These are busy days at Children Desiring God as we gear-up and prepare for our national conference, now less than a month away! Please pray for us and our speakers and attendees, that the Lord would be pleased to pour out His favor that we might be challenged, encouraged, refreshed, and more equipped to spread His name and fame to the next generations—all for His glory!
This is also a special week in the life of the church as we remember and celebrate the foundation of all our hope—the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ! Therefore, this week we will be reposting a series of three articles I wrote three years ago. I hope and pray that these timeless truths will once again help us and our children to be awestruck at the depth and mercy of God.
The Cross is Not Flyover
This is Holy Week and, as a Sunday school teacher, I have always found it somewhat frustrating that in our teaching cycle Good Friday is situated between two joyous celebrations. If we are not careful and intentional, Jesus’ death on the cross can become a “flyover” between Palm Sunday and Easter.
Think about it for a moment. Both Palm Sunday and Easter lend themselves to all sorts of wonderful and exciting possibilities for the children—colorful crafts and activities, boisterous songs, and happy Bible stories. But what about the cross? It doesn’t lend itself to these naturally appealing activities, does it? The story of Jesus’ death on the cross is filled with pain, sorrow, betrayal, abandonment, and darkness. It is the story of a holy and righteous Father pouring out His just wrath at sin on His one beloved sinless Son. But without the cross there would be no reason to celebrate Palm Sunday or Easter.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
(1 Peter 2:24 ESV)
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, (Ephesians 1:7 ESV)
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:9 ESV)
That is why our children need the “sad” story of Jesus’ death on the cross—the pain, the nails, and even the wrath and the blood—if they are to ever to truly understand, embrace, and celebrate Palm Sunday and Easter in their hearts. So let’s make sure that we leave plenty of room for telling and explaining the story of the Cross. May it never be a “flyover” in our church calendar, but may we thoughtfully, truthfully, and passionately proclaim its immeasurable significance.
(Image courtesy of bela_kiefer at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)