Christ's Active Righteousness (2)
In a previous post I was trying to dig into the question of Christ’s Active Righteousness and its relationship to the Mosaic Law. In other words, did Christ have to perfectly obey the Mosaic Law in order to save us?
There were a couple of things that we all seemed to agree upon. First, that the Mosaic Law could not save anyone. In the words of one comment, the law was given to define righteousness not create it. Second, Christ did not have to obey the law to become righteous. He lived a righteous life because He was righteous. And third, Christ had to be sinless or righteous in order to save us for if He had sinned He could not have been our savior. And I think we all agreed that because of all this Christ had to be actively righteous in order to save us. This follows from the fact that Jesus being inactively righteous and saving us seems to make no sense, so He must have had to be actively righteous.
But the area that there seemed to be a bit of disagreement was if it was necessary for Christ to keep the Mosaic Law (moral, judicial, and ceremonial) or did he only fulfill the moral aspect?
As I have been thinking about it I have become more convinced that Christ had to fulfill the Mosaic Law in order to be our Savior. But just to be clear I am not saying that Jesus had to fulfill the law to become righteous, but that He had to fulfill the law to stay righteous. But why do I say the Mosaic Law? I will try to answer it with a few questions.
First, if a man were to violate any aspect of the moral law in the time of Jesus, would it be a sin? The answer to this question seems to be an obvious yes because Christ had not yet died to initiate the new covenant. Which leads us to our second question, if Jesus would have violated the Mosaic Law, would it have been a sin for Him? To me the answer seems to be yes also. In order to give the answer “no” there would need to be an explanation as to how Christ could have violated the Mosaic Law at this point in History and still have been righteous. At this point I don’t have that answer, but maybe there is one.
This leads me to my conclusion which is, in order for Christ to save us He had to keep the Mosaic Law perfectly. In other words, His active righteousness to the Mosaic Law was required in order to save us. Not that it made Him righteous, but that it expressed His righteousness. Much like the definition of the Mosaic Law which was given earlier, it defines His righteousness.