“So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood” (Hebrews 13:12, NLT).

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In our post-modern, politically correct world, explaining why Jesus had to not only die but endure torture as well can be difficult. The fact that God the Father sent him to the cross and watched it happen without coming to his rescue makes it even worse. Some go so far as to call it child sacrifice or child abuse and then turn away from him in disgust. Even Christians sometimes wonder if there wasn’t another way. If they don’t wonder, they live with cognitive dissonance—believing God is good and loving but because his anger and justice must be satisfied, Jesus had to be killed.

Jesus’ death was the plan of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit from the beginning and it wasn’t child sacrifice or abuse. Jesus figuratively jumped on the grenade to save his fellow soldiers from being blown up. As God in the flesh, he was the only one who could absorb the impact of sin and death without being destroyed himself. Just as we praise a Marine who sacrifices him or herself for the sake of others, so Jesus is our hero for showing bravery, courage and loyalty by giving his life to save ours in the ultimate act of love.

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