Jesus – tempted like we are!

jesus-facedown-gethsemane

Jesus was tempted just like we are!

Just like Jesus – you, too, can expect the fiercest, most vicious attacks of temptation to sin – especially during those seasons when you are most fervently committing yourself to love God with all your heart, soul, and strength.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin” [Hebrews 4.15]

Since Jesus Christ Himself is our Supreme Example and Model to follow in our own temptations to sin – then you, too, can expect our Adversary to mount his most fierce and ferocious attacks against you to tempt you to sin – even in those same seasons when you may be most fervent in committing yourself to love the LORD, your God, with all your heart.

Just anticipate it, expect it, prepare for it.

Just witness our Lord Jesus Christ.

When did He face the two most vicious and violent temptations to break the covenant of love and obedience He had made with His Father?

[1] Was it not following His baptism and public commitment of His life to do His Father’s will [Matthew 3.13-17]?  Matthew and Luke both highlight the intersection of Jesus’ baptism and His crisis temptation experience in the wilderness [Matthew 4.1 & Luke 4.1-2]. Luke even includes that “Then Jesus left the Jordan, full of the Holy Spirit…”  Jesus’ commitment of His life to love God with all His heart [as testified by His baptism] immediately set the stage to be tempted by the devil to violate that very commitment He had just made.

In fact, Jesus answered the devil’s temptations by quoting the First and Greatest Commandment of all: to love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength [Deuteronomy 6.4-5 & 13].

The point being: when you, too, make the same commitment to renew and refresh your commitment to love God with all your heart, then don’t be surprised when the most vile, the most vehement, the most vicious temptations rise up and begin to rage in your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and desires!

Even Jesus’ “being filled with the Holy Spirit” did not prevent Him from being assaulted with temptations by the Evil One to violate that covenant of love and obedience He had just confessed to the Father by His baptism.

And, it will not prevent you from being tempted with the vilest of sins that the Adversary can mount against you.

[2] And was Jesus not violently tempted to sin also in the Garden of Gethsemane as He was making His final commitment to the death on the Cross?

This season of temptation had been raging in His soul for days before! In John 12.27-28, Jesus had passionately groaned out: “Now my soul is troubled! What should I say – ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But that is why I came to this hour. ‘Father, glorify Your Name!’”

And, then, He comes to Gethsemane. He knows He is facing the violent temptations of
Satan against His very soul and mission.

Gethsemane is the Rubicon of Redemption. He must cross over to go on to the Cross.

But, He will have to fight the struggles of temptation to get there.

Matthew 26.36-39 “Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is swallowed up in sorrow—to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with Me.” 39 Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

He was being tempted to opt for another, less painful, way to save His people from their sins.  His temptation on that occasion was no intense and severe that He sweat blood from the pores of His skin [Luke 22.44].

Temptation to sin is always disturbing, unsettling, traumatic. And, especially when we are blind-sided during seasons when we think we are seeking God and enjoying the fellowship of love that we so passionately desire.

Those assaults of pride, self-will, desires of all evil sorts [“the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions”] can make us question whether we can even have Grace at all and still entertain such violent struggles at the same time?

Just remember: Jesus was tempted also…just like you are being tempted! He also was tempted in every way as we are – yet without sin!

“Therefore, let us approach the Throne of Grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need!” [Hebrews 4.15-16]

During the seasons of His most violent temptations to sin against His Father, “then an angel from Heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him” [Luke 22.43].

And, He will strengthen you, too!

This entry was posted in CONQUER, I've been thinking, Temptation. Bookmark the permalink.

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