Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Miss Doreen Roth
We have celebrated Easter. Easter--what did that make you think of? If you went to the stores you would have seen pictures of an Easter bunny and chocolate rabbits and eggs for sale. Everything was decorated in yellow, purple, green, and pink. The bright colours make you think of spring. But that is not what Easter is about. Not at all! Instead, we remember that the Lord Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. On Good Friday we go to church to hear how the Lord Jesus had to die for sinners. Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? Why couldnÕt He do His work on earth, preaching and doing miracles, and then go back to heaven? Listen, and I will tell you.
Many years ago, when God had just created the world, Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating fruit from a tree that they werenÕt allowed to eat from. Since that day, all people disobey God, even little children. In our other stories we have studied the first nine commandments. There we saw how God commands us to love Him more than anything else, and to love and take care of each other as we do ourselves. But no one can do this perfectly. Instead, we sin. In the Bible we read what God says about sin: ÒThe wages of sin is deathÓ (Romans 6:23). What are wages? Well, when you grow older and have a job, you will work for a boss, and earn your wages. He will pay you money for working. God says that because we have sinned and our wages is death. That is the payment we receive for sin. Our sin must be punished with death forever in hell.

Will everyone then be sent to hell? No, for God is also full of love for sinners. He does not desire for anyone to be punished. Read what Peter says about God in his Second Letter: ÒThe Lord is É not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentanceÓ (2 Peter 3:9). Since God had said that the payment for sin is death, Jesus said that He would pay for the sins of His people. He would die for them, so they would never have to be punished. And so God sent His Son, Jesus, to leave heaven and come live for a while on our small planet called earth. Here, the Lord Jesus told people about God and Himself. All the while He lived a perfect life, not doing one sin. He traveled through Israel, preaching, and doing many miracles so people would believe in Him. And then it was time for the Lord Jesus to be punished. He would have to die on the cross to pay for His peopleÕs sins.

The punishment He had to bear was very hard; it was the greatest punishment in the world. Would anyone help the Lord Jesus? He had some disciples that loved Him. He had a family that He grew up with. There was a judge who had to decide if He was guilty or not. He had a Father in heaven who loved Him. But no, no one helps Him. See what happens.

It is night and Jesus is going to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He knows the soldiers are coming to get Him, and He tells His disciples to watch and pray while He goes farther into the garden to pray. But when He comes back to His disciples, they have fallen asleep! They did not stay awake and pray as He told them. Jesus must suffer alone.

While Jesus is going to the Garden of Gethsemane, one of His own disciples, Judas, goes to the Pharisees to tell them where they can catch Jesus. Judas used to go everywhere with Jesus, and was counted as one of JesusÕ followers, but now Judas betrays Him. Even JesusÕ friend turns against Him. Jesus must suffer alone.

The Pharisees and soldiers meet Jesus in the garden and lead Him away to be judged. Where are His disciples that said they would never leave Him? Look! They are running away! They do not want to be caught by the soldiers too. Jesus must suffer alone.

The Pharisees and chief priests take Jesus to Pilate, the judge. They tell Pilate that Jesus is a bad man and should be put to death. Pilate does not believe the Pharisees, but he is afraid of them, so he listens to them and sends soldiers to take Jesus to be crucified. DoesnÕt Pilate know it is wrong to kill a person who has done nothing wrong? Yes, he does, but he still sends Jesus to die. The judge does not help Him. Jesus must suffer alone.

The soldiers nail the Lord JesusÕ hands and feet to the cross. There He hangs between earth and heaven. The people on earth donÕt want Him and neither does His Father in heaven receive Him. What? DoesnÕt God, His Father, show love for Jesus? No. Because God is angry at sin, He puts all the punishment of sin on Jesus. The sun becomes dark and everything is black as night. God the Father has left the Lord Jesus. Hear Jesus cry, ÒMy God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?Ó Jesus must suffer alone.

We heard all this on Good Friday. But we also celebrated Easter! On Easter Sunday we go to church and hear that Jesus arose from the dead! He had finished His work on earth and went back to heaven. Today He is sitting on a throne in heaven on the right side of God, His Father. Now He will never be forsaken again. And because the Lord Jesus had to suffer all alone to pay for His peopleÕs sins, GodÕs children will never be left alone. God will always take care of them.

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