A Simple Question from My Son

I ran across an old Christmas letter today and I remember the situation like it was yesterday.

We are Christmas shopping and my son, Samuel is sitting in the buggy of the cart. I believe he is three years old.

“Mommy, does Jesus come down off the cross to help us when we are hurt or scared?”

Forget the gifts.  These are the moments parents live for.

I’m thinking about how often I want comfort outside of Jesus’ work on the cross. How quick I am to seek a different Jesus –one that requires less, one that’s not so weighty, one who essentially exists to give me a parking place and clean up my messes.

And in light of that I answer, “No Babe, he does not. It is actually on the cross that Jesus helps us the most.”

Close to a decade later, I’m older and maybe a tad more weary from the fight.  Today, I think that conversation would go differently.  A Jesus left nailed to a cross is not enough to get us through the long haul.

Thankfully, Son – Jesus did come off the cross.

Absolutely, I want my children to know the severity of the sin that put Jesus on the cross, and the love that kept him there. I want them to know that the cross must come before the crown.

But, I also want them to really know what happened after his death. I want them to grasp the depth of the resurrection and not get stuck solely embracing it as the way they get to heaven.

It’s so much more.

It is our only real hope in this fight against sin and temptation. It resurrects relationships that have no other hope, and it has power to transform an insecure 12 year old into a man who is a mighty weapon in the Father’s arsenal.

Thankfully, it also means this mama gets to press on, in spite of never doing it quite right.


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  • tara

    Great post.

    Your story reminds me of when my son was three. Whenever we went by a Catholic church, Zach would look up and shout out, “Come down, Jesus!”

    It was like he was some kind of eighty-year-old evangelical who says things like, “Not my Jesus! He’s not on the cross anymore!”

    The walking around in sandals Jesus. On the cross Jesus. Resurrected, sitting on the right hand of the Father Jesus. I guess we need all the Jesus we can get, yes?

  • trishryan

    When I first started considering Jesus (as an adult) I said to my new small group leader, “I really hope you’ll focus on the resurrection a bit. It seems like the only good news this faith has going for it…”

    I think instinctually I was right there with Tara’s son Zach…believing that Jesus must be more than what I’d seen so far…

  • andreaferrell

    So, there is hope for me — that ten years from now I will be a little wearier but wiser in mothering. I’m liking that contrast you provided. I need to believe I am changing for the better!

  • Kathy

    Thank you for the beautiful story pointing us to the resurrection of Christ. I have come to realize taking that step, from the cross to the resurrection, is where we will truly find joy in the journey here on earth…He lives!