Our writer continue on with his study of why Jesus was able to provide our salvation. It wasn’t simply because He was God or even that He became a man. The reason was because He made the right choices every time.
Jesus laid aside His royal robes and stepped down into this mess of humanity. He didn’t have to; He chose to. He made that choice in the beginning of time. God knew we were going to mess up before He even spoke, “Let there be…” So that means He agreed to God’s plan from the start. But agreeing to something in the future is a LOT different than walking it out in the here and now.
The moment Jesus was placed in Mary’s womb His choices would mirror ours. He would face the same hardships we face. He wore the same skin we wear. He had the same ability to make the wrong choice. In other words, He had the ability to choose to sin; but He chose not to again and Again and AGAIN.
Here is a FYI, Jesus wrestled with sin on a daily basis. He wasn’t immune to temptation once He left His wilderness experience. He faced it down from the moment of birth right up until He drew His last breath.
Not all of His temptations were big. I’m certain He faced little ones along the way, just like we do in our daily lives. Times when He was tempted to push the crowd aside and see to His own needs. Times when His disciples were stepping on His last nerve. Times when He simply didn’t want to get up and go about the Father’s business.
How do I know He faced these kinds of temptations? Because we are told so a little later in this very letter. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Does this mean that my list is exactly what He was tempted with? No, but I would say it is a good guess. That will have to be another ‘bench question’ I ask when we finally meet face to face.
In EACH AND EVERY instance of temptation Jesus had a choice to make. And we know what He chose. He always chose the Father’s will. Even when, in our eyes, we might question Jesus’ behavior we can be certain that God approved of it. This includes when He made a whip and chased the merchants out of the temple. Even then, His choice was sinless.
The big difference between us and Jesus was His Father. Jesus’ had no earthly father so His Spirit wasn’t enslaved to sin. Adam had no earthly father either but he made the wrong choice and it resulted in ALL of his offspring being enslaved from birth. That is why none of us could have lived the life Jesus did BEFORE He did it. Our spirit was dead from the beginning while His was alive! That Spirit helped Him whenever He faced a choice.
Since Jesus’ substitution work He made a way for our spirits to live. His work brings us new life; a rebirth. Once we have that advantage, we too can make the choices Jesus made. I can guarantee though that we won’t make ALL the right choices, even with the Holy Spirit living in us. We will continue to make mistakes but if we let the Holy Spirit work in us we will make fewer and fewer of them all the time.
Jesus took on our sin to free us from it. He took it into the very depths of Hell and left it there. He beat Satan at his own game! Sin can no longer bind us IF we don’t let it. We will sin again but it doesn’t have to rule our lives. Take it to Jesus instead. He will “clean your feet” again. Don’t “roll around in the stink” and stay there. He is waiting with open arms. That is where freedom from sin waits.
Thank You Jesus that You walked the tests I face. I’m sure mine look a little different than Yours did but the choices are still the same; life or death. Help me choose life. Thank You that You know I’m not perfect and love me anyway. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who helps me when the choices arise. I CANNOT do this on my own. Only through Your power and strength. Did You have to lean on the Spirit during Your choices? I’m SO grateful YOU made all the right choices, otherwise my choices wouldn’t matter. I look forward to “comparing notes” when we finally meet face to face. I want to know all about Your journey.