Most Christians are used to hearing about Jesus’ death on the cross on Calvary, where He shed His blood and died for us as a blameless and faultless lamb. Only a few people realize that Jesus also died in another way, and that His crucifixion was the completion of a work of salvation that had been in progress for 33 years.
What was Jesus’ life like from His birth in Bethlehem to His crucifixion on Calvary? Was He under some special protection of His Father while He was alive—a protection that preserved Him from trials and the Fall? In Heb. 4:15 it says something different: “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.”
Tempted like us
When we think about Him being tempted in all points, just as we are, yet without sin, many thoughts spring to mind. How did He do it? Is it possible for us not to revile when are reviled? Not to threaten when we are threatened? (1 Pet. 2:23). Is there any possibility whatsoever in today’s world to love our enemies as He loved? (Matt. 5:44). Is it possible to not lust and covet, in the same way Jesus did not lust and covet? (Matt. 5:28). How can we no longer live according to our human lusts, but according to God’s will, during our time on earth? (1 Pet. 4:2).
Jesus had an incredibly powerful weapon with which He could triumph in all temptations. He walked away from every single trial as the victor. We can see how He used this weapon when He was tempted in the desert. Satan appealed to His human nature and tempted Him in areas he knew human beings were weak, but Jesus rejected his offers time and again—with God's word. By obedience to God's word, He put to death all the lusts in the flesh that awoke within Him in various situations.
Saved from sin
Jesus understood that He couldn’t conquer these lusts and desires alone, and that is why He cried out “with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear.” He was saved, not from His death on Calvary, but from a death that is the “wages of sin.”
Paul exhorts us in Col. 3:5: “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Thus, over time, sin dies and we become happy people, through and through.
Paul calls this death over the lusts in the flesh the "dying of the Lord Jesus" because Jesus was the first person to use it. He opened the way for us that leads to true freedom. (John 8:36).
Learn more about the life of Jesus Christ