Back in Bible times, the Roman rulers killed
their enemy by making them suffer first.

One way was to nail their hands and feet to
boards crossed over each other with one end
in the ground.  The nails were the only thing
holding them up.

Jesus was very, very good.  Therefore, bad
people hated him.  Did you ever do something
good in front of your friends and they got
mad at you for it?

So the bad people got permission from the
Roman government to hang Jesus on a cross
with nails.  That is called a crucifixion. It
usually took from one to a few days for the
person to finally die.

Jesus could have stopped them.  He had the
power to strike them dead before they could
hurt him.  But he loved his enemies and did
not want to hurt them.   

Jesus loved all of us so much, that is why he
let them crucify him.  It had to be done to
pay the punishment for our sins.  Oh, how
Jesus loved you and me.

His hands hurt.  His feet hurt.  They were
also bleeding.  Although he was a grown man,
he probably cried sometimes because of his
terrible pain.

Jesus' family ~ his mother and brothers ~
went to where he was suffering on the
cross.  They cried.  Soldiers kept them from
taking him down.

Jesus' apostles were there, even though
they were afraid of being crucified too.  
They were brave.  They had promised they'd
never desert Jesus again.

They were very sad too.  Jesus was their
best friend and leader, and they did not
want him to die.

Jesus tried to comfort them even while
suffering.  He even told his mother, Mary,
to go home with his apostle John so John
could take care of her.

Finally, after six very painful hours on the
cross, Jesus died.  You might ask why all
this was necessary.

God is Good and cannot be friends with
anyone who has ever done anything bad.  
Everyone has done something bad.

There are natural laws such as, when we
throw something up in the air, it has to come
down.  There are other natural laws too.  
Another natural law is that bad must be
punished so we can forget the bad and start
over again.  

God told his Son, Jesus, to take the world's
punishment for our sins, even though he
never sinned.

Once the punishment was over with, God said
he would like to be everyone's friend in the
whole world, even if we do bad sometimes.

All you have to do is believe God's Son,
Jesus, died for you, be willing to do the type
things he did in his life, and then you will be
God's forever friend.  And you will be able
to share God's home with him in heaven some