In Part Five of the Jesus Creed, McKnight focuses more closely on associating with Jesus. In this first chapter, McKnight examines how Jesus represents us. He first looks at Jesus’ baptism by John. You remember the exchange. John doesn’t want to baptize Jesus. He believes he needs to be baptized by Jesus. Jesus replies that this needs to be done to “fulfill all righteousness.”

McKnight observes, “But Jesus is baptized anyway. John’s baptism is for repentance and Jesus doesn’t need to repent. Clearly, then, if Jesus doesn’t need to repent, then he must be repenting for others, for us.”

Jesus does the things that we’re intended to do. However, we can’t do them on our own. At various points Jesus needs to act for us. “To follow Jesus means to participate in his life, to let his life be ours.” We need the righteousness of Jesus because ours is inadequate.

McKnight continues, “There is only one reason for Jesus to repent for us: We can’t repent adequately. An adequate repentance has four elements: a true perception of sin (conviction), telling the truth to God about sin (confession), the decision to change (commitment), and its demonstratable behaviors (consequences).” We need to repent, but can’t repent properly. So Jesus repents for us, so that we are then able to repent.

McKnight concludes, “Jesus paved the way for us–with his entire life of active obedience. The baptism is one of those events where Jesus underwent an act for us. Unfortunately, we tend to limit Jesus’ actions for us to his death and his resurrection. When we do, we fail to see what he has done for us, and we are not as grateful as we ought to be.”