Did Jesus Lust (Or Have A Carnal Nature)?
Usually I reserve my words on this site for general false doctrines taught by religious masses in the world that do harm to people through a lack of careful study. However, sometimes a doctrine rises up that, while most people do not necessarily adhere to it, is not only unscriptural, but can become a baseline for Spiritual abuse and accusation.
This paper's title summarizes the issue in question and I hope to provide a diligently researched and emphatic answer. Did Jesus ever lust? Did he ever feel evil desires to sin as we do? Did he have a carnal nature along with his Spiritual one. Most Christians grapple with, and wonder about Jesus' innermost feelings, wondering what it felt like to "walk in his shoes." Most Christians recognize his joy, his anger, and his sadness, which are depicted scripture. Many may also believe that Jesus could have felt carnal impulses if ever so slightly.
This is what prompted me to write this paper. I had someone e-mail me recently about my paper titled "The Judgement of The World" saying: "I am concerned and hope that your are not bound to your view that Jesus had a different flesh than us. Such a view robs the good news that Jesus overcame the flesh and we can overcome as He overcame."
He also wrote: "I hope you take what is written in 2nd John vs 7 seriously and think about it...antichrist denies, does not confess, that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh."
He went on to ask: "My underlying question I guess is How can we follow our Savior if he did not have a flesh like ours with its passions and lusts which he overcame?"
I thought that if some doctrine was the basis of the a-word ("antichrist") and was being used as an empowerment to accuse others of it, I'd better speak out. I have read some Christian's opinions online, in various religious forums, who submit that not only did Jesus feel a "pull of the flesh," but full blown lust either for a woman, or money, or power. In other words, it's not just that he was presented these options, but that the desire for them entered into his mind, and that he internally suppressed these lustful impulses.
THE UNBLEMISHED LAMB OF GOD
A mystifying teaching exists in the New Testament which, if not understood in the light of key scriptures, can lead one down a disastrous path. If we understand that the Old Testament sacrifices were a type (a symbol) of Jesus Christ, we can begin to see how early the Bible establishes his character.
Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish, (for sacrifice)
If his offering [be] a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish
And he shall offer his offering unto the LORD, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings,
Every Israelite who knew the Law, knew that the lamb they selected was to be perfect, "without blemish." They didn't always obey that rule, but they knew it. Christians know it too:
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
1 Peter 1:19
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
A word study in the Old Testament reveals this description in the Old Testament (without blemish) repeated so often as to be practically innumerable. When the Bible repeats something, especially this often, it's telling you: "Hey, pay attention, this is important!"
In the New Testament, though, some statements can challenge our view of what "unblemished" means and how much it encompasses Christ, the Lamb of God:
2 Corinthians 5
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
The above scripture is a springboard for all manner of doctrinal assertions. The pronouncement that a man can be at once unblemished while also "made sin," presents our dilemma. Most Christians reconcile this by assuming the scripture refers to Christ when He was on the Cross, a sin offering, onto which sin was only imputed. But, other Christians, like Coy Brock at the website ministry Is Was And Will Be teaches in an audio sermon called How Christ Was Made Sin (if you prefer, you can listen to the audio of this sermon rather than watching the video) teach that Christ was made sin when he was born into the flesh, that the flesh IS the sin that Christ was made into. That immediately calls into question the Biblical teaching that Christ washed away our sins with his blood. Did he wash away sin with more sin?
Now, the Bible does not literally say that the flesh IS sin itself. It's an interpretation; that is why Mr. Brock says, "The thing that I see in the scripture is that the mere fact that we were made flesh means that we were made sin as well." When someone says "the thing I see," beware. It indicates a personal opinion not a scriptural fact. Otherwise he would have quoted the precise scripture literally establishing the flesh to be sin itself. None exists. Beware when someone rips out a single scripture, develops an opinion of what he "sees," then proceed to build an entire doctrine on top of that. At that point, you can make the Bible say whatever you want it to say. Scripture certainly does draw a distinction between the flesh, and the sin that is "in the flesh," as we will see.
