He usually packed his sermons with lots of academic teachings and illustrations and examples, but this Sunday, from the pulpit, he felt compelled to share the way his four-year-old son Benjamin had reminded him of what was truly important:
“Yesterday Benjamin and I were driving down the road on the way to WalMart to pick up some lighter fluid for the barbecue when Benjamin piped up from the back seat, ‘Daddy, God is making a special place just for us.’
“’Yes, Benjamin, you are right. He is getting it ready in heaven right now, isn’t he?’ I replied.
“’Yes, and it has lots of good things and pretty things, and God wants to share them all with us,’ the little boy went on. ‘God always wants to share good things with us. And what was that snake’s name?’
“I stifled a grin, ‘You mean Lucifer?’
“’Yeah, Lucifer. He lied and told a bunch of angels and people that God is bad, and they believed him. But that is not true. God is good. But lots of people and angels believe God is good, too, right, Daddy?’
“’Right, Benjamin, and God is good all the time,’ I smiled.
“’Well, Jesus wanted to die on the cross for our sins because He loves us and He wants us to go to be with Him in that special place He is getting ready for us some day. He didn’t have to do it, but He did it, because He wanted to. So some bad people nailed Him to a cross and He died. And they put Him in a cave. But then He got up and He went out of the cave. And then He went up into the stars and now He is getting that good place ready for us!!’”
As he shared this simple testimony, he could see busy, hurried people relax, and harried gazes soften. He was glad he had taken the time to help people focus on the true basis for their faith.
She listened to the pastor speak, and it was as if his little son’s words were meant directly for her. She had always wondered how God could be so mean to make His own Son die on a cross for the wrong things other people had done.
But the little boy had clarified it for her. He had said Jesus chose to do it, because He wanted to, because He loved her and wanted her to be with Him in the special place He was getting ready for her.
Jesus was not a victim. He was a hero. Her hero. After all.
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