A Quick Look
Jesus was a unique man. In fact a number of things made him unique – having God as his Father was one – but that which really hits home for us is that he did no sin. He lived his whole life without once missing the mark of his Father’s requirement and expectation of him. Here is something that no other man in history has ever managed. It is this feature of Jesus that makes him special to the believer, because it gave him the opportunity to be our Saviour, and, amazingly, he chose to do that.
2Cor. 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
A Personal Analysis
The important thing for a believer is not just to believe in Jesus and what he has done for us, but to know him – to form a relationship with him, recognising that he is the one that we would most like to emulate – the one who lived a life so close to God that he always got it right, even though he was tempted just like we are. He never gave in to it. When we know Jesus we also know God, because Jesus was the one who showed us just what God was like. The Bible talks of Jesus manifesting God to man. Because he always did his Father’s will, he became a reflection of his Father, and so showed us what God Himself is like, even though we cannot see him.
Because Jesus did no sin, he was not subject to the result of sin, which is death. So when the people crucified him, God raised him back to life (this time life forever) because he had not done those things which the rest of us do that make us deserve death. What an amazing opportunity this affords the believer, as by associating ourselves with that death and resurrection in baptism, we too can become part of God’s promise eternal life in His kingdom.
In the Old Testament, communication with God was possible using sacrifices and through priests. The sacrifices showed that God required the shedding of blood to cover man’s sin, and the priests were specially chosen men who were granted the position of standing between God and the people and representing each to the other, with a view to making peace where otherwise there would be no hope, because of man’s sin, which God would be unable to tolerate. Jesus is presented as being the final sacrifice for sin. His blood, unlike the animals, gave permanent salvation, and his priesthood, unlike the Old Testament priests, is everlasting. Communication with God is now possible through Jesus, because of his death and resurrection, and it is this way that we make our prayers.
Heb 7:22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.
23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.
24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.
More Detailed Bible Teaching
There is a sense in which you could argue that the whole Bible is about Jesus, so this section could be extremely long, but we will keep it reasonable. The Bible sets out God’s purpose with the earth, and Jesus is right in the centre of, and the most important aspect of, that purpose. Jesus was clearly in the mind and plan of God from the start (as indeed were all believers through the ages that were to come). Jesus was the hinge-pin on which all of God’s offer of salvation revolved. Being the only ever sinless man, he was the only one able to give his life for mankind (which, amazingly, he did willingly). The also showed us what God is like, because, being sinless, he was always a true reflection of Him.
Think about what options this gave Jesus. Saving us was not the only one. Had he given in to human nature which we all know so well, he would have condemned us, because again he was the only one equipped to do that, being the only one with no sin himself. He could, had he chosen to, have stood in judgement of us all and delivered us to that which we deserve because of our sin: death. But he didn’t. Instead he chose to give his life to overcome sin for everyone who wants to believe in him.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 "For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
21 "But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
Note verse 17 above. Clearly Jesus could have condemned, being the one without sin, but he didn’t. He chose to save: something else which needed him to be without sin, so that he could overcome death on behalf of us all. Consider these Bible passages, which are a tiny selection of many that give us the absolute assurance that indeed this was Jesus’ gift to us:
Rom. 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
2Cor. 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
1John 4:9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
Christ died for everyone, but we know from the verses above from John 3, that the salvation resulting from that death and resurrection is for those who believe it. The offer is open to everyone, but given only to those who believe. This is God’s requirement for the receiving of His salvation through Jesus – that we believe, that we recognise we are sinners, in need of salvation, and that we show a willingness to leave those sins behind and allow God to transform us so that in His eyes we become as if we, like Jesus, were sinless. The Bible uses the word repentance to describe this desire to change.
Matt. 9:13 "But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."
1Tim. 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
It is clear that the major requirement God has of us, if we wish to become associated with these things, is that we believe in Him, and in His son, and in His promise to us of life for ever when Jesus returns to the earth, being raised from the dead if we have died before that moment.
Rom. 5:10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Rom. 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?