To Learn Obedience and Be Perfected
Key Texts – Hebrews 2:10; 5:8
The third reason Piper mentions why Jesus came to die was to learn obedience and be perfected. At first glance this might sound a bit strange if you’re familiar with the fundamental doctrines of Christ. For the Scriptures declare that He never sinned and He is the Perfect Sacrifice for mankind. So how can we make sense of what it means for Christ to learn obedience and be perfect? Piper defines these issues in the negative, telling us what they don’t mean, and in the positive, telling us what they do mean.
Piper said learning obedience doesn’t mean that Christ had to learn to stop disobeying. For if Christ ever disobeyed the Father, He would not be our Perfect Sacrifice and He would be just like the rest of us – rebels. Piper goes on to say that Christ wasn’t getting rid of defects when the Scriptures say He was being made perfect through suffering. Rather, Christ was fulfilling all righteousness so that He could stand in our stead before the Father. Though Christ is by nature righteous because of His deity, as a man He practically fulfilled the Law, which we failed to do. There had to be a human to fulfill the Law of God for man to be accepted by God. Man must be seen as righteous before the Father. This is what Paul meant in 2 Corinthians 5:21. Jesus even spoke of His purpose to fulfill the Law in Matthew 5:17 and Luke 24:44
As a man, Jesus did what Adam failed to do – obey God. Adam brought condemnation into the world and Christ brought redemption. (Romans 5:12-21) Jesus is the Last Adam.
As a Son, Jesus did what Israel failed to do – obey God. Israel failed to be a light to the nations as God’s son, but Christ, the Son of God, is the light of the world. (Hosea 11:1-4, Matthew 3:17, John 8:12) Jesus is the True Israel.
This is all leading up to what Piper said at the end of the chapter: “If the Son of God had gone from incarnation to the cross without a life of temptation and pain to test his righteousness and his love, he would not be a suitable Savior for fallen man” (25).
Christ learned obedience and was perfected to propitiate the Father’s wrath and make us acceptable before Him. What love is this?!?
Grace & Peace,