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In 1997, Michael Costello, a parachute instructor was teaching a novice skydiver how to jump out of plane. They jumped at 12,000 feet. But when the student pulled his ripcord, his parachute did not open. Just before hitting the ground, the instructor rolled over so he would hit the ground first and the novice would land on top of him. The instructor died instantly. The novice fractured his spine but lived. This is but a poor illustration of what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross. He was our substitute. John McCarthy said, “On the cross, Jesus was guilty of nothing, but God treated Him as if He had committed personally every sin ever committed by every person who would ever believe in Him.” Why did God let His Son to take the punishment for my sins and yours? It is a mystery that none of us can fathom. God prepared us for the idea during the history of ancient Israel. God accepted animal sacrifices in place of sinful worshipers. He accepted this until He sent His Son to die in our place. Jesus told us that He came to bear our sin debt. We read His words in John 6, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; this bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live.” God forgives and grants eternal life to all who accept Jesus as their substitute.

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