Updated: Mar 11
Ashes to ashes, smudge to smudge. Going from Jesus washing feet (and telling his disciples to do the same for each other) to hired hands making souls for death.
In Matthew 4:1-2, we are told: "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry." In Luke 4:1-2 we similarly read: "Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry." Both footnote the translation of "tempted" as saying it can equally say "tested."
The point of these two verses says forty days of testing passed quickly, without incident. Jesus went forty days and forty night in good shape. The reading that follows each recount of Jesus being in the wilderness says, "This happened after Jesus "was hungry."
Everyone knows it is physically impossible to go forty days without food, without extreme physical consequences taking place. On the television reality show Alone, they point out how the contestants (those being "tested") are regularly monitored for signs of serious health issues having developed, such as those caused by not finding enough food to eat (and that means more than grubs and berries). It is important to realize Jesus was not "tested" physically. He was tested spiritually.
When Matthew says Jesus "was led by the Spirit" ("Pneumatos" - "of Spirit") and Luke says Jesus was "full of the Spirit Holy" ("Pneumatos Hagiou," - "of Spirit of Sacred"), this says it was the soul of Jesus that was "tested." The meaning of "wilderness" (from "erémon") must be understood as Jesus' soul entering a "solitary" environment. That says the spiritual testing was the soul of Jesus being set apart from Yahweh. Being set apart from Yahweh made Jesus become like Job; so, his soul was like prey to be tested.
When we see both apostles writing that the soul of Jesus was "hungry," one needs to realize that souls do not eat physical food (no grubs nor berries). Souls are fed spiritual food, which comes from the Father - Yahweh. Having had his soul set in a solitary environment, one where that soul had to survive alone, without Yahweh providing the soul of Jesus any spiritual food; Jesus was on his spiritual own. Thus, after forty days without spiritual food, the soul of Jesus was "hungry."
When you see that it was after forty days without spiritual food when the soul of Jesus was hungry, that becomes when the strongest tests of strength (inner spiritual fortitude) came. When Satan became the tester, verses one and two speak of the ways of the world being a test of one's moral fiber. Satan has already set the world up to be a place where there are no spiritual rules to follow - the less rules the better. That forty-day test then runs the gamut of walking around seeing others breaking the Laws of Moses, day in and day out. Seeing others breaking laws is a test to see if oneself will likewise break a law; or, will one not become a sinner. Those forty days are enough to get all those mere mortals pretending to be religious to break down and sin, sin, and sin some more. Jesus made it through those forty days with flying colors; but when Satan sensed the soul of Jesus was hungry, he came in to test him at his weakest point.
Certainly, it is totally believable to all Christians that Jesus could turn the testing table on Satan, telling him where to go. Jesus' soul was so "filled of Spirit" that he fed his own soul spiritual food, from recalling Scripture he had memorized, which rejected all of Satan's tests. Jesus was the Son of God, so certainly he could do that.
The sad and miserable state of Christianity today says, "It is okay to pretend we can go forty days without failing a test of spiritual food. Heck, most of us never read the Holy Bible … and when it is read to us, we have no clue what any of it means. So, we have gone lifetimes without any spiritual food of merit. We ate baby spiritual food in Children's Church, but that's it. It is a joke for us to pretend to go forty more days without one measly sin being temporarily suspended. And, hey … who's watching if we break that commitment too!"
The point of Lent is this: One's soul is supposed to have Transfigured. No longer a miserable sinner, one's soul has divinely married Yahweh and become His spiritual wife. The wedding vows are the Commandments (all of them!). The wedding ring is the Spirit that encircles one's soul-body. That cleansing (Holy Baptism) takes away all past filth and makes one a Virgin womb, ready for that most Holy penetration of Jesus seed ["Yahweh Saves" implant] into one's soul. That then becomes the resurrection of Jesus within, where one's birth soul [breath of life] submits to him as one's Lord. When Jesus is within one's soul, leading one's actions, then the expectation of a spiritual test in solitary means one watches the Lord keep one's soul from sins of the world for forty days. When Satan comes because one becomes spiritually hungry, then the Lord will kick his ass all over again.
Lent is about being Jesus reborn. Passing that test means one is truly ready to enter ministry … as Jesus reborn.
But then, the world is going to hell in a handbasket; so, not many souls are able to go a full day without sinning anymore. Without Jesus, everyone is just Satan pretending to be some member of a religion … mocking Yahweh and His Son.