Matthew 5:48, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Years ago, the world's most complicated clock was displayed for the first time in the town hall in Copenhagen, Denmark. It took 40 years and a million dollars to build. The clock was accurate to two-fifths of a second every 300 years. The ten faces of that clock told the time of the day, the day of the week, week of the month, the month of the year, the year of the century, and tracked the movements of planets and suns for 2,500 years. There were parts in the clock that would not move for 2,500 years.
But there was something disturbing about the clock: it was not accurate. It lost two-fifths of a second every 300 years. How did they know that? That clock in the town hall in Copenhagen, Denmark, was measured against the clock of the universe, with all of its myriad parts, from atoms to suns to planets to stars. That clock is so accurate that every clock on Earth is measured against it.
Near perfect is not perfect. None of us are perfect. We all fall short. The Galatians writer tells us, "For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law" (Galatians 3:10). Everything written. There are somewhere around 600 commandments in the Old Testament! By the time you learned them all you would have already broke at least a few. Perfection does not exist in the world of man, cannot exist.
You see, the Galatians writer said that we are cursed for being less than perfect, for not keeping everything written. But then he says, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole"" (Galatians 3:13). God demanded perfection. Man can never be perfect. So, God then supplies what he demands Himself through His son, Jesus.
Jesus' perfection, or sinlessness, is important because without that perfection he could not be a sacrifice for sin, or as Peter calls him in 1 Peter 1:19, "a lamb without blemish or defect." In perhaps one of the most powerful statements of Jesus perfection the Hebrew writer said in Hebrews 4:15, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." At all points tempted but never gave in. At all points tried but found true.
Because of His perfection He can offer to you the greatest gift of His perfection--forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Prayer: Father, we recognize that we will never be perfect, but we know the One who is. It is because He lived a perfect life that He can offer us the forgiveness we all need. Thank you for such grace. Thank you for Jesus. In His name, amen.
(Adapted from: Rock Solid: Part 2. Listen to the full message here:www.arvadachristian.org/sermons/)