Why Christ had to be the Son of God
by Mike Clark © 2023
Note that this article is written in accordance with my understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which I am a member. The contents of the article are my own work, and does not necessarily represent the view of the Church.
I feel that Jesus's heritage as a literal child of God the Father conferred on him two characteristics that He needed in order to be the Christ:
- the ability to withstand the commission of sin; and
- the ability to withstand death.
I also feel that Jesus's heritage as a literal child of the mortal Mary conferred upon him two other characteristics that he needed in order to be the Christ:
- the ability to commit sin; and
- the ability to die.
These two sets of characteristics meant that he could sin if he chose to, and that he could only die if and when he chose to. But in order to fulfill the Atonement he must not do the former, and must withstand the latter until His Atonement was complete. And because the suffering of the Atonement was so severe, any being undergoing it would want to end it as soon as possible, even before it was complete.
God the Father could not be Christ the Savior for two reasons: He cannot sin; and He cannot die.
The need for Jesus to be able to sin comes about because He must be as close to us as possible, to have condescended as close as possible to our level, to be able to sin like we can, and to be able to die like we must, in order to be able to save us. If He couldn't sin, then His sinlessness is empty, and could not save us. And if he could not die, he would not have the power to resurrect either himself or us.
Why was it necessary for Christ to be without sin in order to be the Savior? See my other essays:
- The Mathematics of the Atonement of Jesus Christ
- The Roles of Justice, Sacrifice and Mercy in the Atonement of Christ
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