Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
I came across the view that Christians do not believe that Christ could have sinned and failed in his mission on earth. Well then how could he be 'tempted in the desert'? Was it all a charade or why could Christ have sinned?
Gethsemane. Ch 74 Desires of Ages. Extract
Now He [Jesus] was numbered with the transgressors. The guilt of fallen humanity He must bear. Upon Him who knew no sin must be laid the iniquity of us all. So dreadful does sin appear to Him, so great is the weight of a guilt which He must bear, that He is tempted to fear it will shut Him out forever from His Father’s love. Feeling how terrible is the wrath of God against transgression, He exclaims, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.”
He [Jesus] felt that by sin He was being separated from His Father. The gulf was so broad, so black, so deep, that His spirit shuddered before it. This agony He must not exert His divine power to escape. As man, He must suffer the consequences of man’s sin. As man, He must endure the wrath of God against transgression.
As Christ felt His unity with the Father broken up, He feared that in His human nature He would be unable to endure the coming conflict with the powers of darkness. In the wilderness of temptation, the destiny of the human race had been at stake. Christ was then conqueror. Now the tempter had come for the last fearful struggle. For this, he had been preparing during the three years of Christ’s ministry. Everything was at stake with him. If he failed here, his hope of mastery was lost; the kingdoms of the world would finally become Christ’s; he himself would be overthrown and cast out. But if Christ could be overcome, the earth would become Satan’s kingdom, and the human race would be forever in his power. With the issues of the conflict before Him, Christ’s soul was filled with dread of separation from God. Satan told Him that if He became the surety for a sinful world, the separation would be eternal. He would be identified with Satan’s kingdom, and would nevermore be one with God.
Behold Him contemplating the price to be paid for the human soul. In His agony, He clings to the cold ground, as if to prevent Himself from being drawn farther from God. The chilling dew of night falls upon His prostrate form, but He heeds it not. From His pale lips comes the bitter cry, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.” Yet even now He adds, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”
The Son of God was seized with superhuman agony, and fainting and exhausted. As the agony of soul came upon Him, “His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” The cypress and palm trees were the silent witnesses of His anguish. From their leafy branches dropped heavy dew upon His stricken form, as if nature wept over its Author wrestling alone with the powers of darkness.
The awful moment had come—that moment which was to decide the destiny of the world. The fate of humanity trembled in the balance. Christ might even now refuse to drink the cup apportioned to guilty man. It was not yet too late. He might wipe the bloody sweat from His brow and leave man to perish in his iniquity. He might say, Let the transgressor receive the penalty of his sin, and I will go back to My Father. Will the Son of God drink the bitter cup of humiliation and agony? Will the innocent suffer the consequences of the curse of sin, to save the guilty? The words fall tremblingly from the pale lips of Jesus, “O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.”
Three times has He uttered that prayer. Three times has humanity shrunk from the last, crowning sacrifice. But now the history of the human race comes up before the world’s Redeemer. He sees that the transgressors of the law if left to themselves, must perish. He sees the helplessness of man. He sees the power of sin. The woes and lamentations of a doomed world rise before Him. He beholds its impending fate, and His decision is made. He will save man at any cost to Himself. He accepts His baptism of blood, that through Him perishing millions may gain everlasting life. He has left the courts of heaven, where all is purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world that has fallen by transgression. And He will not turn from His mission. He will become the propitiation of a race that has willed to sin. His prayer now breathes only submission: “If this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.”
Having made the decision, He fell dying to the ground from which He had partially risen. Where now were His disciples, to place their hands tenderly beneath the head of their fainting Master, and bathe that brow, marred indeed more than the sons of men? The Saviour trod the winepress alone, and of the people, there was none with Him.
