Showdown In the Wilderness
This showdown happened 2000 years ago, another one-on-one of much more grave importance to us all, history’s very best versus history’s most evil. This showdown determined the direction of humanity for all eternity. It happened in a wilderness.
Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into this barren country at the age of thirty. Jesus fasted forty days and nights, and during this time Black Hat tempted Him in several ways to get Him to compromise. You see, compromise is sin, and if Jesus sinned just one time He could not be the innocent sacrifice God required as payment for our sins. It really was a most crucial dual between the ruler of the world of darkness and the man Christ Jesus. If Jesus faltered in His weakened state, if He succumbed to the devil’s temptation, it would have been game over. No heaven for anyone, eternal hell for everyone.
Don’t think the devil appeared in a black robe and a couple of horns on his head. Chances are he had the appearance of a compassionate angel as he suggested Jesus simply turn stones into bread to alleviate His hunger. He was the benevolent one, offering Jesus the kingdoms of the world if He would just worship him, not long, just a couple of minutes would suffice.
What would have happened to Jesus if he lost this dual? He would be like us, a man under sin, fully guilty. His Father would have instantly disowned Him, and Jesus would be an outcast with no chance of returning to heaven. Yes, He would be our eternal companion in that awful place He came to save us from.
But Jesus was victor of that one-on-one, that forty-day dual. He walked triumphant out of the desert straight into a three year ministry that was to culminate in Black Hat’s defeat on Calvary’s cross. Jesus remained spotless and innocent and therefore an acceptable sacrifice, sufficient to redeem us from our sin.