“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” (Matt. 4:1)
Who sent Him into the wilderness? He Himself? Satan? No, the Holy Spirit.
Was our Lord coerced into going, was He driven to be tempted against His will, did He desire not to suffer this trial? Was it even truly a trial?
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” (James 1:13)
Fully man and fully God, inconceivable to the human mind, yet true nonetheless.
The Holy Spirit drove the Lord Jesus Christ into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan who was sent by the Almighty to do so. Was this Satan’s choice? Why would it be, he knew who the Lord Jesus Christ was, he was created by Him. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3) He had seen Him born, watched as He grew up, knew Him for who He was from the moment the Lord created him until today when he stands before His throne accusing us.
Our adversary knew He could not be tempted, yet he was told by the Most High to go and do so.
Satan did not drive Him into the wilderness to be tempted, God did.
Why do something when you know you are going to fail, why attempt to perform a task you know without a doubt you cannot accomplish, why try to tempt the Living God, the expressed image of the glory of God, the Lord Jesus Christ when you know He cannot be tempted?
Because he was told to.
Satan is nothing more than a tool in the hands of the Almighty, a tool He wields as He best sees fit. He laughs at the best laid plans of our adversary, he is allowed to do nothing but what he has been allowed to do. Satan was created for a specific purpose, he is not the sworn enemy of the Living God, he posses no threat to His Sovereignty, our adversary is not a challenge in any way, shape or form to the Lord of Glory.
He is nothing more than a tool in His hands.
So why create him in the first place, why, with the full knowledge of all he would do along with a third of the angels that rebelled against the Lord, of what Satan would do, create such a being? Because if the Sovereign Lord of all creation was going to make man in His image with complete and total free will, that free will needs to have the ability to choose.
“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)
Grace serves no purpose if it is not offered freely, love cannot be accepted unless it is accepted by a choice, mercy means nothing if there is no reason to offer it. If there is no sin, there is no need of repentance or forgiveness.
By giving all mankind free will there was the necessity of evil, or there would be no availability of choice, and without the ability to choose, there would be no free will.
The Lord Jesus Christ is God, and God does not sin, Satan knew this, and so it must have been one of the most infuriating times in all of his existence, sent to attempt a task he knew he would fail in.
Our Lord was tempted not to test Him, not to prove to Satan that He would not fall into temptation, but to reveal to us that we have a righteous, true and perfect Lord worthy of all our praise.
Consider these truths, the next time you are tempted, who is allowing it to happen to you, and for what purpose?