We believe that Jesus was mortal and tempted to sin like we are

A Quick Look

The Bible has a record of Jesus being tempted, just after his baptism.  There were 3 temptations – to turn stones into bread, to throw himself down from the pinnacle of the temple, and to take the kingdom of the world then rather than wait God’s time for it.  He did not give in to these sins, even though it was within his power to do so.  It is very important, in terms of our salvation, that Jesus was tempted to sin, as, if he had not been, he would not be able to understand what it is like for us.

Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

A Personal Analysis

Believers need to establish a personal relationship with Jesus, as otherwise their belief is just words on a page.  This personal relationship is facilitated by his connection with our experiences.  If Jesus had been, like God, unable to sin, then that would not have allowed him to become that great link between God and man that was God’s purpose for him, and we would still be without hope of reconciliation with our creator.

So we see how important this teaching is.  Jesus remained sinless, even though he was tempted to sin just as we are.  Yet he was the only man ever to resist every temptation and therefore not be worthy of death.  Because Jesus could sin but didn’t, it gave him that unique opportunity either to condemn us all or save us all, and, in his love, he chose the latter.  This amazing option would not have been possible if Jesus had not been able to sin, just like we can.  Had he not been able to sin, there would have been nothing over which he could be victorious.  His victory over death would have been meaningless, as it would have been a foregone conclusion.

Our life in fellowship with God and with His son depends on us being in a position to form a relationship with them, and that relationship relies entirely on Jesus sharing our nature and our ability to sin, yet never succumbing to it.  If this were not the case, and he was not able to be that sacrifice for sin, then we would still be estranged from God and receiving forgiveness only via repeated animal sacrifices.

More Detailed Bible Teaching

The whole Bible message is about salvation from sin.  The Bible tells us about the seriousness of sin and how it stands in the way of our communication with our sinless God and how it stops us from living forever.  The Bible tells us that we can be transformed by God, through the work of Jesus, and can be turned from our sin by that transformation.  For that to make sense, it is important that the one who is our saviour (Jesus) was also able to sin, just like we can, so that he could overcome sin by never sinning.

Because of this he has become a High Priest – a person who is able to stand between us and God, representing us to God and God to us, as indeed a priest does.  What makes Jesus different, however, is that he is a priest who lives forever.  As a result he is able to make a permanent bridge, as it were, between us and God, so opening up for us the way, indeed the guarantee, of salvation for those who believe.  Here is a bit more context for the quote we made earlier from Hebrews, and some more passages to support this idea:

Heb. 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Heb. 2:18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

Heb. 5:2 He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness.

Isa. 53:4 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

Phil. 2:7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Heb. 2:17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

Heb. 7:26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;

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.