3 Big Questions Kids Ask on Good Friday – by Andrew Weiseth


Good Friday is a weighty and somber reminder of Jesus’ suffering and death. How do you explain these difficult truths to kids?

You’ve got one minute to explain the suffering of Jesus on the cross. Ready? Go.

This is a part of Christian parenting in a nutshell, isn’t it? Kids ask us big questions at random times, and we have a brief moment to engage their ready hearts.

Are we ready for the questions that come with Good Friday? As John Wooden put it, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” So let’s prepare! Let’s ask God to ready us to engage our children. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to open their hearts to ask questions and to hunger for Christ.

Kids ask us big questions at random times, and we have a brief moment to engage their ready hearts.

Let us also remind ourselves the value of being able to discuss complex topics at a child’s level. Da Vinci has been quoted as saying, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Those who know a topic well are often the ones best able to explain it to a child. And if you can explain it to a child, you can usually explain it to anyone.

What follows is not necessarily “the ultimate sophistication,” merely a humble attempt to encourage us as parents. We will look at just three among the hundreds of questions kids may be asking this weekend. May this help to ready our minds to guide our children toward Jesus with simple brevity and clear truth.

1. Why did Jesus have to die?

The core answer to this question is:

Jesus died to show God’s righteousness (Rom. 3:23–26).

Here are some ways to explain this truth, depending on whether the child tends to be more logical or more imaginative.

For the logical child:

  • Is God good? Yes.
  • Is he fair? Yes.
  • Would he let bad people do bad things without punishment? No.
  • Adam, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Rachel, Ruth, David—were any of these people good? No, only Jesus is good.

Jesus died for the sins of every person, through all of time, who has ever put their full trust in God.

If you can explain something to a child, you can usually explain it to anyone.

For the imaginative child:

What if Dad was a police officer outside a candy store? One bad guy after another comes until the store is entirely robbed, and Dad doesn’t stop any of them.

Does Dad seem like a good police officer? No!

Oh, but God is so good. He gives time for some of the bad guys to admit they were wrong and ask forgiveness, and he doesn’t let their crimes go unpunished. He takes the full punishment on himself. Jesus on the cross is like that. He says to all who trust in him, “It is finished, I have paid for your sins” (see John 19:30 and also John 3:36).

2. Is God an Angry Father?

The core answer to this question is:

God is perfectly good, holy, and sinless (Ps. 18:30, Isa. 6:3, Deut. 32:4).

For the logical child:

  • Is God a good Father who loves his children? Yes.
  • How does he feel when his children attack each other? Angry.
  • If someone used words or fighting to hurt you, should God be angry about that? Yes.
  • How about when you or I hurt someone? Yes.

God gets angry because he is good. He is so good that for everyone who has put their trust in Jesus, God has put all that anger on himself instead of them.

Is God a good Father who loves his children? Yes.

For the imaginative child:

Two dads went to the playground with their kids. Suddenly another kid showed up and started saying mean words and even started throwing rocks at the other kids.

One dad saw what was happening and ignored it. The other dad became angry! He jumped up and protected his kids from the rocks with his own body. Then he went and stopped the other kid and had him sent back to his home.

Which Dad showed love for the kids? The one who got angry.

God’s anger is a bit like that, only it’s so much better, it is without any sin. God loves his kids and hates seeing them harm others or themselves.

3. What happened to Jesus on the cross?

The core answer to this question is:

Jesus was tortured beyond human recognition (Isa. 53:3). We need not explain every gory detail to give our kids the accurate core truth.

For all children:

Jesus was able to endure more pain than we can imagine because he has a love that is greater than we can imagine.

What other questions might your kids be asking around Good Friday?

What are your kids really into, and what analogies or word pictures might resonate best with them?

Original Post: http://theresurgence.com/2014/04/18/3-big-questions-kids-ask-on-good-friday

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