3. To Acknowledge He Was the Beloved Son
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)
The announcement from heaven showed John this was the one he was preaching about. Not all those who stood nearby heard the message, but obviously Satan did.
Up until this time, the devil couldn’t find the Messiah. Satan had tried to kill people since the beginning in search of the redeemer foreshadowed in the garden. He tempted Cain to kill Abel. Maybe Abel was the one because the Lord saw that one as righteous. Maybe it was one of the Hebrew children. He killed hundreds, maybe thousands of babies, but missed Moses.
The fallen angel never knew who the redeemer was, but he knew one was coming. He tried to corrupt the human bloodline all through Israel’s history by deceiving Israel into heathen worship. If there was not a virgin, there can be no virgin birth.
Even after the angelic proclamation at Christ’s birth, the prophecy of Simeon, and the wise men acknowledging Him, the devil was so stupid he didn’t know which person was the Messiah. He didn’t know which one to get so he killed all babies in the area two years old and under. His attempts to kill the infant King of the Jews failed.
When the Son was in the wilderness, Satan tempted Him to question the identity that had just been declared by the Father. Now the devil had a target and all he had to do was bring this one down the same way he brought down the first son of God, Adam.
The voice from heaven at the Jordan River confirmed that Jesus was the Father’s only begotten Son.
4. To Represent His Future Death, Burial, and Resurrection
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
The Messiah went into the water and submitted to John’s immersion of Him to represent submitting to death. He was buried in the water the way His body would be buried in the ground. He came out of the water as an image of His resurrection.
The Holy Spirit descended upon Him, and He was now endowed to do the Father’s will (Matthew 3:16).
Our Savior was tempted in the same way we are. He overcame by the authority of the Word. He tells us to do the same thing. Resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7). He was the beloved Son of God, but He was overcoming temptation as the Son of Man by using the Word.
He could have called the angels and done what Satan was saying Jesus could do. But Jesus knew to fulfill His Father’s will, He had to overcome by the power of the Word. That same word is available to every believer to defeat the temptations we face.
For Christ to take away Satan’s rule, He had to die, be buried, and resurrected.