Friday, March 2, 2012

Lent 2b - conclusion

I imagine Peter needed a hug after Jesus’ rebuke which was a little over the top, don’t you think? I mean Peter might be dumb as a rock but I don’t think he qualifies as the Prince of Darkness. But then I don’t think Jesus was talking to Peter per se. It was the temptation that Peter’s “don’t talk about dying” presented that Jesus rebuked. And in this case a friend’s advice to avoid great suffering, rejection and death was temptation indeed. In the same way Abraham is tempted to give up on the pregnant promise that is long overdue but instead, as the apostle Paul writes, hoped against hope that his body as good as dead would eventually bear the blessing. The psalmist could stay in the place of forsakenness but instead imagines telling a people yet unborn that the tragic beginning has a happy ending. So I hope two weeks into the Lenten fast you are not tempted beyond your ability to resist whatever you’ve determined to give up for the sake of the one who took on our sin and gave up his life.

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