Unmasked: Tempting Jesus

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Hollywood, the New York Times, and even mainstream culture has taken liberties with the idea how can Jesus who is fully God, and fully man tempted? It’s an idea that has asked how, but perhaps instead of asking how, but why was Jesus tempted?

The person of Jesus is defined as the God man, the hypostatic union that is the combonation of the union between the divine nature of Jesus with the human element. Genesis 3:15 is the first mention of this as he would be born of woman and not of the conventional means that which would override the sin nature that falls on the shoulders of all image bearers under the headship of Adam the first man. (Psalm 51) The debate of the nature of Jesus has been of much debate as many in the faith have not physically seen him but the scriptures in their inerrant testimony of God’s meta-narrative redemptive movements give complete documentation of who Jesus is. In Matthew 4 and Luke 4 Jesus after being baptized is tempted in the wilderness and the question posed is even as a man how can God be tempted?

Man was created in the image of God in the creation event in Genesis 1 and 2 where God in three persons planned out and made man in his image to reflect him both physically, and spiritually as man was made to be a living spirit. God had man in his image socially as he had given Adam a helper the first woman, Eve whom Adam the first man was set to reflect God in three areas: as a worker, a wise man, and a warrior. These roles were given to Adam to up hold practicing godly wisdom as he is given knowledge and instruction naming animals, and instructing his wife cultivating her in God’s teachings. Genesis 3 marks the change in history where man rebels against God cursing all men are cursed to live in sin, born spiritually dead. (Romans 5:12, Psalm 51) Genesis 3:15 enters in the proto-gospel of the one who will crush the head of the serpent and who will mend the relationship between God and man. The cross itself originated in the mind of Jesus himself as he knew from that moment that he would be brought low become a man, live a life that reflects the one that Adam and Eve were originally intended to live as the last Adam, and dying on the cross atoning the sins of man. Sin is an infection that is deep rooted and is the present in the natural man who is born into spiritual still born state that is opposed to God. At it’s essence it’s ‘the failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature.’ (Grudem. 490) It’s root is rebellion and blooms into everything from lawlessness to faithlessness and all in between with the common denominator being death. Sin takes the form of everything from being a piece of fruit that was forbidden to eat, to riches, fame, fun, it’s formless and yet is the shape of anyone’s desire. It’s however the thing that promises quick reward apart from God, and is against God making it’s effects to be devastating to those whom feel the reprocussions.

While sin effects can range from major to minor and often times are overlooked they ultimately are against God at it’s core. (Psalm 51:4) Temptation however is the alluring call to sin that provides foothold into one’s life if they are to accept fellowship with it but is not sin. Jesus is counted as being he who knows no sin but became sin upon the cross for all but is tempted himself in the wilderness in Matthew 4, and Luke 4 the account of which Christ is confronted by sin that offers him temptations that go against the grain offering short cuts in his ministry and are crossless means in which of winning over the world trumping God’s override and destruction of his image bearers.

Jesus himself is the fulfillment of over 300 prophesies concerning his coming, his virgin birth, his life, his ministry, death, and resurrection leading up to the day of the Lord in accurate detail. Jesus is presented as the second member of the trinity as he has provided characteristics in his coming that he only can have in common with God himself that being his omnipotence as he is able to read minds (Mt. 9:4), walk on water (Mt. 14:22-33), raises the dead (Mark 5:21-43, Luke 7:11-17, John 11:1-44) performs miracles having two members of the trinity present at his baptism, providing testimony to his credentials as God. He is also revealed in the transfiguration as being God to his disciples as they are shown Moses, and Elijah in the presence of Jesus transfigured before God the father. (Matthew 17) The evidence surrounding Jesus being fully God and fully man is documented and witnessed by those present and heavenly hosts who proclaimed his coming to the surrounding public. His presence as the messiah sent by God even confirmed being presented at the temple in Luke Chapter 2 the scriptures themselves are presented as the inerrant testimony of God breathed out (2 Tim. 3:16). So the argument of Jesus’s divinity is undeniable, and his birth his capacity to feel and relate in weakness to man is also before us in the scripture that as he lived, breathed, and ate he was fully God and there is no separating the two pieces of Christ’s person.

So how then can Christ as being fully God and man be tempted even if he doesn’t carry the curse, and mark of sin?

God is sovereign and is the same God that under his sovereignty oversaw indirectly Satan enter into the garden to tempted Adam and Eve. Is the same sovereign God that would allow himself to be tempted in the same weakness that brought him low to save his beloved creation while Jesus was fully God he is complete with personality and has displayed full spectrum of emotions, and desires to do the will of the father whom had sent him. As Jesus did not know sin as the first Adam pre-fall didn’t know it either was still armed with the same knowledge of identity, commands from God wasn’t tempted by the normal things that the natural man could be tempted by women, fame, money, finite power the things that sin offers one to gain in place of God as the object of the worship.

Satan is only able to tempt Jesus with short cuts that reveal his character of being finite, but still short cuts that stray from the path to the cross, and into the dead ends of finite broken, and empty avenues of Lordship that yes would provide absolute quick and temporary imitations of peace and security of God’s will but nothing that would provide man with the eternal promise that we do know in Christ but instead would have offered a burned bridge leaving man under the full condemnation of God himself.

The purpose in Christ’s temptation wasn’t a matter of whether or not could Jesus pass the test in order to become messiah he already was the messiah with identity in tact. In fact the purpose of the temptation was to display the power of God’s word and the ability that it has for freedom over sin, and temptation. As Christ was in the wilderness there comes a parallel between the first Adam in paradise in Genesis 3 being tempted and falling, and Jesus the last Adam being the first born of the dead turning to God in the midst of temptation in a barren wasteland distant from God and succeeding. The temptation is set to serve as a model that Jesus set the bar that as distant as one can come from God can still overcome bondage through his word, and submission to his commands.

