on the way to church for wednesday night fun my five year old, roman, asked my if i knew why it is called “good friday.” now i am used to startling insightful questions and statements from my kids, but this struck me in a genuine and unexpected way. after answering in the dadliest way i could, my son responded dryly, “yes, it is a good friday because Jesus died for us.”
roman was not asking because he did not know, roman asked because he wanted to make sure that i knew.
it is an amazing thing, the faith of a child. there is no mystery. there is no second guessing. no years of life to embitter him against the reality of who our Savior is. no experience too vast for him to lose the simple message. there is life. there is Christ. and there is God. it all works. and on this day, when we celebrate his death on the cross, it is truly good.
Christ’s own words echo this. he follows up the parable about the pharisee and tax collector with these words (as he received young children and babies to bless):
“but Jesus called for them, saying, ‘permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.'” – Luke 18:16-17 (nasb)
now i am going to sit back and let that sink in for my self before i continue.
my five year old son grasped the concept so simply and so elegantly that it makes me shudder to think just how much i have allowed myself to wander. the divine creator of our universe gave himself to become the God-man, Jesus Christ, to live life with us, and to ultimately sacrifice himself for us. this is the defining point in human history. this is the story of our faith. this week, from palm to easter, is the culmination of the redemptive promise of our savior. as phil gons reminded me this week, this is the fulfillment of the promise God made when disciplining adam and eve after the fall:
“the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life; and I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.'” – Genesis 3:14-15 (NASB)
it is simple. more simple than we allow ourselves to believe.