Mark 1:12: The Spirit DROVE Him into the wilderness.
Mark 1:12 NLT: The Spirit then COMPELLED Jesus to go into the wilderness.
Mark 1:12 NAS: The Spirit IMPELLED Him to go into the wilderness.
The Holy Spirit drove…. compelled…. impelled our Lord Jesus to go into the wilderness, immediately after His baptism in the Jordan, immediately after hearing His Father say, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Why? What was the urgency?
Mark 1:13: He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan.
The Holy Spirit drove our Lord into the wilderness for the purpose of being tempted by satan. This temptation went on for forty days. Why?
God is just. More, God is justice. Justice (God) demanded a payment for man’s redemption. Calvary had to be. And justice (God) demanded a flawless sacrifice, “a lamb without blemish and without spot”.
But was Jesus Christ truly flawless? Or would He, like Adam and like all, cave under temptation?
Some say Christ could not fail because He was “the Son of God”. Yet “the Son of God” was also “the Son of Man”. If it were impossible for “the Son of Man” to capitulate to temptation, the temptation would not be a temptation; the test would not be a test.
Matthew 4:2: When He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards He was hungry.
Forty days is a long time without food, and some christians have accomplished the feat. If today were the first of June, you would not be eating until the eleventh of July.
After forty days, our Lord Jesus was hungry. You might think he was hungry all forty days, but it doesn’t work that way. Hunger begins to subside after about four days of fasting, and fully subsides soon after. Hunger returns after forty days, and the body sternly demands nutrition. And the devil knew that.
After forty days “the devil said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.’” Remember, Jesus was in the wilderness…. no bread, no nothing…. and He was plenty hot, and plenty weak, and plenty hungry. What would be wrong with taking the serpent’s suggestion and simply turn a stone into a loaf of bread?
But that was not God’s way. It would be less than right to satisfy his hunger by turning a stone into bread.
Had Jesus capitulated to any of the devil’s many temptations, at this time in the wilderness or any other time, history would have been totally altered.
The sacrificial Lamb would be spotted, impure, no longer able to save. Calvary would be pointless. We would all be where we once were, serving “the god of this age”. Never would we be cloaked in Christ’s righteousness; we would “be filthy still”.
And what about Jesus? Would He simply return to His Father, a vanquished Son?
Christ’s return would be impossible. Our fate would be His fate, His need for a savior equal to ours.
One might reasonably assume if the omniscient Father knew His Son would falter, He would never have sent Him. But perhaps justice (God) doesn’t work that way. God “gave His only begotten Son” because it was the right thing to do. God always does right, even when right turns out wrong. God created Lucifer knowing Lucifer would become satan. And He gifted Adam with Eve knowing she would tempt Adam to stumble.
When we are in heaven these things will be unfolded, and we will know what we now can only speculate. Sufficient to say, if our precious Lord and Savior and Redeemer actually risked His eternity for our sakes our gratitude should increase emphatically.
But unlike Adam and unlike all, our Lord did not cave, though greatly stressed. Three times, when at His weakest, He repelled the devil with Scripture (which should deepen our confidence in Scripture), and undoubtedly many times afterwards. (“But was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”)
Jesus went to the cross an unblemished sacrifice.