A Child’s Understanding of Jesus on the Cross

An eight year-old approached me tonight immediately after a Bible study on Romans 6:23, which says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (NIV). We had just finished praying the sinners prayer with another girl who chose to give her heart to Jesus Christ tonight. What follows is an edited version of our very brief, but profound conversation.

Girl: Pastor Glen, when Jesus was on the cross, couldn’t he have come down off of it?

Glen: Yes, sweetie. He could have called on the angels to rescue him at any time.

Girl (speaking softly, with an expression of profound realization): So he wanted to stay there?

Glen: He chose to stay there….

Girl: Because he loves us.

Glen: He loves us so much, he died for you and me.

She then nodded and we hugged while she smiled with a sense of appreciation for what Jesus has done for us.

These are the kinds of moments which occur throughout the daily routines of our lives, if only we are alert to the opportunities. Spiritual formation does not follow a strictly regimented schedule, notwithstanding the benefits of organized disciplines. It often happens in fits and starts, to the measure of our openness to God’s still small voice in our hearts; an openness like that of a child, seeing with new eyes the profound implications of Jesus choice to die on our behalf so that we might live for him both now and in the life to come in eternity.

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