“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in al points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)
In all of the accounts of the intense opposition from the religious and political leaders…the Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees, and lawyers…that Jesus reacts to as recorded in the four New Testament gospels…in His miraculous examples of healing and deliverance…of preaching to hundreds and thousands of people…in His interactions with His disciples and the common people…we see what we would expect to see in the moral attributes and traits of virtue in a person claiming to be the divine Son of God and long-awaited Messiah…truth, honesty, kindness, tolerance, forgiveness, humility, and uncompromising courage…to name a few…that give Jesus a grade of A-plus…of perfect 100 percent test scores across-the-board…within the broad array of moral concepts we can use as standards for judgment.
We can agree with Pilate the Roman governor in Jerusalem…after examining Jesus: “I find in him no fault at all.” (Jn. 18:38).
But the one area where we can…with solid confidence… conclude that Jesus Christ is operating at the cutting-edge of divine perfection…above anything that any other human being has ever been able to achieve…is that Jesus Christ is living-out His God-composed life-script to be the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for sin…to the limits of absolute perfection…because the life-script mission of Jesus Christ would require perfect adherence to the uniquely biblical, moral concept of God-sovereignty…Himself being the Second Person of the Trinity…which would be humanly impossible for anyone other than the messianic God/man Jesus Christ.
Every positive person of faith in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible…other than Jesus Christ…have God-composed life-scripts that take into account…that have built-in allowances for human error (Rom. 4:6-8)…for the fact that all of these people are morally imperfect and are not perfectly virtuous…like us…in the many categories of the broad array of moral concepts…but also in their inability to perfectly follow…without stumbling and bumbling at certain points along the way…within their God-composed life-scripts…in pursuit of their divinely created callings and destinies.
Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Esther and Mordecai, Ruth, Hannah, Daniel, Peter, and Paul…none of these people are morally perfect and sinless…and their life-scripts are based upon Holy Spirit empowered grace-through-faith…and proceed according to their individually exceptional gifts and abilities…plus the creative imagination of God their Creator…as life-script Writer…and not based upon the misguided and inadequate self-realization of autonomous individualism built upon good-works…that as human-driven and human-directed must fall far short of moral perfection and sinless virtue.
But the God-composed life-script for Jesus Christ the Son of God…intentionally exploits and utilizes to the fullest His uniquely divine nature to the maximum extent…to be able to perfectly succeed in the one area wherein God knows we will have the most difficulty…the area that is the definition of sin…and that the cross on Calvary Hill focuses upon…the area of God-sovereignty versus self-sovereignty…of following God’s leading in our lives…compared instead to going our own way in shortsighted self-rulership (Isa. 53:6).
God singles-out and highlights this key element within the broad array of moral concepts…honestly and candidly revealed in the difficulty that Jesus has in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion.
Matthew 26:36-46 and Luke 22:39-46 record…that in the Garden of Gethsemane…the night of His arrest and preliminary trial…that Jesus asked His disciples to “watch and pray”…that His soul was “exceedingly sorrowful”…that He received the assistance from an angel from heaven to strengthen Him…that He went back a second time to “pray more earnestly”…and that He sweat “great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
The remarkable words of Jesus spoken that night: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk. 22:42)…tells us that God has brilliantly written a life-script for Himself…for the second Person of the Trinity living in a human body…that manages to challenge Himself in the one humanly inaccessible zone of moral perfection and sinless virtue…yet still comprehensible within our capacity for moral reasoning…in the unconventionally inconceivable test-case scenario in the Garden of Gethsemane…of God-sovereignty consistent within God Himself…within the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
If Jesus does not say in perfect faith…without skipping a beat: “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done”…but instead decides to go in another direction…at that precise moment in time God-sovereignty would have been split in two…introducing autonomous individual rebellion into the God-head of the Trinity…Jesus the Son of God going His own way apart from the Father…and away from His ancient destiny as the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8).
This unimaginably unconventional development…of the testing of divinely sinless unity-of-purpose between God the Father and Jesus the Son of God…of unerring fidelity to the one right course of action no matter how difficult it is or how high the cost…in the Garden of Gethsemane…separates out God-sovereignty as the most important and the highest of issues in all of reality…because all of the other moral concepts and virtues are secondarily derivative to the primary concept of God-sovereignty…of following God’s leading in our lives…rather than going our own way as autonomous independent agents (Isa. 53:5-6).
The blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross is not just to improve our moral performance in the areas of honesty, integrity, tolerance, and the capacity for unselfish love…because the ancient goal…the prime target…the primary reason for the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice is to focus and hone-in on the remedy and removal of sin.
If God is not internally consistent in this fundamental moral concept of freely choosing God-sovereignty over self-sovereignty…within the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit…then justifiably God could not ask us to make the difficult transition from self-sovereignty to God-sovereignty in the course of our lives (Jn. 3:14-21)…of allowing God to displace our ways with His higher ways and thoughts (Isa. 46:9-10; Jn. 12:24)…after the pattern of the biblical narrative stories of faith.
God identifies for us in the Garden of Gethsemane…that Jesus Christ is operating at the apex…at the highest pinnacle of morality and virtue…when God reveals with incredible honesty and candor His own difficulty…performed at the far outer-edge of virtuosity…the unique and singular challenge in all of time…past, present, and going forward into eternity…of offering Himself as the loving sacrifice for our sins…in order to restore our severed relationship with Him…on the highest terms yet at the greatest cost…the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection three days later.
Because this entire scenario of truth, challenge, and drama soars far above the capacity of human literary imaginative invention…in my opinion…this answers the question of how we would know that Jesus Christ is the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for mankind’s sins…being morally perfect and having sinless virtue.
A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity should start at some point…with the biblical uniqueness of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ…within the broad array of moral concepts.
God-composed life-scripts for the people of faith in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible…eventually over time lift them up into the victorious positions of becoming overcomers (1 Pet. 5:10)…but not in the worldly conventional sense of self-validation and worldly pride…that is centered upon oneself.
God’s elevation of people into high positions…Abraham the “father of faith”…Joseph the governor of Egypt…Moses the great prophet and deliverer…Joshua the military leader…the Israelites conquering their homeland…Peter the leader of the early Christian church…and Paul the missionary evangelist to the first-century Greco-Roman world…to name a few…is for unselfish service to other people…and not for self-validation and personal achievement.
God-composed life-scripts in the biblical narrative stories of faith…are designed to fix things…to the most radical extent required…at all costs…at the micro-level in the moment…and at the macro-level over the long-range duration of human redemptive history…extending into eternity.
From a Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity.