“Jesus came to show us how to live.”
Perhaps the putting the best construction on everything and explaining everything in the best possible light we might say that Jesus did some to set an example for us, but if that is the only reason Jesus came, then certainly we would simply fall into disbelief, despair and other great shame and vice. The fact of the matter is that we cannot live according to Jesus’ example; thus, if the way one is saved is to follow Jesus’ example, then we would all be doomed.
Jesus came to live for us. Jesus came to fulfill all righteousness for us. Jesus came to obey the Law perfectly for us. Jesus came to fulfill all the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah for us. Actually Jesus came to do what Israel was chosen to do and could not do. Jesus came as the true Israel, to live as God’s chosen people. Jesus came to take our sins upon Himself. Jesus came to suffer and die to pay the price for our sins. Jesus came to rise from the dead defeating sin, death and the devil. Jesus showed Himself to be alive, for us. Jesus ascended to the place from which He descended where He is watching over us, ruling over us, and interceding for us.
Here again we see the fullness of the Gospel is not simply that Jesus died and rose, but that He lived for us; thus. He was able to give His life as a substitute for us. He took our sins. He gives us His righteousness and perfection.
What Jesus does and our response to what Jesus does can be seen in this illustration of repentance. There was a teacher who passed out new crayons to the entire class. She told all her students to be careful and not break them. One child pushed a little too hard and broke one of his crayons. The teacher then asked for the children to put any broken crayons on the top of their desk. In order to “stay out of trouble,” the one child hid the broken crayon in the box, putting the bottom part in the box and the broken off top part on top. The teacher then went around the room and instead of “yelling” at the students, she exchanged new crayons for broken ones. Unfortunately, the child with the hidden crayon did not receive a new crayon. In much the same way, our sins that are unconfessed, although the price has been paid for those sins, to us they are not forgiven. We have refused that forgiveness, which is truly our own option since the price has already been paid. And our sins that are confessed are forgiven because the price has already been paid.