A Short Study of Hebrews 4:15
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
The person of Christ as God in human flesh is a marvelous mystery which we cannot grasp in its fullness and depth. But the Scriptures tell us that it was necessary that He be made flesh and dwell among us to fulfill the conditions of our salvation.
As God in sinless human flesh, Christ had to fulfill all righteousness for us so that God is just to justify us.
One of the things Christ experienced on our behalf was that He was “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” This involved the weaknesses and limitations of human existence without our innate sinfulness. He hungered and thirsted. He grew weary and sorrowed. Ultimately, He was able to die for our sins imputed to Him so that we who believe are justified by His righteousness imputed to us.
He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Our Saviour can truly sympathize with us in our temptations because He experienced the same in His own humanity. But, unlike us, when He was tempted, He remained sinless within Himself.
Though He was (and is) fully human, He was not a sinful human. For example, when He was upon the mount of temptation and after not having eaten for forty days, Satan tempted Him to deny His Father’s glory in order to relieve His hunger. Like us, in His humanity, He was just as hungry as we would have been (Matthew 4:2). But, unlike us, He had no sinful inclination or desire to deny His Father in order to relieve His hunger (Matthew 4:4). Unlike us who are still plagued with the contamination of sin, Satan had no ally in the Lord – “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.” (John 14:30)
The fact that there was no sin IN Christ does not deny or diminish the fact that, for our salvation, He was MADE sin (2nd Corinthians 5:2). He was made sin by the Father through the legal act of imputing (charging) the debt of the sins of His people to His account, making Him responsible to pay that debt by His suffering unto death on the cross. In this great act, as our Surety, He remained perfect and sinless within Himself. But He was certainly “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” as He suffered unto death all the consequences of our sins imputed to Him. All the pain and anguish He experienced was due to our sins imputed to Him but did not make Him sinful or a sinner. He was truly “touched with the FEELING of our infirmities,” but He was never contaminated with the corruption of our sins.