Jesus Christ, The Son of God, at age 30 sets out to prepare Himself for His earthly
mission to save humanity by dying on the cross to atone for the sins of the world.
After being baptized by John The Baptist in the Jordan River, Christ is led into the
Judean desert by the HOLY SPIRIT in the shape of a dove to strengthen His spirit
with fasting, prayer and time with His heavenly Father. After 40 days, weak from
hunger, Christ is met by Satan who attempts to tempt Him to sin and abandon
His painful mission to bring salvation to the world.
Christ begins his journey strong, prayerful and resolute. He progresses forward, He
is fondly reminiscent of His childhood with His earthly parents Mary and Joseph.
Obedient to God, Mary and Joseph had taken on the role of His custodians and raised
Him with such love and care, as if He was their true son. Christ recalls some of the
most profound and powerful moments of His childhood such as being found preaching
in the temple, the revelation His real father is in heaven, the death of Joseph, and the
realization He would be put subjected to severe pain here on earth.
Satan becomes aware of Christ's presence in the desert and knows He has come to
release His people from the bondage of sin and restore His people to righteousness.
Satan is determined to stop this from happening. In a brief encounter, Satan appears to
Christ to introduce himself and persuade Christ off His path. They both discover their
direct opposition to each other. During the encounter, Satan reveals a delicate lamb and
insists that Christ is as feeble as this lamb. Christ rejects the notion and promises He is
here to protect all the sheep from Satan. Following the encounter, Christ follows the lamb
tracks that lead Him deeper into the desert abyss.
Satan follows Christ closely creating turbulence in His path in an effort to cause fear, doubt, and terror. Jesus is also haunted by thoughts of what the future holds and nightmares of the inevitable agony He will endure on the cross. His strength is fading quickly, but he presses on, guided by the Holy Spirit and encouraged by the sounds of a bleating lamb. After 40 days, Christ frail and depleted encounters Satan. Taking advantage of the emotional bond Christ has with His earthly parents, Satan assumes their likeness in an effort to tempt Him into sin.
Presenting himself first as Mary, Satan tries to convince Jesus that His suffering on earth is futile, he needs physical sustenance, and prompts Him to "turn these stones into bread." Jesus draws upon Scripture for truth, is able to see through Satan's deception, and maintains that man must live by the Word of God.
Next, Satan takes on the form of beloved Joseph, asking Jesus to reveal Himself as the Son of God by throwing Himself off of His true father's house--the temple, and invoking the protection of the angels. Again, Jesus is not deceived, stands upon the truth of Scripture and states: "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test."
Last, Satan appears to Jesus as himself, an angel of light clothed in royalty, and finally reveals the lost sheep Jesus has been seeking. Satan attempts to convince Jesus he is aligned with His mission and claims Jesus does not have to suffer in order to save His people. He shows Jesus the kingdoms of the world and offers an alternative path in order to fulfill His purpose-Satan would give Jesus the kingdoms, but He must bow down and worship him. Jesus, though haunted by the pain He knows He must endure, knows His death is the only way to save His people.
XL, The Temptation of Christ, not only explores the struggles of Jesus in His 40 days in the desert, but also reveals the nature of Satan as the Father of Lies, the Word of God as truth, and the love of Jesus as our Savior and Good Shepherd. It is our hope and prayer that through this film, people will come to know Christ and accept Him into their hearts as Lord and Savior.
Douglas’s desire to make films started at a young age and led him to writing and directing a portfolio of short films, web series and documentaries. His work has garnered further recognition in ad campaigns for his graphic urban web series, "Pinnacle Heights" and he has earned high acclaim for his marketing career in the medical imaging community.
But even more defining than Doug's desire to make films is his growing passion for the Gospel. By God’s grace and the power of His Word, Doug’s growing desire to see God be glorified led him to redirect his focus from making Hollywood films to the even more exciting goal of seeing God’s name proclaimed throughout the nations. After several months of traveling and reading extensively the word of God, Doug felt a clear call of the Lord to use his gifts in full-time ministry by starting FaithWorks Pictures in 2017.
My name is Douglas James Vail and I am the executive producer and director of “40: The Temptation of Christ”. When my wife and I set out to make this picture we had no idea we were embarking on a three year journey. The experience of making this motion picture was one of the most spiritually enriching and personally satisfying accomplishments of my life and I am extremely grateful for everyone that joined us to help its completion.
The pre-production was a long process. I could sense the film required a higher level of authentic and spiritual direction that I had to prepare for. I spent a lot of time in prayer getting emotionally and spiritually ready. Trying to envision this story was a huge undertaking. Fortunately, the writing of Reed Lackey helped us produce a beautiful portrait of this sacred time in the desert. As I stepped into production I felt the obligation to give something back to God and to share something new with his people. We are all his people.
It is important to me that our film brings a deeper understanding of Christ and a healthy awareness of Satan. We explored the mission of Christ and the opposition that worked tirelessly to stop Him. We know Satan is an extremely powerful and seductive force. We also know only Christ could overcome Satan. No man has a chance. This is important to understand. This material required careful handling. It was a challenge producing a natural, gritty and artistic re-telling of Christ in the desert but hopefully the audience will discover why we all need the Good Shepherd to protect us.
This film represents my journey with God and it serves as my love letter to Him. I made this picture in service to draw closer to Him and to inspire non-believers to know Christ and what He came to do. I believe God knows us better than we know ourselves and I want everyone to learn about His undying love for us.