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Jesus Sinless

Jesus Sinless

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Published by glennpease


Lord Bishop of Rochester

Which of yon convinceth me of sin f — John viii. 46.


Lord Bishop of Rochester

Which of yon convinceth me of sin f — John viii. 46.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 13, 2013
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JESUS SILESSBY ATHOY W. THOROLD, D.D.Lord Bishop of RochesterWhich of yon convinceth me of sin f — John viii. 46.OF all Christ's claims on the faith and alle-giance of mankind, this, perhaps, is themost astounding. When He promised rest tothe weary and heavy-laden, only experiencecould test the worth of His promise, and ex-perience takes time. When He said that if lifted up from the earth He would draw all menunto Him, He uttered a prophecy, and anticipateda triumph, both of which were in the dim future.But this assertion of His sinlessness — the chal-lenge both to friend and foe in respect of anobedience without a flaw, an innocence withouta stain, a character without a blemish, a lifewithout a shortcoming, at once created a moralchasm between Himself and other men, whichwas not likely to predispose their self-love toaccept it instantly or cheerfully. It is instruc-tive also to observe that the verdict which Heclaimed was readily and unhesitatingly pro-nounced by those who were with Him in themost intimate moments of an unreserved com-panionship, when weariness might have unhingedHis nerves, or opposition tempted His resentment,CHRIST ASCEDED [23when even a momentary gesture of impatiencewould have stamped itself on their memories asinconsistent with His divine Sonship, and whenthe neglect of but one opportunity for kindness ormercy might have had a look of self-love. Yetit is St. John, who shared His deepest intimacy,who alone of the four Evangelists records thischallenge ; and St. Peter, in his first Epistle,adds his own testimony, " Who did no sin, neither
was guile found in His mouth." His enemiesat the moment had nothing to say. It is im-portant, also, to remark, in corroboration of Hisabsolute sinlessness, that when Pilate repeatedlyasked the priests, who were clamouring for Hisblood, " Why, what evil hath he done ? " all theanswer they could give (suflicient, no doubt, fortheir purpose) was, " We have a law, and bythat law he ought to die, because he made him-self the Son of God." The two unique testi-monies at His death — unique because given undercircumstances where they could least have beenexpected, and from persons presumably quitedevoid of prejudice in His favour — are those of two pagans, the Roman governor and the Romansoldier. Pilate repeatedly declared, " I find nofault in him ; " the centurion, as Jesus died,said of Him, "Truly this was a righteousman."First, let us consider some features in the Somefaa-sinlessness of Christ, which give it significance ^isshiless-and moment, and then reflect upon its value. "*•*■I2 4 QUESTIOS OF FAITH AD DUTYChrist was sinless, in the incorrupt humannature which He inherited from His mother," born of a pure virgin." othing of what wecall " original sin " was transmitted to Him, Whowas conceived by the Holy Ghost, as well asborn of the Virgin Mary.Then, though He was sinless, His sinlessnesswas not that of one who was never temptedto sin, and whose moral steadfastness had neverany strain put upon it. " He was tempted in allthings like as we are." The temptation in thewilderness, of which He Himself must have giventhe narrative to the apostles (who else couldhave given it ?), is confessedly only an episodein a continually tempted life. The Evangelist,indeed, expressly records that the devil departedfrom Him for a season. In the garden and onthe cross we feel sure that He was assaulted
again.Further, the Lord's natural disposition, as theGospels make it abundantly evident, was not of thatimpassive, unemotional, phlegmatic kind whichimplies a sort of moral imperviousness to injus-tice or opposition, and which creates a sort of temperate zone in which tropical storms or arcticicebergs neither wreck nor freeze. He longedfor human sympathy ; He missed, and oncenoticed when they were denied Him, the cour-tesies of social life. He was stirred to thedepths of His soul by formalism, cruelty, andinjustice. On the Pharisees His indignationCHRIST ASCEDED 125blazed in sentences that gleam with fire. Thoughwe never find Him confessing sin, whether inword or in deed, whether in omission or commis-sion, to God or to man, He delighted in unfoldingHis plans to His disciples, and in receiving, notindeed their advice, which He never asked for,but their reflections, which showed Him as wellas themselves what was passing in their minds.His moral sense was full of pores, sensitive toevery passing circumstance. A nature such asHis must have been peculiarly liable to lose itsmoral equilibrium ; and whether by the tauntsof enemies or the dulness of friends, becomeunbalanced and out of control.Once more, His sinlessness must not onlybe explained by the protecting environment of His Godhead sheltering His humanity, united to itin the One Personality, from all breath or chance of sin. Were this all the account of the case, howcould He have been tempted in all things as weare ? How could He, in the fulness of a personalsympathy, succour us who are tempted to-day ?Rather it was by the unfailing presence of theHoly Ghost vouchsafed to Him without measureat His baptism, and in absolute harmony withthe freedom of His human nature, illuminatingHis mind with truth, inspiring His will with

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