Christianity offers eternal life, but it makes it clear that the only way to eternal life is through death. Scripture explains this paradox: as sinners we deserve the penalty of death, but if we died for our sins it would be the end of us. For this reason, God sent his Son, Jesus, Who came to take our place. Jesus died “on our behalf.” It is the Old Testament sacrificial system which foreshadows and explains how Jesus’ death was an acceptable exchange for our death. Out of love for his chosen people, God created a system of sacrificial exchange—the sins of God’s people were “painted” onto a sacrificial lamb that would be sent out into the wilderness to die in exchange for the death of God’s people. The sacrificial lamb would be a “scapegoat” for the sins of the people. Through this system of forgiveness, the death of the lamb became a substitute for the death of God’s people. When Jesus died he died in “exchange” for our death. Jesus’ death, as God’s Son, was the only death large enough to be a substitute death for all people of all times. St. Paul proclaims, “the message of Jesus’ death on the cross,” and “preached only Christ crucified.” Scripture scholars identify the Greek work “hyper” (“on our behalf,” “in our place,” “for our punishment”) as the most important phrase in Scripture and the doctrines of the Church.