The concept that Christ was made sin at birth, and that the flesh IS that sin, is rarely held among Christians, but Mr. Brock's lecture does touch on a wider held belief by Christians to varying degrees, that Jesus LUSTED but did not act upon that lust. We can see Christians flirting with the idea (example here), and other Christians outright preaching it as Harold Kupp (scroll down)
Even Mark Driscoll, currently one of the most prominent preachers in America at the mega-church Mars Hill put forward in his sermon series "Vintage Jesus":
"If you’re tempted to these sorts of things — including sexual sin — Some of you say, 'Now Mark, Jesus wasn't sexually tempted.' Well of course he was. A thirty-something-year-old single man who had women who adored him – you don't think he ever wanted the comfort of a woman? You don't think he ever got tired of going to bed by himself? You don't think that he didn't once want to have intimate relations with a woman? He was tempted. "
Of course he was? As though it cannot be disputed?
We must reconcile the Biblical teaching that Christ was The Son of Man, descended into the flesh, with the truth that he was simultaneously the Son of God, an unblemished lamb for the slaughter. How can we do that with scriptures that say Christ was made to BE sin? Was Christ unblemished completely, or just in select aspects of his person? If his flesh was as blemished with sin as Adam's, what about his soul, or his mind? Was there a part in his mind prone, as our own minds are, to what the Bible calls "evil desires" (1 Col 3:5)? Was Christ an unblemished Lamb in his thoughts and actions, but not unblemished in his feelings?
Coy Brock makes the careful distinction between "sin in act" and "sin in fact," that Christ was made to be sin but not a sinner. As a result, he says "Jesus knows (translation: has experienced) every lust and craving that we have." There it is. According to him, Jesus lusted.
L. Ray Smith makes a compelling rebuttal (Christ/Sin 1, Christ/Sin 2 - Windows Media Audio) that the translation above should have been translated as Jesus "was made to be a sin offering." There, he rightly asserts that Coy Brock violates the Biblical doctrine that no scripture is of any private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20), that is, no single scripture is its own explanation.
However, for the sake of argument, let's take the KJV translation as is, and even take Mr. Brock's assertions that it means that Jesus Christ was made sin at birth, and that his flesh was that sin. We will still need to reconcile an inward nature as opposed to that outer nature:
For such an high priest (Jesus) became us,
who is holy, harmless, undefiled (Greek - amiantos - pure), separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
The words "who is" I crossed out because it is absent from the original Greek and was added by the translators. Even as Christ, the high priest "became us," he was simultaneously HOLY, PURE and SEPARATE from sinners. Just how separate was he? How high are the heavens compared to the earth?
Jesus said, "no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which (who) IS in heaven." (John 3:13)
It's my hope that by the end of this paper you will understand this scripture to a fuller extent, if you don't already, and exactly what placed The Son of Man both on earth and in heaven at the same time. It seems impossible, right?
Clearly Christ's flesh was earthly, and he was in the earth. If so, what part of Christ was simultaneously in heaven? In other words, if Christ's flesh was soiled with sin as our own, we need to account for what also made Christ separate from sinners. When Jesus "became us," what also made him to be PURE, when we were not? You'll find out in this paper, his purity went much deeper than his actions alone.
LET'S "TEST" THE WORD "TEMPT" SHALL WE?
One proof text they offer to assert that Jesus Christ had lusted, or had a carnal nature:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Jesus was tempted, they say, therefore he must have been drawn away of his own lust too, right? Since Christ, as Mr. Brock asserts, was made sin while in the flesh - not on the cross as a sin offering - it stands to reason that his temptations followed the same pathway described above: lust, sin, then death. And since lust comes before sin, Jesus could have lusted without being a sinner. Let's slow down though, and study this scripture a bit more carefully. As this scripture confirms, every man IS tempted when drawn away of his own lust, but does that automatically mean there are NO other forms of temptation in existence?
James is saying here that when every man is drawn away of his own lust, it's a form of temptation. That's it. James does not say, however, that it is the only form of temptation. Such an assumption must be forced into the text to assume that Jesus Christ was also enticed by his own lust. In fact, the Bible speaks about other temptations.
