Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Atonement and temptation

As we delve deeper into this week's Bible Lesson, Doctrine of Atonement, we continue to see just what it is we are being called upon to do. The early Bible characters worshipped God with burnt offerings and a strict code of laws. Eventually that thought was elevated as Jesus came to bring grace and truth.

In the custom of the times, Jesus went to John the Baptist to be baptised in the river Jordan. If he had any doubts as to his true identity and mission, he now hears directly from God, "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased". With this afffirmation comes a series of trials as Jesus has a wilderness experience. He needed that time to process what had happened, to wrestle with the temptations that must have come when he realized his full potential.

Tempted by Satan, he overcomes each suggestion, all starting with the word 'if'. If you are the son of God. Has error ever whispered to you an 'if'? If you are the child of God. Jesus always responded with Scripture, the Word of God he had studied all his life. We can respond the same way with a relevant insight from the Bible or from Mrs. Eddy's writings. At the successful conclusion of this wilderness experience Jesus is ministered to by angels.

I'd love to share something wonderful that was included in a testimony at yesterday's CSO meeting. A testifier spoke to the story of Daniel in the lions' den that had been in the readings. She said that someone had once told her that the lions had been fed. I never thought about that before. Daniel was protected and guarded by the angels who came but now I wonder if they did not also minister to those lions as they had ministered to Jesus. The hungry lions were fed. What a neat thought! It brings out how what blesses one blesses all. Daniel did not want to kill or punish those lions. Maybe part of his prayer had been to know that they would be taken care of even as he was. What an example of at-one-ment.

Being a student of Chrisian Science does not mean you will no longer be tested or tempted. But it does mean that when that happens you are prepared with just the right ammunition to overcome it and gain a little spiritually in the process. Gaining a better understanding of our at-one-ment with God.

Tomorrow I will be studying the parable of the lost sheep.

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