A CHILD'S LIFE OF JESUS

The ANGEL
Before Judas helped get Jesus arrested at
the Mount of Olives, Jesus decided to pray
and ask for God's help.  He did not want to
die.  No one wants to die.

It would be especially hard for Jesus.  
Thousands of people had been nailed to
crosses.  But no one ever did it Jesus' way.

In order for Jesus to take the death
punishment for our sins, to be our
substitute, he had to take the blame for
every sin we ever committed onto himself.

That means Jesus had to take the blame for
every little and big lie everyone told onto
himself.  He had to take every little and big
theft anyone ever committed onto himself.  
He had to take every killing anyone ever did
onto himself.  He had to become a
substitute liar, a thief, a killer.

It would be like someone younger than you
doing something wrong, but s/he was too
little to take the punishment.  So you
become willing to take the punishment for
that person.

There had already been millions of people
live on earth, and there would be many more
millions live afterwards ~ people like you and
me.  Jesus had to take the sins of everyone
who ever lived in the present or future.

Jesus had been against wrong all his life.  
He had never sinned.  Now he had to
become the very thing he hated ~ sin.  He
had to pretend he was bad so he could take
our punishment for us.

Jesus cried and cried to God.  "Don't make
me do this!  I can't do it!  Find some other
way to save everyone in the world from their
sins!"

Even though Jesus prayed those things, he
knew his dying on the cross was the only way
to free us of the punishment for our sins.  
God sent an angel to Jesus to help give him
courage.

Courage is what you have when you do
something dangerous or too hard and expect
to fail.  You do it anyway.  Jesus was part
human.  He wasn't sure he could do it.

But the angel kept helping Jesus and telling
him he could do it.  Then Jesus got his
courage back.

Finally he heard some noise and saw the
light of torches in the distance.  He knew
he was about to be arrested.

When bad men arrived to chain Jesus, they
were so afraid of them that they fell
backwards to the ground.  They knew he
could strike them dead if he wanted to.  He
didn't.  He loved even his enemies.

***********
All Jesus wants us to do is believe he took
our punishment for us, and to do the kinds
of things he did in his life.  

We can say Jesus is no fun.  But it wasn't
fun for Jesus to be punished for us either.  
We can say Jesus wants us to keep a few
rules.  But Jesus had to die because we
don't want to keep his few rules.

We should always thank Jesus for what he
did for us.