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My sons ask some really tough questions. They are so inquisitive, and curious about how the world works and why people do what they do. Many times the questions they ask let me know that there is much more going on in their head than I realize.
The oldest has been working on a school assignment to memorize the Apostles Creed. At breakfast one morning my wife was quizzing him on the phrase, “He descended into hell; and on third day he rose again from the dead.” After a few moments of thoughtful silence he dropped the bomb on us.
“Dad, Why would a good guy go to Hell?”
I could see the connections being made in his brain. He was thinking, “Mom and dad have been telling me all along that this Jesus guy is good, they say He is perfect, He is God, He loves me, and that I can trust Him.” “I also know that hell is a bad place. I know that there is fire; pain, hurt, and that I do not want to go there.”
So his little brain reasoned quite logically, why would this good guy go to such a horrible place?
Isn’t this the question on which the whole world hangs? Why did Jesus die on the cross descend into hell and come back to life?
I attempted in my feeble way to share surprise and wonder with my son. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus went to hell on our behalf? Imagine how horrible it would be if you and I had to go to hell for all the bad stuff we do? Or, what if the only way for us to be right with God was to live a perfect life? How good does a person have to be to be ‘ok’ in God’s eyes?
This question from my son revealed to me anew the wonder of salvation. I AM NOT GOOD, NO ONE IS GOOD apart from the sacrifice of Christ and it is only through his life, death, and resurrection that I have hope for the future. This good guy went to hell so that I don’t have to.
Thank you Lord, for teaching me through the thoughts of a young boy. Thank you for working in my child’s heart and planting the wondrous seed of faith. Grow in him this seed of faith allowing it to blossom through trust in the powerful work of Jesus Christ.
This was first published on the Dad Matters Blog