O LORD, mercifully hear our prayer, and stretch forth the right hand of Thy Majesty to defend us from them that rise up against us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
--Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’
‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”
Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ ”
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
--Matthew 4.1-11 (NKJV)
For forty days and nights Jesus fasted and hungered. Afterward, he bore the Devil's attacks in our place that we might be healed and restored to life. These three temptations are a microcosm of Jesus's entire incarnation, where over and over again he was attacked by and victorious over Satan. Where one man was tempted and fell in the garden, the one God-man stood firm and conquered by his faithfulness. Though hungry and outwardly weak, Jesus was strengthened by the Word of God.
In Christ, we are made strong. In Christ, we are victorious. In Christ, we are defended from the Devil and those who rise up against us. In this most holy time of Lent, let us reaffirm our reliance upon God and his Word for our strength, our defense, and our sure salvation!
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash