My five-year-old (that angel face in the previous post) has been thinking about death a lot lately, probably due in large part to losing his granddad last month. He has expressed the wish that he could go to heaven without having to die (we have told him that if Jesus comes back in his lifetime he might just get to). He has reacted to people or situations that make him angry or upset by saying, "I want to die!" or "You want me to die!" He has been asking a lot of questions about other people he loves, wondering particularly how his grandmas are doing and if they're getting better. I think he fears losing someone else.
Last night he was feeling lonely and having trouble sleeping, so I lay down with him in his bed for a while. We chatted about everyday things and finally he was quiet. Then out of nowhere he asked,
"Jesus came to earth so that He could DIE?"
Isn't it amazing how children can sometimes just get at the essence of a thing? I replied,
"Yes, honey, He did. He came to die for us, to pay the punishment for our sins."
A moment of silence, and then,
I agreed that it was very sad. But thanks be to God I was able to immediately follow that sadness up with joy, pointing Evan to the happiest day, the Feast of the Resurrection this Sunday, when we go to the tomb and find that it is empty!
But first we must walk with our Lord the Way of the Cross, watching as He prays in the garden and is handed over to suffer and die for sinners such as we. As we walk that lonely road this week, again coming face to face with the horror of our sin, may we keep our eyes fixed on the Christ, remembering that yes, He came to earth to die, but that the story doesn't end there. I'm going to stick around for the final chapter, and I pray you do, too.