Last week I was blessed by questions from some of my young friends. Sara (age 4) looked at me with big sad eyes and asked “Why would anyone want to hurt and kill Jesus?” Later Evan (age 6) looked at a picture of the tomb and wondered, “But how did Jesus come back to life?”
Evan and Sara know the Easter story. They have heard how Jesus was arrested and hung on a cross to die. They imagined the stone rolled in front of the tomb with guards. They believed the women who came to the tomb and discovered that Jesus is alive.
But they still have holy questions. Like the Mary, Joanna, and Mary at the tomb who were perplexed and terrified. Like the disciples who didn’t believe the women. Like Peter who ran to the tomb to see for himself and was amazed. Like Thomas who was not present when Jesus visited the disciples. They have questions.
Jesus’ resurrection is joyous, wonderful and amazing. But it is also a mystery. Life from death? Love overcomes hate? New possibilities after total destruction? Hope in the face of loss?
In this scientific age, we often forget that life, death, and resurrection all hold holy mystery and wonder. God is beyond our imagination. I love what Barbara Brown Taylor writes: “These days I would say Easter is the eruption of life from a tomb as God’s huge surprise, going in a different direction, and if anything, proof that you can never predict how God is going to act next.”
Just like Sara and Evan, my brain cannot quite wrap itself around–why anyone could hate a loving Jesus? And how could Jesus come back to life? But like Sara and Evan, I can give my heart to a God of surprises who brings life, hope, forgiveness, welcome, healing and wonder through Jesus Christ. There is room at the empty tomb for all our questions. God is a God of Easter, mystery, wonder, and SURPRISES! Of course there will be questions too.
What are your holy questions? Talk about them with a partner. Then give thanks for our surprising and unpredictable God.