Judges 4:1-5:31; Luke 22:35-53; Psalm 94:1-23; Proverbs 14:3-4
Imagine….A luscious three layered chocolate cake expertly frosted with thick swirls of dark, fudgey frosting. You’re licking your lips and savoring the very last morsel–that last bit of frosting clinging to your fork.
And, you cut another piece, slightly bigger that the first one wanting to prolong the sensory rich pleasure of chocolate on your tongue.
Having made that piece disappear you reach for the knife–just one more…it’s so tempting…what would be the harm of just one…more…piece?
It was so tempting…
That’s the light side of temptation.
Jesus experienced the dark side on the night he was betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemene. He went there to be alone with his Father to pray. To contemplate.
He felt Satan’s presence and he warned his disciples who waited for him at a distance, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” Luke 22:40
Kneeling, Jesus prayed, “Father if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 22:42
I can imagine Satan whispering in Jesus’ ear, ‘Your glory time is over, Jesus. I’m sending Judas who will give you up to the authorities…you’re a marked man, Jesus…why don’t you just flee to the hills nearby and disappear?’
It’s was tempting…
Maybe Jesus struggled with the suffocating reality that he would soon have to endure interrogations, false accusations, scourging, fist blows and spit..the cross and His Father turning His back on him.
Maybe doubts weighed down his soul. ‘why am I having to go through this? So few people believe me anyway…what good will dying accomplish? what difference will it make?
In his tempting “an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.” 22:42
Jesus faced his future-“and being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling on the ground.”
It was tempting. Ditch God’s plan. Flee.
But, Jesus suffered through the temptation–and willingly laid down his life for us.
Lord God, we give you thanks and praise for Christ’s saying NO to temptation in the Garden; for his willing obedience to you which won salvation for us. Let us never take temptation lightly, but remember at what cost your Son paid for our sins–for our failure to withstand temptation in our lives.
Give us strength when we are faced with Satan’s lies and beguilements–help us to say NO, be gone in Jesus’ name! And…forgive us, Lord, when we do fall into temptation and sin against you. Thank you for helping us regain our feet to continue our walk with you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13