by Josh Martin, Resonate Pullman Site Pastor
Last year I explained Good Friday to my 3 year old. I figured she’d seen enough Little Einsteins to understand good guys and bad guys.
For weeks prior I’d been telling her about God’s power. I told her the story of Jesus walking on water, the one where he calms the storm, and the one where he raised Lazarus from the dead.
At the end of each story I would ask Harper, with as much expression as I could muster, “Now, how in the world is this possible?”
Then we would say in unison, “Because Jesus is powerful enough to do anything.”
Then I would pray, kiss her forehead, and turn out the lights.
I started the Good Friday story with Palm Sunday. I told Harper that Jesus rode into Jerusalem and everyone sang his praise. Then I said Jesus went to the temple and drove out the bad guys because they were keeping people from God and no one should be kept from God. She liked that part.
I told her about the final healings Jesus did and the last things he taught. Then, I told her on Thursday night, Jesus got his best friends together and washed their feet. And they shared their last meal. Then I told her about the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was sad and praying.
All was good until this point. It was when I said the bad soldiers came to the garden and took Jesus, she sat up in her bed.
“What are they doing?” she asked.
“They are going to take Jesus to men who will spread lies about him. They are going to blame him for bad things, though he’d never once done anything wrong,” I responded.
Then I told my daughter what the Roman soldiers were ordered to do. How they put Jesus in chains, how they hit him with a whip, and put a crown of thorns on his head. I told her they spit in his face and put a costume on him and called him names.
When I got to the part of Jesus being nailed to the cross Harper yelled out, as if she had a great idea, “DAD, DAD, WHY DOESN’T JESUS USE HIS POWER? WHY DOESN’T HE USE HIS POWER?”
The only thing I could think to say was, “Baby girl, Jesus is using his power. He is letting them do this to Him.”
Somehow in that moment, kneeling next to my daughters bed, I felt the cross differently. I saw it more clearly. It all made sense. God used my daughter to teach me the most basic truth in the world: That the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was the most powerful act of God in redemptive history. More than parting the Red Sea, more than healing the blind, more than fire falling down, more than every other story combined, what we see on Good Friday and Easter Sunday is the power of the Trinity on full display.
God’s power to joyfully crush his son. (Isaiah 53:10)
Jesus’s power to joyfully endure the crushing. (Hebrews 12: 2)
The Spirit’s power to ultimately raise Christ from the dead. (Romans 8:11)
Good Friday is God’s Friday. It’s God’s power. It’s God’s plan. It’s God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit doing something that changed eternity.
I was in a daze when Harper asked me what happened after Jesus died.
“They buried him in a tomb, rolled a big stone in the entrance, and left him there,” I said.
“And on Sunday when his friends went to visit, He wasn’t there anymore. Jesus finished the greatest miracle of all. He didn’t stay dead. He came back.”
“Wow”, she said.
“Jesus did that so we could be with God. It’s a miracle. It’s a gift. It’s good news.”
“Wow”, she said again.
Then I leaned in and asked, “Now Harper, how in the world is this possible?”
She looked at me, smiled huge and said, “Because Jesus is powerful enough to do anything.”
He is. He truly is.