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He's Alive - an Easter Bible Study

Why did Jesus HAVE to die on the cross?

Our Easter Bible study, "He's Alive" explains why the death of Jesus was necessary for human redemption.

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Why did Jesus HAVE to die on the cross?

Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The word "resurrection" means: the act of rising from the dead. On Easter Sunday, the tomb of Jesus was found empty and the angel announced to the ladies looking for Jesus, "He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay." Matthew 28:6 (NIV)

The empty tomb means so much to us as believers in Jesus Christ. The empty tomb means that Jesus is ALIVE! The empty tomb shows us that Jesus overcame death and sin. The empty tomb shows us a promise fulfilled.

In the Old Testament, we are shown "pictures" of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament is the promise of a coming Saviour and the New Testament tells us how God kept His promise.

In understanding WHY Jesus had to die on the cross, it is important to understand Old Testament history and the big PROMISE.

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The Big Promise

As early as Genesis, God was working on a big plan for mankind. In chapter 3 of Genesis, you can see the first time that God promises to send a Saviour for the whole world!

Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

When Adam and Eve are tempted by Satan they make a bad decision to disobey God, God promises that Satan would be crushed by a child born to the woman. This promise comes true when many, many years later Jesus is born of a woman. When Jesus dies on the cross for our sins, Satan is CRUSHED! Genesis 3:15 is the first promise of the coming Saviour!

In the Old Testament, there are many "pictures" of Jesus. The Passover Lamb had to be PERFECT! The lamb was killed and its blood was put on the doors of the families of Israel. The blood served as a sign that the people inside were to be protected. The Passover Feast shows us a picture of how God plans to send the Lamb of God which is Jesus!

There are other ways that Jesus and the Passover Lamb are similar. The Passover Lamb and Jesus both are perfect and both were innocently led to their slaughter. The blood of the lamb served as a sign which protected the families of Israel and the blood of Jesus has the power to save people too if they will believe in Him and accept Him as their Lord and Saviour!

The Tabernacle shows us a picture of Jesus too! Did you know that the furniture in the Tabernacle show us Jesus? The lampstands show us that Jesus is the light of the world. The laver which is a bowl for washing shows us that Jesus washes our sins clean if we ask for His forgiveness. The Bronze Altar shows us a picture of how Jesus took our sins when He died on the cross. Aaron, The High Priest shows us a picture of Jesus who is our High Priest.

The first 5 books of the Bible tell us about God's plan for us. In Genesis we learned that people sinned and were separated from God as a result. In Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy we see God working with His people to bring them back to Him. We see Moses as a picture of Jesus Christ. As Moses leads the people out of slavery in Egypt, so Jesus Christ leads His people out of their sins. Jesus died for our sins so that we can be members of God's family.

In the book of Joshua we see the leader Joshua bringing God's people into the Promised Land. To keep the land, the people had to obey God. In the New Testament we see another leader who came to take God's people into the Promised Land - eternal life in heaven. This is Jesus of course.

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Jesus The Lamb

Because of sin, we are separated from God. God is perfect and to enter heaven, one must also be perfect. The Bible tells us that there is no forgiveness of sin without a blood sacrifice. From the very beginning in the garden, God gave Adam and Eve animal skins to clothe themselves which introduced the blood sacrifice.

Before Jesus came and died on the cross, the sacrificial offerings were temporary. God told His people through His word that one day a Messiah would come and provide the ultimate sacrifice for sin. Jesus was the Messiah and He took the sins of the world as His own when He willingly died on the cross for us. Jesus lived a perfect life and was the perfect sacrifice for mankind.

The Old Testament system of sacrifice set the stage for the sacrifice of Jesus. God designed a plan to bring man back into harmony with Him. Jesus was obedient to God's master plan and fulfilled God's promise to His people.

If we accept the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, our relationship with God is restored and we are assured of an eternal future with Him in heaven.

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Homeschooled Kids Newsletter - March 2008

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