My grandson’s face scrunched up as he twisted the plastic Easter egg. Pop! A huge smile spread across his face, and he held out his hand so I could see what was inside.
“A donkey!” he said, bouncing across the couch.
As I read Benjamin’s Box aloud, this energetic 4-year-old could hardly wait to see what surprise each new page (and egg!) held.
But dread was building in me. I knew where this story was going: Jesus dying on the cross.
How would my favorite little tow-headed, brown-eyed boy take this? Thankfully, this wasn’t his first time hearing how Jesus died for our sins. But still the lump built in my throat. In the last few weeks, I had been reminded rather acutely of my sin and my need for Jesus to die on the cross.
Swallowing hard, I turned the page. The artist wisely showed Jesus hanging on the cross on a distant hill.
I read the words quickly hoping not to linger.
“Wait!” My grandson pressed his chubby hand down onto the page that I was flipping. “I want to look at Jesus on the cross.”
Let’s hurry to the empty tomb, I thought. That’s where we’ll slow down and listen to the angel say, “He is risen!”
But he bent closer and studied the picture for a very long time. Tears pooled in my eyes.
Why am I in such a hurry to skip past Jesus on the cross?
Truth is, I’m ashamed of my sin that nailed him to the cross. Still, that’s no reason to hurry past the cross. In fact, that’s the very reason to stop … and to see the love that constrained Him there as He took my punishment.
While my grandson leaned in for a better view and I struggled to look with him, the words to Before the Throne of God came to mind:
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
It’s hard. But let’s Wait! At the foot of the cross is a great place to hang out for a while. No social distancing required.
And if we stop and stay long enough, our shame will flee and we will see the love flowing from Jesus’s eyes.
Resurrection Eggs are a great way to tell the Easter story. Here’s our favorite: