In the US, we have what is called a ‘representative democracy.’ That means we elect people who go to the place of government and act on our behalf – voting to pass laws that, we hope, will benefit us and our country.
Jesus, as the only perfect human ever to live, was a perfect sacrifice when it came time for him to die for our sins (John 1:29). As an ordinary human, he could only have died for his own sins; but without sin, and as the infinite Son of God, he died for all of our sins, as our representative.
But he was a lot more than that. Jesus was also the only proper representative of the human race to the Father. He lived a perfect life, in complete faith and complete obedience. So, his perfect obedience represents, to the Father, perfect obedience for all of us. The same with his faith, his prayers, his love, and so forth. He was the perfect human ‘Yes!’ response to God’s loving invitation to relationship.
Just think – when our faith is not as strong as it ought to be, Jesus is there at the Father’s right hand, representing us (1 Tim. 2:5) as the perfect mediator between God and man (Rom. 8:34). In fact, our salvation is not by our own faith, but by our trust in the perfect faith of Jesus Christ himself, the perfect Son of his Father. Our obedience, our prayers, our thoughts, our trust in God, is all perfect in the Father’s eyes, because we approach the Father by Jesus, the perfect man.
And of course, Jesus also perfectly represented the Father to us: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). So when we want to understand the Father, we study the life and teachings of Jesus the Son.
These are some of the reasons we refer to Jesus as the ‘hinge of history’, the ‘perfect Lamb’ and ‘the plan of God.’ Without him, the Bible is a rulebook, not a story of God pursuing us. Without him, we literally don’t have a prayer – because our prayers aren’t good enough to approach a perfect God. But with him, and in him, and through him, we have life.
Which is a great reason to celebrate him any time of the year, and why especially during the Advent and Christmas seasons we take an even closer look at this God who loved us so much he became a man. May that stopping to look, this year, bring you many blessings.