Jesus of Nazareth died on a cross having been sentenced by Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea. Why is Jesus’s death more significant than any other person born into the world? Jesus is holy unlike any other, and the Christian must take this truth to heart. Because Jesus is holy, death could not hold Him, and so Jesus bodily rose to life.
Peter commanded, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy” (1 Pet 3:15). Jesus makes holy sanctifying those who come to Him by faith (Heb 2:11; cf. 1 Cor 6:11). Jesus is the only source for a person to be made holy (Heb 2:11). Jesus’s blood sacrifice purifies the conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb 9:14; 13:12). Jesus’s sacrifice perfectly sanctifies once for all time (Heb 10:10, 14).
Jesus is holy because He is God come in the flesh. In the beginning, God spoke the Creation into existence, and thereby, the Word was with God and was God in the beginning (John 1:1). The Word became flesh and dwelt among humanity (John 1:14). Jesus is the fullness of God bodily (Col 2:9). Jesus left the form of God to take on the form of a servant to help humanity (Phil 2:6–8). God calls Jesus “God” (Heb 1:8). For this reason, He must manifest the same holy nature as God the Father and Creator.
Jesus’s sinlessness attests to His divinity, His resurrection, and His inerrant teaching. Isaiah prophesied that the Suffering Servant would die, yet “he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth” (Isa 53:9). He is the “righteous one, my servant” (Isa 53:11). Jesus lived a holy life without sinning (2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 2:22; 1 John 3:5). However, Jesus was tempted in every way (Heb 4:15). The Christ was to be pierced for transgressions and crushed for the iniquities of humanity (Isa 53:5). The LORD laid on the suffering Servant the iniquity of all (Isa 53:6). Thereby, Christ was the offering for guilt by which God was thus satisfied (Isa 53:10–11). Only by Christ will a person be “accounted righteous” (Isa 53:11). Therefore, the Suffering Servant is the one who makes intercession for sinners (Isa 53:12).
The righteous of Jesus Christ reveals the holiness of God. Just as Isaiah prophesied, the sinless Messiah appeased the justice of God’s law by enduring and overcoming the punishment of death releasing the faithful from the condemnation of sin and death (Rom 3:20–26; 8:1–4). Christ makes holy, blameless, and without reproach before God those who continue in the faith (Col 1:21–23).
May we all sanctify Jesus in our hearts. John revealed that those who hope in Christ purify themselves as Christ is pure (1 John 3:3). This is just as Peter urged Christians to be holy in all conduct and not to conform to former passions (1 Pet 1:14–16). Peter taught the faithful to conduct themselves with hope and fear knowing that they were ransomed by the blood of Christ and are now without blemish or spot (1 Pet 1:13–19). Thank God that we can be holy as God is holy!