Is Jesus a good example for my life?

One of the lesser emphasized biblical truths is that Jesus lived a perfect life, not just to give us an example of a godly life, but also to fulfill all righteousness for us.

In the book of Isaiah, we find a description of the most important sacred garment we can wear – Christ’s robe of righteousness.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness”

Isaiah 61:10

Example or Substitute?

One of the lesser emphasized biblical truths is that Jesus lived a perfect life, not just to give us an example of a godly life, but also to fulfill all righteousness for us. In other words, we can get the credit for his perfect life! In fact, this is the main reason he lived a perfect life. His main motivation was to be our substitute, not our example.

There’s a big difference between the two. An example shows us what we have to do but we must still do it. A substitute, however, does it for us. A substitute takes the responsibility off of me and places it on himself.

This is what Jesus did. He knew we could never perfectly keep all the commandments, no matter how hard we tried. So, he took the responsibility to do it for us. Then, out of love, he credits his perfection, his righteousness to us. This is why one name the Bible gives him is the Lord, our Righteousness:

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness”

Jeremiah 23:5-6

We Can Be Completely Covered

Only through Jesus’ righteousness can we stand before God and be welcomed to spend eternity with him. We need to be completely covered with Christ’s robe of righteousness. In other words, the only good works we should present to God are Christ’s good works. If we mix in our own good works, we stand before God with stains and holes in our clothing because all of our works are still tainted with sin.

For example, we might do something good for a person but then we get a twinge of pride about it. Just like that, we have tainted it with sin. Or our minds wander when we pray. Instead of trusting God completely, we worry. On and on it goes.

All these things, although seemingly small to us, aren’t small to God. Even one will cause him to banish us from his sight.

The Bible is clear:

“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

James 2:10

This is why we have to cover ourselves with Christ’s righteousness from head to toe.

Friends, see that Christ kept all the commandments for you. See that he offers his righteousness to you. Trust in what he has done for you. Clothe yourselves in his beautiful robe of righteousness. It is the most important thing you can ever do.

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