Jesus Gave His Life for Us
YOU have some good friends, don’t you?— But suppose they were in real danger. What if they were in a boat that was sinking? Would you want to save them if you could?— Would you do it even if you might die yourself while helping them?— A person who would give his life to save other people shows that he loves them very much.
Jesus proved he had that kind of love for us. He was willing to leave heaven and to be sent to earth to die for us. Did you know that he died for us?—
Would you like to hear how he did this?— Let’s pretend that we are right there and can see what happens.
It is very late one spring night at Jerusalem. The moon shines big and bright. As we look at the city we see Jesus and his apostles walk through a big gate and leave the city. They come to a hill that is called the Mount of Olives and go into a garden. Shall we follow them?—
As we watch, we see Jesus go away from his disciples and kneel to pray to his Father. He does this three times. And each time he comes back and tells his disciples that they should be praying too. Why? What is going to happen?—
Look! Do you see those men coming toward the garden? Some of them have lamps. Others have clubs. There are soldiers with swords. They look very unfriendly. Surely Jesus must see them coming. Shouldn’t he try to run away?—
Jesus sees them, but he doesn’t run. Now the soldiers come up and arrest Jesus. Will he let them take him away? He could call to his Father. God could send him thousands of angels. They could destroy those men in a couple of seconds. If you had been Jesus, would you have called for the angels?—
But Jesus lets the men take him. Why?— Because he is willing to die for us. There is an even more important reason. He tells the disciple Peter: ‘God’s Word must come true.’ You see, it was already written in the Bible that Jesus would give his life for mankind.
Jesus’ disciples now become afraid and run away. The soldiers take Jesus back to the city. Let’s follow them and see what happens.
They take Jesus before the chief priests. These priests hate Jesus because he has been showing people that the priests do not teach the Bible.
The priests hold a trial. They bring in men who tell lies about Jesus. They ask Jesus questions to try to prove he has done something wrong. But they cannot prove a thing against him. Then the priests say to Jesus: ‘Are you the Son of God?’ Jesus says: ‘I am.’ The priests get angry and say: ‘He’s guilty! He should be killed!’ All the others agree. So some of the men there start making fun of Jesus. They spit on him and hit him with their fists. Does Jesus begin to feel sorry that he has taught the truth from the Bible? How would you have felt?—
Well, Jesus isn’t sorry and he doesn’t even complain or hit back.
Now morning comes. Jesus has been up all night. The priests now have Jesus bound, and they lead him to Pilate, the governor.
They tell Pilate: ‘Jesus is against the government. He should be killed.’ But Pilate can see that the priests are telling lies. So Pilate tells them: ‘I find nothing wrong with this man. I will let him go.’ But the priests and others shout: ‘No! Kill him!’
Later, Pilate tries again to tell the people he is going to let Jesus go free. But the priests get the crowds to shout: ‘If you let him go you are against the government too! Kill him!’ It becomes very noisy. What will Pilate do?
He gives in. First he has Jesus whipped. Then he turns him over to soldiers to be put to death.
They give Jesus a big post or stake to carry. Finally they get to a spot called Skull Place outside the city. There they nail Jesus’ hands and feet to the stake. Then they stand it up so that Jesus is hanging on it. He is bleeding. The pain is very great.
Jesus does not die right away. He just hangs there on the stake. The chief priests make fun of him. They say: “If you are a son of God, come down off the torture stake!” But Jesus knows what his Father has sent him to do. He knows that he must give his perfect life so that we can have the chance to get everlasting life. Finally, about three o’clock that afternoon, Jesus cries out to his Father and dies.—Matthew 26:36–27:50; Luke 22:39–23:46; John 18:1–19:30.
How different Jesus was from Adam! Adam did not show love for God. He disobeyed God. Neither did Adam show love for us. Because he sinned, all of us have been born with sin in us. But Jesus showed love for God and for us. He obeyed God always. And he gave his life so that he could take away the harm that Adam did to us.
Do you appreciate what a wonderful thing Jesus did?— When you pray to God, do you thank him for what his Son did?— That will show you appreciate it. And if we really do what the Great Teacher says, we will show even more how much we appreciate that he gave his life for us.