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The Bible says Jesus showed who he was by living a perfect life (1 Peter 2:22) and by the amazing miracles he did (John 14:11, 20:30-31, Hebrews 2:4). Then, at God's appointed hour, he was crucified on a cross as full payment for our sin (Hebrews 10:12). All of our sin (1 John 1:9). But how could one person's death pay for another, even if that person was the perfect Son of God?

The Bible says, that the soul that sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:20) and that without the shedding of blood (for life is in the blood) there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). Until the time of Jesus, God required his followers to offer an animal sacrifice in recognition of this and the need for his forgiveness. The sacrifice given in faithful obedience was accepted as a sin substitute. The significant thing about this sacrifice was that it had to be with spot or blemish.

Jesus came as the perfect sacrificial lamb of God, offered as a sin sacrifice to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). And unlike animal sacrifices, which had to be offered over and over again, his was a once for all sacrifice (Hebrews 7:27).

But why did God choose death on a cross for Jesus?

The Bible says that you are cursed if you break God's commandments (Deuteronomy 11:28) and that anyone who died on a cross at that time was cursed (Galatians 3:13). On the cross, Jesus came under sin's curse as God the Father poured out the full fury of his anger against sin, and rejected Jesus (Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 27:46). It's not that God wanted to hang us on a cross. He didn't. But the cross was the ultimate place of rejection and on the cross Jesus was rejected by God the (heavenly) Father in our place so we would not have to be rejected eternally in hell, forever separated from the love of God (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

The Good News is that on the cross, Jesus, who came to be the Saviour of the world (John 4:42), stood in the place of sinners (2 Corinthians 5:21) and became a sin substitute (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus died for you so you could be forgiven and put into a right relationship with God, now and forever. Then, because Jesus was perfect and had not sinned, God raised him to life on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:4). He did this so that repentance and forgiveness of sins might be preached in Jesus name (Luke 24:47).

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