“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.” Hebrews 4:15 (KJV)
During Lenten season, many questions are put forth concerning Jesus, His purpose, and His role in God’s plan of salvation. One such question that seems to top the list is, “how does one reconcile Christ’s deity His humanity?” This is not a new question and has been argued by religious scholars since the advent of Christ. Even today I have heard ministers “infer” that Christ was not sinless. Perhaps they do this to help parishioners identify with their personal struggles to “live holy lives” (1 Pet. 1:15). Instead of being helpful, these misguided efforts, instead lead many believers astray.
It is true that Christ in His humanity experienced similar feelings and emotions we face daily. He wept (John 11:35; Luke 19:41). He expressed frustration and anger (Matt. 21:12-13; Matt. 12:34). He loved (John 11:5; Mark 10:21; 2 Thess. 2:16). He exhibited His greatest humanity in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-37). One could say Jesus was overwhelmed (Mark 14:34) yet He set His face steadfastly to the Cross, affirming His commitment to God’s divine purpose (John 12:27). So why is Christ’s sinless nature so important? How does Christ’s sinlessness fit in God’s plan of salvation? Most importantly, was Christ really sinless?
Why is Christ’s sinlessness so important? The Levitical system of sacrifices and offerings was established to outline how God was to be worshipped and how Old Covenant ritual was to be fulfilled. This system included sacrifices and offerings, which symbolized the worshiper’s desire to express faith in and love for God as well as their desire to be purged of sin (Leviticus1:1-7:38). When animal sacrifices were required they were to be free from deformity, defect, or disease (Lev. 1:3; 4:3). To satisfy God righteous requirement for sin (Heb. 9:22), Jesus acted as the perfect, sinless sacrifice (sent from God) to take away (not to cover) sin (Heb. 9:28).
Was Christ sinless? I leave you these Scriptures to commit to memory so that you have no doubt that Jesus is our Sinless Savior.
• Christ our High Priest. “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.” Hebrews 4:15
• Christ our Reconciler. “God made him WHO HAD NO SIN to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
• Christ our Redeemer. “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and IN HIM THERE IS NO SIN.” 1 John 3:5
• Christ our Eternal Sacrifice. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself WITHOUT SPOT to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:14
• Christ our Example. “(Christ) WHO DID NOT SIN: neither was guile found in His mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22)
Good to the Last Byte…
Jesus modeled for us what sinless living looks like. Does He expect the same from us? Perhaps He doesn’t expect “sinlessness” (I John 1:9), but He does desire that we be “sanctified and holy” (Eph. 5: 27). He does expect us to daily strive for the mark of the high calling of Jesus Christ (Phil. 3: 14). Christ’s work upon the Cross rendered sin “inoperative” in our lives, therefore, we are not to let sin have dominion over us (Rom. 6:14). As Christ died to sin, we too are dead to sin and now proclaim we are no longer under its control. (Read Romans 6:1-14).