It seems that most important events in the Bible take place in the wilderness and many of those same events occur over a period of 40 days or years. Jesus has just spent 40 days of fasting and prayer in a remote, desert place. During his time of preparation for His upcoming three-year ministry, He is weak and weary from His days in isolation. He has eaten no food, so His stomach is crying out for food. He is probably dehydrated, worn and weathered by the dry, dust filled desert and vulnerable. Vultures could very well have been hovering overhead. His prayers have been ceaseless and undoubtedly, He has not had any restful sleep during this entire time.
Certainly, His heavenly Father could have sent His angels to minister unto Jesus – to feed and provide for Him – to tend to His needs. Jesus, after all, was the true Son of God, but He was also human and His humanity and divinity were about to be tested. God’s purpose for Jesus was the plan He laid out for mankind on the day that Adam and Eve fell into sin. Jesus would become the living sacrifice, the unblemished and perfect lamb of God. Jesus would follow through on every step of that plan and win the victory for our inheritance into heaven. At this particular low point of his journey, He was about to come face to face with His adversary, Satan.
In this hour of temptation, Jesus was able to defend Himself with the Word of God. The devil knows our weaknesses and how to use them against us. Jesus was just another victim for Satan, because he obviously didn’t acknowledge Jesus’ divinity. He may even have thought that he had the advantage over him, by using that very Word to destroy Him. Ultimately his plan backfired and he departed from Jesus with his tail between his legs.
Jesus fought the devil in the desert and defeated Him with the Word. He fought the devil on the cross and carried every sin – past, present and future – to the grave and punched the devil in the gut. When He rose again on the third day, He laid Satan out with his power over death when His risen body left the tomb, He proved to the world that He is risen indeed.
The devil is still among and we constantly need to be on guard. He comes in insidious ways so we need to protect ourselves from his arrows with the armor of God. Using God’s Word is our sure defense – another gift. With that, the devil doesn’t stand a chance.