Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Come Thou Almighty King"1 (Lyrics)
Each morning seems to come with a new, tasty selection of temptations! When we were children, my siblings and I were usually tempted by what our parents told us that we couldn't have, or especially by the things that we wouldn't share with each other. On television, we loved watching American comedian Flip Wilson, who once remarked that the devil never sleeps at night; he is making notes and delivers up his schedule the next morning! Of course, as I grew, the temptations adapted, whether I strolled through the shops or browsed online. Can you imagine being surrounded by temptation and living a whole life — never once giving in to it? Only one person did it perfectly: the Lord Jesus.
The writer of Hebrews shows us how Jesus became one of us, so that He might experience temptation, and conquer it.
Hebrews 2:18 – For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. (NASB)
Hebrews 4:15 – For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. (NASB)
As a human being, Jesus shared our flesh and blood and experienced temptation. Every day of His earthly life, He lived in a world with temptation everywhere, just as we do, but He never sinned. He had weaknesses in the flesh: He grew tired and hungry, became fed up with people, cried with people in grief, and celebrated the good times. He lived a real, human life, even so far as struggling in prayer, as we do, to fend off temptation. Only by being human could Jesus be our sinless High Priest Who could understand and intercede for us with God the Father.
Jesus is our example in defeating temptation. His focus was always on God and His kingdom. He memorized Scripture and used it to chase off the enemy. He prayed often and alone, even if it meant getting up early in the morning. He took full advantage of His Father's strength to overcome every temptation. Because He knew suffering and was acquainted with the pull of temptation, but was without sin, only He could be the sympathetic, perfect High Priest that we need to atone for our sin.
Let us look to Jesus as the source of our strength and power over every temptation, the One Who loves us and intercedes for us each day.
Prayer: Thank You, dear Lord, for Your plan of salvation, and for the role that You fulfil, not only as an example of how to live, but also as our Mediator, Redeemer, and High Priest before God the Father. You know what it is like to face temptation and weakness. Give us the strength to overcome. Amen.