And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done”.
In 1988, a movie with the above title came out that basically mocked Christianity and the whole aspect of the passion death and resurrection of Jesus by making a false assertion that the nature of Christ’s temptation was sexually motivated, and that Jesus somehow would not be fulfilled without experiencing this piece of humanity prior to his death. In a sexually saturated society like our own, this could pass as some form of ‘nonfiction’ fiction and there would be some elements of society that would buy into this false assertion. These people are coming from a secular humanistic point of view, and are clearly denying the divine view, that the point of Jesus manifestation as a man was to be the ultimate sacrifice to expiate sin once and for all.
What makes the whole Christ event so remarkable and awesome is the fact that the second person of the Trinity found it worth the effort to save fallen beings and freely give them the opportunity of paradise without strings attached, or the need to follow the ‘law’ in order to ‘earn’ salvation. With this event, Jesus must have been fully aware of how unjust this was, and would have had to have a level of humility that virtually none of us mortals could even begin to comprehend. It is beyond modern man’s ability to consider how anyone would knowingly put themselves into such a position, especially when this person has the powers to change all things.
“Then Jesus said to him, ‘put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so?
We as a race are obsessed with power, and continually imagine having super powers in which we see ourselves being the good guy and destroying the bad guys. Just look at the proliferation of movies such as superman, batman, transformers, and fantastic four and so on. If any human had the ability to change history by using super human powers, I’m willing to believe that none could resist this temptation. It is innate for us to be repelled by evil, and we would do anything in our power to change the course of evil if we had the ability to do so. So, most likely the greatest temptation we as humans could have is to be given the power to change the course of history and then see if we would use it and how we would use it.
Jesus was the only person ever to have lived that actually had this ability. Yet He used His free will to follow the will of His Father, and chose to let Himself experience a most painful and humiliating death. It is nearly impossible to grasp this concept, yet explain it in any human language or form that is understandable. It can only be seen as the ultimate act of love, and only a being with the ability to have perfect focus on a goal could have accomplished such a feat. The human part of Jesus was fearful of His impending death, and this gives me comfort in the fact that death is not a pleasant experience as evidenced by Jesus. But unlike Jesus, I believe personally that if I had the power to stop my own death, I most likely would use it.
So, if there really was the last temptation of Christ (which I doubt) it very well may have been to use His divinity to change the course of human events. However, we would still be under the curse of sin, and there would be no hope in heaven or resurrection for us. Jesus modeled for us perfect obedience to the will of God, and perfect love, in that He allowed Himself to be brutally murdered to give us the opportunity to spend eternity with Him. Wow.