People often ask of this familiar account, “If Jesus couldn’t sin, why or how was he tempted?” “How was it a real test if He couldn’t?” This story reminds me of the “elephant walk” on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Today the Brooklyn Bridge is a well-known landmark. When it opened in 1883, however, there was a considerable amount of concern that it would hold up under the crowds of people walking on it. This distrust likely sparked a stampede on the bridge in which 12 people were killed and many injured.
The authorities decided to accept a previously-rejected offer from the showman, P. T. Barnum. He would lead the elephants from his circus across the bridge to demonstrate its stability. On May 17, 1884 21 elephants, along with 7 camels and 10 dromedaries marched across the span. Their purpose was not to cause the bridge to collapse, but to show that it would not.
Similarly, the temptation of Christ was a genuine test. Not to determine if He would sin, but to demonstrate not only He would not, but He could not sin. It was not to cause us to question Him, but to fully trust in Him.
This experience means that I have someone representing me before God who understands what I am going through. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
My source of mercy and grace knows and can be trusted to give exactly what I need! What grace do you need for today? Go to the Savior! He understands. He has felt our infirmity.
*What stands out to you as you read through Chapter 3? Share a comment in the section below.
Read more about the famous “elephant walk.”