You remember tug ‘o war, right? One group on one end of a rope, another on the other end, pulling for all they’re worth to drag the other off balance and across the line. That game was the more fun, wasn’t it, when instead of a white line there was a pool of mud to be pulled into.
In today’s message we remember Jesus battled Satan in just such a tug of war, Satan working for all he was worth to get Jesus to forget His origin and His mission and His perfect sinlessness. Didn’t work, did it? Jesus, quoting from Deuteronomy, blunted Satan’s attacks with the power of the Word of God.
Satan engages us in the same tug of war, tempting us in all our weak spots. Funny how he knows them so well – because, of course, we all have them, some spots weaker than others. And let’s face it, sometimes he wins. Sometimes we fall headfirst into the mud of sin. It isn’t easy to clean that off us, either. It sticks, doesn’t it?
So we, like Jesus, turn to our Father God for resolution. That His Son went to the cross to bear the punishment for our falling into the mud of sin is the great cleansing relief we Christians enjoy. We hate Satan for the temptation he presents, the mud of sin, and we fear and love God in His only Son through the Holy Spirit. In that love we are forgiven, washed clean, and set upon our feet again. Stay clear of that mud, now!