As we have seen, not only was Jesus’ birth unique, but His sinless life also sets Him apart from every other human being. We are all sinners even on our best day—yet Jesus never succumbed to temptation. In John 8:46 we find Jesus in the midst of a group of men debating His messianic claims. At one point He asks, “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” In essence, He was claiming to be sinless. Even in the best of men, there is always some inconsistency—an area of weakness, a place of failure—yet not so with Jesus.
At the conclusion of his examination, Pilate, the Roman governor who presided over the trial of Jesus, said, “I find no fault in Him at all” (John 18:38b). Judas, who betrayed Jesus, later regretted what he had done. Matthew 27:4 records his confession, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” The thief next to Jesus on the cross proclaimed, “This Man has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:41). Finally, the centurion who was guarding the cross of Jesus glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!” (Luke 23:47).
That Christ was without sin is clearly taught throughout the Bible. In Hebrews 4:15, the author says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin”.
The apostle Peter said, “Christ … committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:22)—a clear declaration of a sinless Christ.
The apostle John echoes this idea in his first epistle, “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5).
Harmony With God’s Will
All of these scriptural statements affirm the sinlessness of Christ. That doesn’t only mean that Jesus never did anything wrong, because sin is more than external acts. Jesus made clear in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7) that the law of God is not merely concerned with behavior, but also with what we think, how we feel, and what we desire. So when we say, “Jesus was sinless,” we are stating, based on Scripture, that He never did anything wrong, never said anything wrong, never thought anything wrong, and never desired anything wrong. He was always in complete harmony with the will of God. He was perfectly pure in the inner man.
Is there anybody else on the planet like that? Has there ever been? Of course not! There is not a man on earth who has not sinned.
One of the most obvious ways sin manifests itself in a person’s life is through self-centeredness. Jesus was the antithesis of a self-centered human being. He lived His life completely for others. Without partiality, He cared for and served all those who came to Him in need. He even said regarding Himself that He, the Son of Man, did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many (See Mark 10:45). The ultimate demonstration of Jesus’ others-centeredness was His death on the cross. It was there He willingly died so that others might live.
“One may search all the religious traditions of humankind, and indeed all the great literature of humankind, and still fail to find one like Jesus, who makes seemingly the most arrogant claims concerning himself, and yet lives in the most humble and selfless manner conceivable. Jesus of Nazareth simply boggles our imaginations” (Ramachandra, Vinoth. Faiths in Conflict. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2000. p. 110).
So again we find Jesus in a category all by Himself. He alone lived a perfectly sinless and selfless life!