Why ‘Good Friday’? – or – in which I struggle to explain to my three year old why Jesus died

Screen shot 2013-03-28 at 11.17.01 AMGood Friday?  What’s So Good About It?  My daughter often asks me about God and Christ right before bed.  I have high hopes our conversations will bear life long fruit for her even I suspect they are just bed-time stalling techniques.  Last night, as we lay in bed, she asked “why did Jesus die?”  A simple question.  One that maybe a lot of people could ask.  Why is it Christians call today Good Friday, when it commemorates the torture, humiliation, and death of the One we love.  Being the father of a questioning three year old keeps me me on my theological toes.  I looked at her and tried to narrow it down.  That’s the hardest part, you see, narrowing it all down.  There are so many facets to the death of Jesus and why it is Good.  I could have told her…

He was hated by those desiring another Lord.

He gave up His life for His friends.

His Father was pleased to afflict Him.

He died for sinners out of love

He bore the wrath of God for us.

He became cursed in our place.

He sacrificed Himself once for all

He died to set us free from our sins.

He died as a ransom for many.

He died to defeat the dark powers of this world.

He died but that’s not the end of the story…

It is hard to narrow down what Christ’s suffering and death did all those years ago.  But to pause and look at everything He died to do (my list isn’t exhaustive by any stretch) is to be amazed.  It is a good Friday after all.

What did I tell my three old?  Faced with an abundance of reasons why Jesus died, I told her the one that seemed closest at the time (and the one I thought her mind could grasp).  I told that Jesus died to bring her close to God.

The Crucifixion - Matthias Grunewald. 1515.

The Crucifixion – Matthias Grunewald. 1515.


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