One of the central doctrines to the true gospel message is that Jesus was sinless. He committed no sin. He never hit his brother out of anger. He never dwelt on lust. He never longed for material possessions. He never coveted. At the same time of never doing those things that are deemed sinful, He fully did what was righteous. He was fully obedient. He always did the right thing at the right time. He related perfectly with other people. He fulfilled the righteousness of God.
At many levels, this is overwhelming. And some probably think it is mythical. But the evidence in the Bible is overwhelming.
"He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth." (1 Peter 2:22)
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)
"You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin." (1 John 3:5)
And the list of Scriptures can keep coming. We are taught that Jesus was free from actual sin. He bears no consciousness of guilt. He never prays for forgiveness. He never confesses shortcomings. On the contrary, all He did, in word, thought, and deed, conformed perfectly to the will of God. He fulfilled all righteousness.
But was it necessary? YES! Without Jesus perfectly fulfilling the righteousness of God, the gospel would be incomplete. The place where this is seen most evidently is in Paul's words to the Corinthians.
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)
At the moment of salvation, the great transaction takes place. God treats Jesus, who is sinless, as if He committed every sin that you committed (past, present, and future). But God does not leave you neutral. He also imputes upon you the righteousness of Christ. He treats you as if you did every righteous act that Christ accomplished. That is the righteousness we need in order to stand before God. His righteousness.
So the next time you contemplate the sinlessness of Jesus, please do not think of it as a secondary aspect of His life. It was as critical to our salvation as the cross was. His life and His death!