The booklet is non-denominational. It simply represents one person's honest attempt to eke out the original meaning of the Word of God on a variety of subjects, some seldom discussed. My opinions are clearly noted. It is impossible to write such a booklet as this without being controversial or possibly upsetting to some. My conscience is clear concerning my research and conclusions, but if this book would cause you to stumble in your faith, simply do not read it. I pray now that our God will continue to reveal Himself through His Word by any means He chooses, even if it is not through my work.
Now, Let us continue...Did Jesus inherit Adam and Eve's sinful nature through the bloodline of His mother? It doesn't really matter, since Adam and Eve proved one does not have to own a sinful nature to sin. We should first look at James 1:13 that states God cannot be tested or enticed. The Greek word for "God" is Theos and refers to the Heavenly Father. Theos corresponds to the Hebrew Elohim, which can also refer to God the Son. So it is a fair assumption that James is saying that Jesus as God could not be tested or tried. However, we know from other scripture that Jesus the man could be. Exactly what does this mean? Let us read verses fourteen and fifteen. "Every person is tested when they are drawn away from God by their own evil desire (a product of the sinful nature). When that desire takes hold and is acted upon, it inevitably gives birth to sin. Now, let us go to Hebrews 2:17 and 18, "Because He Himself has suffered being tested, He is able to run to the aid of them who are likewise being tested." And in 4:15 we read, "For we have a high priest who is able to understand and sympathize with our weaknesses, infirmities and assaults of temptation. Jesus was tested in every respect we are.” The difference is, He never gave in to sin."
A perfect example of this is when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His abduction. In a moment of weakness, He asked His Father for another way to fulfill His destiny. For an instant, Jesus was drawn away from divine will. But He did not allow His own desires to take hold of His thoughts or actions. In this same way, Jesus experienced and understood the implications and persuasions of being humanly tempted, while exercising His free will in never allowing a temptation to become a sin.
We know Jesus was led to the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, this testing was something that Jesus had to endure as an initiation to His earthly ministry. Did Jesus' divinity somehow give Him a super-natural advantage over temptation? The only "advantage" He had was the uncompromising desire to do God's will. He used the scriptures and prayer as His source of strength and defense. This is clearly an example for us to follow. Any who obey God and pray to Him for strength will be much more likely to rid themselves of unrepentant sin.
I have heard it taught that Jesus did not just take on the sins of the world, but He became sin. This is not scriptural. Proponents of this doctrine site II Corinthians 5:21, "He (the Father) made Him who knew no sin to be made sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus did not produce the sin He carried, but it was represented in His body for a sin offering to His Father, just as the sacrificial animals under the Mosaic Law had no sin, but became the representation of sin.
The word "made" here does not mean to “become”, but rather "ordained or appointed". In this verse, Paul could very well have been referring to Christ as the scapegoat of the Old Law - a picture his Jewish readers would easily grasp. "Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him." (Hebrews 9:28)
He personally bore our sins upon His body on the tree (as on an altar) and offered Himself on it, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24) We find in Isaiah, "Yet it was the will of you, God, to bruise Your Son; You have put Him to grief and brought upon Him infirmity. When You (and He) make His life an offering for sin, and He has risen from the dead, all His offspring will see the kingdom of their Messiah. You shall prolong His days, and Your will and pleasure will prosper in His hand." The Hebrew word for "offering for sin" is a very specific one that refers to the Mosaic Law's trespass offering. This was not for general sins or sins of commission, but rather sins of omission - sins arising from ignorance or negligence. Isaiah had the nation of Israel in mind. Their sin of neglect was that they had no faith in God as their Savior.
Some further say that the Father had to look away from Jesus' sin-ridden body and turn a deaf ear to His cries. At His arrest in the garden, Jesus told the religious leaders that it was their hour of the authority of darkness. This darkness was that time in which Jesus volunteered to be led as a vulnerable lamb to slaughter. God had given Satan authority to fulfill Jesus' destiny. After this point in the gospels, Jesus did not exercise His divinity to escape his death. Jesus fully cooperated in His death through His perfect obedience, but that time came on the cross when He cried, "Father, why have You deserted me?" On the surface, we could certainly consider this as a loss of faith in His Father and thus, a sin. No doubt His cries of abandonment may have been the result of unimaginable physical and mental stress. But we know Jesus never sinned, even in unimaginable suffering on the cross.
I have another possible explanation. In John 16:32, Jesus spoke to His disciples, "Behold, the hour is coming, yea, it is already here, that you will be scattered, every one to his own and shall leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because my Father is with me." John 8:29 reads, "The One who sent Me is with Me, because I always do what pleases Him." Jesus' last words on the cross were, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Although God the Father had to turn away from the sin Jesus was carrying and pronounce His judgment upon such sin, not for one second was the oneness of the Godhead compromised. The obedience to God's will was alive in Jesus to the very end of His mortal life, leading in an instant to His eternal life. The Father did not forsake or walk away from His Son. Nor does the Father ever walk away from any lost sinner, even while carrying the burden of a thousand sins. Sin is sin. God’s judgment upon sins are handled exactly the same way.
It is my speculation that Jesus cried out, "Father, Father, why have you deserted me", because He was quoting Psalm 22 , which contains several detailed references to Jesus' crucifixion. This prophetic psalm had been written almost one thousand years earlier and served at least two purposes. It incriminated and condemned the religious leaders who called for and incited His death, while acting as an evangelical message to those in the crowd who were familiar with the scriptures and receptive to believing. Yes, Jesus preached the gospel while hanging on the cross!
In order for Jesus to die for humankind's sins, it was imperative that He live and die as a man within the limitations of the human experience. There is no other way He could have become a true representation of humanity in His sacrifice. If He were incapable of sinning, it would discount His accomplishment of fulfilling prophecy concerning His unblemished sacrifice. Nor by God's standard of justice could Jesus be placed in the position of being our Mediator or Judge if He had been so selectively protected and alienated from the human plight.
The Lord continue to bless all of you who are faithfully reading my BlogScape. I pray the Lord is truly using me to lighten your path to understanding the scriptures. Amen.