Temptation of the Christ

During the forty days of the Temptation, Satan used three attacks. These three were the epitome of the areas in which a person can be tested: the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life – Matt. 4:1-11: 1 John 2:16.

It should be noticed that Satan used the same three-fold appeal when he approached Eve in the garden of Eden and tempted her to transgress against God’s one commandment.

The third temptation

Satan invited Christ to throw Himself down from a pinnacle, or high peak, of the temple to prove that He was the Messiah, saying that the angels would bear him up again (Ps 91:11-12).

Satan believed that if Christ did throw himself down to prove the point that he was indeed the messiah, He would have failed the test by tempting God. It he refused, then he could have cajoled him for lacking faith in God. Christ easily dismissed the suggestion by telling him that no-one should tempt God.

Jesus met all the appeals of Satan by quoting the Word of God and acting in obedience to the will of God. Jesus defeated Satan and all his temptations by submission to the holy Scriptures in dependence upon the power of the Holy Spirit.

The whole goal of Satan’s temptation of Christ was to eliminate the suffering and death of the Cross. He offered the Lord glory without the Cross. This, then, would have made his death unnecessary.

The Third Temptation of Christ, by Duccio de Buoninsegna (ca. 1308-11)