You still see it once in a while on a bracelet or poster: WWJD (What Would Jesus Do). It’s meant to remind believers that as they go about their daily lives, they will want to model their words and actions after Jesus. What would Jesus do in my situation? How would He respond to an insult aimed at Him? What would He do if He were treated unfairly at work? What priorities would He set for the weekend? It’s worth thinking about. There is no better role model than the perfect Son of God. Paul writes: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Eph. 5:1-2).
Yet far more important than WWJD is WDJD (What Did Jesus Do). No one is going to be saved by doing what Jesus would do. No one can live a holy life as He did in all His thoughts, words, and actions. “No one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law” (Rom. 3:20). We need to remember that Jesus did not live His life primarily as an example for us, but as a substitute for us. His perfect life, His righteousness, is the substitute for our lives hopelessly marred by sin. His death paid the debt we owed. He substituted Himself and endured hell, so we would be spared. “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19).
Every day we strive to do and say what pleases Jesus, but every day we have to confess that we have miserably failed in living up to His holy will for us. But that’s not cause for despair and fear, because Jesus came to do in our behalf everything necessary to fulfill the demands of God’s law. Because He did everything right as our Brother, God sees you as holy for Jesus’ sake.
May that saving grace fill your heart with gratitude and love, along with an ever-growing desire to do what Jesus would do, not in order to be saved, but because you already are!
Tomorrow’s sermon text (Lk. 4:1-13) recounts how Jesus as our substitute faced Satan’s temptations in the wilderness and won the victory for us all.
Yours in Christ,