Philippians 2:5-11 Jesus came in poured out servitude that serves as the bar that one who calls himself a disciple needs to meet. The temptation is meant to serve as the model one needs to come to in the face of temptation leaving people without the excuse to continue in their sin while Christ’s sacrifice pays for it the practice of it by no means should continue. “Satan gives Adam and apple and takes away paradise. Therefore in all temptations let us consider not what he offers but what we shall lose.”- Richard Sibbes. God cannot be tempted (James 1:13) and for God to be subject to temptation is not for the benefit that he himself can beat down on the principalities of darkness which he will eventually do, but rather endure so that he may lead others through trials as an example to imitate that reflects God himself into the darkest places.

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Summer Scents

    Among the low points forests low embalming breezes set in as Ice exhales from the tip of breathe among the sights set above; sun shines in. Embraced then cradled the winds pour in like tides foaming through finger tips set on the fluid inhale, and plans liquidate the estates that tax within. The past melts in soluble mass wax that cultivates then dissipates. Bubbling then flow south to the river and the sea, and trumpets resound on summer soaked hills. Flowers bob and dance together the tempo showers through in harmonic ecstasy as the dust flows from dead smiles, and leather faces shrivel in the sun  in four four time the evaporate in urgent careful stares.

     Stumbled to our knees we all made mistakes and he’s our lifeline like children we side step into heavenly footsteps. Our sprained ankles, and broken knees reassemble as the house lights die, and the neighborhood forecloses like a graveyard ready to head east because the suburbs no longer know our names. The house life dies passing in the daytime underneath a symphony of nameless faces, and faceless names that pass from one kidney stone to another. Upward. Onward. The expanse of weight any glory abounds in fashioned congruence we can go only if you believe.

 

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A Diary Semblance

Bending slowly the caverns release the calcified boots of shame like stones into the abyss. Long is their gone hollow empty contortions artists that imagine roses in their dissaproval. Breathes that gasp like dialogue in the heart throb, a knife wound hissing in four four time the anesthetics that drain the bad the sour and the pace that chases our fears. 

Black filled veins like stale cherry cola they called me every name and they gave me the book. Never did I hate them or sharpen this axe as the roots tear from ankle to stem the faces contort into the suburbs that lay leaves in the ditch party summer’s in the dumps. I was never invited lights out their hearts broken like fine tin rusted in refrigerant that flows from the old school reasons to gloat. Ransomed and locked away I was alone as the rain washed the hillside green. White hands touch the filth and sqauler the song that sang the bright so removed their shards simmer in white heat as the righteous laugh. Laughter to the highest heaven I remember as their pretense turns to sand glistening and painted feelings drawn out as the bright become tall the ankles crack and the roots snap. 

Baseline cues and the hillside path loosens from barbed wire and scorched hands that adjusts to these bloodshot eyes. It just way too bad I’ve wasted all this time being sad my heart jump ropes while I’m waiting. The peaks are cold and the valley low holding on here there is a hope in my heart that is full and sharp hooked deep carry on kid as the sand turns to grasss that dreams of being green. They can’t lock you up he’s murdered their progress and melted all their keys he’s unsewn your mouth and shut away their captivating lunacy. Bled is liquid plaid the color of my energy wings like eagles touchdown into lasting ecstacy.

The Sky Boys: Last Night on Earth

When I heard your name the electric left breathe huddled as the air stood stail. Comma times new roman those eyes track the words from synaptic misfires as the catalytic foam washes over and I am void with out reason.

Hearts like these never carry far so heavy as we untie, unravel as the floor escapes the flood light of the back yard. Sweating across this night time scene we shrugg our chains.

Hopes float in release as the air tastes in hints of fall like the first inhales of autumn we fair like the waves of innocent waving in and out of time. Superstitions retracted as the unknown looks back in fear from where we could have gone knowing where we are. Houses calm as the wind hits my face the ticking of our hearts drum like music against our worst fears. Looks disengage from what was a burial ground is a tar mat for take off.

Hands in unison we fly in tears as where we had been found dead a float is the point of reference. We are tail lights in the wind. 

The Sky Boys: Part 1—Skylines

Substance bleeds in like foreign sunlight no ghosts fill the ashes the former vast like diamonds. Faces haunt the windows as they were a gazed fixed eternally on the well in chests now nostalgically asthmatic. Uphill the climb to be a fixture of decay as the neck ties, turn into coast lines, then into skinned knees on bike rides racing towards the scene of crimes long atoned for. 

Elegant the waltz of careful comfort as fear escapes the ridges of wounds self inflicted. The ankles of the heart perpetually sprained over and over as the fingers trace the way back home around the lip of the same cup of coffee. That’s evaporated into the eye lids that never open in this haunted house there is a depth that is carved out in this man like a key in a book that no one is allowed to read. It’s kept on a shelf in a house constantly being demolished in rubble built upon rubble. 

There is a sovereign hand that peels back layers refined in justice for this sprain. Contoured is the hollows of this hand as the dream is allowed to properly decay. Grey morning skies tremble in as grace flumes around in the air in the front porch light. Unwilling to leave as sweet conditions illuminates the inward image as the glass breaks. The inward sinking is properly buried as the dim look one gives a burial at sea inside a fresh meadow overlooking a patch of trees, grave, and a well. No longer does one linger in the same dead end streets that promise promises with its sunsets, and romance. There is no longer hair styles that can tame the desire of where we are going. There is is just a soft voice in white that leads on.