When we want to tell someone about our children, sometimes, we show them a picture. We hold up the picture so that they can see. Then we point and say, ‘This is my boy. And this one is my girl.’ When we say this, we do not mean that our child is an image on a piece of paper. We mean this is a picture of my daughter. That is a picture of my son. My children look like this.
Jesus* gave his disciples* bread and said, ‘This is my body.’ He gave them wine to drink and said, ‘This is the blood that brings a new promise.’ Just as we use a picture to show people our children, Jesus used the bread and the cup. They were pictures of what Jesus was about to do for them. They were pictures of his death for us.
A few hours after they ate this meal, Jesus was with his disciples. Roman* soldiers came to where they were and took Jesus away. The soldiers took Jesus to the leaders of the Jews.* These leaders told lies about what Jesus had done. Those men would say that Jesus had broken the laws* of the Jews. They said that Jesus had said bad things about God. So, they asked the Roman leaders to punish him. And they did.
They beat Jesus with a whip made from the skin of an animal. This hurt Jesus very badly. It cut his body and made him bleed. They hit him with their hands and with sticks. They spit on Jesus and hit him on the head again and again. They said bad things to him. They made a crown for his head made from sharp thorns. Then they pressed it hard on his head. The thorns went into his skin. They took his clothes away from him. Then they made him carry a heavy cross.
They made him walk to a hill outside of Jerusalem.* Then they nailed his body to the cross.* They pushed large nails into his hands and his feet. Then they stood the cross up straight and Jesus hung there in front of them. People laughed at him as he suffered. He hung there for many hours. And when he had cried out in a loud voice, he died. The Roman soldiers put a sharp spear into his side and water mixed with blood poured out.
The disciples did not stay with him when he was on the cross. They did not understand what was happening. The disciples did not know how the Messiah* could go through a terrible death and be put to shame. They had watched Jesus die and all of their hope* had died too.
But after God raised Jesus from the dead, they began to understand. And later the Holy Spirit* would help them remember the things he had said to them. Jesus had said that he had the power over his life. No one could take his life from him. He could lay his life down and he could take it up again. And he said that he was like a shepherd.* And he was going to give his life for his sheep. Jesus went to the cross to take the punishment for our sins. He gave himself as a sacrifice* to end all of God’s anger against us.
When we eat the bread and drink from the cup, we are to remember this. We must always thank God for forgiving* us and giving us life. This came to us as a free gift. But the cost of this gift was very high. To give us this gift, Jesus had to suffer and die. He took our punishment. He gave us the gift we could not earn.
In the Old Testament,* when a person sinned,* they could bring an animal to the priests. The priests would kill the lamb* to make a sacrifice. The animal had to die so that the one who sinned could go free and be forgiven.* But then people would do more bad things. And more animals would need to be killed. But when Jesus became a sacrifice for us, no more animals would ever need to be killed. Jesus made a perfect sacrifice. God the Father looked on that sacrifice and was pleased – once and for all.
 Matthew 27:27-50; John 19:34
 Matthew 20:19; Matthew 26:2; John 10:11-18
 Romans 3:5; Romans 5:9; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10
 Romans 6:23; Romans 8:32; Ephesians 2:8-9
 Isaiah 53:11; Hebrews 9:26-28