Trading Places
Feeling Better?
Praying Hard
REAL Power
Born Twice
God Speaks
I Didn't Do It!
The First Easter
Jesus Loves You
What's a Berean?


I Didn't Do It!

Have you ever been caught for doing something that you didn't do?  It seems really unfair.  But then there are other times we do things that we never get caught for.  I guess that's unfair, too, but we don't usually complain about it!  Some people think it was unfair that people killed Jesus when He didn't do anything wrong.  But you'll find out in this story that God had a plan in what He was doing...and it's good news for YOU!!!




Here's what the kids want you to know:

"Jesus loves you.  He died for you."  

"These guys put Jesus on a big cross.  He died and He came alive again and He went to heaven."

"One day one of Jesus friends turned his back on Jesus and turned him over to be crucified on a cross.  He had nails put through his hands & feet.  When he died, darkness was over the earth for 3 hours.  Jesus was buried in a tomb, but on the 3rd day after his death he rose up from the grave."

"Jesus died on the cross to save & forgive us from our sins.  Some people didn't like Jesus though because he said he was the Son of God.  But Jesus had a way to prove it.  He rose from the grave and went into heaven with God."  

"The Roman guards killed him by nailing him to the cross and whipping and beating him."  

"Why did Jesus die on the cross? God gave up his only Son Jesus because he loves everyone.  So Jesus died for everyone because we all made mistakes.  So we can go to heaven cause he died for us."  

"Jesus died on the cross so that we could live forever." 


Here's what the Bible says:

After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had gone there many times with his disciples. The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a battalion of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove. 

Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him. Stepping forward to meet them, he asked, "Whom are you looking for?" 

"Jesus of Nazareth," they replied.

"I am he," Jesus said. Judas was standing there with them when Jesus identified himself. And as he said, "I am he," they all fell backward to the ground! 

Once more he asked them, "Whom are you searching for?"

And again they replied, "Jesus of Nazareth." 

"I told you that I am he," Jesus said. "And since I am the one you want, let these others go." He did this to fulfill his own statement: "I have not lost a single one of those you gave me." 

Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest's servant. But Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup the Father has given me?" So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up.

First they took him to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 

Inside, the high priest began asking Jesus about his followers and what he had been teaching them. Jesus replied, "What I teach is widely known, because I have preached regularly in the synagogues and the Temple. I have been heard by people everywhere, and I teach nothing in private that I have not said in public. Why are you asking me this question? Ask those who heard me. They know what I said." 

One of the Temple guards standing there struck Jesus on the face. "Is that the way to answer the high priest?" he demanded. 

Jesus replied, "If I said anything wrong, you must give evidence for it. Should you hit a man for telling the truth?" 

Then Annas bound Jesus and sent him to Caiaphas, the high priest. 

Jesus' trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor. His accusers didn't go in themselves because it would defile them, and they wouldn't be allowed to celebrate the Passover feast. So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, "What is your charge against this man?" 

"We wouldn't have handed him over to you if he weren't a criminal!" they retorted. 

"Then take him away and judge him by your own laws," Pilate told them.

"Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone," the Jewish leaders replied. This fulfilled Jesus' prediction about the way he would die. 

Then Pilate went back inside and called for Jesus to be brought to him. "Are you the King of the Jews?" he asked him. 

Jesus replied, "Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?" 

"Am I a Jew?" Pilate asked. "Your own people and their leading priests brought you here. Why? What have you done?" 

Then Jesus answered, "I am not an earthly king. If I were, my followers would have fought when I was arrested by the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world." 

Pilate replied, "You are a king then?"

"You say that I am a king, and you are right," Jesus said. "I was born for that purpose. And I came to bring truth to the world. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true." 

"What is truth?" Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, "He is not guilty of any crime. But you have a custom of asking me to release someone from prison each year at Passover. So if you want me to, I'll release the King of the Jews." 

But they shouted back, "No! Not this man, but Barabbas!" (Barabbas was a criminal.)

Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers made a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on his head, and they put a royal purple robe on him. "Hail! King of the Jews!" they mocked, and they hit him with their fists. 

Pilate went outside again and said to the people, "I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty." Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, "Here is the man!" 

When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, "Crucify! Crucify!"

"You crucify him," Pilate said. "I find him not guilty." The Jewish leaders replied, "By our laws he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God." 

When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, "Where are you from?" But Jesus gave no answer. "You won't talk to me?" Pilate demanded. "Don't you realize that I have the power to release you or to crucify you?" 

Then Jesus said, "You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who brought me to you has the greater sin." 

Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders told him, "If you release this man, you are not a friend of Caesar. Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar." 

When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). It was now about noon of the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, "Here is your king!" 

"Away with him," they yelled. "Away with him crucify him!"

"What? Crucify your king?" Pilate asked.

"We have no king but Caesar," the leading priests shouted back. Then Pilate gave Jesus to them to be crucified. 

So they took Jesus and led him away. Carrying the cross by himself, Jesus went to the place called Skull Hill (in Hebrew, Golgotha). There they crucified him. There were two others crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.

And Pilate posted a sign over him that read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it. Then the leading priests said to Pilate, "Change it from 'The King of the Jews' to 'He said, I am King of the Jews.'" 

Pilate replied, "What I have written, I have written. It stays exactly as it is." When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said, "Let's not tear it but throw dice to see who gets it." This fulfilled the Scripture that says, "They divided my clothes among themselves and threw dice for my robe." So that is what they did. 

Standing near the cross were Jesus' mother, and his mother's sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, "Woman, he is your son." 

And he said to this disciple, "She is your mother." And from then on this disciple took her into his home. 

Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, "I am thirsty." A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

The Jewish leaders didn't want the victims hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath at that, because it was the Passover), so they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was dead already, so they didn't break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out. This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account; it is presented so that you also can believe. These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, "Not one of his bones will be broken," and "They will look on him whom they pierced."

Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take Jesus' body down. When Pilate gave him permission, he came and took the body away. Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night, also came, bringing about seventy-five pounds of embalming ointment made from myrrh and aloes. Together they wrapped Jesus' body in a long linen cloth with the spices, as is the Jewish custom of burial. The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. And so, because it was the day of preparation before the Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. (John 18 & 19, NLT)


A few thoughts from me:

It seems unfair that such a good man would have to die such a terrible death.  Even Pilate, who wasn't a follower of Jesus, said Jesus hadn't done anything wrong.

But what Pilate didn't know was that Jesus wasn't dying for his own sins, but for all of ours.  You see, all through the Bible up until the time of Jesus, God said that people must make sacrifices for their sins.  

People would have to kill a lamb or a goat or some other animal as a sacrifice when they had done something wrong.  The sins of people in the world had finally gotten so great, that God said there was no way people could sacrifice enough to make up for it.  So He made the sacrifice for them.  He sacrificed the thing most precious to Him, His only Son, Jesus.

Since then, there have been no more sacrifices.  Jesus paid it all.  And anyone who wants to be forgiven of their sins has to simply put their faith in Jesus, believing that He died for their sins, and ask God for forgiveness.  Then God will forgive them because the sacrifice has already been made.

Even though it seemed unfair that Jesus had to die, God chose this way to make a way for you and me to be forgiven of our sins.  I'm sorry Jesus had to die in my place, but I'm thankful to God for it so I could be forgiven.  That makes me want to do what's right from now on.

If you find yourself doing something wrong, remember to ask God to forgive you and turn away from the wrong thing your doing.  And God, who is fair, will forgive you because the penalty has already been paid, by His Son.

P.S. If you ever wonder if God loves you, remember the words of Jesus.  He said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13, NIV).

Jesus laid down his life for his friends, and that includes YOU.  He loves you very much.  I'm glad God didn't just send me an email to tell me he loved me, or send me a fax, or leave a message on my answering machine.  I'm glad he sent His Son to SHOW me that He loves me.

God does indeed love you very much!  

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