We don’t start to see Christ being referred to as “perfect” until after the cross. Christ was blameless. He was pure. In many ways, He was “perfect.” But I don’t like the word because it makes us separate Christ from ourselves. We view the word “perfect” in a very worldly sense that often strips away how Christ was human, and His struggles being human. God has been showing me how the perfection at the cross is not the same perfection Christ had from birth.
I wrote this with the hope that people can understand how human Jesus was. He got down on our level and because He got down on our level, we can now serve the Lord like He did. Scripture says He is our High Priest because He can sympathize with us, He understands. (Hebrews 4:15) There is this powerful movement throughout every single thing Christ did in His life. He was perfect, but at the cross, He was perfected.
Christ was challenged daily and He was able to overcome every single temptation and problem because of God. Christ was 100% God, but He also was 100% Man. (John 8:39-40, 1 Timothy 2:05-07, Philippians 2:05-08 and 1 John 4:02-03)
Christ lived His whole life denying Himself and following the will of God, not His. (Luke 22:42, John 4:34 & 14:31)
(NIV) Hebrews 5:07, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.”
I think sometimes we can lessen how Christ lived His life. Christ was tempted like any other man.
But Christ sought God deeply every single day. His prayers were intense. He disciplined His flesh and lost sleep many times, I’m sure. After preaching a whole day, we see Him leave the crowd and pray to His Father in private. There is a theme of Christ constantly drawing closer to God.
Scripture shows there is a progression in Christ.
(NIV) Luke 2:52, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
He did not have everything given to Him at birth. This does not mean He wasn’t gifted at all, He certainly was. But He never took what was given to Him for granted. He always strove for more. We know from the beginning Christ had favor with God. But He continued to GROW in favor with the Lord.
Being God’s Son did not mean things were handed to Christ. They weren’t.
(NLT) Hebrews 5:08, “Even though Jesus was God’s Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered.”
Christ still had to learn obedience through denying Himself. It is through this progression of obedience and devotion to the Lord we see Christ deny Himself on the cross.
(NIV) Philippians 2:05-08, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!”
When He was a child He sought teaching in the temple. His whole life was dedicated to God, not because He was this, “worldly perfect person”, but because He truly loved the Lord.
He physically intervened on our behalf when His weakness (made into human flesh that aside from Christ was sinful) would be the manifestation of His perfection.
(NLT) Romans 8:03, “The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent His own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.”
Christ was perfect in every sense, but on a very human level, too. Unlike us, He was blameless from the start. However, He continued to grow. He did not allow His blamelessness to anchor Him. He did not conquer temptation because He was blameless when He was tempted. He conquered temptation because He was actively seeking God, God’s will, and being devoted to God’s word. Giving time to the Lord not daily but throughout the day!
(NIV) Hebrews 2:10, “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what He suffered.”
Christ always conquered His flesh because IT WAS NEVER about His flesh, but God. Christ gave His body up for us and to honor the Lord.
And through Christ now we can do the same. We can die to our flesh daily, and serve the Lord with everything we have in our mind, body, and soul.
(NIV) 1 Peter 1:18-20, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.”
Christ knows what it is like to suffer, and it is no surprise, His power shines the brightest when we suffer, too.
(NIV) 2 Corinthians 12:09, “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Have you ever thought of this?
Monthly Scripture – (NIV) 2 Corinthians 4:02, “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”
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