When we filter a modern understanding of words into Biblical text, it can result in misreading, some of which can be minor, and others can be dangerous. Words evolve over time. So, we ought to consider, especially in the King James Version, not only the underlying Greek, but the Old English into which the scriptures were translated. The Websters Dictionary defines "Tempt" this way:
3b: to cause to be strongly inclined <was tempted to call it quits>
2a obsolete : to make trial of : test
We can see here that the first definition I have listed (3b) is consistent with what most people understand as temptation: a strong inclination toward an object of stimulus. Being tired, the runner is tempted to quit. The object of stimulus is in imagining the pleasures of resting. This form of temptation stems from emotional impulses, desires.
But, do you notice the second definition indicated "obsolete?" 2a: "To make a trial of: test". Websters defines "test" as: : a critical examination, observation, or evaluation.
The reason it's obsolete is because it's an old use of "tempt." When one sees the word "tempted," in Biblical passages, by applying modern usage, one will mistakenly attribute it to how Jesus FELT. However, if the now obsolete definition is more accurate, that he was enduring a "test," then James 1:14-15 does not deal with Christ's feelings at all, does not indicate any FEELING of desire at all. Do any Bible dictionaries indicate that?
In James 1:14, the word "tempted" is translated from peirazo: "every man is tempted (peirazo) when…." The Strong's dictionary defines it this way:
to test (objectively), that is, endeavor, scrutinize, entice, discipline: - assay, examine, go about, prove, tempt (-er), try.
Even the saints are admonished to examine (try) themselves:
2 Cor 13:5 (NIV)
Examine (peirazo) yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.
That Christ was being "examined" through his trials does not necessitate he had his own lust. In fact, the Devil could have placed Christ in a trial by presenting him with a beautiful woman, but this DOES NOT mean that that the Devil was successful, that Jesus actually felt lust toward her.
A current example would be if a young baseball player works hard to make the team, and some kids offer him drugs and a way to skip practice, the baseball player may still feel no internal desire to do so. He endured an external temptation/testing, but did not actually feel enticed. In fact, he may have felt nothing at all.
This is why I said before that even a line of questioning is an example of tempting, if we understand the now obsolete definition of TESTING and its usage in the old English King James Version. Notice the following usage:
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted/TESTED (peirazo) him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
The saints were tested in many ways, mainly through persecution. But, when acknowledging the word "tempt" as it is intended in the scripture, we see that even a simple question was a way to be "tempted." The laywer was TESTING Christ.
WHAT COMES FIRST, LUST OR SIN?
The big question here centers on Jesus Christ's relationship with sin during his testing period he endured, and not only his relationship with sin, but how similar or different he is/was to you and me. To what degree is Christ like us, and to what degree is he different? The Bible is perfectly clear about it, if we are mindful to the correct use of word:
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted (tested) like as we are, yet WITHOUT sin.
The phrase "touched with the feeling of" is from the Greek sympatheo, which means to "sympathize," in this case, to sympathize with the weakness of our flesh, such as fear of death in the face of persecution. But, note the unmistakable exception that while Christ endured trials and testing in all points like us - he endured these trials WITHOUT SIN. What does it mean to be without sin? Does that just mean he never ACTED on lust? We will explore the Biblical process of sin in a moment.
If the above scripture refers to Christ's inward temptations, what do we make of a former child molester-turned-Christian? Do we say that Christ was tempted like as he was? When Jesus was alone with a child, was he ever tempted toward a lascivious act with that child even for a fleeting moment? Well?
If the answer is "yes," then we see the disgusting depths this doctrine goes to twist Christ's unblemished mind into the most disgusting mind that has ever been. It means Jesus must have been tempted toward rape, torture and even murder, just like any number of Christians might have experienced temptations in their former ways. If the answer is "no" then it is flatly admitted that Christ did not feel desires in ALL ways like EVERY Christian, that there is a line to draw. Therein is revealed a weak, half-baked doctrinal belief.
