Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Gospel by Sage:

I saw a movie at church today,
it was about Jesus.
He died on the cross because strangers killed him.

But it was ok, because Jesus had to die for us.
But why did Jesus have to die for us?


Why did Jesus die for us? As a pastor you'd think that Sage would have found the perfect audience for this question, but what she didn't know was that her daddy had been struggling with the same question all morning.

It wasn't until college that anyone had really asked me that question in a way that 'for our sins' wouldn't suffice.
The question as to how Jesus' death on the cross provides atonement isn't a new one, but it is a question that the Church hasn't come to a consensus on.

N.T. Wright writes, "I am one of those who think it good that the church has never formally defined 'the atonement', partly because I firmly believe that when Jesus himself wanted to explain to his disciples what his forthcoming death was all about, he didn't give them a theory, he gave them a meal."

As my daughter begins now to ask me the same question that professors asked me 10 years ago, I find myself with even more questions, as the mystery of Jesus' mysterious death is more a mystery than ever.
Although I think that I have a theologically acceptable answer to Sage's question, I hope that she will be equipped to handle the mystery of the crucifixion, and be ok with having questions answered with more questions and stories.


hestermom said...

Three is an amazing age for theology. Caleb (who is the same age as Sage) asked me, "Mommy, would we have to die on a cross too?" Now, as the mommy, I thought this a perfect time to share that we don't have to die on a cross because Jesus did that for us, on our behalf. But of course, Ben thought that it wouldn't be right to say no we don't have to die on a cross, because who knows? One day, we may actually have to die for our faith. Who knew a seemingly simply question could carry so many weighty answers, questions, etc.

ATSmith said...

dito lisa.

Christine H. said...

This is from Eric, not me:

Hmmm.Interesting. Too bad more adults aren't asking the same question.

This is from me, not Eric:

Wow! The questions the girls are coming up with these days are really hard to answer (see my most recent post). Having kids around is good for the old thinker!

Christine H. said...

BTW, this is the FIRST time Eric has commented on a blog! What's next? Maybe he'll actually log on and get a user!