tempted Christ three times. He urged him to jump and allow angels to catch him from a cliff, promised him food and demanded adoration in exchange for all the kingdoms of the material world. These tempations contradicted the fasting that Christ was undergoing. Whether Satan at this time realized that Christ was the Logos is speculated, but the fact he remains he did sense a holiness never found in previous prophets and wished to tempt Christ during his period of fasting. Ultimately, it is in the desert that Christ in all his humanity faces Satan and emerges victorious unlike the fall of Adam. In much the same way, we must fast in the world for Forty days and emerge victorious like Christ over Satan. While the temptations may differ, they still represent the devil’s attempt to destroy our Lenten sacrifices. What temptations does Satan give one? They could correlate with an opposite vice of a virtue we are practicing in Lent, or represent a desire we are trying to curb. In all these ways, we must pray to Christ to send these temptations away.
Through the Forty days of Lent, we must overcome temptation, renew our faith in Christ, fast and prepare for the Resurrection. As Christ emerged from the desert prepared to do his Father’s work, so can we emerge prepared to do the will of the Father.
If you are interested in the Christian Counseling Program, please review it over and see if it matches your academic needs. As a certified Christian spiritual counselor, you can help others find Christ
Mark Moran, MA