Reflection: In my personal journey to Christian faith, one of the clinching realisations was that Jesus’ sinlessness as a man was no less a miracle than any of his obviously supernatural feats. Jesus faced every kind of moral temptation yet never lapsed (Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 2:22-3). Suggestions from time to time that Jesus did commit sin – infamously, by Bertrand Russell in his much over-praised essay “Why I Am Not Christian” – have never gained currency even among atheists.
The uncanny fact that Jesus’s conduct on Earth was perfectly holy – and that he confidently challenged anyone to show otherwise – may be the best proof of his divinity. In the words of John Stott, “Jesus stands in a moral category by himself”.
This point is crucial, and not merely as an argument in apologetics. Jesus’ perfect holiness was the reason that his death on the cross was sufficient, in the eyes of God the Father, to be an atoning sacrifice for the sins of humankind (cf. 1 Pet. 1:19). No other sacrifice would have been adequate for a God who cannot tolerate sin of any sort (see Hab. 1:13a, our verse on Day 2).
Question: What are the implications of Jesus’ sinlessness?
Prayer: Father, help me to recall each and every day that, during his life on Earth, Jesus never sinned; that he was, and is, perfectly holy, a lamb without blemish; and that, accordingly, his precious blood was an atoning sacrifice for my sin. Amen