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Jesus as the Ultimate One Who Is Blameless
Blameless, Part 5
There’s one blameless person that we haven’t mentioned much in our study to this point—Jesus. And that’s where this study starts to take on real meaning.
In my review of all the Scripture passages that use the English word “blameless,” I only found one that talks directly about Jesus: Hebrews 7:22–28.
“Because of this oath [with Melchizedek], Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”
Fulfillment of Tāmîm
Reading through Hebrews 7, there were several ideas that jumped out at me from our previous studies. First, I was struck by the connection of Jesus to the Hebrew word tāmîm. If you remember from Part 2 of our study, the Old Testament uses the word tāmîm in three very distinct ways:
“Blameless” refers to people who follow God wholeheartedly.
“Without defect” refers to sacrificial animals used as an offering to God for the sins of the people.
“Perfect” refers to God himself and his actions and laws.
Of all the people we studied in Part 1, Jesus is the ONLY one who fulfills all three of these definitions.
Hebrews 7 specifically refers to Jesus as blameless and as one who is in relationship with God, fulfilling the first definition.
It also refers to Jesus as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, fulfilling the second definition. This is supported in 1 Peter 1:18-19, where it says, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
Finally, Hebrews 7 refers to Jesus as the Son of God, who is holy, pure, and exalted above the heavens. This fulfills the third definition.
Fulfillment of Tāmam
Second, I was struck by the parallels to the Hebrew word tāmam. As a reminder, two translations for tāmam in the Old Testament are “finished” and “completely.” This passage in Hebrews 7 states that Jesus is able to “save completely” those who come to God through him. We also see in John 19:30 that when Jesus was on the cross, paying the penalty for our sins, his final words were, “It is finished.” He completed his purpose in coming to earth—to take the punishment for sin that you and I deserve so that we could be saved. What an amazing gift!
Fulfillment of the Covenant
Third, I noticed the use of the word “covenant.” In Genesis 12–25, we find the story of Abraham and the establishment of God’s covenant with Abraham and all of Abraham’s descendants. In Genesis 17:1, God issues the command for Abraham to walk faithfully with him and be blameless, which is Abraham’s side of the covenant. We see throughout the Old Testament that this covenant brings with it a vast law that includes commands for offering sacrifices for sin. As Hebrews 7 states, the priest had to offer sacrifices not only for the sins of the people but also for his own sins. But Jesus established a “better covenant.” We no longer need to sacrifice animals without defect as payment for our sins. Instead, Jesus sacrificed himself once for all sins.
What Does This Mean for You and Me?
We learned in Part 1 that God calls Christians to be blameless. And guess what? That would be impossible without the death of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection to conquer sin and death for all eternity. Ephesians 1:4-10 says,
“For he [God] chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”
Later in Ephesians 5:25–26, Paul compares the relationship between husband and wife with the relationship between Christ and the church:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
It is only from the washing that we receive through Jesus’ sacrifice that we can ever hope to be presented as blameless before God. 1 John 5:11–12 tell us, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
How will you respond? Will you reject him, like so many have done in the past? Or will you accept the priceless gift of Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins and walk faithfully with him all the days of your life? This is the only path to eternal life.
Don’t miss the next exciting study!