But, we have seen that Christ's "temptation" need not be viewed as an emotional state. More accurately translated, the above verse states: "but (Christ) was in all points tested, or put into trial, or examined, like as we are, without sin." We know that the Bible does NOT say that Christ was drawn away to the mountain by his own lust to be enticed by IT. It says he was led up to the mountain by the Spirit to be enticed by the Devil.
Those who assert Christ's supposed (and I say non-existent) carnal nature, claim that lustful feelings are not sinful in themselves because, as we saw before, James states:
Then when lust hath conceived (been acted upon), it bringeth forth (Greek - tikto) sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
The implication is that Jesus was likewise led away by his own lust to be enticed. They fail to realize that James is only stating here that sin is being "brought forth," not that it is being created. The phrase "bring forth" is translated from tikto and in the Greek is interchangeable with "birth":
Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered (tikto); and she brought forth a son.
When a woman goes into labor she doesn't bring the child into being, as in conception. That occurred 9 months earlier. Rather, her child exists within her, and then is "brought forth" into the world. Similarly, James is saying that sin also is waiting to be brought forth, birthed into the world when man acts upon his lust. OK, but from where is that lust generated the first place? We need to go back a bit to find that out:
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But SIN, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought (produced) in me all manner of concupiscence (Greek - epithumia - lust). For without the law sin was dead.
Here is a scripture which reveals the true order of sin resulting in death within man, and demolishes the false relationship between lust and sin that they present. Paul says later in the chapter "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing" and in Galatians "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit..."
Now we know where lust comes from: sin produces lust within us from within the flesh.
...(Jesus) was in all points tested like as we are,
yet without sin.
The word "yet" was added by the translators, so we can remove that without losing meaning. The word "without" is taken from the Greek "choris." The definition of choris in the Strongs dictionary: at a space, that is, separately or apart from (often as preposition): - beside, by itself, without.
That term "at a space" is interesting. It suggests that a barrier existed between Christ and sin, as though he were separated from it, "at a space" from it. Indeed, while the word "choris" was translated as "without" 35 times in the Bible, another instance shines even more light:
Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself (choris).
We see that a napkin was not lying with the other linens, but was separated, isolated and "by itself." The napkin was without any other cloth around itself. It is not hard to see then, that just as the napkin was separated from the other clothes, Jesus Christ was separated from sin. His relationship to sin is that Jesus was "by himself" from it. That is why he was without it.
In fact, if we substitute the Strongs synonyms for "without" we get this:
but (Jesus) was in all points tested/tried like we are, apart from sin.
but (Jesus) was in all points tested/tried like we are, separated from sin.
but (Jesus) was in all points tested/tried like we are, at a space from sin.
Whatever conclusion you reach about his flesh, the scripture is clear, Jesus himself was without the sin necessary to generate lust within him. He could never be touched by it because his mind was unspotted, unblemished as the lambs slain throughout Jewish history. Therefore, no lust could draw him away for him to be enticed by it.
I don't think I need to quote the scriptures to prove that the Bible demonstrates a difference between our flesh and our souls, our inner identity, our inward man. That is to say that just because Jesus had flesh, it doesn't mean that his flesh affected his inward experience or was able to touch his soul. His flesh was simply a shell to be discarded. Therefore, if we were to accept that Jesus was made to be sin by virtue of his flesh, still his soul could be detached from inner workings of that flesh, if a condition existed in his mind to do so. As you will see, Christ contained a great power against sin, guarding him internally against these evil desires, a power we all hope for. We will see in a moment.
Before moving on, I want to stress that, where emotional temptation/desire is concerned, I am not writing to suggest that emotional desire itself is an act of sin. Simply having a desire is not an act of sin. But "evil desires," as the Bible puts it, do originate from a condition of sin that Paul lamented that man is born into (Romans 7:14,23) by virtue of the flesh's weakness.
