Jeremiah prophesied that the Messiah would provide our way to stand right with God: “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. 23:6).
First, Jesus portrayed righteousness. Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be a warrior against evil: “For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance [for] clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke” (Isaiah 59:17). Indeed, Jesus was the epitome of living righteously. He withstood the devil’s temptations like no other (see Matt. 4:1-11). Peter emphasized that Jesus “did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (I Peter 2:21). He is the only man who never sinned (Heb. 4:15). He “knew no sin” (II Cor. 5:21) and was “separate from sinners” (Heb. 7:26, cf. Luke 23:47).
Second, Jesus proclaimed righteousness. Not self-righteousness (Matt. 23:28; Luke 5:32, 18:9; Prov. 30:12; Rom. 10:3), but a conviction that without Him we are nothing (John 14:6, 15:5; Phil. 3:9). He followed Scripture to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15).
Third, Jesus provides righteousness. His obedience (on our behalf) enables us to claim His righteousness (Rom. 5:19). Paul explained, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Cor. 5:21). He supplies righteousness (Rom. 3:26, 4:5; I Cor. 1:30). We can be “dressed in His righteousness alone,” if we are humbly obedient to Him (Titus 3:5; Acts 10:35).