The Last Temptation of Christ...


#1

It seems to have started with the devil saying **“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written:”

‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’**


But then, once this fails, the temptation is altered from being saved from attempting to kill oneself to actually avoiding being killed altogether…

The devil started in a very subtle way and spoke through Judas beginning the temptation in this way saying to the chief priests, **“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” **

The devil continued in a very subtle way and spoke through Peter tempting our Lord in this way saying, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!”

The devil also spoke through the actions of the apostles and tempted our Lord in this same way when they all deserted him and fled once they realized he was not going to fight back.

The devil also spoke in the same way through the soldiers who also came up and mocked him as they they offered him wine vinegar while saying, **“If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” **

The devil also spoke through those who passed by him on the cross, hurling insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”

The devil also spoke through the people who stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him, as they were saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”

The devil also spoke in the same way through the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders who mocked him, saying among themselves, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself!”

The devil even spoke in the same way through one of the criminals who hung there and hurled insults at him saying, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

Even at the ninth hour, when Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” — which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” — they still didn’t seem to understand.

In fact, when some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

Admittedly, many of the passages in question do not actually mention the adversary. However, the words spoken by each person since the adversary’s initial temptation sound strangely reminiscent of the adversary’s words.

All people expected him to be saved except his own mother.

As such, it seems to me that the last temptation of Christ was for him to save himself and forsake humanity in the process. Consequently, if Christ had actually succumbed to this temptation, I think it would have been impossible for him to return to his Father in heaven-- God the Son would have been imprisonned within his own creation and the devil would have won.

Anyone ever notice this pattern before?


#2

Satan’s first trick was convincing people that God’s Word is wrong. And the same satan used the same tactic with many religious cult leaders. Good post :slight_smile:


#3

Good point. But what I was noticing was this increased intensity toward the final hours for Christ to save himself from death. The devil seems to have instigated it with the three temptations at first.

Then when the devil entered Judas, we seem to see a similar temptation occuring-- assuming that Judas was attempting to force the Lord’s hands against the Romans.

Then we see the devil tempting Peter to speak words to tempt Christ away from the crucifixion. Notwithstanding these words, the Lord, with his rebuke of the devil from Peter, actually protected Peter from being sifted like wheat before the devil

Consequently, all the other words expressed by those around Jesus toward his crucifixion seemed to be repeatedly tempting him to save himself-- words which strongly echoed the devilish words which were tempting him to save himself before too.


#4

What is the theological conclusion resulting from the belief that it was possible for the devil to best jesus? Was it?


#5

Actually, I never understood this either. This passage often is used to explain that Jesus is not God, since he’s asking him why he has forsaken him. This might be off topic, and if so, Ill surely open a new thread, but…does anyone have an answer?:hmmm:
Pax!


#6

It is the first line of psalm 22, a psalm giving glory to God.

A lone Raven
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
2O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but I have no rest.
3Yet You are holy,
O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
4In You our fathers trusted;
They trusted and You delivered them.
5To You they cried out and were delivered;
In You they trusted and were not disappointed.
6But I am a worm and not a man,
A reproach of men and despised by the people.
7All who see me sneer at me;
They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
8"Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him;
Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him."
9Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;
You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.
10Upon You I was cast from birth;
You have been my God from my mother’s womb.
11Be not far from me, for trouble is near;
For there is none to help.
12Many bulls have surrounded me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.
13They open wide their mouth at me,
As a ravening and a roaring lion.
14I am poured out like water,
And all my bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It is melted within me.
15My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
And You lay me in the dust of death.
16For dogs have surrounded me;
A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
They pierced my hands and my feet.
17I can count all my bones.
They look, they stare at me;
18They divide my garments among them,
And for my clothing they cast lots.
19But You, O LORD, be not far off;
O You my help, hasten to my assistance.
20Deliver my soul from the sword,
My only life from the power of the dog.
21Save me from the lion’s mouth;
From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me.
22I will tell of Your name to my brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
23You who fear the LORD, praise Him;
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel.
24For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from him;
But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.
25From You comes my praise in the great assembly;
I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him.
26The afflicted will eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the LORD
Let your heart live forever!
27All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations will worship before You.
28For the kingdom is the LORD’S
And He rules over the nations.
29All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship,
All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.
30Posterity will serve Him;
It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation.
31They will come and will declare His righteousness
To a people who will be born, that He has performed it

From Bible Gateway.com

If anyone remembered the psalm at the time Christ uttered those words, they surely shuddered. Perhaps that is why some wanted to believe that Christ was calling for Elijah rather than saying He was the suffering servant.


#7

I’ve heard this explenation once on the radio, later I realised it was a SDA radio show (amazingfacts.com), so I couldn’t be sure if it was right. But, thank you for your explenation. :thumbsup:


#8

My explanation is that the writers of the gospels used the texts they were familar with when they set down the eulogy of Jesus. Including Psalms.


#9

Well said. :slight_smile:

The part where the Psamist says…

“He trusts in the LORD;
let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

Really stands out in the face of the accusations laid against him.

And later, when the Psalmist says the following…

For he has not despised or disdained
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.

Fairly well indicates that God never actually forsook him in the first place. It was more for those who were looking on than anything else.


#10

Do Christians believe the Pslams are prophecy?


#11

Good stuff :thumbsup:


#12

Valke2, thanx for your reply to my question.
And to follow up on yours: that’s what I understood from Ex’s post. Im wondering myself too.


#13

It seems to indiciate that there was a very real danger that Christ could have failed and therefore rendered the Father’s words untrue–therefore slaying the connection between God and humanity forever.

It is true that the Son was trusting the Father. But it is also true that the Father was trusting the Son just as much.

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?

The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.

Within the Christian sense, that’s how much authority Jesus was given as the Savior of all mankind. Jesus is the Lord God manifested in his very own human flesh.


#14

Valke2,

Yes, we believe some of the psalms are prophecy, especially that particular one.
For example
It talks about the piercing of hands and feet, gambling for garments, people saying that if the servant is not saved, the Lord does not Love him, etc.

Now someone could say as with any prophecy that it was “written in” afterwards, but yes we believe it is a Prophecy.

A lone Raven


#15

I never saw that movie, but I reed to know if there was anything in it what Catholic Christian would see as blasphemous? Can anyone give me some examples?


#16

The idea that Judas was Jesus’ fellow conspiratorr rather than his betrayor is rather blasphemous. This thread was not about the movie though. :slight_smile:


#17

Of course !

Not only the psalms but the whole of the Old Testament. It was all about Jesus.


#18

It wasn’t possible, Jesus being God Incarnate. He was thus not bent towards sin. Christ as a healer must have what He is going to share, i.e., must be fully, i.e., perfectly human and Divine or He could not heal us. He gives us the health, as it were, He has. If He did not have this health we, being sick, could not receive healing. So it is not Christ Who is not fully human, it is we, in our fallen state, who are not yet fully human. He would not have experienced inordinate lust or greed, or gluttony, etc…

His trials came from outside, though they are experienced inside, e.g., suffering and death. He could be tempted by the vissicitudes of a human nature and a human will, but he could never deviate in the slightest from a desire to do good and avoid evil. This makes the point (contra Luther) that temptation and concupiscence are different from each other and that neither of them could be identified with sin per se.


What would have happened if Jesus had sinned?
#19

It’s the beginning of Psalm 22. Read it. It’s self explanatory.

That being said, at Pascha we have a hymn that talks of the sun darking and the earthquake, etc. as creation suffering with the Creator. In these words the Creator was suffering with His creation.


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