Continuing reflections on the account of the Temptation in the Gospel from the first Sunday of Lent (Luke 4:1-13), today there is a great example of God’s great plan of Salvation at work for the triumph at the Temptation is a followup to the disaster at Eden:
 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit  for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry.  The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”  And Jesus answered him, “It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone.'”  And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,  and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.  If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.”  And Jesus answered him, “It is written, `You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'”  And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here;  for it is written, `He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you,’  and `On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”  And Jesus answered him, “It is said, `You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”  And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
God has a grand plan of Salvation History that is being worked out in the world. This passage shows the connections of history in several ways; our focus here will be the linkages between Eden (Genesis 3:1-19) and the Temptation Consider:
- In Eden, it is the devil tempting Adam/Eve. At the Temptation, it is the devil tempting Jesus.
- In Eden, Adam and Eve are not hungry and have plenty of delicious food to eat; they can eat their fill of everything, just not the fruit that God has forbidden. At the Temptation, there is no food and Jesus has not eaten for 40 days and is famished.
- The first Adam in Eden was tempted by Satan: Satan tempts the Eve/Adam with the fruit that God has forbidden, saying: “…when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” In the temptation of Adam/Eve, the devil uses appeals to three aspects of being human: Spiritual (you will be like God), Mental (you will know good and evil) and Physical (a piece of fruit).
- The devil attempts the same basic three-part approach in the Temptation of Jesus: Physical (turn stones into bread and eat), Mental (an appeal to Jesus’ self-esteem by having control over the whole world) and Spiritual (calling on the angels to rescue Jesus).
- In stark contrast to the disaster at Eden with the fall of the first Adam, the New Adam, Jesus Christ handily beats Satan (see tomorrow’s post for the excellent way in which Christ triumphs).
Salvation History is the most important kind of history, for it includes all people across time in the same story. But it is not just a story, it is real life history that has a great impact on our lives here on earth and absolute impact on how our lives will be after earthly death.
Praise our Lord Jesus Christ, the New Adam who defeats Satan and paves the way for us to the New Eden of Heaven.