After the glorious baptism scene, water still dripping off his forehead, “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1) Jesus identified with us through His baptism, and now Jesus went into the wilderness to face the power we all fell prey to; temptation.
In the very beginning of the Bible, we find Adam and Eve in a perfect garden called Eden, enjoying a perfect relationship with God. It was in this perfect garden that our first parents gave into the temptations of Satan and disobeyed God’s Word.
Now, thousands of years later, a new Adam faced the same temptation from the same evil source, but this time in a desert-wilderness, rather than in a paradise-garden. This time the temptations would be stronger, and the stakes much higher.
Three temptations from Satan are recorded by Matthew.
The first temptation deals with trust, the second deals with identity, and the third deals with power and authority.
In the last temptation, Satan offers Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He would bow down and worship him. Of course all the kingdoms of the world had already been promised to Jesus by the Father, but here Satan was offering them to Jesus apart from the cross. Here was a non-bloody way to have the Kingdom, a real temptation for the man Jesus Christ.
But here is where Jesus diverged from the pattern that had been set by every man and woman before Him. Instead of giving into temptation, He beat it. Instead of listening to the voice of Satan, He shut him up. For Jesus resolved in His heart to trust His heavenly Father no matter what. Jesus would trust and live by every Word of God, rather than the voices of temptation screaming in His ear.
So on an empty stomach in a barren desert, Jesus resisted temptation where Adam gave in. And in His resistance of temptation, He was qualified to be the blameless Lamb of God lead to the slaughter for you and me. And by His death He could die for sin, and in His resurrection He could defeat sin. Therefore in a desert wilderness, Jesus did the one thing you could not; say “no” to temptation. But because He said “no”, if you are in Him you can also say “no”. And through Him, and in Him, you can say “yes” to God, because in Him you are more like Him than you.