The Last Temptation of Jesus
In this post we continue with our presentations on the temptations of Jesus. Remember that our mission is to gain additional insight into spiritual warfare and how we can adequately prepare for these battles. Let’s pick up with the third tempatation of Jesus in the wilderness by looking at the following verse:
And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Luke 4:9-11
Again, this is more cunning trickery from the devil, who is so bold to even use the true Word of God in an attempt to deceive Jesus into aborting His life, identity and purpose. One thing to remember here is that God has always given man the freedom to choose. Even in the Garden of Eden there was always choice. In the Garden the poor choice of taking the advice of the devil did not protect Adam from the consequences of his decision. In like manner, a poor choice by Jesus would have also removed the protection of God. So the question must be is the scripture true? Yes, the scripture is true for all who do not fall for the temptations of the devil and sin. Therefore, the angels will protect Him from accidents but not from poor choices.
Based on this remember the following key points. Never choose sin even when cleverly presented alongside scripture that seems to support it. Never choose to give up on you life, mission or vision and never do anything proposed by the devil.
In addition, when you are tested please remember that you will be totally alone. There will be no help from angels, God or anywhere else. Think about it, If you’re not alone, then who is being tested? How will God know that you are ready to go to the next level or not? Also consider that the angels only came to the support Jesus after His temptation, not during it. Jesus came to the earth as a man to defeat the devil. This battle is not one that can be won by angels but only by Jesus the man. Do not choose the trickery of the devil but rather, choose the truth of the word of God. This is what Jesus did when He answered:
And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season. Luke 4:12-13
It is up to you to defeat the devil and pass the test. Remember that the reason you are here is to choose. You will not get help in times of testing. Even Jesus was alone when He hung on the cross:
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)
This passage clearly demonstrates that Jesus was alone on the cross as He took the punishment of the world upon Himself. It is here that the final temptations came to Him. Let’s look at some of them:
Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing. Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. (Matthew 27:38 – 44)
This was in fact the last temptation of Christ; to come down from the cross, to deny His identity, mission and vision. The last temptation of Christ proposed that He give up on us, the forgiveness of our sin and our destiny in the kingdom of heaven with God. The last temptation of Christ was to ignore what the Father told Him to do in favor of the devils desires. The last temptation taunted Jesus to quit just before the ransom for our restoration had been paid. It was a challenge to abort the work that only a man could do and to demonstrate the power of God from the cross. It was more trickery by the devil to defeat the mission of Jesus and to keep us under his dominion.
In looking at this last temptation of Christ we must ask, what have we learned? First of all, we are responsible for not giving in to the temptation of the devil. This is what Jesus did as He refused to recant His identity and His mission.
In addition, we learn that we will be all alone when tested and that we are responsible for our choices. After all, how will God know that He can trust you to if you do not make the correct choices that prove that you are living the truth that He has put into you? Jesus had to be obedient to the Father even to death. In being faithful to the Father Jesus proved that He was obedient and worthy to go on to the next level, which was to sit at the right hand of the Father. Remember, resist the devil and he will depart from you.