Seven Greatest Days of Christ's Ministry:
Temptation and Transfiguration
A. The Arena was the Wilderness (Matthew 4; Mark 1; Luke 4) Christ was with wild beasts (Mark 1:13) ; He was 40 Days without food ( Matthew 4; Luke 4) How unlike the 1st Adam is this last Adam. “The Devil challenged the first man. The Last Man challenged the Devil. The Devil ruined the first Adam. The Last Adam spoiled the Devil. The First Adam involved the Race in his defeat. The Last Adam included the Race in His victory. The First Adam stood as the head of the race and falling, dragged the race down with him. The Last Adam stood as the Head of the new race, and being victorious, lifted that race with Him.
B. The Adversary was Satan. Christ met the Devil, that Dragon and slanderous fallen Lucifer, the father of sin, lies, murder, death and hell. The very powerful King of Darkness.
C. The Account is Christ’s personal and private eyewitness Account. It is so special because only He was there. The fact that we have it speaks to His personal desire that we have it to help us as we face the same adversary. May we likewise conquer in His power! God approving of those 30 silent years of patient preparation. God approved of the life investment of Christ. Are we living in a way that God has approved? The baptism of Jesus by John was the Holy Spirit accomplishing God’s purposes through His yielded life. From the manger to the Tomb the Holy Spirit empowered Him to do the will of God. Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (KJV) All Jesus did was through the Spirit. Christ accomplished a life of devoted obedience in the power of the Spirit. WHAT HAS THE HOLY SPIRIT ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH YOU? The Holy Spirit asks: Have you met Him? Identified with Him? Been approved by Him? Accomplished His plan?
D. The attack was temptation to sin. In the Gospels we have Satan tempting Christ. The 40 days were filled with a spiritual struggle. The climax of Satan’s attack is given in Matthew and Luke 4. In Matthew 4 we have the chronological order.
1. Physical Attack:
a) APPETITE = The Desire to Enjoy (Mt. 4:2-4; Luke. 4:2-4; I John 2:16 ‘lust flesh’.
(1) In the Bread into stones temptation Satan attacks Christ at the point of submission to the will of God. Would Christ submit and obey the Father at all costs or not.
(2) This attack was the temptation to satisfy a legitimate desire by illegitimate means.
(3) This is the whole realm of sensual things, drugs, alcohol. Trying to get what only God can give. Filling that God shaped vacuum in our lives with pleasure over worship.
b) THE ANSWER: Deuteronomy 8:3 "So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every [word] that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. (NKJV)
2. Mental Attack:
a) AMBITION = The Desire to Achieve Mt. 4:5-6; Luke. 4:9-11; I John 2:16 ‘pride of life’
(1) In the jump temptation the Devil was attacking Christ and His reliance upon God and His timing. Stunts, dazzling displays and presumption are all contrary to God’s plan.
(2) This attack was according to J. Oswald Sanders the temptation to produce spiritual results in an unspiritual way.
(3) This is the whole realm of rivalry, externalism, pride, haughtiness and self-reliance.
b) THE ANSWER: Deuteronomy 6:16
3. Spiritual Attack: AVARICE = The Desire to Obtain Matthew 4:8-11; Luke 4:5-7; I John 2:16 ‘lust of eyes’
a) THE TEMPTATION
(1) In the bow down temptation the Devil was offering the possibility of Christ circumventing the Cross and
(2) Again this was the temptation to obtain a godly heritage in an ungodly way!
(3) This is the whole realm of materialism, greed, possessiveness, trust in riches and worldliness
b) THE ANSWER: Deuteronomy 6:13 "You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. (NKJV). As Augustine said: “We all have a god and we look more like who or whatever it is every day.”
E. The Answer of Christ
1. His answer was Simple: Christ used a simple method when facing temptation:
a) His response was not clever, novel or sophisticated.
b) Even a child could understand exactly what He said.
2. His answer was Scriptural: Christ used a scriptural method when facing temptation:
a) For each temptation He had discovered an appropriate Scripture.
b) For each temptation He quoted an appropriate Scripture.
3. His answer was Successful:
a) In relation to Christ = TOTAL TRIUMPH He is absolutely seen as pure and empowered by the Spirit. He goes on in ministry enables and strengthened.
b) In relation to Satan = TOTAL DEFEAT he is absolutely exposed as being in line for his final defeat and destruction in the lake of fire forever.
4. In relation to Believers = TOTAL ASSURANCE because x met and conquered Satan, through Jesus we are more than conquerors. No temptation but God is able to give us an exit!
F. This was the
XI. His Transfiguration
A. Sharing the Exodus. Both Moses and Elijah in a special way shared in Christ’s decease. Both had seen a special manifestation of God's glory passing before them (Ex. 33:17-23 and I Kings 19:9-13). Both had unusual ends to their earthly lives: Moses, a personal graveside death and burial by God and Elijah a death defying fiery chariot ride to heaven.
1. MOSES: Led the people of God from
a) The Lawgiver comes to the
b) 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God [did] by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, (NKJV).
c) He is a picture of the dead in Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:16b And the dead in Christ will rise first. (NKJV)
2. ELIJAH: Led the people of God from Idolatry.
a) The Prophet sees the Lord of Promises at last 1 Peter 1:11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. (NKJV).
b) He is a picture of the Raptured saints. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (NKJV)
3. JESUS: Led the people of God to Heaven. 1 Thessalonians 4:16a For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. (NKJV)
B. Showing the King. The Son is the only key to Worship.
1. A Glimpse at His Glory: John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (NKJV) 2 Peter 1:17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (NKJV).
2. A Preview of our Powerful Second Coming King. Matthew 24:30 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (NKJV)
3. A Peek at the Eternal Glory always in Christ. John 17:5 "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (NKJV)
4. A Promise of the glory we will share with. John 17:22, 24 "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 24 "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (NKJV)
C. A Strengthening for the Horrors of His Cross. Luke 9:31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at
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