If you haven't seen the play, it ends with the suicide of Judas and crucifixion of Christ. The end.
I've heard the proverbial THE END from prominent televangelists. For instance a couple years ago I was watching Pat Robertson referencing Jesus on the "700 Club." I paraphrase him, "[It's amazing when you realize] that this man was born to die." With all due respect to Mr. Robertson, I ask how is that statement different than any other human being's fate on this earth?
My children like The Rizers, an animated YouTube worship band. Their songs are all based on a passage or two of scripture. They really are wonderfully talented. I regret that I must point out their gaffe in order to help solidify my case. In the middle of their catchy song, "JOHN 3:16" the blonde, female singer of the The Rizers breaks out of song and goes into a mini monologue: "Isn't it amazing? God loved us so much that He sent His son, Jesus to die for us!" The end? I always add "and rise!" enthusiastically so my children understand Jesus wasn't simply on this earth to die. He rose from the dead for you so you can realize that you were also meant to have eternal life like Jesus.
Some people argue that kids wouldn't understand what resurrection and ascension mean. Adults don't give kids enough credit in the religious and spiritual arena. They "get it." It's us adults who sometimes don't "get it."
Jesus himself clearly elevates children to a higher spiritual plane, "Amen, I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child will not be able to see it.” (Luke 18:17)
It's not just children who get short sheeted in the resurrection department.
Some pastors maybe think, "Oh we'll just tell the resurrection story once a year on Easter Sunday."
I also wonder if something more sinister is happening in our churches right under our noses - especially with the more "seeker-oriented" churches. Is it just too easy for pastors to convert their seekers to Christianity to preach that Jesus, the only begotten son of God merely died on the cross for our sins? Then the pastor summons the congregation, "Raise your hands if you've been saved today."
Is the resurrection of Christ just too difficult for adults (including some pastors) to grasp? Is it too supernatural? Does it defy science? Is His resurrection too unbelievable to truly call yourself a believer? I think the answer is "yes" to all of the above.
Don't overthink it. Become "as little children" as Jesus implores. Teach our children about eternal life. Show them pictures of Jesus' empty tomb. Preach the "unbelievable" to our precious kids.
Remember, we Christians praise, honor, and glorify the living Christ. I pray that this article supports my case and plea to Churches, which is: Jesus Christ didn't merely die for us. He lived for us and continues to live for us while seated on His Heavenly throne. Amen.
By: Jill Marie Storm
Jill's Bio: Jill has been contributing her writings (opinion, fiction and nonfiction) to various print newspapers and magazines since 1999. This is her first on-line article. She sang on her church's worship team for four straight years until becoming a mother. Her ministry now isn't about what she can do. Rather it's about raising her kids entrenched in God's undying love. Jill lives in South Florida with her husband, son and daughter.(Jesus clip image courtesy of clipartfest.com)