In this awful crisis, when everything was at stake, when the mysterious cup trembled in the hand of the sufferer, the heavens opened, a light shone forth amid the stormy darkness of the crisis hour, and the mighty angel who stands in God’s presence, occupying the position from which Satan fell, came to the side of Christ. The angel came not to take the cup from Christ’s hand, but to strengthen Him to drink it, with the assurance of the Father’s love. He came to give power to the divine-human suppliant. He pointed Him to the open heavens, telling Him of the souls that would be saved as the result of His sufferings. He assured Him that His Father is greater and more powerful than Satan, that His death would result in the utter discomfiture of Satan, and that the kingdom of this world would be given to the saints of the Most High. He told Him that He would see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied, for He would see a multitude of the human race saved, eternally saved.
Christ’s agony did not cease, but His depression and discouragement left Him. The storm had in nowise abated, but He who was its object was strengthened to meet its fury. He came forth calm and serene. A heavenly peace rested upon His bloodstained face. He had borne that which no human being could ever bear; for He had tasted the sufferings of death for every man.
GC Chapter 29—The Origin of Evil We find some explanation.
To many minds, the origin of sin and the reason for its existence are a source of great perplexity. They see the work of evil, with its terrible results of woe and desolation, and they question how all this can exist under the sovereignty of One who is infinite in wisdom, in power, and in love. Here is a mystery of which they can find no explanation. And in their uncertainty and doubt, they are blinded to truths clearly revealed in God’s word and essential to salvation... Nothing is more plainly taught in Scripture than that God was in no wise responsible for the entrance of sin; that there was no arbitrary withdrawal of divine grace, no deficiency in the divine government, that gave occasion for the uprising of rebellion. Sin is an intruder, for whose presence no reason can be given. It is mysterious, unaccountable; to excuse it is to defend it. Could excuse for it be found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin..... Lucifer's Pride in his own glory nourished the desire for supremacy. The high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as the gift of God and was not received with gratitude to the Creator. He gloried in his brightness and exaltation and aspired to be equal with God. P 492 – 493.
When Satan the leader of those “angels which kept not their first estate” fell from his holy and exalted place in heaven, he caused on the universe of God an awful controversy. From the very nature of the controversy, there must be eternal antagonism between righteousness and sin. there can be no coalition or compromise. God in whom resides every perfection, would be a hostile to sin and to the author of rebellion. Because God, the foe of all evil, and at the same time omnipotent, could not, in keeping with His own nature, allow rebellion to enter within his realms, nor let it reside there forever. The intruder must be cast out, he must be destroyed. There can be no question as to the issue of this controversy between a holy Creator and a rebellious creature. God suffer that sin might make a full revelation of its nature and results to the intelligence of all created beings and this is why the controversy was not arrested at it's beginning. When sin is finally destroyed, there will be sufficient evidence to satisfy every mind that the controversy should not be allowed to arise a second time.
Yes, but how would you explain it to a Baptist, or Methodist or other Christian denomination.
Yes, good question and I wish I had just as a good answer. The Great controversy is not taught in one bible verse. Most people would not listen to any more than one verse anyway.
If we consider our humanity, then the idea of Jesus not being able to sin is reasonable. Jesus was not born as other human beings.
35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.
Jesus was genetically different than us. As human beings we are as the bible tells us in Ps. 51:5
Surely I was brought forth in iniquity; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.
Did Jesus have a genetic advantage? It certainly seems so because for what we know, Joseph was not his father.
True Gene but what does it really mean as it says:
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh;
What does that word really mean? We know that Jesus had some abilities that we do not have, as in reading people's mind for example.
The greater question is: was Jesus born with the flesh of Adam prior to sin or the flesh of fallen Adam. Seems some have doubts.
Here is SOP "―Jesus could heal the sick and raise the dead. He was himself a source of blessing and strength. He commanded even the tempests, and they obeyed him. He was unsullied with corruption, a stranger to sin; yet he prayed, and that often, with strong crying and tears. He prayed for his disciples, and for himself, thus identifying himself with our needs, our weaknesses, and our failings, which are so common with humanity. He was a mighty petitioner, possessing not the passions of our human, fallen natures, but compassed with like infirmities, tempted in all points even as we are. Jesus endured agony which required help and support from his Father. Christ is our example.‖(Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, August 17th 1886)