This is perhaps the most important question you will ever be asked about your children. This is Easter weekend, when we remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. We remember it because it actually happened. The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ are not symbols, but reality.
What Jesus did almost 2,000 years ago was the most courageous, loving and violent action ever taken by man. It was courageous because Jesus willingly took the wrath of God upon himself to pay for the ugliness and wickedness of sin. He knew full well what would happen to him; he knew the pain he would endure. Yet he took this punishment willingly, courageously. His action was loving because he truly put others before himself. He died so that his people would live — this was the most selfless act in all of history. It was violent because he literally destroyed the power of the kingdom of darkness and of death. Death lost its sting, the grave its victory!
While all these things are true and must be part of what you tell your children, there is more. You must tell them about the personal nature of his death on your behalf. Christ did not die for generic sins. He took the wrath of a holy God, the wrath that you and I deserved for the particular, personal sins that we have committed. He became guilty for your lies, your lusts, your anger, your selfishness. He was punished for each of your sins as if he were the one who committed them. When you consider that on the cross the terrible wrath of God was unleashed upon Christ not only for your personal sins, but for the personal sins of untold millions, then you begin to get just a tiny bit of understanding of what Jesus endured for you. This is the personal story that you must also tell your children. No, you don’t have to go into every detail of your sins. But you do have to let your children know how you have been blown away by what Christ personally did for you.
For example, when you catch your child in a lie, you should not simply admonish, discipline and pray with him that he must not do this again. This much must be done, of course. Learning to obey God is essential for everyone. But if that is all you do, you will have failed to make a truly personal and needed connection with Christ. You will have taught that Christianity is primarily about keeping rules. You will have kept the power of the gospel from your children.
[Read the rest of the article at Shepherd Press.]