The temptations and challenges on the cross
Compare the above verses to the early temptations and challenges according to Luke’s account, after Christ’s baptism:
Luke 4:3 “…the devil said to Him ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.’
Luke 4:6, 7 “…the devil said to ‘all this authority I will give, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give to whomever I wish. Therefore, if you will worship before me, all will be yours.’”
Luke 4:9 ‘…if you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here…”
Now at the cross, similar insults, taunting and mocking questions were given:
“If He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” v.35
“If you are the king of the Jews: v.37
“If you are the Christ.” V. 39
In the wilderness, right after His baptism, the Devil’s aim was to get Jesus to avoid the way of obedience as the Son of God, that is, to avoid the way that would lead him to suffering and death.
The devil offered all these spectacular things to Jesus, just to avoid His death on the cross. And those temptations were not just for 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness, but throughout His ministry. Even to the cross He was obedient to the Father.
Philippians 2:8 “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” I hope Jesus obedience to the Father would touch the very core of our being, “obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Just for your sake and mine.
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness after His baptism and then He was assaulted by the Devil. Why? The NT shows us that Jesus is the new Adam or the last Adam according to Rom.5:12-15, 18-19. In these verses, in contrast, the first Adam failed in meeting the terms of his probationary period when Satan attacked him. He yielded to the temptation together with Eve. But Jesus the new Adam (second Adam, or last Adam), did not. Every believer today is still being tempted. But God always provides a way of escape if we yield to Him. Resist the temptation and the devil and he will flee from you. By God’s grace you can overcome. All by grace and by grace alone. (to be continued)