Children have a way of getting to the heart of the matter – asking questions that often bring us puzzlement when we realize we don’t know the answer! – so it is not surprising that Easter raises some of those tricky questions.
Here are three of the more tricky questions you might encounter, and things to think about, as the celebration of Easter draws near.
1. Why is Easter on a different day every year?
Unlike a lot of Christian feast days, Easter does not have a fixed date. The feast is based on the lunar calendar, so Easter is scheduled to fall on the Sunday that follows the full moon on or after March 21, also known as the Spring Equinox.
2. What is Good Friday?
I’ve never understood why people refer to the day that Jesus died as “Good Friday.” It seems to me that Jesus’ death was a great tragedy and it was. But Christians believe that the death acomplished something extra-ordinary, dealing with the problem of sin and wrong-doing.
Most of the world doesn’t have the death penalty any more, and if it does it is only for very serious crimes, but Christians believe that in God’s eyes death is the just consequence of any sin or wrongdoing. And they also believe Jesus died in our place. So the day is ‘good’ because we benefit from the tragedy.
3. Which was more important, Jesus’ death on the cross or His resurrection from the dead that is celebrated by Christians on Easter Sunday?
Both Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead are equally important to Christians; they cannot be separated from each other. Without Jesus’ death, we have no hope of God’s forgiveness; and without Jesus’ resurrection, we have no hope of eternal life.
Of course those answers only touch the surface of some very tricky questions – and there are likely to be lots more from enquiring young minds.