"That should have been me on that cross!"

[blockquote] This week features posts from Angie Lewis.  She is the wife of our lead pastor, Dhati, and proud mother of six. Angie's unique voice and perspective promises to encourage and strengthen those who read. We hope you enjoy and are blessed.[/blockquote] KAA is one of our favorite summer activities.  Kids Across America is a Christian sports camp in the woods of Missouri.  It is great for us because it allows us to unplug, focus on our family, share our lives with the 16-18 year old campers and the counselors that come...and we get to do it as a family!  The kids LOVE it.  It is endless chats and yelling and high energy.   One of the nights is called CrossTalk, in which the counselors reenact the crucifixion.  A man plays the role of Jesus--he is beaten, mocked, spit on and hung on the cross to die.  It is dramatic and always well done—painting the picture of what Christ did in dying for His people.  We always consider which children to take to this part of the schedule.  This year, Trinity got to go to camp as a camper in one of the younger groups.  So, Jade and Briaiah were my only girls.  Dhati and I thought about who was mature enough and ready to see CrossTalk.  We decided I would take Jade and Briaiah, but that he would stay behind with the boys.  Jade is 8 and Briaiah is 6.  The boys: 5,4, and 3.  So, Jade and Briaiah and I all walked down to the lake to watch CrossTalk.

The skit began with modern-day typical struggles of young people being portrayed and pointing the audience to their need for Christ.  It ended with Jesus being mocked, drug, beat and then hung on a cross.  The mood was somber, quiet.  The skit went really well and the leaders dismissed us to go and reflect.  The girls and I began walking back, and I asked, "What were your thoughts about the skit?"  I didn't expect too much in response.  I assumed I would hear something about how well the actors did.  Briaiah blew me away though.  She grabbed my hand and stopped me in mid stride.

"Mom, it breaks my heart that Jesus had to die like that."

I stopped.

Me: Mine too.

Briaiah: "That should have been me on that cross!"

Me: "What do you mean Briaiah?"  I knew God was working on her little heart.

Briaiah: "I am not perfect, and I have to be to go to heaven.  Because I am not perfect, I was supposed to die.  Instead, Jesus died for me.  That should have been me."

Me: "That is so true Briaiah.  I am proud that you understand that."

I then walked through the gospel--you are a sinner...true, because of that you have to die, you will be judged, and you will be judged against a perfect standard. BUT Christ paid that debt for you.  He died so you didn't have to.  That is a gift—it's free.  You cannot earn it, work for it and you will never deserve it.  The only thing you can do is believe that Jesus defeated death (he got off the cross and came back to life defeating the one thing that scares all of us) and confess with your mouth that He is Lord--meaning He is your master, your boss, the one you listen to, the one who guides your decisions, the one you try to be like.  You can ask Him in your heart and ask for a relationship with Him.

Briaiah: "Ok, I want to do that."

Me: Let's go home and talk with Daddy.  (Dhati and I are both weary about having people pray a prayer in the moment. We don't want to give them assurance of salvation, if it is not real.)

When we got home, Dhati talked with Bri some more and in the end we told her that we would like her to think about it, sleep on it, and we would talk more the next day.  The next morning we got up and headed off to breakfast.  Afterward, I asked Briaiah, "Did you put any more thought into what we talked about last night?"

Briaiah: "Yep." She just smiled.

Me: "Ok, what did you think?"

Briaiah: "Jesus is in my heart.  I have a relationship with Him now.  I couldn't wait til the morning, so I went ahead and asked Him last night."

There is something about watching your child--one you brought into the world, one that has the ability to trust or deny her creator--choose to trust the one that created her.  It is one of the best feelings in the world!