When the Lord walked the earth, did He really endure the temptations I continually suffer through….and on many occasions fail? It is difficult to appreciate what our Lord was able to achieve; it is quite difficult to appreciate this because I fail so miserably. Being as difficult as it is, how can I appreciate what the Lord did for me? Consider his temptations.
To begin, notice that the Lord faced a frontal attack, if you will. The Lord was driven into the wilderness and there for a period of little over a month, He endured hunger and the full force of Satan’s effort. Jesus, at His physical weakest, was tempted to change stones into food, but He resisted. This resistance tells us that food for the soul is much greater than food for the body. Jesus’ second temptation (in Matthew) was a grand opportunity for Him to demonstrate to the crowds below His messianic mission; to complicate the matter, Satan quotes Scripture to entice Jesus to put the words of the Father to the test. Jesus, however, is not giving in with such a presumptuous action of putting God to the test when He knows, already, that the words of the Father ring true regardless of man’s action and thought. Jesus’ third temptation, from the god of this world, was a temptation to ambition. Jesus refused this as well; what would it have gained Him to gain the whole world, only to lose His soul?
When Luke records this, he states at the end of all this, that the defeated Satan waited for a more opportune time to defeat Jesus. He used man. Today, he still uses man to achieve his purposes. Unfortunately, man is a willing accomplice. Jesus, as a man, felt the force of these temptations, but as the Son of God, He was able to overcome what Satan thrust against Him. As a man, I appreciate what the Lord did for me because, as a man, I can’t overcome. On the other hand, when I have crucified myself to the ways of the world (Galatians 2:20), as a man, Jesus already overcame. In that I trust!