Jesus willingly sacrificed himself for our sins

04/15/2014 7:30 PM

04/15/2014 7:30 PM

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Did Jesus know in advance that he was going to be put to death? If so, why didn’t he just back away or try to escape? — N.H.

DEAR N.H.:

Yes, Jesus did know in advance that he would be arrested and brought to trial before the Roman governor , and that this would lead to his execution.

In fact, long before his final journey to Jerusalem, Jesus repeatedly warned his disciples that he would be executed by the Roman authorities, but then would be raised to life by the power of God. His disciples, however, didn’t understand or believe what he was saying until afterward.

But Jesus had no doubt what the future held for him; the Bible says, “From that time on Jesus began to explain that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life” (Matthew 16:21).

Why didn’t he flee, or at least try to avoid this? The reason was because he knew God had sent him into the world for one reason: to become the final and complete sacrifice for our sins through his death on the cross. Sin is an offense to God, and it separates us from him and his blessings. The eventual outcome of sin is death and hell and judgment.

But God loves us, and he doesn’t want us to be poisoned by sin’s hold on us. That’s why he came down to earth in the person of his son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was without sin, but on the cross all our sins were placed on him, and he died in our place. Have you ever thanked Jesus for not dodging the agony and shame of the cross, but instead giving his life for you? By faith open your heart and life to him today.

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