Church #8. Meet Holy Week. On Friday, I posted a free Holy Week resource for families. You can find it Here. Today I am writing about my experience with death of Jesus and children.
As a director of children’s ministries, kids ask me all sorts of questions. “Where does God live?” or “If there is a God, why are people hungry?” Almost every Easter, I get the hard one of “Why did Jesus have to die?” Or simply, “Why do we die?” All good questions.
Death is something we do not like to talk about. Speaking of lost loved ones is sad or sometimes too painful. As parents, we don’t speak of our pending deaths with our children. And yet, it happens to all of us.
The other day I was approached by a grandmother. She asked me for a “language” on how to talk to her granddaughters about the death of Jesus. Now I am not a doctor or family therapist, but I do have 20 years of explaining Jesus’ death to kids. Of course, kids understanding of death depends on age, experience and competency. But here is the language I use:
- Death is irreversible. There is no medicine or surgery that can fix death.
- Death is universal. Every living thing dies.
- Death is final. The heart literally stops and the physical life of the body is done.
So my suggestion to this grandmother is to dig deep with her grandchildren. Read together the story of Holy Week. No candy coating the death but instead allow for questions and give honest answers.
Then, count to three: 1 – Jesus died. 2 – Jesus was placed in tomb. 2 – Jesus was raised from the dead. Bingo! It’s day 3 where we get the twist in the story – the part where we can connect the death of Jesus to the heart of God’s love for the world. Jesus being raised from the dead, tells us:
- God’s love is irreversible. It’s a love that exists within you. It cannot be reversed.
- God’s love is universal. It’s for everyone!
- God’s love is final. It has the final word in our lives.
That’s why Jesus died. Don’t be afraid to tell this story. Because it’s the greatest story of God’s love ever told.