Charles Hodge writes:
“The Mediator between God and man must be sinless. Under the law the victim offered on the altar must be without blemish. Christ, who was to offer Himself unto God as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, must be Himself free from sin. The High Priest, therefore, who becomes us, He whom our necessities demand, must be holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. (Hebrews vii. 26.) He was, therefore, ‘without sin.’ (Hebrews iv. 15; 1 Peter ii. 22.) A sinful Saviour from sin is an impossibility. He could not have access to God. He could not be a sacrifice for sins; and He could not be the source of holiness and eternal life to his people. This sinlessness of our Lord, however, does not amount to absolute impeccability. It was not a non potest peccare. If He was a true man He must have been capable of sinning. That He did not sin under the greatest provocation; that when He was reviled He blessed; when He suffered He threatened not; that He was dumb, as a sheep before its shearers, is held up to us as an example. Temptation implies the possibility of sin. If from the constitution of his person it was impossible for Christ to sin, then his temptation was unreal and without effect, and He cannot sympathize with his people” (Charles Hodge, Systematic theology, Volume 2, p. 457; underlining mine).
I have addressed this absolute-sinless-purity-of-Jesus-Christ-hating blasphemy from Charles Hodge in the past, so just a few comments.
The two portions underlined are among the most vile of non sequiturs I have seen in print. As far as I know Hodge is a Calvinistic minority or aberration with his “relative impeccability” doctrine since most Reformed writers (that I know of) assert Christ’s absolute impeccability.
Surely Hodge must know that Jesus Christ as “true man” and “the constitution of [Jesus Christ’s] person” involves a union of two natures, human and divine. Jesus is really and truly God as well as really and truly human; He is the God-Man Mediator who came to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21-23).
The Bible sets forth Jesus Christ as a TRUE propitiation for the sins of His people (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2). It appears that Hodge’s desire would be for a “propitiation” that must possess a possibility of needing a propitiation offered for itself, otherwise it is not a “true” propitiation.