On Sunday morning while we were driving to church, I gave my son the option to attend church with us or to go to Sunday school. Normally he attends Sunday school while my husband and I attend church, and I figured that he would jump at the opportunity to attend Sunday school. He loves going to Sunday school and asks us about going at random times during the week. But since it was Easter, and I knew that we would have other family members attending church with us, my husband and I gave him the option of attending church with us. To our surprise, Noah decided that he wanted to attend church with us. I asked him why he wanted to attend church with us, and his reply was, “I don’t like how Jesus was on the cross.”
As a person with a degree in Theology, that comment surprised me a bit. I had to ask a few more questions as to why he didn’t like Jesus hanging on the cross. Noah’s reply was that meant that he was dying, and that made him sad. My husband started to explain to him why Jesus had to die and what happened at Easter Sunday, but Noah just couldn’t seem to move past the point of Jesus’ death. My husband looked at me and said, “well, this is your area, don’t you have a better answer.” I sat there for a moment and I thought to myself, I’m not sure that I do. I tried to explain to Noah that on Easter morning, two ladies went to where Jesus had been buried to get his body ready for the funeral, (as I wasn’t sure how to explain to him why they had to put spices and perfumes on the body!) and when they showed up Jesus was gone because he was brought back to life, and how by his coming back from the dead, he defeated death and the grave, but he still wasn’t tracking with me.
Over the past couple of days, it got me thinking about the events that lead up to Jesus’ death and His resurrection. And I wonder how many of us out there are comfortable with the idea of Jesus dying on the cross. It seems pretty grim to me. I know how shameful or upset I am when I used to get into trouble as a child. I would sometimes get spanked, but most of the time would get a lecture and have to spend time with my face in the corner. And the embarrassment that came when that would happen in front of siblings, family members, or even my friends. And the idea of someone else getting into trouble for my mistakes, makes me feel more uneasy. Jesus, had to hang on that cross, for the sins and the wrongs that I have made and will continue to make during my time here on this earth. And knowing that, does make me feel uneasy, uncomfortable, and ashamed at times.
Maybe that is what my son was feeling when he said he didn’t like the idea of Jesus on the cross. Jesus didn’t end up on the cross for anything that he had done. Jesus ended up on the cross for the things that others had done wrong. For the sin of Adam and Even in the garden, for all the sins that happened until Jesus hung on the cross, and for all of the sins of those that would live after His death, including yours and mine. And the thought of Jesus hanging on that cross for the things that I have done wrong, makes me feel uneasy, uncomfortable. But at the same time, brings me a sense of peace and joy, knowing that the ultimate price for the mistakes that I will make throughout my entire lifetime, are covered by a single moment in time. A single payment has paid all of the sins that I, and the rest of humanity will ever make. And to me, that’s pretty amazing!
What an amazing gift we have been given through Jesus hanging on a cross. So while I may at times feel uneasy for uncomfortable for the sacrifice that Jesus made, at the same time I am so thankful and joy at the new life and new beginnings that I have been given, by that sacrifice!