Why did Jesus have to die?

Palms waving on Palm Sunday

Did you see the parade on Sunday? Such a celebration!


Lots of waving palms!

And there it was… Sure enough… Joy was in the air!

Palm waving with a focus on joy

And next Sunday is Easter!

More Joy!

Oh, but what about the in-between days?

Can we leave out this?

draped cross

Do you say, “I don’t know how to explain why they killed Jesus, so I’ll just hurry over that part.


“Let’s just skip the bad parts and progress right to the Easter Joy.”

Granted, it takes delicate talk to explain why Jesus had to die. Start off by asking your child why they think Jesus had to die. It is important to ponder and wonder around this question with our kids.

Make sure that they understand that is was not God who put Jesus to death but other people; people who did not like Jesus. They did not like the things that Jesus said and did. It might even be helpful to talk about why people might not like what Jesus had to say about how to treat others (Matthew 7:12), or about loving your enemies (Matthew 5:43-44), or about sharing your resources (Matthew 19:21).

How about some elaboration on why Jesus had to die:

This part of Easter is hard to understand. This part shows us how much God loves us and wants to be able to be connected with us.

No matter how hard we try, we still sin — we do stuff that separates us from God and from other people; things that push God away. There is nothing we can do to make up for our sins; we deserve to be punished.

Jesus took that punishment for us. He died so that our sins could be forgiven!

It seems harsh, but it’s not the end of the story because Jesus came back to life! Jesus had been killed on a cross but on the third day, women found his tomb (the place where he had been buried) empty! The tomb was empty because Jesus was alive! God’s power brought Jesus back to life again. He was resurrected. This means that God’s love is more powerful than death!

Jesus’ death and resurrection show us that we are fully forgiven. God’s love is more powerful than anything and is still there, even when we sin!

Photo credits:
Photos are from my archives.

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