Recently our (almost) 5 year-old granddaughter Anna was discussing Easter with her Mommy. She was talking about Jesus dying on the cross and rising from the dead. She knows that we live forever in heaven even though our bodies remain on earth after death. She wants to know if Grannie is an old lady in heaven or has a ‘zero baby’ body. Also she’s super excited that Sophie (our aged Maltese) might someday be a fuzzy puppy in heaven and that we’ll all be with her and Grannie someday. But “not for like a hundred years”.
Pretty profound stuff.
Anna’s conversation with our daughter reminded me of a time years ago when our younger son Blake was 4 or 5 years old and was attending ‘Pre-school Sunday School’. He was learning about Jesus and Easter and Salvation. And of course as anyone with a preschooler knows, there were lots of questions:
Why did Jesus have to die? He died to forgive our sins.
Is God Jesus’ Daddy? Yes.
Why didn’t his Daddy save him? Because God knew that Jesus needed to die to so we could live in heaven forever.
I’d rather live here than in heaven. You would save me, wouldn’t you? Yes.
Do you have to believe in Jesus to go to heaven? I’m pretty sure that you do.
What about Greg (his older brother’s Jewish best friend)? Well I’m not sure. Ummm, can we talk about what the Easter Bunny will bring you?
A few days later he woke me up in the middle of the night. “Blake why are you awake?” “I’ve been worrying about Greg, but just I figured it out!” “What’s that Buddy?” “If God made Greg Jewish then that’s what he should be – God wouldn’t be wrong!” “So Greg can come to heaven, too.” “Oh, okay Pal, can we go back to sleep now?” “Sure!”
Blake fell fast asleep that night. I on the other hand laid awake for hours amazed at his insight. Great scholars and theologians couldn’t have spoken more eloquently.
And then I just stopped pretending to have all the answers. In fact, I realized back then (and still know today) that I had few of the answers.
What I do have is faith. Faith in the unknown; the unseen; the unproven. I’ve been blessed to have glimpsed heaven a few times through the eyes of a child.
As we enter Holy Week may you stop looking for answers and rest assured that God already has them all.