I believe Satan knew who Jesus was and why he was. I believe Satan knew that God became Emanuel and lived as a human being. I also believe he thought of Jesus as a man and not a god. I believe Satan understood Paul’s letter to the Philippians to mean that Jesus was indeed divested of his divinity.
Satan is well acquainted with God and with the word of God. One thing he knew for sure is that God could not be tempted anymore than God would temp. Satan’s plan was to kill Jesus before he could complete his mission of saving sinners. He used Herod to do that but Herod failed because God acted first. God knew Satan better than Satan knew God. One was creator and one was created.
When Jesus went into the wilderness to fast and pray in preparation for his work Satan waited for Jesus’ weakest moment and then tempted him. Jesus is the first man that Satan was unable to temp into sin. No matter what he tried or how often he tried Jesus, could not be swayed from his stated purpose. Satan saw defeat looming ahead in the person of the Christ.
Again and again he attempted to have Jesus killed. He excited hatred among the “good” people, the religious people and they tried to kill Jesus. None of the attempts succeeded. Then he got Judas. Judas could be tempted and was. Money was his (and many others) downfall. He used the religious leaders again and persuaded them to ask for a political death. Satan would use the cross to end Jesus life and work. The kingdom of this world saw victory taken from the very jaws of defeat. Jesus, the man, would die, be buried and like the rest of creation stay in the grave and ruin God’s plan to rescue man.
Paul tells us why the plan failed. 1 Cor 2:7-8 …”but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;” NASU
The crucifixion ended Jesus life as a man but Satan and his helpers simply did not believe God would do what he did. He raised his son from the dead and restored him to glory in heaven. Sin was defeated and the bringer of sin defeated with it. The cross killed Jesus, sin and Satan. Glory be to God for his unsearchable riches.