In yesterday’s entry we saw that Jesus came to be the last sacrifice. We learned that Jesus’ sacrifice was the last because it was one that could truly take away people’s sins. Why was the sacrifice of Jesus able to accomplish all that it did? One reason is because Jesus was perfect. The true demand from God was a perfect sacrifice. Since all of the animals were not perfect, they were not able to truly appease God’s wrath and thus were lacking in their effectiveness. Jesus, on the other hand, was indeed the perfect sacrifice. By perfect we mean that he was without sin. Not once did Jesus disobey God.
John Piper asks the question: “Is the death of Jesus sufficient to cleanse us from all our sins?” His answer: “Yes, but only as the climax of a sinless life.” It was not enough for just anyone to die on a cross, the person who died would have had to live a perfect life up to that point – which basically disqualifies all human beings from being a sacrifice except for Jesus. No Jesus, no perfect sacrifice for mankind.
Romans 5:19 (ESV) states: “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”
And Hebrews 4:15: “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (emphasis added).
In theological terms we use the phrase “imputed righteousness.” In everyday words, this means that Christ’s perfect, sinless, totally righteous life is credited towards us when we trust him as our sacrifice. Thus, if you are a believer – one who accepts Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf – God, in spite of all the wrongs you have committed – sees you and declares you 100% holy, clean and without blemish! Now that is a reason to celebrate the season of Christmas!
Questions to consider:
Do you believe Jesus lived out a perfect life?
Does God see you as perfect? or do you still feel that he sees you with some blemishes? If you answered yes to this last question, I encourage you to talk to a Christian friend or pastor about how you may be freed from the guilt of sin.
For further reading:
https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-sufficiency-of-christs-obedience-in-his-life-and-death (includes the Piper quote mentioned above)
https://www.ligonier.org/blog/doctrine-imputation-ligonier-statement-christology/ An article by Ligonier Ministries which highlights the importance of the doctrine of imputation.