Easter. Quite possibly the cutest holiday of them all.
Fluffy bunnies, baby chicks, little lambs.
Easter baskets, painted eggs, and lots of candy.
Definitely cute. Precious even!
This, however, is where the problem lies. Because, if we are trying to focus on the true meaning of Easter, what do we find?
Yes, on Easter Sunday we celebrate resurrection and new life. But to get there we must travel the heart wrenching path that leads you to the cross.
The last few years when Easter rolls around, I’ve found myself dragging my feet when it comes to covering the story with my son. Sure, we talk about the gospel routinely, but there is something about Easter and the nitty gritty aspects of the story that gives me pause.
We talk about Palm Sunday and I see myself among the crowds who don’t understand Jesus.
We talk about the disciples napping while Jesus prays and fleeing while he is bound and I am confronted with my own weakness.
We talk about the crowds shouting for Jesus to be crucified and my own hard heart is exposed.
We talk about Jesus hanging from the cross and I am reminded that it is my own sin and rebellion that nailed him there.
It is messy, painful, and humbling. Decidedly not cute.
So, what is a parent to do? Skip over the pain and death altogether? Maybe fluff it up a bit? Save the hard truth for later…for when they are more… ready?
The problem with this plan is where the fluffy version of Easter may be light and happy, the way of the cross is the way of depth and meaning. Yes, it is the way of pain, but it is also the way of ultimate joy.
The suffering of the cross is the path to the joy of Resurrection Sunday. The empty tomb. Humanity redeemed.
It is a difficult path. But it is a path forged by our Savior.
So, I face my own sin and I lead my children down that same path.
They may not understand the full depth of the betrayal, the crowds, the thorny crown, and the forsaken Savior. But their small hearts are open wide and ready to know of this God who loved them so.
Looking for resources on sharing the Easter story with your children? Try Resurrection Eggs or this round up of easy last minute ideas. I also loved this post from ohAmanda on talking to kids about the hard parts of the Easter story.