Jesus Christ lived a sinless life. Another way to say that is to say that He lived a life of perfect righteousness. This righteousness, however, went unappreciated. Even most of the religious professionals of His day failed to recognize it.
This should humble us. How well do we really understand righteousness?
The word righteouness is related to the word justice. We can get an idea of what righteousness means by considering a common way that people speak of justice when they are talking about quality, not morality.
For example, if I say to you, “I love that song but I would never try to sing it because I couldn’t do it justice,” you would understand what I mean by saying, “I couldn’t do it justice.”
I mean that I could not sing it the way such a great song deserves to be sung. Maybe I don’t think I can bring out the proper emotions which the song evokes. Maybe I don’t think my singing can express everything that the song has the potential to express. If I don’t do the song justice, you won’t appreciate what a great song it is. So it’s better if I don’t sing it at all.
But if I were a truly great singer, maybe I could perform it better than anyone else. Perhaps I could sing the song so well that every time you hear it sung by someone else it pales in comparison. Then you could say that I truly did the song justice.
In the same way, we can say that Jesus Christ did justice to the human life. As a great musician can play a song the way it was meant to be played, Jesus lived the human life the way it was meant to be lived.
No one before Him had done this. Never before had life been lived with such dignity and purpose. No one else had so clearly displayed what an utterly beautiful thing it is to be human. We never imagined it was such a beautiful song until He sang it.
Once we have heard Him sing the song, we don’t want to hear it sung by anyone else. We only want to hear Jesus, still singing His song through His people.