Liam and I were reading through one of his Bibles this week and came to a picture of Jesus on the cross. This was a cartoon drawing with no blood, but Liam stopped at this picture and stared for quite a while. He looked very concerned. I asked what was wrong, and he said, “He has a nail in His toes.” Liam still has a limited vocabulary compared to most other children his age, but he was able to comprehend that something was wrong with the picture, and he didn’t like the fact that Jesus had a nail in His “toes.” I looked at Liam with tears and said, “That’s right, Baby, He did have a nail in His toes and His hands, but more than that, He didn’t even get to be in God’s presence at that time, and He was God’s perfect Son. What’s even greater is that Jesus let bad people put those nails there without a fight so those people would never have to be out of God’s presence. He really loves His people!”
It was a very simple gospel presentation, and I’m sure Liam didn’t understand, but I was moved by Liam’s reaction to such a simple picture even though he doesn’t have a comprehension of pain sources yet. How often we feel like we can only see gruesome pictures of Christ before we are affected by what He did for us on the cross (i.e. movies like “The Passion of the Christ”). Why am I not more affected when I see a simple drawing in a toddler’s Bible, not as much for the physical pain Jesus underwent, but for the agony of having God turn His back on Him because He took our well-deserved wrath upon Himself? This is what it means to be cross-centered–to always remember where we would be without Jesus’ sacrifice and to glory in Him daily for the freedom and joy we have if we put our faith in Him and sacrifice every aspect of our lives to Him and His gospel. May we never boast in our own works!