Sorry for the long break, school, life and work have been crazy!
I have been trying to work through a series called ‘The Worship War’. You can read the previous blogs in this series on my previous blog posts. This next post is the second to last post. Up to this point we have seen Satan be defeated by God, and thrown from heaven. We have also seen Adam and Eve defeated by Satan and thrown out of Eden. This next battle, or two battles really, is the battle that decides the victor in the war. The major players in this battle are Jesus Christ, God incarnate, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior! He is being confronted by the Deceiver, Satan!
The battle begins after Jesus has spent 40 days in the desert fasting, alone. He is physically weak, and is vulnerable to spiritual attack. Satan approaches Him and says “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” This seems like a trifle of a comment, however, Satan is tempting Christ with selfishness. The holy power Christ possessed was not to be used for personal gain, even turning stones into bread. If Christ yielded to this temptation, the sin committed would have been selfishness. Christ responds, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.'” quoting from the scriptures.
Satan then attempts another temptation: Satan shows Christs all the kingdoms of the world, and offers them to Christ if He will only bow to Satan, Christ responds, “It is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” Satan combines selfish ambition, with idolatry, the same sin that we all have fallen too, and Christ once again deflects the temptation with Scripture. By bowing to Satan Christ would have been, in effect, worshiping Satan and offering to serve him in the way that only God is due!
The final temptation happens like this: Satan takes Christ to the highest point of the temple and says, “If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written: ‘He will command HIs angels concerning You to guard You,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear You up so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.'” Satan attempts to use scripture against Jesus in this case. However, Christ response, “It is said, ‘ You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” This story can be found in Luke 4:1-13.
This is the first half of the Battle, verse 13 says, “When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.” That ‘opportune time’ came approximately three years later, and this is when the Crucifixion events occur.
Those events we will look at next week! For now note that this temptation experience sets Christ, and humanity up for victory! If Jesus had given in, just like Adam and Eve, then Satan would have won here. In a way Jesus is ‘the second Adam.’ Because the second Adam succeeded where the first did not, salvation is made available through Christ!