Looking Forward to Sunday: What a Difference a Day Makes!

Rev. Daniel Eggold

Feb 24, 2020

Readings:

Genesis 3:1–21; Psalm 32:1–7; Romans 5:12–19; Matthew 4:1–11

Christ in the Wilderness by Ivan Kramskoy, 1872
Christ in the Wilderness by Ivan Kramskoy, 1872

“What a difference a day makes,” especially when we consider the difference between this upcoming Sunday and last Sunday. In the church year we have traveled (in one week) from the mountaintop experience of the transfiguration to another mountain, the mountain of temptation for Jesus.

    What a difference the change of season in the church year brings, from the joyful songs and mission focus of Christmas and Epiphany to the focus and songs of repentance and preparation in Lent. The shift reminds us that by our worship we are able to say, “What a difference a day makes,” a day that brings us the promise of forgiveness, the fellowship of the body, the instruction of God’s Word, and so much more.

    Genesis 3 reminds us of the difference one day in the life of Adam and Eve made for all humankind. “Then the eyes of both of them were opened,” but opened to a horrible truth, the realization of what they had just done. Because of this day our confession and worship begins with the words “We confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean.”

    Romans 5 shows how that one sin impacted all people and would need another great single moment in history to make things right once again between God and all people.The influence of the man Adam is compared to that of Christ, all the while noting that “God’s grace” through “the one man, Jesus Christ, overflowed” much more!

    St. Matthew contrasts Jesus’ struggle with that of Adam and Eve. They fall prey to the lies of the devil, but Jesus stands firm, showing us our vulnerability when we face the tempter on our own and our tremendous power to overcome when we face him through Jesus Christ. Adam and Eve’s disobedience stand in stark contrast to the perfect obedience of Jesus when faced by the same tempter. He did all this for our sake, because we, too, have failed God’s test. Jesus is our substitute who defeated Satan for us, setting us free from sin, death, and the devil’s power.

    What a difference Jesus makes!

Prayer

O Lord God, You led Your ancient people through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide the people of Your Church that following our Savior we may walk through the wilderness of this world toward the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.