Here is the process step-by-step process of sin according to all scripture we have witnessed:
1. According to Romans 7, sin exists IN the flesh when man is even unaware
2. Sin becomes noticeable to man BY generating lust within him
3. According to James, man is put to a test when drawn away by that lust and enticed
4. Then, lust, when acted upon, brings sin forth into the world
5. Christ was without sin
Concerning Christ in the flesh, as stated, NO scripture asserts that sin IS the flesh - without personal interpretation.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
Does that scripture literally say that Jesus came in sinful flesh? Objectively, no. It could have, but did not. It says he came in the likeness of sinful flesh. The word "likeness" could have easily been omitted, but there it is. This has caused debate over how much Christ's flesh was like our own.
One could make the case that this concept of "likeness" can be used as in Phl 2:7, that Christ was in the "likeness of a man," and was a man. This would be to say that he came in the likeness of sinful flesh, and his flesh was sinful. However, a case can also be made that the term "likeness" is used as in Romans 6:5, that the saints are planted together NOW in the "likeness of Christ's death and resurrection," where that likeness does not share the literal meaning, just as Christ's flesh was also not literally sinful.
It doesn't matter either way!
The condition of his flesh, and its similarity to ours, is not the point. The flesh is not the ONLY determinate factor to whether we experience lust. It's the condition of our flesh ALONG WITH the lack of maturity in the Holy Spirit which shields our minds from the flesh. As we will see, the Spirit acts as a barrier to sin in our minds, makes us dead to sin, but only if we are matured in the Spirit. Do you think Jesus Christ had Spiritual maturity? How much maturity would he need to be "without sin?"
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SPIRIT, MIND YOU
The mind is the true battle ground regarding salvation from sin. The mind is defined in Websters as: "the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges." To FEEL any "evil desire" the mind must be first prone to it.
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
The ability for the flesh to affect Christ's mind is at this issue's heart. Yet, we can see here that while Jesus made flesh, "while he was lower than the angels," he was also crowned with glory and honor. What significance do you suppose is the image of "the crown?" Around what vital organ in the human body does a crown sit? What part of Christ retained this glory and honour?
Without the mind, the flesh is no more than a lump, a lump of clay, without intelligence or perception. Without the mind, the flesh feels nothing, including lust. Apostle Paul's teaching focused abundantly on our minds:
1 Timothy 6:3-5
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt MINDS, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
For to be carnally MINDED is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
The Spirit of Christ is where our salvation from sin successfully occurs while we are in the flesh ourselves. The Spirit actually puts to death our former selves and actually destroys the capacity of the sin in our flesh to reach our minds by generating lust within. In other words, the Spirit is like a numbing solution to sin.
1 Peter 2:24
Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.
For ye ARE DEAD, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence (lust), and covetousness, which is idolatry.
But ye are NOT in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and LUST.
These scriptures reveal that the dying process for a converted soul begins well before physical death. This process begins in the MIND, concerning the death of the "the affections and lusts" which are contrary to God. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit empowers this dying process, dying to sin, that your desires may be radically changed.
That is why Paul says "But you are NOT in the flesh, but in the Spirit" if that Spirit is within you. When the Bible says: The carnal MIND is enmity against God" and " they that are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:7-8) you will do well to remember that when Jesus presented himself for baptism, God sent a dove to earth saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am WELL pleased." (Matthew 3:17).
God was pleased in Christ because, while the carnal mind is an enemy of God, Jesus didn't have one. Jesus was in the Spirit, so while he had flesh, he was not "IN the flesh." Therein lay the answer to why Christ said that while The Son of Man descended to earth, he was likewise "in heaven," because that is where his mind was. His mind was well purified and kept where the Spirit resides.
John 3:34 (NIV)
For he is sent by God. He speaks God's words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit.
That is how separated Jesus was from sin: as far as the earth is separated from the heavens. The Father was already demonstrating the victory he had over his Son's mind so that we would know what we could also become.
Jesus had unlimited, unmeasured power by the Spirit (which is, of course, why he was enabled to raise the dead, walk on water, heal, cast out devils, and be pure in thought etc). Now, most Christians can accept that Jesus was completely Spiritually empowered in Heaven before he was born into a physical body. But, do they remember his clear statement:
I am the same yesterday, today and forever?
"For I am the LORD, I do not change
Obviously Jesus was not physical in Heaven; some other trait must have carried over to keep Christ unchanged.
