What I Told Our Four Year Old About Good Friday

Today is Good Friday, and I feel compelled to mourn. Confused, grieving and very lost early in the day, I’m sure Jesus’ disciples felt the same way, and much worse. I can only imagine they had no clue where to turn as they watched their leader, their friend spend the day dying.

But by three in the afternoon, Jesus had died. Little did they know the day was not a loss. Because you want to know what he was doing after he died? Plundering death. Leading a train of captives out of the underground toward heaven, in history’s grandest triumphal procession.

So tonight at dinner when we asked our son if he knew what today was – and he didn’t – we told him it’s the day Jesus died. But we know the end of the story so we fast-forwarded a little.

We said Jesus died, and he went to the place where all the people who had died were staying, and he brought them out in a giant parade, led them right up to heaven, probably singing and everything.

I asked John what song they were singing as they marched in their jubilant parade. He chanted, “God knows you. God knows you.” I love that. That’s what Jesus said he would say about the ones whose names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life. We have been purchased with a death for not just heaven but to be fully known and fully loved, not just in the future-someday, but now.

God knows you. In and out, up and down, the past, present and future. Maybe that sounds terrifying to most of us with a doozy of a shame complex. But because of today, because of Jesus’ death and his parade out of hell, we can all be not just known but loved too.

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