I help teach Sunday School at one of my churches every 1st and 3rd Sunday, here’s something that gripped me this past Sunday…
Lately we’ve been teaching the kids the Bible as an overarching story, we’re covering events from creation in the OT to the birth of Jesus, death of Jesus and resurrection of Jesus in the NT. It’s not a bad curriculum, as it does give us time to discuss with our kids what they’re hearing and to see if they have any questions and/or we ask them questions. We started this curriculum to coincide with Easter, when we finish up it’ll be Easter morning, so kudos to the Sunday School powers that be at my church who thought that one through.
So last Sunday we were discussing sacrifice as how it was done in the Old Testament, where a lamb without blemish or disease would be prayed over by one of the rabbis and through the prayer the sins of the rabbi as well as all the Israelites would be put on to that lamb, from there the rabbi would slit the lamb’s throat and it would die and it would be the sacrifice for everyone for a year.
In the NT with Jesus, the ultimate and also the last sacrifice that was ever needed to bring restoration between God and Man, Jesus died on the cross, Jesus is our much needed sacrifice, so that through him we can have atonement and restitution made between us and God.
As we told this story, a boy who’s probably 10, a visitor to our church and Sunday School for the first time started crying at this point. You know what? I truly believe he was crying because he “got it”; that WE are the reasons why Jesus became a sacrifice, that WE are the reasons why Jesus suffered such a horrible execution…but thankfully by the grace of God that isn’t the other story, otherwise I’m just jabbing my jaw/typing my fingers off for no reason.
I wish I “got it” more often like that little boy did. That when I read “he was wounded for our sins” I actually think more than a flesh wound, but a metal to flesh, gory, horrifying scenario. I (even for a dark mind such as my own) make the crucifixion of Christ relatively tame. I do think of the implications at a deeper and sometimes darker level, but I don’t read into it like a copy of Frank Miller’s Sin City.
I need some time for self examination, and as an introspective person that is quite easy for me to do…why do I tame down the shedding of blood, the horrifying and death-taking and life-giving of the crucifixion of Christ? (I will get back to y’all on this later)
But back to “getting it”… My prayer is for God to use this in this boy’s life; by way of us Sunday School teachers but also his parents, to ask the why questions and to truly starting a relationship with God. He might be young, but even Jesus made known that children are important to him.