1 John 3:5
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is NO SiN.
In HIM, in his his soul and mind, IS no sin, WILL BE no sin, and NEVER WAS any sin. This is why, though he was tried and tested in all ways like us, he was "WITHOUT sin." Even if we were to accept Coy Brock's opinion that the flesh IS sin itself, the fact that Christ descended into the shell of Adam's flesh, does not mean his mind changed.
If you know that, then you can know also that Christ's mind was always 100% Spiritually empowered, flesh or no flesh.
Paul says, in Ephesians 4:13 that God gave duties part and parcel to the saints, looking forward to a perfecting into the full measure of Christ. That is to say, the saints are parts of a Body, resembling together Christ wholly, given that he was empowered by the Spirit fully. God does this to bring people together, so that the saints are not isolated. It was necessary for Christ to be alone in his power to initiate the plan of salvation in his death and resurrection. But, God ultimately plans to bring everyone together in himself, unified.
The saints are meant to work together to grow up to be what Christ was when he was set to be our example. Christ was the completed and matured man, the firstborn among many. Until ready for completion individually, the saints are all assembled as parts of a whole Body.
That's why Paul says that Jesus was "in all points tested as we are," but separated from sin. That's why when Jesus was born, the angel said he would be HOLY, set apart, undefiled and "separate from sinners."
Because, though Christ's was born a Son of Man, into the flesh of Adam, he remained the perfect model for the saints to mirror: the Son of God. He was the mold that the saints will grow into, that they can also be tested and when matured, even if after death and resurrection, can also be dead to sin.
The Bible says that Jesus was drawn away to be tested by the Devil, not his own lust. This is the gift we should all hope for.
This is how Jesus Christ overcame death. It was not by his own power and by his own struggle: it was a power GIVEN to him of his Father. The same power the saints receive of the Father, now, comes through Christ. Christ says that we should come and he will give us REST.
We know that doesn't mean the saints will not endure persecution, but the rest he speaks about is INSIDE, within, rest from the power of sin that the flesh presents. Jesus did not have to struggle to overcome SIN in his flesh. It was a gift of Grace from his Father to be without sin. The Father gave him rest.
I have long held that people, generally speaking, are afraid of Jesus Christ, not just in a respectful, awe-inspired way, but as if he is a boogie man. Those cross statues, depicting his final hours as he hangs, must inspire some level of aversion in people. It's tempting to bring Jesus down to our level in ways forieign to the Biblical report, in ways that willfully circumvent the Biblical exceptions to Christs likeness to us.
Christ walked among us and he made company with prostitutes and thieves. I can see, though, how beguiling it could be that he might have the same "evil desires" they did. If so, his death on that cross might be more digestible. It's our guilt that scares us the most. Rather than an absolute innocent murdered for everyone's sins, Jesus would have died partly for himself, to free his mind of sinless thoughts. His selfless act would no longer be so selfless because his nature of sin would have placed him on the cross too, making it necessary to cover himself.
Let's go back to the original question from the man who contacted me: "My underlying question I guess is: How can we follow our Savior if he did not have a flesh like ours with its passions and lusts which he overcame?"
We now know that the question is flawed in its premise, because it assumes that the flesh creates passion and lust, not the sin IN the flesh. The whole point of the Gospel is not for US to overcome the passions and lusts that the sin creates in the flesh alone. WE will always lose that struggle. And if we struggle with sin as Christians, it's because we are still GROWING in the Spirit.
The point of the Gospel is to rest in Christ and for him empower our minds to be dead to sin. Did Christ not have the power of the Spirit to be likewise dead to sin? If not, then how could he save us? Did he not also rest in his Father? Of course he did. How could he tell us to rest in him, if he could not share that rest. Furthermore, if any should doubt that it's possible for a man to be in the flesh and be completely dead to the flesh, do they doubt the power of the Spirit?
Make no mistake about it, Jesus Christ is the COMPLETELY unblemished Lamb of God now, as he was unblemished yesterday, unto his moment of death. He will be the the same unblemished Christ onward, never changing.