One of the BIG questions that came from one of our students during our Q&A Session this past term was the question:
‘Was Jesus perfect or did he sin, even just in small ways?’
This question and the answer we hold to is of huge importance!
As Christians, we hold that Jesus never sinned, but was absolutely perfect in every way. This is vital because if He did sin, His death wouldn’t have been enough to save us.
THE DEATH PENALTY
The Old Testament tells the story of humanity rebelling against God and wanting to instead do whatever they wanted to and of how God wanted to fix His relationship with us (Genesis 3). This rebellion against God is called sin, something that effects all people everywhere and brings us under God’s judgment because He can’t abide sin and evil.
The Bible tells us that the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23), causing all of humanity to live under the death penalty. To try and avoid this, God said that if His people sacrificed perfect lambs, or doves, etc. ones that weren’t sick or disabled in any way, then the death penalty could be held off. But this only lasted a short time, it wasn’t permanent, so everyone had to sacrifice again and again and again.
So the Old Testament begins prophesying a ‘Messiah’ a saviour, a spotless ‘lamb of God’, who would be the perfect, sinless, sacrifice for the sins of the whole world – permanently (Isaiah 53:7-12). This of course, was Jesus and we celebrate His birth at Christmas and celebrate His sacrifice of dying on the cross at Easter. If he was blemished, or sinful in anyway, He wouldn’t have been able to save us in any fashion, let alone, in a permanent way.
Was He tempted? Yes, He was, and this is cool because we have a saviour who can relate to us when we get tempted to do things we shouldn’t. But He overcame those temptations, showing that He is the only one who is worthy to be called ‘Saviour’.
Hebrews 4:15 puts it like this, ‘This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.’
This is HUGE, its an important, core issue – if Jesus did sin, Christians aren’t saved, we’re all still under the death penalty. The only way Christianity can work is if Jesus was sinless, perfect!