If Jesus willingly came into the world to die for our sins, then why did He try to avoid the cross and ask God to open up some other way? For that matter, why didn't God simply forgive us and not bother with the cross? — M.S.D.
You are probably thinking of Jesus' agony just before His arrest and trial. He knew what was about to happen, and He went to a secluded place (the Garden of Gethsemane) to pray. The Bible says He was in anguish—so much so that "his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground" (Luke 22:44). His prayer was simple: "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me" (Matthew 26:39).
You and I can barely understand the horror and suffering Jesus faced as He went to the cross. Not only would He endure terrible physical suffering (for crucifixion was an agonizing way to die), but ahead of Him was the terror of Hell itself. He was sinless and pure—but on the cross all our sins were placed on Him, and He endured the death and Hell we deserve. He who was holy and pure, and had never been separated from His Father, now would bear our sins and be separated from God. No wonder He asked God if there was any other way for our salvation to be won!
But there was no other way. God is holy and just—and because He is, sin must be punished. But God also loves us—and because He does, His Son willingly came into the world to take our punishment for us. The Bible says, "He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10).
Have you responded to His love for you? Open your heart to Christ, and then ask Him to help you tell others about His love.