Author: Ron Graham
The Path Jesus Walked
—Paths of grace trilogy (2)
One special human being walked the ideal path, the right path that every soul should take. Jesus set us an example in the path he followed.
Jesus followed the perfect path (1Peter 2:21-24, Hebrews 9:14). Jesus lived his whole life without sin.
Jesus began the perfect path just as every human being does. He passed through the portal of conception into the state of innocence (transition 1).
Jesus later passed from the state of innocence through the portal of physical death, into the state of hadean safety (transition 5). After that he was resurrected and ascended into heaven (transition 10).
1 Jesus was unique
There are four differences in the path that Jesus took compared to the path taken by other human beings.
- His pre-existence. Jesus made the first journey (transition 1) from a state of eternal heavenly glory (Philippians 2:6-7) whereas we came from no state at all since we did not have a pre-existence.
- His virgin birth. Jesus's conception was miraculous because his mother was a virgin (Luke 1:27-33) whereas our conceptions were natural involving human fathers.
- His sinless life. Jesus, as we noted above, committed no sin (1Peter 2:21-24, Hebrews 9:14) whereas we left the perfect path. This difference is extremely important when we consider his suitability to offer himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins, and our need for him to have done so.
- His resurrection and ascension. In making the last journey from hades to heaven (transition 8), Jesus was the forerunner (Hebrews 6:19-20, 1Corinthians 15:22-23). So he did not have to wait for judgment day before he was resurrected and before he made his ascension into heaven, whereas we must all pass through the portal of judgment day (1Timothy 4:1, Romans 14:10-12).
2 Jesus was human
These differences make no difference. While the differences outlined above are important, they do not detract from the power of his life as an example to humankind. And Jesus was not altogether different: consider the similarities...
- His human nature. Jesus was not just a look-alike pretense of a human being. He had the same human nature as we. His state of innocence was no more robust than ours, and the perfect path was no easier for him to follow than it was for the rest of humanity.
- His temptation. Jesus had no less opportunity and temptation to sin than do we. He had no less ability to leave the perfect path, and no more ability than we to maintain it (Hebrews 2:17-18, Hebrews 4:15).
- His assurance and hope. Jesus was no more assured than we are of resurrection from the dead and of ascension into heaven. Nor did he have to be less obedient and committed to God in order to have that assurance (Philippians 2:8, Hebrews 3:6).
3 Jesus is our great example
Jesus set an example in walking the perfect path. The Bible is clear about that example. Everyone "should follow in his steps 'who commited no sin...'" (1Peter 2:21-22, Isaiah 53:9). However, we did not follow the perfect path.