For about a year now, I have been wrestling with how to teach my boys - ages 6, 5, 4 & 2 - about Jesus, salvation, eternity, sin, resurrection and what it means to actually follow Jesus. At the same time, I wrestle with how we can do this on an even larger scale in the church.
Since I was a kid I have struggled with the idea that Jesus had to die because I did bad things. I started learning about Jesus and religion at a fairly young age and I remember walking down to the front of the church because I wanted Jesus to forgive me for my sins and come and live in my heart. I struggled understanding why Jesus had to die because of a few bad things I did, but I eventually concluded that I must be pretty evil for a 7 year old so someone had to die.
My initial upbringing was in a mainline stage 2 church. At a very young age I knew what was in and what was out. I knew who was in and who was out. And from a very early age, I became a rule follower.
Now, 27 years later, I have morphed much in my faith. I do believe that the rules are what often keep us bound from the freedom that Jesus offers and the rules are what help us stay so judgmental.
As I journey through raising 4 boys, I desire for them to experience life and jesus and faith in a way that is not bound by rules but is instead engaged by the spirit of God directing them and leading them.
Jesus' mission to this planet was not to come to simply die for humanity's sin (although this was part of it), but his mission was to come and crush and ultimately destroy evil. And the way to obliterate evil was to beat evil at its own game....take evil's best shot - death - and conquer it. And once death was conquered, this released an overarching plan of redemption, restoration, renewal and reconciliation.