A Christian in China was about to be baptized.
The pastor asked her a question to ensure that she understood the meaning of the cross: “Did Jesus have any sin?”
The answer, of course, was “No.” Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus “has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.”
Since he was perfect his sacrifice on the cross was perfect. Only a perfect person and sacrifice would fully pay the price for what you and I deserve. So to the question “Did Jesus have any sin?” the correct answer was clearly “No.”
The pastor was taken aback by her affirmative answer, and so he asked again. And again she said “Yes.”
As he was about to correct her, she explained: “He had mine.”*
Ahh, now her comment made sense! A prophecy about Jesus in Isaiah 53:6 says: “the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
You struggle with sin on an ongoing basis. Join the club. But it’s not your boss, it doesn’t define you, and it doesn’t launch you into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.
At the heart of the good news of the Christian faith is something theologians call “imputed righteousness.” It means that Jesus has credited his righteousness and perfection to you. He himself has paid the price for your sin and brokenness and disobedience. As a result, not only do you stand un-condemned before God, but you are embraced and adopted.
This isn’t something you earn. It is a free gift which is received in faith.
That’s good news worth celebrating. The consequences of your sin lay shattered under the conquering feet of a Saviour whose hands are stained with the blood that he shed out of love for you.
Be grateful. And be at peace.
–*Max Lucado, 3:16—The Numbers of Hope (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), 48.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.