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Why did Jesus die on the cross? A Good Friday meditation.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world might be saved through Him" (John 3:16-17)

Jesus wanted to appease the Father's anger, to repair the damage done by the first pure, sinless people, Adam and Eve. Jesus was the second Adam, and He had to do the Father's will totally and completely in order to cancel the Original Sin.

Jesus wanted the Father to forgive all the sins of mankind, so He took all our sins upon Him and allowed Himself to be sacrificed for us; thus enabling us to enter His Kingdom through His Divine Mercy, in spite of our imperfections.

"Herein is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as expiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10).

The necessity of Jesus' death on the Cross shows us that we must be filled with humility, that we cannot atone for our sins by ourselves.

Jesus opened the gates of Heaven, and brought all souls waiting (in Limbo) with Him into His Kingdom.

He instituted the Sacrifice of the Mass, which contains the Sacrament of The Eucharist so that thereafter we could continue to receive the benefits of His Supreme Sacrifice to the end of time. We can receive Communion daily, receiving Jesus' Body and Blood to heal us, body and soul, wash away all our venial sins and strengthen us with His Grace.

By willingly dying on the Cross, Jesus showed His tremendous love for us. Jesus laid down His life for us, whom He considered His friends. How much we must love Him in return.

"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:12, 13).

If we love Jesus in return and are thankful for His death on the Cross for us, how hard we must strive to follow Jesus' doctrine, to be faithful to His Holy Catholic Church, to receive the Sacraments as often as possible, and to be faithful to His representative, Pope John Paul II. We must pray constantly, to keep in communication with our Triune God.

"And we have this confidence in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked Him for is ours" (1 John 5:14-15).

He showed us how we should behave: to lay down our lives for a friend. We must love our neighbours as ourselves.

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another" (1 John 4:11).

It was on the Cross that He publicly gave us His Mother, Mary, to be our Mother.

". . . He said to His Mother, `Woman, behold, your son.' Then He said to the disciple, `Behold, your mother.' " (John 19:26-27).

It was on the Cross that He showed us how we must forgive.

"Then Jesus said, `Father forgive them, they know not what they do' " (Luke 23:34).

It was on the Cross that He showed us how we must die.

"Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit" (Luke 23:46).

Jesus, by dying on the Cross, overcame the devil, showing us that the materialism of the world is unimportant, turning pain and suffering into something valuable, and thwarting death by rising.

Meditating on Jesus' Passion and the `Way of the Cross' helps us to bear our own sufferings and pain with courage and perseverance. Jesus' act of dying on the Cross shows us how to treat suffering, pain and sorrow. We place it all into the Father's hands to be joined with the Passion of Jesus for the redemption of all mankind.

Jesus shows us His tremendous love for the Father, in His total humility and obedience to the Father. We are challenged to become holy by following Jesus' example, to seek His will in our daily lives, to accept it, and to be obedient.

Jesus' Sacrifice on the Cross shows us how serious sin really is; how terrible our sins wound our Father. The justice of the Father demands atonement for sin and that we must be totally pure to enter into His presence.

We are indebted to Jesus for His Sacrifice. The cost of sin is dear. We must take advantage of the sacrament of reconciliation regularly, to do all we can to constantly purify our souls and strengthen our souls with this gift of Grace.

Lorraine Vincent is a retired school teacher in Regina, SK.
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Author:Vincent, Lorraine
Publication:Catholic Insight
Date:Apr 1, 1998
Previous Article:True God and true man: (a brief reply to Mr. Bill Phipps).
Next Article:Signs of faith: the Passion.

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