Today we remember how the man Jesus fasted for forty days, refusing to eat—the direct opposite to our first parents, who ate the forbidden fruit in their rebellion. Eating and fasting were very physical actions for Jesus; His body needed sustenance. In the Sermon on the Mount (today’s Gospel), Jesus doesn’t command fasting, once a hallmark of Lent; rather, He says, “When you fast.” Whether we individually fast or not, our elder Brother does give us what we need for every aspect of our lives: Himself, in, with, and under the bread and wine, for the forgiveness of sins.
As we move through this season of Lent, it will become increasingly clear why God became man: He lived this physical life in order to be nailed to a cross. Thereby, we are truly preparing for the celebration of His real, bodily, flesh-and-blood resurrection. Without that, our faith and our preaching are all in vain. God the Son became the embodied, incarnate Son of Mary. In Jesus, God has human flesh, a body, just like us. What could be more profound? Behold the man, who has led the way for us through death to our own physical resurrection!
Devotions adapted from Behold the Man! Resources for Lent-Easter Preaching and Worship © 2018 Concordia Publishing House. Scripture: ESV®.