Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Last Adam

"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil(Luke 4:1–2a).

What are the differences between the test that Adam underwent in paradise, and the test Jesus experienced in the wilderness? There are several contrasts we can take note of. First, Adam was tempted in the midst of a beautiful garden, a situation that would reinforce God’s light and truth to him. Jesus, however, was led into a lonely, dry, bleak, and dark wilderness, an environment not very conducive for being strong in the Spirit.

Second, when Adam was faced with Satan’s temptation, he enjoyed the support and camaraderie of his wife. When Jesus was tempted, it was in a context of solitude. We find it easier to compromise our ethics when we are alone, and when we are unknown to those around us. There was no one present to see what Jesus would do. And beyond this, Jesus experienced the pain of loneliness.

Third, God had invited Adam and Eve to eat of every tree in Paradise except one, so that when Satan tempted them, he tempted them on a full stomach. They were not being undermined by physical pain. Jesus was physically drained by 40 days of fasting when Satan came to Him.

The similarity of the two temptation accounts is seen in Satan using the same ploy—denying the Word of God. In the guise of a serpent, Satan approached Adam and Eve and asked, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1). By asking this question, Satan was casting doubt upon the trustworthiness of the Word of God. Eve replied that God had only forbidden one tree, on pain of death. Then Satan moved to a direct contradiction of God’s Word: “You will not surely die” (v. 4). Satan succeeded in that they rejected God’s Word of law and promise. However, the same tactic failed with Jesus, the second Adam.

Satan tries to prevent people from learning and memorizing God’s Word, and if they have learned God’s Word, Satan tries to prevent them from believing it. One of the best ways to memorize Scripture is to sing it. Are you involved in any program of learning to sing the psalms and other scriptures? Shouldn’t you be?