Christ’s challenge was not Satan, but, rather, human weakness. He experienced all that we do except He never gave in to the inherent abuse of the senses.
Hunger, thirst, unfulfilled can acquiesce to some threat or reward. Satan is not in our senses but in the abuse of them.
Chris was tempted during His fasting with the fulfillment of hunger through the offer of bread. The sin would not be in satiating that hunger but in the reason for satiating it. Was his fast complete? No, it was not. Here is where Satan offers the opportunity to sin. The condition is right for temptation. All we need do is give in. Satan can never make us sin, as we see in Job, without God’s permission he could not even tempt or set the circumstances. But, when the time is right, he will give a nudge, with a word or a seemingly innocent just a little can do no harm. But once the threshold is passed, he has you. As a dog returns to its own vomit, so, too, does the sinner return to the sin. And ahead is an arduous journey to amend and right one’s ship.
The Cross was the final earthy confrontation between Christ and Satan. Having been beaten, humiliated, disparaged by Pharisees and shunned by the people, abandoned by his disciples He is then pinned to the Cross at both wrists and feet. Raised up in the view of all present to witness roman justice and the rejection of those whom he loved and was commissioned to save. And he would do so. For, Satan using every sense of man and abuse thereof awaited the cry of mercy to be taken down. As the partaking of bread during His fast or acceptance of the promises of Satan should Christ bow to him, Christ in coming down off the cross would have accomplished the same for Satan. He would have won had the Son of Man and the Son of God come down. But what separates divinity from humanity and principalities is what Christ did for us all. For Satan would have won and mankind lost if not for Christ’s adherence to his own words: no greater love is there than to give up one’s life for his friend. Sacrifice, the essence of love, is what saved our eternity, and ended Satan’s hope of ever being victorious in his hate. For it is human to come down off that cross. But it is divine to hang there. That rejection of temptation is a rejection of Satan.
No one should fear Satan nor death who gives not into temptation. For in succumbing to it is the greatest regret of all; offending God whose love is like none found in this world. It is given freely to all whether deserved or not. It need only be accepted. Though weakness may have its way in the cause of one’s sins, the Salvation won on the cross is the greatest acknowledgement of God’s mercy graced to the contrite pardoning heart.
Amen. Wonderful musing!
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