Jesus Christ’s Perfect Love and Sacrifice

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Jesus Christ’s Perfect Love and Sacrifice

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The incredible truth is that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
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). Even more amazing is that God loved us when we were still sinners. We were still under the death penalty of sin when He called us to conversion (Romans 5:8 Romans 5:8But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
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).

Jesus has a deep, burning desire to help mankind share eternity with Him (Matthew 23:37 Matthew 23:37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!
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). The book of Hebrews says that we should be “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 Hebrews 12:2Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
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).

It was anything but joyous to go through scourging and crucifixion, an incredibly brutal form of execution. Isaiah 52:14 Isaiah 52:14As many were astonished at you; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
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prophesied that Christ’s appearance would be “disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness” (NIV).

Psalm 22 describes some of the thoughts and feelings of anguish and pain Jesus faced when enduring His betrayal and death. Yet He had the spiritual vision to look past His own suffering to the joy of spending eternity with others who would choose the road to eternal life (Hebrews 12:2 Hebrews 12:2Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
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).

He willingly accepted the curse, the death penalty meant for us, “having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’)” (Galatians 3:13 Galatians 3:13Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:
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). (To learn more about who Jesus actually was and what He went through for us, read or download our free study guide Jesus Christ: The Real Story.)

Christ’s sacrifice was so complete that no sin ever committed is too big or small for God to forgive (Psalms 103:3 Psalms 103:3Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases;
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). Paul called himself the chief of sinners, as he had persecuted Christians, yet God used him powerfully after his conversion (1 Timothy 1:15 1 Timothy 1:15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
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). Throughout the book of Psalms, King David praised God’s mercy. He saw God’s mercy as endless, filling the earth (Psalms 119:64 Psalms 119:64The earth, O LORD, is full of your mercy: teach me your statutes.
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).

Such examples inspire great hope. No matter what our background or past mistakes, when we genuinely repent and are baptized, God promises complete forgiveness.

We can try to hide from sin, ignore sin or pretend that there is no consequence of sin. We can try to run away from the natural penalty of sin. But no human efforts can forgive sin and completely remove the spiritual penalty associated with it. Only Christ’s sacrifice can permanently cleanse and forgive us.