The cross has become the central symbol of the Christian faith. It is truly amazing that such a symbol of torture devised by the Roman Empire to inflict cruel punishment on common criminals would become the most recognizable symbol of love and grace in the world. However, for God’s plan of redemption to be complete, it was not only necessary for Jesus to live and walk among us, but also that he die for the sins of the world. He had to become the perfect, sinless sacrifice which could atone for sins, once and for all.
To understand why his death on a cross was so important we must go all the way back to the dawn of creation when sin first entered the world. When Adam sinned, we immediately see three effects which rippled out from that first sin: fear, guilt, and shame. It is after the first sin that we discover that Adam was afraid, and filled with guilt and shame. He tried to hide from the presence of God because he felt shame and fear. It was, therefore, essential that the death of Jesus overturn every aspect of sin, including fear, guilt, and shame.