Picture yourself as a godly judge in a court system, and you were forced to sentence your child who you dearly love to a lifetime in prison  for the crimes which they committed. You love this child dearly, and you tried over and over to warn them about the consequences they would face if they continued breaking the law. For awhile they got away with their doings, but eventually your child was caught and sent to trial in your court. Because you are a righteous judge you had no choice but to give your guilty child the punishment stated by the law. This hurt you deeply, so you pleaded your child’s case with the higher court and you were given an alternative under one condition. You were allowed to take the prison sentence on your child’s behalf, but your child had to turn from their life of crime and abide by the laws of the land. Otherwise, your sacrifice would be in vain. At that point, you would have done everything that you could to help your child and it was up to them to choose where they would end up. 

In this story the judge represents Jesus Christ, the child represents each person God created, the law represents God’s law (The Bible) and the prison sentence the judge took represents the death that Jesus died for us on the cross. Jesus Christ has given us His body as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins, and anyone who accepts Him as Lord and Savior of their life and abides by His Word (the Bible) escapes the sentence in hell that God’s law condemns us to for our sin. 

Think carefully about this story and what it represents. Your child has a free will. Even though you love them, if he or she ended up in prison, whose fault would it be? That is similar to how it is with Jesus and mankind. Jesus gave everything to grant us the opportunity to be saved, but it is up to us to choose. Jesus loves everyone, and He wants all people to choose Him. 

John 3:16 KJV – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.