Death is the elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about—especially if the conversation involves children. It’s even more difficult to discuss a gruesome, painful death such as Jesus’ crucifixion. Yet, to appreciate all Jesus did for us, we need to recognize His death on our behalf.
Does talking to children about Jesus’ death cause you to feel uncomfortable? Don’t allow your discomfort prevent you from sharing about His death and His victory. So how do we do that with young children?
We can explain the crucifixion to children without including many of the harsh details. Depending on the child’s age, it may be enough to say:
“Jesus loves us so much that He died on the Cross to take our punishment for all the bad things we think and the bad things we say and the bad things we do.”
Don’t be surprised if your child does not react as badly as you may have expected. Young children tend to view few things as permanent, including death.
Still, we need to give children hope the same way any adult hearing the salvation account needs hope. Tell about Jesus victory over death:
“Then something special happened. Jesus did what no one else could do. He did not stay dead! Because He is alive, we can be friends with God forever!”
Death may be the elephant in the room, but we still need to talk about it. By carefully choosing the right timing and age-appropriate vocabulary for the conversation, we can assist even young children to begin considering the extent of Jesus’ love for them.
A love that took Him to the Cross.