“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. Now when He heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee.” Matt. 4:10-12
From the outset of Jesus Christ’s incarnation Satan went full bore on the attack, trying to thwart God’s redemptive plan. The ministry of Jesus Christ had just commenced after He was baptized by John the Baptist, immediately after He was impelled by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted by the devil (Mark 1:12). While Satan unsuccessfully tempted Jesus to sin, John the Baptist was thrown into prison and soon after executed. Jesus’ baptism would be the last time they would ever meet (Matt. 4:1-10, 14:3-12). Jesus would never see His cousin and forerunner again—what a powerful gospel force they would have made. And even though John declared: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30), he probably had not figured decreasing by way of death, John’s sudden execution was at the hands of the prince of darkness, working his evil through human instruments. However, thanks be to God, Jesus Christ not only endured with perfect obedience, the temptations from the devil, but ultimately defeated Satan by His sacrificial death on the cross. “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the [demonic] spirits now in prison.” (1 Pet. 3:18-19). Jesus delivered Himself unto death, so that we could be delivered from death. Praise be to God for our Wonderful Savior!