What follows his journey is too grievous for his followers to see. The torture and pain is beyond human comprehension but that’s not what makes Good Friday so extraordinary. Lots of men died on crosses during his day. What makes Jesus’ death so unbelievable is that he chose to do it. He chose it. Mind you, at any given moment during those three hours he hung on the cross, he could have demanded that angels swoop down from heaven and yank the nails out. But he didn’t. He could have pleaded with his Father to stop the agony but he didn’t do that either. What He did was stay- because He knew something that we struggle to understand. We, the ones who hadn’t been yet born needed something. We needed redemption from ourselves. Have we understood that yet?
I don’t think so. And I’m sure we haven’t fully understood what happened three days later even though this is a bit easier to grasp. It is much more unbelievable and yet easier to comprehend. I’m talking about the empty tomb. THE moment that changed the history of mankind. The morning when a small woman named Mary found the tomb where he was buried, empty. That second changed the course of our lives. If we choose to believe that we are the reason for the miracle.
Here’s where children come in. They get it. Their open, tender and simple hearts understand the notion of love received because they, unlike us, are ever conscious of the need. What a wonderful position to be in, wholly vulnerable and wholly incapable of doing so little for oneself.
This Easter, watch your children and open your eyes. Tell them what the trumpeted lilies mean. Open those plastic eggs and leave a few empty of jelly beans so that you can remind them what emptiness is all about. It is the tomb. God’s spirit emptied for us that we, my friends, might have a life like no other on earth.
There are many gods that people worship but on Easter, only we who believe in the deity and resurrection of God himself get to boast about a God who doesn’t take but only gives. Have your children help you believe this year.