To understand the full beauty of the cross, one must go back to the beginning...
(taken from the Westminster Shorter Catechism)
Q9:What is the work of creation?
A: The work of creation is, Gods making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.
Q10:How did God create man?
A: God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.
Q11:What are Gods works of providence?
A: Gods works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving, and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.
Q12:What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?
A: When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death.
Q13:Did our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created?
A: Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God.
Q14:What is sin?
A:Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.
Q15:What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?
A: The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit.
Q16:Did all mankind fall in Adams first transgression?
A: The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity; all mankind, descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him, in his first transgression.
Q17:Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A: The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.
Q18:Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A: The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adams first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called Original Sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.
Q19:What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A: All mankind by their fall lost communion with God1, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell for ever.
Q20:Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
A: God having, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.
Q21:Who is the Redeemer of Gods elect?
A:The only Redeemer of Gods elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever.
Romans 5:6-11 "6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."