In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. In previous weeks we’ve been looking at how Christ was humbled in order to bring us salvation. We’ve seen that Christ was humiliated by his conception, birth and subjection to the law. This week I want to show that Christ was humiliated by the temptations of Satan.
Satan is the great tempter in Scripture, starting with the temptation of Adam and Eve and then on throughout Biblical history. So it is not surprising that Satan would seek to tempt the second Adam, Jesus Christ.
After Jesus was baptised we learn that Jesus was tempted by Satan. Matthew tells us ‘Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ” ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him’ (Matthew 4:1-11).
Luke also notes, at the end of his account of this temptation, that Satan was not through with tempting Jesus: ‘When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time’ (Luke 4:13)’
What a humiliating ordeal for the son of God to go through. The creator had to listen to a created being pressure him to sin. And not only once was Jesus subjected to such humiliating treatment, but he had to listen repeatedly to Satan’s evil words.
Why would Jesus humble himself in this way? To save us from our sin. Because of our sin we deserve to be humiliated for eternity in hell. But thankfully Jesus takes the eternal humility we deserve so we can have eternal life instead. This eternal life comes by trusting that Jesus was humiliated for you.
Do you trust in Christ’s humiliation for you so that you will have eternal life in heaven?
Joel Radford, Preaching Elder.