The Devil had a serious look of concern on his face. Jesus had been nailed to the cross for several hours and still showed no signs of trying to get off and kick some butt. This is not what the Devil had planned.
While in the desert, the Devil had already failed to entice the Lord into becoming a ruler over the entire earth. The crucifixion was the Devil’s last chance to tempt the Lord into making a big mistake.
If Jesus could just be persuaded to get off that cross to save his own hide and exercise his power over the Roman soldiers and their oppressive rule, the Devil’s devious plan would succeed. For this would mean that Jesus had finally conceded and accepted his offer of earthly dominance.
But the physical pain was not enough to break the Lord’s will.
The Devil knew that as long as Jesus had a human body of flesh and a human disposition, he knew the Lord could be tempted. So the Devil decided to raise the stakes with more serious temptations. He would add psychological pain to crucifixion.
Poor people, oppressed and persecuted people, people suffering all kinds of injustices, punishments and misfortunes were sent to the crucifixion site and pleaded for Jesus to get off the Cross and—with His angelic army—alleviate their suffering and bring justice to the land. This indeed put more pressure on Jesus to do something tangible. Now!
The human side of Jesus yelled out that His Father in heaven was forsaking Him. But this was a final test by which the Lord would gain full control over his flesh and worldly inclinations in order to unify His human nature with His Divine nature. Jesus resisted the vanities and allurements of the earthly kingdom and chose the heavenly kingdom instead.
Jesus died, squashing everyone’s expectations, but was glorified for this painful decision.
The Devil knew he had failed to destroy God’s spiritual integrity. But he did not feel completely defeated. He knew that mortal men’s and women’s minds were still worldly, and if not now, would in the future expect the Lord to make a physical return to set things right on earth.
Rather than seek a heavenly kingdom beyond time and space, people on earth will always demand a terrestrial utopia.
A wicked smile slowly grew across the Devil’s face…