The First Reading shows us God’s faithfulness when he established a covenant with Noah and his sons to not destroy all flesh by water of a flood. He gave the rainbow as a sign of his covenant. God is the God of life and it is his will that we live. Which is why, despite our sinfulness, he gave us another opportunity to have new life through baptism, as Peter said in the Second Reading. This new life is achieved through the death of Jesus. Peter said baptism is an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism is not an empty ritual but it gives us power to appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus. There is new life in Baptism that transforms us so our minds are molded into the mind of Christ. This is the victory in store for those who trust God and allow him to transform them.
This victory is won by Jesus as we see in the Gospel today, where immediately after his baptism, Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness. This is not just Jesus facing temptation, but it is Jesus entering enemy territory and breaking ground for the destruction of the kingdom of Satan. While Mark does not give details of the temptations of Jesus, we know from Matthew and Luke, Jesus won this battle against Satan. Jesus did not obey Satan, instead, Jesus held fast to obeying his Father in heaven.
This is why, when Jesus came to Galilee, he started proclaiming: The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe in the good news. The proclamation of Jesus is one that proclaims the imminent coming of the kingdom of God. Nothing can stop it because it is near and it will come. The only way to belong to this kingdom is to do what Jesus did: reject sin and worship his Father in heaven.
Lent is a season for battling sin. It is the season where we follow Jesus on his way towards victory over sin. When we follow him and obey him, then we will also be victorious over sin and in the end, see the life God has planned for us.
Lord Jesus, help me to reject sin and follow you so I can have the new life you have planned for me.