When Jesus lived on this earth, He was perfect in every way. Because He never sinned, He could take the punishmentódeathóthat we deserve. Thatís how much God loves you and me.

   Godís plan called for Jesus not only to live on this earth, but also to die here. The prophet Isaiah foretold Jesusí terrible death on the cross many years before it happened. ďBut because of our sins he [Jesus] was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he sufferedĒ (Isaiah 53:5, TEV).
   Jesus willingly died on a cross in our place. His back was torn from a brutal beating. His hands and feet were nailed to a cross. He was forced to wear a crown made of thorns. He was buried in a borrowed grave. This is what sin did to our Savior, Jesusóand what it should have done to us. Arenít you thankful that He took the punishment that we deserve?
   Itís hard to imagine how horrible Jesusí death was. But the story doesnít end there. Just a few days later God brought Jesus back to life. Today the Easter holiday celebrates this joyful event.
   Because Jesus died for you and me, we can find forgiveness rather than death whenever we mess up. Thatís why we donít have to worry about our sinsóbecause Jesus pardons those who have asked to be forgiven. Through Jesus we not only have forgiveness but we can live free from a burden of sin. We can live with peace and security in our relationship with Jesus.
   If you read the newspaper or watch television news you know about war. A recent newspaper article shared Brianís story. Brianís story helps us to understand Jesusí sacrifice and love for each of us.